The Difference Between Windscreen Repairs and Replacements

The Difference Between Windscreen Repairs and Replacements

When it comes to minor windscreen damage, this normally comes in two major forms, chips and cracks. A chip is generally damage in the windscreen that marks the point of impact by debris. This point of impact is usually in the form of a star break, short cracks going outward from the centre, a circular crack or a crack chip. Cracks create a distinct line in the glass that ranges from under an inch up to the width of your windscreen. They usually run horizontally in a straight or wavy line.

Can the windscreen be repaired?

The cause of damage

There’s several common causes of windscreen chips, cracks and brakes. This includes…

  • Rocks
  • Flying debris
  • Hail
  • Violent storms
  • Weakened glass
  • Accidents
  • Theft


When it comes to windscreens, repair technology is rapidly advancing in industry, so when it comes large chips and cracks, they can sometimes be repaired, even if they’re larger. Usually small windscreen damage can be fixed easily.


This coincides with the size of the damage and how much it goes through the glass, windscreens tend to be an outer layer of glass, a interlayer and a inside layer of glass, so if the damage has penetrated all of these areas then it’s too deep to perform a windshield repair.

Where it is

The location of the windscreen damage effects the ability to perform a windshield repair, if the damage has spread to the outer edge of the glass, then there is more of a chance that the structure of the windscreen has been compromised. Windscreens are responsible for up to 60% of structural strength of a vehicles window, so it’s vital that they’re replaced properly to ensure safety.

Another area which will require a full windscreen replacement is if the damage is within the driver’s line of sight, the part of the glass which is covered by the driver’s windshield wiper. Repairs often cause a range of distortions which could impair a driver’s view of the road if it’s within their line of sight, so this can be very dangerous if a replacement isn’t carried out.

If there’s damage to the windscreen sensors, such as rain sensors, road departure warning systems, automatic braking or other automated driver assistance systems, related components may not be repairable as these types of sensors require a clear view and even a perfectly repaired windscreen from the smallest chip, could cause a malfunction.


What to do next

Regardless of the reason of why your car windscreen has been damaged, it’s important to get it repaired as soon as possible. You may think a tiny chip is harmless but it could become larger and turn into a crack, should you not have it fixed quickly. If it becomes bigger, then it may end being past the state of repair and you may require a full windscreen replacement. Make sure you call Windscreen Wizards as soon as possible.