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Different Types of Car Auto Glass Cracks & Impacts

July 2, 2021

After reading our guide to car windshield cracks and impacts, you’ll learn: 

  • The different types of car windshield impacts that cause cracks and chips 
  • How to know when you need to get your windshield repaired or replaced 

A pesky crack or chip is enough to ruin your windshield. So, it makes sense to know about the different types of cracks or impacts your windshield may face, as you can then take steps to reduce the odds of damage from occurring. Additionally, knowing when your windshield needs to be fixed or replaced can help keep you safe on the road. 

Different Types of Car Windshield Cracks and Chips 

Cracks and chips can be easy fixes, though a steady hand and experience repairing windshields are always helpful. Generally, cracks less than three inches in length can be repaired without needing to replace the entire windshield. 

However, there are times where the damage cannot be repaired without replacing the entire windshield. Since windshield damage can affect your ability to drive safely, it’s always important to have an expert technician inspect the damage. 

Bulls-Eye 

A bulls-eye impact resembles a dartboard. The rock, pebble, or loose gravel will leave a circular pattern around the impact. Bulls-eyes are often larger than typical chips and aren’t able to be fixed. The half-moon variation is similar to the bulls-eye, but its circular patterns aren’t symmetrical. 

Chips 

A chip or ding occurs when something small hits the windshield and removes a piece of the glass. While chips are small, often less than an inch in diameter, they require immediate attention. If the chip isn’t filled or repaired, larger cracks may soon extend from it. 

Crack Chip 

A crack chip is a crack that’s caused by a minor impact on the windshield. Usually, these cracks are on the smaller side and have an impact point that’s less than the size of a quarter. Small pebbles or gravel are often the sources of the impact. 

Edge Crack 

An edge crack forms near the edge of the windshield. Near is defined as less than two inches from the glass’s edge. Edge cracks tend to form quickly, though they may take their time growing and reaching towards the center of the windshield. These cracks can also reach a length of 12 inches and sometimes even longer. 

Floater Crack 

As opposed to edge cracks, floater cracks tend to start near the middle of the windshield. Their length can vary greatly, with some running almost the entire width or length of the glass. Floater cracks can sometimes grow due to stress on the windshield, though they are typically caused by an impact. 

Stars 

A star chip is similar to a bulls-eye. The main difference is that instead of the concentric circles around the chip, as with the bulls-eye, the star chip will have cracks radiating outwards from the central impact. The end result resembles an explosion. Small star patterns can be filled to fix the windshield’s structural integrity, but there may always be a visual reminder of the initial damage. 

Stress Crack 

Unlike the other cracks listed here, a stress crack is not born from something hitting your windshield. Instead, it’s stress, such as extreme temperature changes, that causes the crack to form. A common cause is using very hot water to melt snow or ice off the windshield. 

Get Your Windshield Fixed at American Eagle Auto Glass 

If your car’s windshield or windows have a crack, chip, or other damage, stop by American Eagle Auto Glass today. We have locations in Danville and Champaign, Illinois, and Terre Haute and Bloomington, Indiana. Receive a free online quote by filling out this form.

Featured Image: A_Lesik/Shutterstock