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What Should I Know About Windshield Crack Repair?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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If you’ve ever owned a car or truck, there is a good chance you have sustained a small crack in the windshield at some point. Windshield cracks can occur when any airborne object of some substance collides with the windshield. This can happen while the vehicle is in use or when the car or truck is parked. Fortunately, you do have a couple of options when it comes to windshield repair. You may be able to fix it yourself, but larger cracks need to be repaired by a professional.

Your first option with windshield crack repair is to seal the crack yourself. This is a viable option if the crack is very small, perhaps no more than an inch or two (around 2.54 to 5.08 cm) in length. You can get everything you need from a local automotive repair store. There are even small kits that are designed for this type of simple windshield repair jobs. Tell the sales associate “I have a crack in my windshield,” and he or she can direct you to the kits that are in stock. Look over each kit carefully, as some require mixing compounds and also give very specific instructions in how to apply the sealing compound.

A second option is to take the vehicle to a car repair facility that advertises professional windshield repair services. This is often your best bet if the crack is very big. There is often the chance that a hairline crack is already beginning to branch off from the original point of damage that you can see with the naked eye, and this could lead to serious issues later. An auto repair service or glass shop will have equipment to analyze the condition of the crack and know exactly how to take care of the problem permanently.

While you may feel confident in your ability to repair a crack in your windshield, keep in mind that it never hurts to check with a professional. If the repair can be handled with a simple over-the-counter sealing compound, a reputable dealer will advise you of that option. At the same time, if the crack is over a certain length, there is a good chance that the professional will also advise you that repairing the crack may be futile and that you need to consider replacing the windshield completely.

When windshield crack repair is not an option, check with your auto insurance provider. There is a good chance that all or part of the replacement costs are covered.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGEEK, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By dexter757 — On Oct 30, 2014

Windshields are best repaired when a chip or crack first occurs. The longer you wait the more damage that can occur and the more likely dirt works it's way into the damaged area. The dirt makes the repair more difficult to repair properly and can affect the clarity of the repair area.

Also, don't be fooled by glass shops that tell you that a long running crack cannot be repaired. We are able to repair long cracks up to 5 feet in length and it's 100 percent guaranteed to pass state inspection and never to spread further.

By staceybeck01 — On Oct 02, 2013

Thanks for all the great advice. Can you get in trouble for driving with a cracked windshield?

By anon337592 — On Jun 06, 2013

Got a crack this morning, just about a quater inch long. Immediately called the repair guy, and he came over in about two hours. He jumped out and got to work, with no paper work signing or discussion. He then turned my quarter inch crack into an 12 inch crack. He promptly apologized, offered me a $100 discount off the $500 dollar windshield and left me standing there pissed off.

I am going to call them tomorrow and try to get them to replace my windshield free of charge. I didn't sign or agree to allow them to break my window with no liability or responsibility to fix it.

By anon156143 — On Feb 25, 2011

I got my cracks fixed today in my front window of my car that were caused by flying stones right but I thought that you should not be able to see them. Is this true? they are not that big but I am not impressed with this.

By anon148524 — On Feb 01, 2011

I am a windshield repair tech, I do only windshield repairs. I use the GlasWeld System for repair and the ProVac Injection assembly with the highest possible vacuum for best repairs.

First off, I have repaired windshield cracks as long as 7 or 8 inches along the windshield. The final appearance of the repair all depends on the place of a crack, the age of the crack, and the company that is doing the repair.

The price for "stone chips" is roughly $50 and the cracks usually range up to $100.

But the one main thing you all are missing is, if the company doing the repair is a replacement company, they would make more money for a replacement, compared to a $50 repair, and would most likely push for a replacement even if it can be repaired.

Most insurance companies waive the deductible and pay for the repair, so they would prefer to pay $50 than having to end up paying $700 0r $800-plus if that stone chip cracks open.

And all you do is go there and they take care of your insurance for you on the spot and you walk out paying nothing. The insurance, in most cases, would go up if you had three or four repairs per year, but for one repair they won't bother you. If you choose not to go through your Insurance company, the repair shop could charge you less than $50.

By anon139305 — On Jan 04, 2011

I have seen a lot of people trying to fix a small chip in their windshield and end up having to replace it. Windshield repair is not as easy as one may think. It requires proper training and technique so the best thing is to call your local windshield repair technician to do the job for you and they usually give you a lifetime warranty.

By anon138820 — On Jan 02, 2011

I've had my new car less than a month. Today, a truck flew past me on the interstate and threw a rock into the windshield. A couple of hours later, I have a horizontal crack about five or six inches long on the driver's side, right in the left eye's view.

Guess I'll be getting a new windshield this week, which really sucks and I haven't even made my first car payment!

By anon130961 — On Nov 30, 2010

Windshield cracks can be repaired at any length. However, aesthetically the repair may not be appealing after a crack exceeds 6-12 inches. Furthermore cost versus profit may be a factor for businesses that choose not to do longer crack repairs.

Lastly, insurance companies will not pay for cracks that exceed six inches or are in the drivers immediate site; therefore businesses do not exceed six inch crack windshield repairs.

By SAvio — On Apr 27, 2010

Hi Kasen, I meant to say "could you please send me the company's name, that one that fixed your windshield. Sorry my keyboard it is killing me.


By kasen — On Oct 13, 2009

I was always told that if the crack is smaller than a dollar bill, it can be fixed; if it's larger, the windshield probably needs to be replaced. I had a long crack across the windshield of my car, and called a repair place that came out to my house to fix it. It was very convenient, and I was surprised at how relatively inexpensive - when I called my insurance company, the cost of replacement was less than my deductible.

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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