Repair Now or Replace Later? – When to Fix Your Windshield

When something goes wrong with your automobile, you’re generally faced with a hefty price. This can be intimidating. When a chip or crack spreads across your windshield, it can seem as if the sky is falling. Some less-than-anxious owners may pass an auto glass chip off for a significant amount of time. Some may begin to panic for their wallet and safety, rushing out to get it fixed. Which answer is correct? Should you repair your damaged windshield now or replace it later?

We are experts on windshields here at SLP Auto Glass (duh). Here’s our take on the conundrum of waiting or lurching.

Is It Better to Repair or Replace?

Different types of windshield damage might have varying implications. If a pane of car glass is completely broken or severely fractured, it is almost always required to replace entirely. However, this type of serious injury is extremely unusual. Typically, the windshield has been harmed quietly for a lengthy period before it cracks or breaks.

Firstly, it’s important to understand how your windshield is put together before making your decision. We will spare you the intricacies and put it simply. Your windshield is made up of two pieces of annealed glass and a strip of Polyvinyl Butyral in-between. This strip of laminate between the glass acts as an adhesive. Henceforth, when your windshield suffers damage, it does not mean that the damage has crossed through the entirety of the glass. A chip does not mean you are a quick puncture away from open air.

Furthermore, modern technology has made¬†windshields¬†invulnerable to tensile stress and five times stronger than steel. Sure, this doesn’t mean that your windshield is a tank. Everything breaks under enough pressure. While glass is stronger than steel, it’s not as malleable. Obviously, a well-placed rock can damage it.

Consequently, a chip or crack in your windshield does not mean that you are in danger. It’s likely only one pane of glass is damaged. When a windshield is destroyed, you’ll know it. But, to prevent further harm and a pricier bill, it may be better to replace or repair now.

Quality Repairs

Quality Auto Glass Repairs - SLP Auto Glass

We’ll start by saying this: minor windshield damage may be repaired in less than half an hour by a reputable car glass business.

Typically, the repair process involves filling in the chip with a transparent resin and cementing the surrounding region in place. When this procedure is completed properly, the windshield is no longer susceptible to additional cracking in the same location. A pane that is no longer vulnerable in this manner is significantly safer. It is critical to realize the critical nature of rapidly resolving the issue. If you allow the chip or fracture to expand, you may lose the opportunity to restore the glass. It may necessitate a complete replacement.

Henceforth, if you have the time and money, it’s always more beneficial to get it repaired rather than wait to replace it once things are exacerbated. But, we understand that time and money are always in flux. Sometimes these minor repairs are not anywhere near the top of your priority list. These suggestions can prove useful if you are trying to decide between repairing now or replacing later.

1. The Degree of the Damage

The degree of the damage is the first element that determines whether you seek vehicle glass repair or replacement. If you have a chip the size of a quarter or a break approximately three inches long, the glass can almost always be fixed. However, anything larger may require you to come in for replacement.

Simply put, if your crack or chip is smaller than three inches, it isn’t an emergency. You don’t require an entirely new windshield and are okay to wait. The dilemma becomes timing, though. Remember, if you decide to wait on a repair, you may have to pay more to replace the entire pane later on.

While a small chip shouldn’t raise an alarm, it should start to climb its way up your priority list. It’s always easier and cheaper to get a smaller chip repaired. As we said, it may only take up to an hour.

2. The Location of the Damage

The location of the damage is another element that may affect your selection. Cracks and chips at the border of the glass might jeopardize the structural integrity of the vehicle since they tend to spread fast. While you may still be able to repair them if they are discovered in time, in most situations, replacement is the best option.

The integrity of your auto glass is crucial for your car’s safety. The windshield acts to hold the structure of the vehicle. A windshield offers 45% of the structural integrity in a head-on collision and 60% in a rollover accident. Therefore, if the very edge of your windshield is damaged, it’s more concerning than other areas. Larger cracks in the center may appear more intimidating, but that doesn’t mean they are more dangerous.

A large crack on the edge of your windshield should be replaced as soon as possible.

3. Placement of the Crack

Occasionally, the placement of the crack on the windshield may obstruct your line of view. When this occurs, the majority of auto glass repair specialists will urge you to get it replaced. It’s not as if the break is irreparable. However, the restoration procedure is certain to leave tiny distortions in your field of vision, impairing your ability to see the road.

Ultimately, this decision becomes a matter of opinion. If the small chip does not affect your ability to drive, then it may be left alone. If a larger crack covers your windshield, it should be replaced. It’s as simple as that.


Auto glass is one of the few components of a vehicle that may be fixed rather than replaced entirely. It is true, however, only if the issue is detected early. If your windshield has a chip or a crack, have it repaired as soon as possible. Before fixing the glass or windshield, professionals should examine the kind of glass and the severity of the damage, although the entire operation seldom takes more than thirty minutes. That small investment will ultimately save you much more time and money.