Windshield Replacement or Repair: What Does My Car Need?

So you’ve chipped or cracked your windshield. Now what? Do you repair it? Replace it? How do you know which is the best option?

This is a common question for many car owners who’ve damaged their windshields—and the experts at Glass Doctor® have the answer.

a close-up of a car’s windshield with several cracks


Factors That Determine If a Car Windshield Can Be Repaired

Glass Doctor can repair most chipped windshields, but there are some factors to consider before making a decision. For example, if the chip is less than an inch in diameter, there’s a good chance that your windshield can be repaired.

But for larger chips, your windshield will likely need to be replaced so that the vehicle's structural integrity is not compromised.

The location of the damage on the windshield also matters. If the chip is blocking the driver’s view, you’ll likely need a windshield replacement instead of a repair.

When deciding if you need to have your windshield repaired or replaced, consider these four factors:

  • Size: There are a few exceptions, but chips bigger than one inch in diameter may require windshield replacement.
  • Location: Cracks that run all the way to the edge of the windshield require replacement due to their tendency to spread. Chips located directly in the driver’s line of vision call for a replacement as well.
  • Timespan: The longer you leave a chip unaddressed, the more likely it is that dirt will accumulate. Once dirt builds up inside a chip, it’s more challenging to perform a successful windshield repair.
  • Type of damage: Windshield cracks typically require replacement, while small chips may be able to be repaired.

Whether you need windshield repair or replacement, it’s important to pay close attention to its condition.

Windshield damage that isn’t repaired right away can spread, causing poor visibility. If you find that you need a windshield replaced, don’t wait to have it installed. A damaged windshield can decrease fuel efficiency and may even cause a delay in airbag deployment in the event of an accident.

For a personalized windshield consultation, call your local Glass Doctor service professional at (833) 974-0209 or schedule an appointment online.

FAQs about Car Windshield Replacement

Is there a warranty provided for windshield replacement?

Yes. Glass Doctor provides a Windshield Protection Plan at the time of your windshield replacement that covers unlimited repairs for one year. If we cannot repair the damage to your new windshield, we will replace it free of charge.

Can I replace my windshield myself?

It’s recommended that you use a professional for this process, as your windshield contributes greatly to the structural stability and ADAS calibration of your vehicle. A windshield that’s installed incorrectly can put you and your passengers in danger should a crash occur.

How can I protect my windshield against future chips or cracks?

Glass Doctor offers hydrophobic coating for original windshield installs. Hydrophobic coating is a protectant that guards your windshield against rocks, debris, and even rain. Schedule an appointment online to learn how hydrophobic coating can protect your windshield and give you peace of mind.