The Difference Between a Windshield Crack and a Windshield Chip

Chips and cracks are most common terms you will hear often in the auto glass industry. However, what’s the difference?

For a chip, it has a clear point of impact, and the point of impact may be in a form of star break, bullseye, half moon shape, surface pit, or a combination break.

Meanwhile, a crack is a line that can go from 1 inch til the entire size of the windshield. Usually, a crack is a horizontal and straight line. The good news? Long cracks can be repaired. Sometimes, cracks on your windshield can be salvaged by an export. More on chips and cracks on: The Different Types of Damages to Your Windshield

Are they repairable?

Perhaps, you are not interested on the type of damage. Your question is, are cracks and chips repairable? Well, they are if laminated glass.

For most cars, the side glass windows and black glass windows are made of tempered glass. You cannot repair; you can only replace them!

However, the windshield is repairable depending on the 3 factors:

  1. size of the damage,

    • The number one factor is the size; the repairability is dependent on the varying sizes of the damage. Typically, a chip is tinier than quarter, and a crack should not exceed than 3 inches to be considered repairable.
    • The Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard (ROLAGS) has given specific guidelines on the different types of cracks and chips. Aside from the size, there are still other factors to consider: depth and location. The auto glass repair professionals at A+ PLUS AUTO GLASS offer a free estimate. They can surely give you an assessment of whether or not your windshield is repairable; just call A+ PLUS AUTO GLASS at 623-218-6844.
  2. depth of the cracks,

    • How deep is the damage? The windshield has 3 layers of protection: the inner layer, the plastic interlayer, and the outer layer. If the damage penetrates too deep, then, repair is not possible. However, if the damage is merely a surface pit, repair is recommended if the inner layer and the interlayer of glass are still intact.
  3. location of the damage,

    • Last but not the least, we have the location. This extremely affects the repairability of the windshield. If the damage is greater and if it extends to the outer edge of the windshield, then, you would need to replace it because the cohesion may have weakened.
    • Remember, in any case of an auto accident, the windshield will have to be responsible of more than 60% of the total weight. In a case of a vehicle rollover, the windshield will KEEP YOU INSIDE YOUR CAR. It will serve as your cover so that you won’t fly out of the window. Thus, you need to replace and not repair it!
    • When the crack hinders your line of sight, do not try to repair it. If something obstructs the front view, just replace it. Once you repair, there will be a distortion which will hinder you from having a clear view of the road. So, if the damage will be an obstruction to the Driver’s Primary Viewing Area (DPVA), windshield replacement is the advisable solution.
    • Finally, if there are cracks on the sensors, braking systems, and on the automated driver assistance systems (ADAS), repairing it NOT recommended. Repairing it might eventually cause systems malfunctions.