Spider Crack: Does my Windshield Need to be Replaced?

A rock flew off a dump truck in front of you and made contact with your windshield. A tiny rock sure did leave a big spider crack! When you have a damaged windshield, you have one main question on your mind: can it be repaired or does the entire windshield need to be replaced? The answer is, it depends. Before we get into the details, let’s discuss a little more about your specific case.

You see, whether a windshield can be repaired or replaced has a lot to do with the damage itself. In your situation, the rock caused a spider crack. A spider crack usually has an impact point, which may have caused a small hole, in the center. The glass around the impact point cracks around it and gives the appearance of a spider web. This is where the clever name comes from.

How big is it?

Windshield spider cracks can be tiny or large. It really depends on the size of the debris that hit your windshield as well as how you were going when it made impact. It’s important to note that the size won’t stay the same for long. The crack may look minor at first, but it will gradually spread across your windshield in a spiderweb pattern. This is why you need to have it repaired as quickly as possible.

Generally speaking, chips smaller than a quarter and cracks up to three inches long can be easily repaired. If the spider crack is smaller than 12 inches long, we can repair your windshield.

How deep is it?

Think of a windshield like a glass sandwich. There is an outer layer of glass, a plastic interlayer, and an inside layer of glass. If the damage to your window is through the outer and inner layer of glass, it is too deep to perform a windshield repair and a replacement will be needed instead.

Where is it?

The location of the damage greatly affects the ability to perform a windshield repair. If the damage intersects more than one outer edge of the glass, there is a greater chance that the structural integrity of the windshield has been compromised. A second place where windshield repair should not be performed is within the driver’s line of sight. This is because, while done expertly and with great care, a repair will often cause some amount of distortion. This possibly impairs your view of the road if it is within your line of sight. As well, damage in the view of any tech or safety sensors may not be repairable. This includes rain sensors, lane departure warning systems, automatic braking systems, and other automated driver assistance systems. These sensors require a crystal clear view and even a near perfect repair may cause a system malfunction.

In general, if it does not disrupt your view we can repair it. If you have to strain your neck to see around the crack, we’ll need to discuss a replacement windshield instead. It’s all about safety!

It’s always best to have your auto glass inspected by a professional in person. When you hire North Coast Auto Glass for an Oceanside windshield repair, we’ll come to you!