6 Types of Windshield Damage That Requires Your Immediate Attention

Auto Repair and ADAS

Your vehicle’s windshield not only offers essential protection for you and your passengers but also offers essential support for the structure of your vehicle. Your safety could be jeopardized, however, if the windshield sustains damage in the form of chips or cracks in the glass.

It’s not a good idea to put off getting your windshield repaired, even though many drivers consider even minor dings and scratches to be unimportant. In the United States, it is against the law to operate a motor vehicle with a cracked windshield; therefore, if you choose to do so, you should be prepared to receive a ticket. Additionally, a windshield that already has chips and cracks is more likely to sustain additional damage, which will result in the need for a complete windshield replacement as opposed to affordable auto glass repairs.

Here, the windshield repair experts at Southwest Auto Glass talk about the six most common types of damage to windshields. 

1. Chip or Crack in the Line of Sight:

Damage to your windshield that blocks your line of sight poses a serious threat to the safety of you and your passengers. And that holds true even if the damage is minimal, like a tiny chip or crack.

You may not think that the damage will impair your ability to see the road, but it could. Even a momentary lapse in concentration or a slight blockage of vision can have disastrous consequences when driving fast on congested roads.

A crack or chip on the driver’s side windshield is enough for a patrol officer to pull you over, and it’s likely that you’ll get a ticket. In the United States, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a windshield that is cracked or discolored to the point where proper visibility is impaired.

Make an appointment for windshield repair right away to avoid a hefty fine and keep yourself safe. Fortunately, minor auto glass damage can often be repaired on-site by a mobile service, so even if you’re unable to get your car to the shop, you can still get it fixed.

2. Edge Crack:

When a crack in your windshield starts within two inches of the rim or goes all the way to the rim, we call it an edge crack. Most of the time, these cracks are caused by too much pressure around the edges of your windshield. They usually go 10 to 12 inches long.

Because of their considerable length, edge cracks can easily spread even under minimal pressure, which is why it is critical to make prompt repairs. If you have a small edge crack that is less than about six inches in length, you should make an appointment with a windshield repair specialist as soon as you possibly can.

When an edge crack grows to be more than six inches in length, it’s usually necessary to replace the windshield.  

3. Bullseye Crack: 

Bullseye cracks, like the bullseye on a dartboard, have a distinct impact point and tend to have a circular shape. Direct blows to the glass from either small or large objects cause these cracks.

A bullseye crack is particularly dangerous because it can quickly spread under pressure or additional impact, compromising not only your vision but also the glass’s structural integrity. Bullseye cracks in a windshield can often be fixed, provided they meet the following criteria:

  • – Smaller than one inch in diameter
  • – Do not lie within the driver’s direct line of sight
  • – No dirt or debris has gotten into the crack.

Timely auto glass repair is critical for minor bullseye cracks to prevent further windshield damage. In the event that your windshield sustains a significant bullseye crack, you ought to replace it as soon as possible.

Bullseye cracks are a common type of windshield damage that can be caused when rocks fly up and strike the outer layer of glass.

4. Star Crack: 

A star-shaped crack has a central impact point and several smaller cracks that spread outward like tentacles. Repairing a windshield is a viable option for chips and cracks that are less than an inch in diameter. Car glass replacement may be necessary if the damage spreads because you put off taking care of repairs.

In the same way that a bullseye crack can impair a driver’s vision even after it has been repaired, a star crack can do the same if it is located in the driver’s line of sight. Experts in the field of auto glass repair typically advise having the windshield replaced in such a situation.

5. Floater Crack:

The difference between an edge crack and a floater crack is that the latter occurs at least two inches away from the edge of the windshield.

If your windshield develops a floater crack, getting it fixed as soon as possible is crucial because it can easily spread if the weather suddenly drops or rises dramatically. If a floater crack extends more than six inches, it is usually no longer possible to repair it and a new windshield will need to be installed. 

6. Combination Cracks:

As the name implies, this is a severe form of windshield damage consisting of multiple, interconnected cracks or chips. For instance, the glass may have a bullseye crack in addition to a long crack that stretches out a few inches from its center in all directions.

Regrettably, combination cracks almost never qualify for the more straightforward repairs available for windshields. Even so, they still necessitate prompt attention. You should get a full windshield replacement as soon as possible if your windshield has a combination break.

A crack like this can quickly spread and weaken the windshield, putting you in danger.

Looking for windshield repair in Texas or New Mexico?

Be sure to fix any windshield damage immediately. Contact Southwest Auto Glass if you think you need windshield repairs or a replacement. We provide the finest quality windshield repair service, and our skilled technicians will help you decide which course of action is best for your situation.
Call us at 915-595-4444 or send us an email at sales@southwestautoglass.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible with more information, a price quote, or to set up an appointment.