The Chip Repair vs. Windshield Replacement

All Chips Are Not Created (or Repaired) Equally.
A misconception regarding chips is that they will disappear once repair has been done on the chip. The sole purpose of a repair is to maintain the structural integrity of the windshield. Any aesthetic improvements are considered a bonus. A windshield is considered broken once it has a rock chip in it. This is understood throughout our industry. There are many different types of chips and environmental factors that make for a whole array of varied repair results. Some chips can get worse during the repair depending on the type of damage that has occurred.

The repair does not guarantee that it will disappear.

You may see a water mark or a scar after the repair. This is a normal phenomenon. Again, aesthetic vs. structural. The rule of thumb is if a technician has repaired a chip and it hasn’t grown, the objective was met.

If chip is in your line of vision, your insurance company may tell you that the windshield should be eligible for replacement, because, even if you have it repaired, it could obstruct your vision.

There are many different types of chips, therefore, if your chip can be covered, in its entirety (crack included) by a coin, it should be repairable. If it is larger than a quarter, it might be time to consider a windshield replacement.

If our techs see any of these things from the list below, they may recommend a replacement:

  • The impact point interferes with the driver’s direct line of vision
  • There are three or more chips in one windshield
  • The impact point extends through more than one layer of the laminated glass
  • The inside layer of glass is chipped or cracked
  • Point of impact is pulverized
  • The chip is larger than a quarter

Adventure Auto Glass does both auto glass repair and windshield replacement. We encourage our customers to communicate with us their expectation of the services to be performed.

Dave doing a chip repair on a customer's vehicle

Dave fixing a chip repair

Follow us on LinkedIN:

More on the Chip Repair:


  1. bonobos marcos on December 4, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    I got a chip in the summer and immediately had it filled at the nearest shop. However now that winter has rolled around it has begun to spread across the windshield and is now bigger then a quarter. If it spreads to the whole thing can I hold the shop liable?

    • adventureautoglass on December 12, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      Great question. Unfortunately no. Glass breaks. But the shop should take off what they charged you for the chip and put it towards a replacement. Insurance companies do the same. Hope that helps.

  2. Julia Carlson on December 12, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    I remember the first time I got a chip repaired in my windshield, and I was really surprised that it didn’t completely disappear when it was fixed. Like you said, the chip can still leave a scar. If the chip is too big, would you just suggest repairing the entire windshield? I think that’s what I’ll have to do with my windshield. It has a crack that takes up half the glass. Even if it was repaired, the “scar” would still obstruct my vision.

  3. Derrick Lee on November 4, 2015 at 12:08 am

    I remember a customer in the valley that was adamant about getting a replacement from his insurance despite my advise otherwise. There was a small blemish about 4 inches under the top frit band on the passenger side window. Despite stating a recommendation for repair to both the customer and insurance company, the customer said that he couldn’t stop focusing on the imperfection while driving. I applauded his insurance for stepping up to the plate and carrying out their customers wishes, even though I could never recommend in good conscious a replacement considering the minimal amount of damage present.

    • adventureautoglass on November 17, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      When you have the support of the insurance company, it sure is helpful. We do not replace unless the customer or insurance company says to……..We couldn’t agree more!

  4. Rosemary on June 2, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Thanks for sharing this information.

  5. Derek Mcdoogle on December 14, 2016 at 4:01 am

    In your article, you suggested that if a chip is in your line of vision, your insurance company may tell you that the windshield should be replaced because, even if you have it repaired, it could obstruct your vision. My family and I are going on a road trip next week and there are a couple of cracks in my windshield that I need to get fixed. Are there certain types of windshields that are more durable?

    • adventureautoglass on December 27, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      Glass is glass. It breaks. Make sure that the glass is made to the manufacturer’s specifications. You should be good! Tell us how your adventure went!!

  6. Jaque Christo on January 3, 2018 at 7:51 am

    Thank you for the post about chip repair vs. windshield replacement. I definitely think that while many cracks can be fixed there are some that need the windshield replaced instead. If it affects your vision or compromises the safety of the windscreen then I think you need to replace the windscreen.

  7. marketing program on January 24, 2018 at 8:36 am

    What’s up, yup this article is actually nice and I
    have learned lot of things from it regarding blogging.

  8. Tyler Johnson on March 6, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    It’s good to know what chips to try and repair. I have a few on my car, but they’re pretty small and not very deep, so I probably don’t need to get them fixed. None of them interfere with my vision, so I don’t think they’re a problem.

    • Adventure Autoglass on March 8, 2019 at 10:30 am

      Thanks for stopping by! It is nice to know which chips should be immediately repaired and which could probably be left alone. However, if you do have glass insurance, there’s no harm in having them repaired!

  9. Sam Gibson on May 20, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    My wife has a chip on her windshield from a gravel rock that hit it while driving on the freeway. It was interesting to read that an insurance company may recommend having the entire windshield replaced if the chip can obstruct your vision. Since her chip is right where she sits, she’ll probably need the entire thing replaced. She’s hoping to find an experienced professional who can do this for her.

  10. Liz Hudson on July 29, 2019 at 9:47 am

    I got a rock chip on my windshield shortly after I bought my car. I didn’t think much about it but when winter came around, it turned into a giant crack across my windshield. I thought I could get by with it, but it does obscure my vision a bit, so as you said, I should probably look for a local glass shop to get it replaced.

Leave a Comment