The windshield in your car plays an essential role in keeping you safe on the road. It supports as much as 45 percent of your vehicle’s structure, and it’s designed to ensure you have a clear view of the road ahead of you. If your windshield suffers damage, it can obstruct your view and compromise your safety. You may be tempted to procrastinate about getting it repaired, but the longer you put it off, the greater your chances of experiencing even bigger problems later will be. 

Not all windshield cracks and chips are equal, so it’s a good idea to understand the different types of cracks so you’ll know whether you’ll need a minor repair or a total windshield replacement. Here’s a look at the most common types of windshield cracks and the different recommendations for windshield repair services San Diego car owners will typically have to choose from.

1. Star Chip

Possibly the most common type of windshield damage, a star chip or star break gets its name from the starburst pattern it creates. This type of chip has a crack in the center with lines or smaller cracks that extend out in different directions. A star chip can definitely distort the view through your windshield, and it can easily weaken the entire windshield if it isn’t repaired quickly. If you have a star chip in your windshield, it can often be repaired without having to have the windshield replaced, but this is only true if the cracks extending from the center are less than three inches long. 

2. Bullseye

If you have a crack in your windshield that looks like the bullseye in the center of a dartboard, you have what’s commonly called a bullseye break. This type of crack, which often has dark circles surrounded by several cracked layers on the inside, is similar to a chip, but it usually runs deeper and extends into the outer layer of the glass. The depth of a bullseye crack is usually dependent on the velocity of the rock or other object that hit the windshield. 

Bullseye cracks are among the most common types of windshield damage, and if they’re taken care of soon after they occur, they can usually be repaired fairly easily and quickly by qualified technicians. However, in extreme cases, it might be necessary to replace the windshield, depending on where the crack is located and how big it is.

3. Combination Break

Combination breaks, as the name implies, are made up of multiple different types of cracks that occur at the same time, and they’re more serious than other kinds of cracks or chips. Their shape and size are often similar to those of star chips and bullseye cracks.

Because of the multiple types of breaks, combination cracks are extremely difficult to repair. While in some cases it may not be necessary to replace the windshield, if you have a combination crack that blocks your view, it’s best to have it replaced instead of trying to have it repaired.

4. Batwing

A batwing chip happens when a chip in a windshield separates into two branches of cracks to form a V-like shape similar to a bat spreading its wings. If the two cracks aren’t longer than three inches, the damage can usually be repaired. However, if a batwing chip isn’t taken care of quickly, both cracks could get larger and cause damage to the windshield that results in the need for replacement.

5. Half-Moon

A half-moon break is similar to a bullseye break, but it doesn’t take the form of a complete circle. This type of crack gets its name from its resemblance to a crescent moon. Half-moon cracks are typically caused by rocks hitting windshields at odd angles, and they can often be repaired easily by automotive glass repair specialists. However, as with other types of cracks, if the damage is severe, it may be necessary to replace the windshield.

Windshield cracks and chips can happen at any time, and waiting too long to deal with the damage can often result in additional problems. If you’ve recently experienced a windshield crack or chip and you’ve been searching the internet for “auto glass repair near me,” call on the experts at Liberty Auto Glass today. We’ve proudly served the San Diego community for more than 25 years, and we back our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. To receive a free estimate, give us a call at (619) 381-7710.