How Long Can I Drive With A Crack In My Windshield ?

Imagine you are driving down a road and all of sudden a rock shoots up and cracks your windshield. Immediately you will think “What do I do now?”
Two things will come up. One: You could replace or repair your windshield. Two: The damage isn’t too bad so you can think about it later or how long can I drive with a crack in my windshield.
Between these two options which might be the better one is something only you can decide. But to help you out we will be going over point two for you.
We will help you answer “can I drive with a cracked windshield?”

How Long Can I Drive With A Crack In My Windshield?

How Long Can I Drive With A Crack In My Windshield

So many people ask us how long they can drive with a crack in their windshield before they need to replace or repair it. You might be wondering about this as well. So here is the simple answer.
It all depends on the size and position of the crack in the windshield. If the crack is small and positioned near the sides, you can go weeks or months without replacing or repairing it.
If the crack is big and near the center of the crack, then you shouldn’t drive more than a few days or a week before coming to repair or replace it.
In the end, we suggest fixing the crack as soon as possible; otherwise, the crack will get bigger and maybe even break your crack while driving. This can easily cause you to get into an accident.

Importance Of A Windshield

So you know how long you can drive with a crack in your windshield but why is it so important. It’s important for many reasons and we have listed some of them below. Reading them should help you understand why you should replace or repair if there are cracks on it.

Safety Barrier

Your windshield serves as a crucial safety barrier, shielding you from various external elements encountered while driving, such as rocks, debris, and insects.

Structural Support

Beyond its protective function, the windshield provides essential structural support to your vehicle. It contributes to the overall stability and integrity of the car, particularly during a collision.

Clear Visibility

A clean and intact windshield is fundamental for maintaining clear visibility on the road. Unobstructed vision ensures you can navigate safely, spot potential hazards, and react promptly.

Airbag Support

In the unfortunate event of a collision, the windshield plays a role in facilitating the proper deployment of airbags. This additional safety measure enhances the protection offered to the vehicle’s occupants.

Prevents Ejection

Properly installed windshields act as a crucial safety feature by preventing occupants from being ejected from the vehicle during a crash. This significantly reduces the risk of severe injuries.

Common Causes Of Windshield Cracks

cracked windshield

Road Debris

One of the common culprits behind windshield cracks is road debris. Rocks, gravel, and other materials kicked up by vehicles ahead can impact and damage the windshield.

Temperature Changes

Sudden and extreme temperature changes, whether from exposure to intense heat or cold, can cause stress on the glass. Over time, this stress may lead to the development of cracks.

Impact Force

Direct impact, either from a collision with another object or a forceful impact, can result in immediate and visible windshield damage.

Manufacturing Defects

Occasionally, defects in the manufacturing process of windshields can make them more susceptible to cracks. These defects may not be immediately apparent but can manifest over time.

Improper Installation

Incorrect installation of windshields can create stress points on the glass, making it more prone to cracking. Proper installation is crucial for the long-term durability of the windshield.

Further Reading: Common Causes of Windshield Damage and How to Prevent Them

Different Types Of Windshield Cracks

If you have an idea about the type of crack you have on your windshield you can figure out how long you can drive with a crack in your windshield. We have listed some of the common ones you see most often.

Bull’s Eye Crack

This type of crack is characterized by a circular shape with a noticeable point of impact in the center, resembling a bull’s eye target.

Star Break

Star breaks feature cracks radiating outward from a central point, creating a pattern reminiscent of a star. They often result from a significant impact.

Half-Moon Crack

Similar to a bull’s eye, the half-moon crack is semi-circular in shape and typically caused by a smaller impact on the windshield.

Combination Break

Combination breaks involve multiple types of cracks occurring in close proximity due to a substantial impact, resulting in a complex pattern.

Edge Crack

Cracks that initiate from the edge of the windshield, often caused by stress or improper installation, can compromise the structural integrity of the glass.

Factors Influencing Repairability

windshield repair
windshield repair

Since you have a crack on your windshield you want to know if you should repair it. There are many factors that you need to consider if you want to repair your cracked windshield. Here are some of those factors.

Size of the Crack

The size of the crack plays a crucial role. Smaller cracks, especially those under six inches, are generally more repairable than larger ones.

Location of the Crack

The location of the crack on the windshield is a determining factor. Cracks near the edges or those directly in the driver’s line of sight may be more challenging to repair.

Type of Crack

Different types of cracks require varied repair approaches. While some cracks can be effectively repaired, others may necessitate a complete windshield replacement.

Depth of the Damage

The depth of the damage, whether the crack penetrates only the outer layer or extends deeper into the glass, impacts the feasibility of repair.

Promptness of Action

Acting promptly is crucial. The longer a crack is left unaddressed, the more likely it is to spread, reducing the chances of successful repair.

Professional Repair Vs. Replacement

windshield replacement

You need to consider any factors when debating over if you need to visit a professional windshield repair service or replacement service. To help you out we have listed some points you should think about.

Advantages of Professional Repair

Professional repair services offer a cost-effective solution for smaller cracks, preserving the structural integrity of the windshield. They can often be completed swiftly and efficiently.

Preservation of Original Seal

Repairing a crack helps preserve the original factory seal of the windshield, maintaining the overall strength and safety features of the vehicle.

Environmental Considerations

Choosing repair over replacement is often more environmentally friendly, as it reduces the need for manufacturing new glass and disposing of the old one.

When Replacement is Necessary

However, there are situations where replacement becomes necessary. Larger cracks, especially those compromising the driver’s visibility, may require a new windshield.

Safety Concerns

The safety of the driver and passengers is paramount. If a crack is in the driver’s line of sight or compromises the structural integrity, driving with a cracked windshield can pose safety risks.

In the scenario of wondering, “Can I drive with a cracked windshield?” It’s essential to consider the severity of the crack. While some minor cracks may not hinder immediate driving, prompt action, whether through repair or replacement, is crucial to ensure road safety and prevent further damage.

DIY Repair Kits

DIY repair kits are a popular option for those looking to address small cracks in their windshields without professional assistance. These kits typically come with all the necessary tools and materials for a quick fix.

When you open a typical DIY repair kit, you’ll find a few key components. First, there’s a bridge or injector device – this is what you’ll use to apply the resin to the crack. Then, there’s the resin itself, a substance designed to fill and seal the crack. Lastly, the kit usually includes curing strips, which help harden the resin when exposed to sunlight.

To use the kit, you’ll start by cleaning the damaged area thoroughly. Once cleaned, you position the bridge or injector over the crack, applying the resin. The resin is then left to cure, often aided by the curing strips and exposure to sunlight.

Pros And Cons


  • Cost-Effective: DIY kits are generally more affordable than professional repair services, making them an attractive option for budget-conscious individuals.
  • Convenience: These kits offer the convenience of addressing minor cracks at your own pace and without the need for immediate professional assistance.
  • Temporary Fix: For small cracks, DIY kits can provide a temporary solution, preventing further spread and buying time until a more permanent solution is pursued.
  • Ease of Use: Most DIY kits are designed to be user-friendly, with step-by-step instructions that even those without extensive automotive knowledge can follow.
  • Readily Available: You can easily find DIY repair kits at automotive stores or online, making them accessible for quick purchase.


  • Limited Effectiveness: While effective for small cracks, DIY kits may not deliver optimal results for larger or more complex windshield damage.
  • Skill and Precision: Achieving a successful repair with a DIY kit requires a steady hand and some degree of precision, which may pose a challenge for some users.
  • Weather Dependency: The curing process often relies on sunlight, making it dependent on weather conditions. Cloudy or rainy days may hinder the effectiveness of the repair.
  • Professional Expertise: DIY kits lack the expertise and precision that a professional repair service can provide, especially for intricate cracks.
  • Temporary Nature: While they can offer a temporary fix, DIY repairs may not provide a lasting solution, and the crack could worsen over time.


Before you think about “can i drive with a cracked windshield?” We want you to think about just how bad the crack really is. The severity of the crack can decide how long you can drive with a crack in your windshield.
Once you know how bad it is and what type of a crack it is you need to consider whether you should replace it or repair it.
Both options have their pros and cons and it’s up to you decide which you should go for. We don’t recommend driving too long with crack because it can worsen in a split second. The better option would be to repair it as it might cost less than replacing your windshield.


Can I Drive With A Cracked Windshield Legally?

Driving with a cracked windshield may be illegal depending on your local regulations, and it could lead to fines or penalties.

Do DIY Repair Kits Work Effectively?

DIY repair kits can provide a temporary fix for small cracks, but their effectiveness varies, and they might not be a long-term solution.

What Insurance Policies Cover Windshield Damage?

Comprehensive auto insurance often covers windshield damage, but it’s essential to check your policy for specific details on coverage.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Windshield?

The cost of windshield replacement varies, influenced by factors like the make and model of your car, ranging from $100 to $400 or more.

Are There Eco-Friendly Ways To Dispose Of A Damaged Windshield?

Yes, some facilities recycle windshield glass, contributing to eco-friendly disposal practices and reducing environmental impact.


Evelyn is a versatile and talented blog writer who loves to explore various facets of life through his writing. With a passion for Business, Lifestyle, Entertainment, Health & Wellness, Technology, and Travel, he crafts content that informs, entertains, and inspires. His wide-ranging interests and keen insights enable him to connect with readers across different domains. Whether he's breaking down complex business concepts, sharing wellness tips, or narrating travel experiences, Evelyn's writing reflects a unique blend of expertise and curiosity. His work is not only a source of information but a gateway to diverse worlds and ideas, all brought together by his love for the written word.

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