Top 6 Tips for Cracked Windshield Prevention and Repair

November 21, 2023
Woman driving in a car

All it takes is one small chip in the windshield before it becomes a full-fledged crack. Even though a chip may appear small, it can quickly become a more serious issue. Here’s how to prevent a windshield crack from escalating into a more serious safety concern.

1. Decide whether it needs immediate attention

First, where’s the crack located? Is it off to the side, or is it obscuring your view? If it interferes with your ability to see the road, you should deal with even a tiny crack immediately.  However, if it’s not impairing your ability to see the road, grab a ruler and measure the length of the chip or crack. This can help determine whether you can repair the windshield or need professional repair or replacement.

2. Determine whether it needs to be repaired or replaced

If the chip is smaller than the size of a quarter or up to 2 inches in length, it can often be repaired. However, the shape of the chip or crack, such as bullseye, star, or half-moon, can limit the type of repair. Every crack or chip is unique, and consulting an expert is important. The goal is to prevent a crack from getting bigger or in any way compromising safety. [1]

3. Avoid dirt and debris

One of the most important things to guard against is dirt. If dirt gets into the crack, it can complicate a simple repair. But that doesn’t mean you should head for the car wash or reach for a bucket. If water seeps into the crack, what began as a small repair can easily become a complete replacement. Instead, you can temporarily keep dirt and moisture away from the crack by cleaning the damaged area and applying a piece of clear packing tape, which is strong but won’t obscure your view. Another short-term solution for protecting the chip from dirt is to apply super glue evenly throughout the crack and wipe off any excess. [2]

4. Park indoors to avoid the elements

Sun, snow, and rain all have the potential to cause the chip or crack on your windshield to grow. If possible, park your car inside, where it will be protected against the elements, especially the sun, which can cause the windshield to heat up and allow the crack to expand. If you don’t have a garage, try parking in a shaded spot.

5. Avoid temperature cold extremes

Likewise, extremely cold weather is not good for a cracked windshield because glass contracts when it gets cold. Refrain from putting your air conditioner or defroster on high. If necessary, use the heater moderately to defrost the windows gradually. [3]

6. Drive carefully

Another way to keep the crack from getting larger is to drive with extra caution. That means safely avoiding potholes and staying away from rough roads. Jostling the car is the last thing you should do when driving with a cracked windshield, and you also want to avoid slamming the doors or the trunk.

Above all, keep safety in mind at all times. The sooner you get the windshield in for replacement or repair, the better.

Beyond repairing a cracked windshield, performing regular car maintenance is vital to sustaining your car in the long term. Check out the ultimate car maintenance schedule and keep your ride up to date. Finally, ensure you and your vehicle are always protected with auto insurance.


[1] “Windshield – Need to Repair or Replace. How to Decide?” (Aug. 14, 2019).

[2] “Crack Hacks: 4 Ways to Stop a Windshield Crack from Spreading,” (accessed March 16, 2023).

[3] “How to Stop a Windshield Crack from Spreading,” (accessed March 16, 2023).


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