When it comes to vehicle safety, having high-quality windshields is of incredible importance. If a windshield is damaged or has been installed incorrectly, it could shatter or pop out of place. This could result in the driver and passengers being thrown out of the vehicle, which could be fatal.

If your windshields are old or damaged, you need to deal with that issue for the safety of yourself and any passengers.

Not sure if you need windshield replacement or just windshield repair? In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about windshield replacements and repairs, so you can your car ready for the road again.

How Does a Windshield Work?

Most windshields are comprised of two sheets of glass separated by a layer of plastic laminate. These windows are engineered to withstand stress and high-impact, and they can often stay relatively intact even if your car is damaged or involved in an accident.

They also provide structural support for your car, which means the roof of your car could collapse if your windshield is improperly installed or damaged.

What’s Considered Windshield Damage?

Whether you need a windshield replacement or repair depends on the type of damage done to the windshield. In general, minor windshield damage normally comes in two forms- chips and cracks.


A chip is a damage that’s usually caused by the impact of debris.The point of impact can be in the form of a star break, a half-moon shape, a bulls-eye or a crack chip. Chips are the most common and easiest windshield issue to fix, and if the chip is small enough, you can address the issue before it spreads cracks across the issue.


Cracks create a distinct line in your glass, which can range from one inch to the entire width of your windshield. They can be caused by poor installation, temperature changes, too much sunlight, pressure changes, and hail. They can also run horizontally or in a straight line.

Factors Involved in Windshield Replacement

Unsure if you need a full windshield replacement or just some basic repairs? Whether or not your windshield can be replaced depends on these three factors: size, depth, and location.


The ability to repair chips or cracks in your windshield depends on the size and the overall ability of the auto glass repair company. In general, chips smaller than a quarter, and cracks under 4 inches can be easily repaired. The Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard Guide specifies limits on repair sizes depending on the type of damage.

It’s important to know that the sizes can vary based on the location of the damage, as well as the shop’s capabilities. If you need more technical specifications for your car’s windshield damage, request a quote from your local auto glass repair company.


Depth relates not only to the size of the damage but how deep this damage penetrates into your windshield. If the damage has only penetrated the outer layer of glass and plastic interlayer, the windshield can be easily repaired.

If the damage is through the outer and inner layer of glass all the way to the inside, the damage is too deep, and you’ll need a windshield replacement.


The location of the damage plays a big role in whether the windshield should be repaired or replaced. If the damage extends to the edge of your windshield glass, there is a high chance that the structural support of the windshield has been compromised.

If the damage is within the driver’s line of sight, you’ll most likely need the glass to be replaced. This is because repairs can often distort the glass, which can impact a driver’s view of the road.

You should also get your windshield replaced if damage has been done in the view of sensors, like rain sensors, automated braking systems, and other automated driving systems. These sensors need a clear view to work, and a repair (even a great one) could still cause them to malfunction.

How Does the Windshield Repair and Replacement Process Work?

Some cracks and chips can be repaired for less than $100. But if your chips or cracks are too big or deep, you’ll need a qualified expert to replace the entire windshield.

The average price of a new windshield installation ranges from $170 to $300, but it can be more depending on your area. Some insurance companies will cover your windshield replacement, so check with them as you explore your repair options.

The windshield replacement process usually takes less than an hour. It’s important that you let your car sit for an hour after the repair, however, before you start driving it again.

Things You Need to Know Before Replacing Your Windshield

Know you need windshield replacement? Here are some things to consider when reviewing potential auto repair companies.

Cheap Prices are a Bad Sign

As a car owner, you may want to try and cut costs by going with a cheap auto repair company, but you shouldn’t! The best urethane adhesives on the market cost more, but they also are certified to meet crash test criteria, which means they are infinitely safer than cheaper imported windshields.

When meeting with auto repair companies, you should ask them is their glass is OEM-classified because this glass fits windshields better and is the best quality you can get.

Federal Safety Standards are a Must

Your safety, as well as the safety of your passengers, depends on the windshield being properly installed to meet Federal Safety Standards. The National Glass Association offers thorough testing and certification for auto glass technicians, which makes those certified installers better than other ones.

When looking at glass shop options, you should only look for ones with the NGA certification, so you can be sure your windshield is being replaced by an expert.

Final Thoughts

If your windshield is damaged, you need to replace it immediately for the safety of you and all your passengers. With this handy guide, you’ll be able to determine whether you need a repair or windshield replacement, so you can address the issue in the most effective way possible.

Do you currently have any windshield damage? What was it caused by? Let us know in the comments!

Proudly serving the greater Houston area since 1990, All Star Glass provides automotive glass services – including windshield repair, replacement, or tinting – at prices you can afford.

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