Long Crack Windshield Repair
Most consumers are surprised to learn that a single line crack up to 14 inches can be repaired. Even if the damage extends to the edge of the glass as most long cracks do. People just have no idea this option exists. Many have been misinformed by unethical auto glass companies trying to sell them a windshield instead of being offered the repair option. Our unique long crack repair process will prevent the break from expanding, restore the stability of the windshield and is a long-term solution.
A long crack is usually repairable as long as it is just one single line, 14 inches in length or less. Windshield damage that includes multiple lines several inches long must be replaced. The crack does not have to be straight. It can bend gently in different directions, appear crooked and jagged and even be shaped in the form of the letter “L”. Usually the crack will originate from a small stone chip in the frit (black area) located near the edge of the windshield. This why many people don’t see the original chip until it has expanded.
How Long Crack Repair Works
Our windshield repair tools inject an acrylic resin under pressure. This causes the resin to fill the entire length of the crack. After this is completed, the damaged area is quickly cured with our LED ultra violet powered lamp. After your windshield crack is filled and cured, it will have a much more faint appearance, looking similar to a minor scratch. The entire procedure takes roughly 45 minutes to an hour to finish. The car is available to be driven immediately.
Benefits of Repairing Your Windshield Crack
Saving Money – a windshield crack repair is hundreds, even thousands of dollars less than doing a replacement. A rock chip repair prevents the crack from getting any worse while preventing a replacement. The process also safely restores the structural strength of the front windshield. Whether you have a long crack or just a small ding, don’t wait to get it repaired.
Safety – preserving the factory seal. If you are in accident or just unlucky enough to have a rock cause alot of glass damage, the windshield is a huge element of the roof support AND airbag system. Preserving the factory urethane seal is your best chance to avoid injuries or even death. A well done repair will also reduce the sun’s glare coming from the damaged area. And the glass surface is even smoothed out so your windshield wipers work like they should.
Quality – saving your original windshield preserves the higher quality glass. Original Equipment manufactured (OEM) windshields are designed to precise specifications. These specs:
Allow the wipers remove water efficiently.
Utilize solar control to block ultraviolet (UV) light.
Helps cut down heat buildup in a parked vehicle.
Reduces use of the air conditioner while driving which increases gas mileage.
Can have acoustic improvement, giving driver and passengers a quieter ride by reducing outside noise.
Avoiding Windshield Replacement
Original (OE) v. Aftermarket Glass (ARG) Quality
Lots of OE windscreens have exact specs so the wipers eliminate rain and moisture from the glass surface; are solar controled to block UV light and decrease heat accumulation while car is parked. It lowers usage of the AC system while driving which improves gas mileage. It may also have an acoustic inner layer which offer a quieter drive by minimizing sound from tires, wind and road. The aftermarket ARG windshields can be missing out on some or all of these features. And more often than not, the customer is not informed of this by either the repair shop or the insurance company (and their 3rd party administrators).
Another difference between ARG & OEM is the failure levels of recurring tension around the border of the glass. This “weak point” can trigger the windscreen to fracture much easier in an ARG, which then leads to the windshield cracking. This type of break is known as an edge crack. OEM glass, through a contract with the car and truck manufacturers restrict this stress that causes them to fracture and crack less often. The manufacturing process is slower, requiring more time and energy during the annealing and bending process. The ARG’s manufacturing will usually be done faster and with no contract to restrict the residual stress area.
A windshield “from an OEM maker” might not be an OEM glass. Here’s an example. Car #1 has an OE windshield manufactured by Pilkington. Car #2 has a Saint-Gobain Sekurit OE windshield. Both manufacturers are very good. However, some shops, insurance companies and TPA’s (3rd party admins) will sell consumers on the idea by installing a Pilkington glass in car #2, they will be receiving an OEM glass. NOT TRUE. For car #1, Pilkington is OE. For car #2, Pilkington is ARG (aftermarket).
Involving The Insurance Company
Contacting your insurance company for a long crack repair might not be the best, ahem, “choice”. Consumers should educate themselves about what kind of damage can and should be fixed v. when a replacement becomes mandatory. Here in CA, the consumer is entitled to choose the repair shop they wish to use. And it does not matter AT ALL whether or not the chosen shop belongs to the insurance network. Sometimes, it just makes sense for the customer to deal directly with the repair center. Other times, involving the insurance company is the better option. One thing is clear: it should ALWAYS be the customers decision.
The Insurance Company “National” Warranty
The warranty provided by insurance companies through the glass networks doesn’t benefit the consumer at all. The refund of a failed repair goes back to the insurance company from the glass network in the form of a credit towards the cost of windshield replacement. In reality, this is a steering ploy designed to make the customer choose a “preferred” network shop.
The only warranty that matters is the one provided by the glass shop. Many glass centers will only give a credit towards a replacement if the crack repair fails or the customer isn’t happy with the job. This type of warranty could motivate unethical companies to intentionally screw up the repair in order to do the more profitable replacement and will “just happen” to have a replacement windshield on hand. Yeah.
The First Choice warranty is on our home page and all customer invoices. Basically, its this: The repair is guaranteed not spread any further for as long as customer owns the car. If repair fails, payment is refunded. Simple.
This term is often itendified with the insurance industry, specifically insurance claims. It is the practice of attempting to convince the consumer to use the repair facility favored by the insurance company. Insurance claim reps typically will read a well crafted script designed to accomplish this goal.
Many insurance companies today use a TPA (third party administrator) that is also an auto glass manufacturer. In the role of TPA, they act as a gatekeeper, they take care of the paperwork for practically nothing in return for answering the insurance company glass claim phone calls. Acting in this capacity, the TPA can influence which shop will receive work and whether a repair or a replacement is done.
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Repair Kits
Otherwise known as the bane of my existence. So, you have gone to the local auto parts store and picked up a DIY windshield repair kit because you saw a YouTube or TikTok video. They made it look SOOOOO easy! Reality is about 10% of auto glass breaks are repairable with these kits. Many breaks require cracks to be flexed and impact points to be drilled. Tools needed for flexing and drilling are NOT included in the DIY kits. Also, the quality of the injectors and resins in these kits can range from average to terrible. Not a deal breaker.
Here’s the biggest issue: if the repair you attempt is unsuccessful, it’s highly unlikely that us or any other windshield repair professional can come in afterwards and fix the rock chip. This is due to the impact point and a portion of the internal damage being plugged up with cured resin. Once it’s in there, it’s in there to stay. So, instead of saving $50 or so, now you’re buying a whole new windshield, some of which are over $1,000.
So, the moral of the moral of the DIY kits story is: Caveat Emptor – Let The Buyer Beware.
Questions & Answers
Q. Can a long crack be repaired?
A. Under the right circumstances. Damage should be just a single line and the impact area should have no other cracks spreading from it.
Q. What is the biggest windshield crack that can be repaired?
A. Usually, windshield repair techs can repair a chip, which has a diameter of around one inch or less. Likewise, a crack is also repairable up to a length of 14″. The “If the size of the crack is more than that of a dollar bill” argument is old and outdated.
Q. What type of windshield cracks Cannot be repaired?
A. Repairs of rock chips larger than 1-inch diameter should probably be replaced. Also, windshield with multiple cracks over a couple of inches should be replaced. Also, any single line crack longer than 14″ will require a new windshield.
Q. Will a cracked windscreen get worse?
A. Maybe. Cracks can expande over time and the repair shouldn’t be left for too long. Best practice is to get the chip fixed as soon as possible and limit driving until its fixed.
Q. How big can a windscreen chip be?
A. If a chip is located within the driver’s line of vision (roughly midway up from the bottom and in fron of the steering wheel), its best damage be no larger than a dime. Other areas of the windshield, rule of thumb is the size of a quarter or less. Otherwise, a front windshield will likely be required.
Q. Can a windshield crack be stopped from spreading?
A. Of course. This is what our service is all about. Also, DO NOT do this: “A cheap way to stop a windshield crack from spreading without drilling a hole in the glass is to fill the chip with cyanoacrylate glue, often marketed as Superglue. This temporary fix should hold the crack together for at least a week or two.” Not no, but HELL NO!
Q. How do you stabilize cracked glass?
A. By having a qualified properly repair it. Don’t put masking tape on to “stabilize” the crack. Hogwash. And don’t “clean the glass with acetone (nail polish remover) and apply superglue”. Utter nonsense.
Q. Does Gorilla glue work on windshield?
A. No. While Gorilla Glue is a quality superglue, it is not designed to repair a cracked windshield.
Q. How do you make cracks in glass disappear?
A. By properly injecting windshield resin into the damaged area and curing it with ultra violet light. The crack will still be present, but it is now filled with cured resin which makes the line “disappear”.
Q. Can a foot long crack in windshield be repaired?
A. A windshield crack that measures 14″ in length or shorter is repairable, while a rock chip is easy to repair if it’s an inch or less (size of a quarter). A crack on the windshield that penetrates only the top layer of glass is repairable. If you feel the damage on the inside layer of the windshield, a replacement is mandatory.
Q. Can you repair a windshield crack over 6 inches?
A. So the short answer is yes. Current windshield repair standards classify short cracks as less than 6 inches and long cracks as between 6 to 14 inches.
Q. What size rock chips can be repaired?
A. Rock chip damage around an inch or smaller can usually be repaired, while some bigger size chips may be repairable as well. Anything as well big or with significant fractures possibly isn’t repairable.
Q. Is it a chip or a crack?
A. A chip is a basic term that refers to little damage on a windscreen, whereas a crack refers to a distinctive line flowing across the windshield.
Q. What household items can you use to fix a cracked windshield?
A. None. Call a professional. Save yourself the time and aggravation and potentially the cost of a replacement. Say no to clear nail polish, superglue, toothpaste, vinegar etc.
Q. How fast does a windshield crack spread?
A. It varies. A windshield crack may stay the same for months or years. Or it can expand a couple of feet in just minutes. It goes when it goes.
Q. Why do windshields crack so easily now?
A. Easy is kind of subjective. A windshield cracking without impact is known as a stress crack. Reasons vary from extreme fluctuations in temperature to improper installation.
Q. Do cracks in windshield get bigger?
A. If you have chips or cracks and it gets hot outside, the glass will possibly expand which can trigger the damage to get worse. This may trigger replacing the glass.
Q. Why do windshields crack so easily?
A. Temparature and Pressure. Windshields are made of glass and plastic. They can only withstand so much pressure. Too much pressure applied in any one area of the windshield’s surface can be enough to cause cracks to form.
Q. Does insurance cover windshield crack?
A. It depends on which state your live in, your insurance company AND the type of coverage you carry. If you wish to know, best bet is to contact your insurance provider.
Q. What are the dangers of a cracked windshield?
A. A small rock chip doesn’t pose any immediate danger. If the small chip expand into a large crack, it can become a huge safety hazard. It can impair drivers vision or distract their attention while vehicle is moving. More seriously, a windshield with a large crack may not support the roof during a rollover accident.
Q. How much does it cost to replace a windshield?
A. Here in California, you might pay $250 to $400 to replace a windshield on older (not classic) vehicles. For newer cars and trucks equipped with ADAS (lane departure, forward collision systems, etc) the amount can baloon into 4 figures. Price differences also occur due to a vehicle’s make, model, or year.
Q. Should I claim windshield replacement insurance?
A. It depends. While glass damage is covered under comprehensive car insurance, you will be subject your deductible. This can range from zero to $1000. Cost of replacement and desire to file a claim are just 2 factors to consider.
Q. How big of a crack can be repaired?
A. Old answer (now incorrect): As a general rule of thumb, cracks that can fit beneath a dollar bill can usually be repaired.
A. New (and correct) answer: A single line crack is repairable up to a length of 14″.
Q. Will a rock chip spread?
A. Getting a rock chip can be frustrating. But even if you have a busy schedule, you should make windshield repair a priority. The longer you wait, the more likely the crack is to spread. Gunk buildup inside the crack also makes it more difficult to successfully repair the windshield.
Q. How do you stop a rock crack from spreading?
A. Call a profession windshield repair tech. Don’t try to seal the crack With superglue. Or vinegar. Or toothpaste. Or DIY kits. Or any other stupid option presented on YouTube.
Q. Will a chip turn into a crack?
A. Wwindshield chips of any size should be repaired as soon as possible Even though the damage may be small. Left untreated, a small chip can grow into a long crack at any time.
Q. Should I put tape over a windshield chip?
A. Just to keep out any impurities. This will NOT prevent the glass from cracking any further.
Q. What is a bullseye crack?
A. Bullseye cracks are circular in shape and affect only the outer layer of the front windshield. A chunk of glass may fall off due to the impact — leaving what’s known as a pit in the center of the damage. Generally, bullseye cracks are easily repaired, especially when done quickly.
Q. What is a pit chip?
A. This may be just a small divot on the glass with no cirlces or lines spreading out from the pit. Most of the time, this type of damage doesn’t get any worse. Most, not always.
Q. How does rock chip repair work?
A. An injector tool first creates a vacuum to remove air and moisture from the damaged area. Then, windshield resin is injected into the break, filling all the cracks. Then a UV light is used that cures the resin which bonds everything together.
Q. What is Gorilla glass windshield?
A. Designed as replacement windshield for Jeep® Wranglers, this windshield is made with Corning Gorilla Glass. While this windshield is tougher than a standard front glass, it is not immune to breakage.
Q. What causes a bullseye crack?
A. These are the most common rock chips. It is shaped like a small circle surrounded by a slightly larger circle, kind of like an eye. This is one of the easiest windshield repairs and doesn’t leave behind much of trace once they are fixed.
Q. Can you repair a bullseye crack?
A. Absolutely. 99.5% of the time.
Q. Do Bullseye cracks spread?
A. They can. Just like any other type of front glass damage. And since it is a fairly simple process, saying yes to this service is kind of a no-brainer. Especially if you have a windshield that is expensive to replace.
Q. Can your company fix spider cracks?
A. Better than most, since this is what we specialize in. And because we don’t offer glass replacement, you will never receive the “hard sell” from us, unlike some of our competitors.
Q. Do windshield repair kits work on long cracks?
A. Short answer: no. Long answer: HELL no. OK, probably not. The quality of the injectors and resins in these kits is average at best – not a deal breaker. Here’s the biggest issue: if the repair process you attempt is unsuccessful, neither us, nor any other windshield repair professional, can come in afterwards and fix the rock chip due to the impact point and a portion of the internal damage being plugged up with cured resin. Once it’s in there, it’s in there to stay. So, instead of saving $60 or so, now you’re buying a whole new windshield, many of which are over $1,000.
Q. When should you not use a windshield repair kit?
A. If I was king, the answer would be never. Since, I’m not, our estimation is DIY repair kits will work as promoted about 10-15% of the time. Quality of the tool and resin in these kits is main reason.
Q. Do glass repair kits really work?
A. Most of the time, the answer is no. Bullseye cracks with fairly large impact points & size of a quarter or less are the best candidates.
Q. How do you fix a cracked windshield with Permatex?
A. This is the brand name of one of the DIY repairs kits sold in auto parts stores. Bullseyes with large pits & size of a quarter or less are the best types of breaks to use these kits on.
Q. How does glass repair fluid work?
A. By fluid, we are assuming windshield resin. It goes into the breaks in liquid form. Once all cracks are filled, it’s cured with UV (ultra violet) light.
Q. How long does a windshield repair kit last?
A. Professional grade resin can have a shelf life of a couple of years if stored properly. The DIY kit resin? Your guess is as good as mine.
Q. Can you repair a large crack in a windshield?
A. Yes. Up to 14″ long. This is the current standard. And we have been doing so since the late 1990’s.
Q. Can you fill windshield cracks?
A. Yes. We have been performing this service for over 20 years. Plus, repairing maintains the original urethane seal and cost less. Sometimes ALOT less.
Q. How good are DIY windscreen repair kits?
A. Compared to doing nothing, they are good. Compared to the tools and resin used by professional windshield repair techs, they are marginal at best.
Q. How long does windshield resin take to set?
A. If it is cured by the sun, a couple of minutes. If cured by our powerful UV (ultra violet) light, 10-15 seconds.
Q. Does Solarez work at night?
A. Solarez is a product designed for use in collision repair shops for body work and is not applicable for auto glass repair.
Q. Will a black light cure windshield resin?
A. Yes. The black light will provide a stronger and faster resin cure than sunlight. Even more so if it’s cloudy.
Q. What can I use if I don’t have a UV light for resin?
A. Your best bet is to enlist the help of a rock chip repair specialist. If you absolutely have to do it yourself, cure the resin in direct sunlight, but not before damaged area is completely filled.
Glossary of Repair Terminology
The following glossary and definitions are provided by ROLAGS (Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard)
- Bullseye: Damage that is marked by a separated cone in the outer layer of glass that results in a dark circle with an impact point.
- Chip: Non-technical term, commonly used by the public, for damage on a windshield.
- Combination Break: Damage with multiple characteristics, i.e., star within a bullseye, short or long crack(s) emanating from the damage.
- Crack: Single line of separation that may emanate from an impact point.
- Short Crack: A crack of 6 inches or less.
- Long Crack: A crack of more than 6 inches.
- Edge Crack: Any crack that that extends to an edge.
- Floater Crack: Any crack that does not extend to an edge.
- Stress Crack: Any crack that extends from an edge and lacks an impact point.
- Ding: Non-technical term, commonly used by the public, for damage on a windshield.
- Half Moon: Partial bullseye.
- Impact Point: Location on the glass that was struck by an object and results in damage.
- Laminated glass: Two or more layers of glass with a non-glass inner layer(s).
- Legs: Subsurface cracks that emanate from the break.
- Pit: Impact point from which a small piece of glass is missing.
- Repair: A process that removes air from the break either by vacuum or displacement and fills the break with resin.
- Star Break: Damage that exhibits a series of legs that emanate from the break.
- Stone Break: Non-technical term, commonly used by the public, for damage on a windshield.
- Surface Pit: A nick in the glass associated with normal wear and tear that does not penetrate to the plastic interlayer.
Driver’s Primary Viewing Area (DPVA) – An area on the exterior of the windshield:
- 12 inches wide;
- Centered on the driver’s position;
- Extending from the top to the bottom of the wiper sweep.
Plastic Interlayer: Layer of plastic that bonds two pieces of glass that may also be referred to as the laminate or PVB.
PVB: Polyvinyl butyral. AKA Plastic Interlayer.
Refraction: The bending of light rays while passing from one medium to another.
Bullseye: With a diameter no larger than one inch.
Combination Break: Diameter of body (excluding legs) not to exceed 2 inches.
Crack: No longer than 14 inches.
Half Moon (Partial Bullseye): With a diameter no larger than one inch.
Star Break: Diameter of the break not to exceed 3 inches.
Surface Pit: Damage with a diameter of not less than 1/8 inch.
Long Crack Repair Locations
The owner of First Choice Windshield Repair has been repairing long cracks in the list of cities below for 20 years. So, contact us before the damage becomes too large to repair.