5 Unrepairable Windshield Problems That Require Replacement


That dreaded sound: the sharp crack of a rock hitting the windshield of your car. It's always a gamble. Will the windshield somehow remain unscathed or will you have to repair a chip or even replace the whole thing? Even if your auto insurance fully covers windshield replacement, the process still requires your time and puts your car out of commission for an hour or more. But how do you know when the problem isn't fixable? Here are four signs of an unrepairable windshield problem.

Long Cracks

The most easily recognizable unrepairable problem is a long crack, especially one that's over a foot in length. However, repairs can get tricky with a crack that's even just a few inches. It's up to your repair technician to make the final determination, but most long cracks require a full replacement.

Vision Impairment

Replacement will be necessary when the crack or chip directly blocks the driver's line of sight. If the driver can't safely operate the vehicle without craning his or her neck around the chip, then there's no point in repairing it at all—if the damage makes it unsafe to operate the vehicle, it needs to be replaced.

Large Chips

Another unrepairable problem is a large chip. That generally means any chips that are larger than the size of a quarter and that includes any small cracks radiating from the center of the impact point because they will continue to spread.

Interlayer Damage

A windshield is made out of laminated glass. Laminated glass is two panes of tempered glass that have a vinyl interlayer sandwiched in between. This vinyl interlayer is what keeps the glass from shattering into small and dangerously jagged pieces if your windshield is impacted. Laminated glass is vital for keeping drivers safe and that vinyl interlayer is the key safety feature. If it is damaged in any way through a chip or a crack and that damage reaches the glass underneath, the integrity of the windshield has been compromised and that puts driver safety at risk. It must be replaced.

Interior Damage

Any stress cracks on the interior windshield also necessitate replacement for a similar reason as the previous category. The interior of your windshield is the true glass underneath the vinyl interlayer and damage affects the integrity of the entire windshield. Interior stress cracks are more likely to result in the windshield shattering if impacted. It will probably require a full windshield replacement rather than a simple repair.


22 February 2022

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