Cracks in Windshields and Sunroofs: When to Replace?


Have you been staring at a crack in the glass of your car for too long now? It might have been from a rock kicked up by spinning tires on the highway or simply unfortunate hail. Either way, cracks in your car’s glass can be dangerous if not fixed. Depending on the size and location of the damage in your glass, it might be time to start thinking about repairing or replacing your windshield. The same holds true if your sunroof glass has a crack as well. Whether you need sunroof glass replacement in San Diego or windshield replacement in Tierrasanta, read on to see if it’s time for you to replace that glass.

Laminated or Tempered?

There are primarily two kinds of glass used for cars; tempered and laminated. Tempered glass is made by rapidly cooling a heated pre-cut plane of glass. After the process, tempered glass is 4-5 times stronger than before. If it does break, tempered glass is designed to break into tiny little pebbles to minimize the damage caused. On the other hand, laminated glass is made by heating multiple layers of glass and bonding them all through resin and pressure. This process results in a flexible and sound-insulating windshield that efficiently blocks ultraviolet light transmissions. Typically, tempered glass is only used for passenger side windows, while car manufacturers must use laminated glass for windshields. Recently, however, more and more car manufacturers have been using laminated glass for all windows on a car.

This distinction is essential because of one key difference. It is possible to repair laminated glass, but you must replace it if your glass is tempered. That isn’t to say that you can always repair laminated glass! Usually, the size of the crack and its location are the determining factors, but a general rule of thumb is that if it’s big enough to obstruct your vision, you probably have to replace the glass. Here are some other scenarios that would require a replacement

  • If the length of the crack is longer than a dollar bill.
  • If the depth of the crack is more than halfway through the windshield.
  • If the ends of the crack reach the outside edges of your windshield.

So if you need to replace your glass, read on to find out what you should expect from your service provider.

 What to expect

A broken windshield can seriously get in your way and prevent you from driving safely! Therefore, most auto glass companies will offer to go to you and replace your glass the same day. Don’t be fooled by any company that says you have to come in to replace the glass! If you’re trying to replace a sunroof, however, you’ll most likely have to go into the shop. Sunroofs are much more complex and challenging to replace than a windshield, and most shops will need you to come in to replace them. Whichever service you pick for your sunroof glass or windshield replacement in Tierrasanta, keep in mind to do it soon because a cracked windshield or sunroof is dangerous.


Safety is the most important topic of this whole article. Cracks in the glass can seem like a minor inconvenience at the time, but they can negatively impact your windshield’s structural integrity. In a car crash, your car’s windshield accounts for a large portion of the cabin’s structural integrity. In the event of a roll, your windshield is responsible for over half of the structural integrity. So you’ll always want to make sure that your windshield is in tip-top shape. As for a sunroof, you’ll also want to take extra care to make sure that you replace it promptly. Cracks in the sunroof can lead to it shattering, spreading tiny pebbles of glass everywhere that can be costly to clean up. Such damage also leaves your car highly vulnerable to the environment and weather, as there would be a gaping hole in the roof of your vehicle.

If there is one thing to take away from this article, please replace your auto glass if it is time to do so. It is a safety concern, and you wouldn’t want to endanger anyone needlessly. It is unsafe to drive with cracks in your windshield or sunroof, so find a shop that offers windshield or sunroof glass replacement in San Diego and get rid of that crack in your glass!

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