glassy blog post

Modesto CA Residents: Should You Repair or Replace Your Broken Windshield?

Kent Lansing
Jan 10, 2019

As you’re driving to work, the semi-truck you’re trying to pass kicks up a rock. The rock hits your windshield, creating a crack in the glass.

Now what?

Depending on how bad the damage is, you’ll either have to repair or replace your windshield. One of those choices is definitely a cheaper and faster option than the other, so how do you tell which one you need?

We’ve laid out the process for you.

Keep reading to learn if you need windshield repair or windshield replacement in Modesto, CA.

Can Your Windshield Damage Be Repaired?

There’s a good chance you won’t have to replace your entire windshield if the only damage is a small chip or crack.

But you’ll want to do this as soon as possible.

Windshield cracks have a tendency to grow. If you don’t repair the crack right away, the damage might get worse. This can lead to a full windshield replacement if you aren’t careful.

So how can you tell if your windshield needs to be repaired or replaced?

It comes down to three factors: size, depth, and location.

As a general rule, you can repair any damage that is smaller than a dollar bill, but the specifics are a little more exact than that.

We’ll take a closer look at windshield damage size, depth, and shape below.

Let’s dive in.


Windshield repair technology is constantly advancing. Because of this, one repair company might be able to fix a larger crack than another repair company.

But repair limits also come down to the type of windshield damage.

For example, any repair company can patch up a two-inch-wide crack. However, a two-inch-wide chip is a different story.

Here’s a list of common windshield damages and what sizes they have to be for a repair.

  • Chips

In most cases, a windshield chip must be smaller than a quarter to be repaired. But there’s some fluctuation with this measurement. Depending on the repair company, you might be able to fix a chip as large as three inches across.

  • Cracks

Windshield cracks up to three inches long aren’t a big deal. You can repair this type of damage without a lot of effort. Depending on the location and depth of a crack, you can also repair cracks that are several inches longer.

But when you get into the double digits, you might not have as much lick.

Any crack longer than 14 inches will require a full windshield replacement.

  • Pit

Pits on the surface of your windshield tend to be small damages. The typical repair limit for a surface pit is about 3 millimeters.

  • Bulls-eye and Half Moon

You can repair bulls-eyes and half moons that are under one inch in diameter. Anything larger than one inch might need a full replacement.

  • Star Break

As long as a star break has a diameter smaller than three inches, you can repair the damage. You might also be able to repair star breaks that are slightly bigger. It just depends on the repair company.

  • Combination Break

Combination breaks can include star damage, bulls-eye damage, cracks, etc. This is the most difficult type of windshield damage to repair. Because of this, the diameter of the break can’t be any larger than two inches across (not including the extending cracks).


A windshield isn’t just made of glass.

Instead, it has an outside and inside layer of glass. Between these two layers is a third layer of plastic. If the damage on your windshield only makes it through one layer of glass, there’s a good chance you can repair it.

Any damage that penetrates both layers of glass and the plastic interlayer is too deep to repair. To fix this damage, you’ll have to get a full windshield replacement.


The location of the damage is just as important as the size and depth. If windshield cracks or chips are in the wrong place, they can force you to replace your entire windshield, regardless of their size.

So before you start calculating the size of your windshield damage, you need to consider the location.

Below, we’ll take a look at the two places on a windshield you can’t repair damages.

  • Driver’s Line of Sight

Repairing any windshield damage that’s within the driver’s line of sight can be dangerous. The repairs might distort the driver’s view while they’re on the road.

  • Edge of the Windshield 

If the damage touches the edge of your windshield, there’s a higher chance you’ll have to replace your windshield.


Because damages that touch the edge of the windshield compromise the structural integrity of the entire windshield. Since the windshield also makes up a large part of a car’s overall structural strength, you should always replace windshields with damaged edges.

  • Blocking Sensors 

Windshield damage that blocks any type of sensor-automatic braking system, lane departure warning systems, rain sensors, etc.-shouldn’t be repaired. Even near-perfect repairs can block these sensors.

When Replace Your Windshield

If your windshield damage doesn’t fit within the repair limitations, you need to replace your windshield.

Never continue driving with a damaged windshield.

This can be extremely dangerous. Not only can the damage block your view while on the road, but it can also be a safety risk in the event of a crash. Always replace your windshield as soon as you can.

Windshield Replacement in Modesto, CA-Your Safety Comes First

Many people mistakingly believe it’s safe to drive a car with a damaged windshield. But it’s not.

Always put your safety first.

Driving with a damaged windshield-regardless of the damage type-can be dangerous. Make repairing or replacing your windshield one of your top priorities.

Trying to find windshield replacement in Modesto, CA? Take a look at some of our services and see how we can help you!