How Do I Know When My Windshield needs Repair?

We get calls every day from drivers wanting to know how long they can hold off before replacing their chipped windshield. It’s understandable – nobody looks forward to surprise auto expenses. So, I thought I’d post my advice for our customers.

A minor chip may mean there’s no imminent danger. You might be able to drive hundreds of miles without a problem. But keep in mind, even a small chip can begin to grow without warning. If you encounter heavy rain or debris, it can exacerbate the problem, and before you know it, you’ll have a serious problem on your hands. And if you have a chip that obstructs your view from the driver’s seat, it is truly a hazard and you should have it repaired immediately.

The best rule is to take care of a rock chip as soon as it arises, and don’t wait until it’s too late. A rock chip can be repaired very quickly, wherever you are, and it’s relatively inexpensive (usually around $50). Once a chip has grown into a crack, you’ll probably need to replace your entire windshield, and incur 4 or 5 times the cost. If you have damage bigger than a rock chip, perhaps a small crack, it can worsen very quickly and weaken the structural integrality of your windshield before you know it.



The Rule of Thumb

If you have a chip or a crack that’s less than six inches long, you may be able to get away with a repair, rather than a full windshield replacement. Windshield Squad’s expert glass techs can give you the right advice for any type of damage. The odds are, you can get away with a repair, if:

  • The chip or crack does not block your line of site
  • You have three or less chips
  • The damage to the glass fits under a dollar bill
  • The chip or crack is toward the center, and not on the edge of the windshield

Mobile repair services are available, usually for same day service. They can come to you, so it doesn’t have to eat up your whole day to deal with the problem. If you have comprehensive auto insurance, you’ll likely only be responsible for a small deductible. In return you’ll get a brand new windshield, and a lot of peace of mind!




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