A crack or chip in your windshield doesn't necessarily mean that you'll need to replace the entire thing. It's possible that you'll be able to get by with only a repair. The following ways are tests that can help you decide if you'll need to spring for a whole new windshield or if you can get it repaired

1. How large is the damage?

The size of the damaged area on your windshield is a huge factor in whether it needs to be replaced or if it can be repaired. In general, if the amount of damage is less than the size of a dollar bill, it can typically be repaired. Any damage larger than that is too difficult to repair so a replacement is warranted. 

2. Where is the damage?

The placement of damage is important. If the damaged part of the windshield is in the view of the driver, the windshield will need to be replaced. Even if the crack or chip is small, if it is in the driver's vision, it will leave a mark that that can impair the driver's vision. 

3. What amount of damage is there?

 A small amount of damage makes it more likely that your windshield can simply be repaired. For example, if you have three or fewer chips, it is likely that you can have it repaired. However, any more than three chips make it more susceptible to shattering without any prior notice. On a similar note, a small crack likely won't necessitate a complete windshield replacement while a crack longer than a dollar bill will. 

4. Other questionable locations

Just because the crack or chip is not within the line of vision for the driver doesn't mean that you won't need to have your windshield replaced. Though you might find it surprising, if the damage is located in the corner of your windshield, you'll likely have to have the entire windshield replaced. This is because a crack or chip that is located in the corner makes the windshield unstable. This means that it could shatter or break unexpectedly. 

One thing to keep in mind is that -- regardless of where your crack or chip is located -- law enforcement can ticket you at any time for having unsafe equipment. If you still have questions about whether your windshield can be repaired or if it must be completely replaced, stop by Only 1 Auto Glass. Conveniently located in St. Paul, MN, there are your auto glass experts!