Types & Causes of Windshield Damage

Types causes windshield damage Types causes windshield damage

This page explains the different types of chips and cracks that can occur on your windshield glass, plus the main things that cause them.

If your glass has been damaged and you'd like a free quote to get your vehicle's glass fixed, call Pinnacle Auto Glass now at 480.907.3982!

Most Windshield Damage is Caused by Highways & Heat

Phoenix freeway traffic

There are two main kinds of windshield glass damage:

  • Windshield chips
  • Windshield cracks

The most common cause of windshield glass damage is driving on freeways, especially behind large vehicles like tractor trailers or cement trucks.

The other primary cause of windshield glass damage is heat. Arizona's high summer temperatures make glass much more likely to crack or chip.

The 3 Types of Windshield Chips

A chip is a small, localized break from the impact of an object on the windshield. All chips can be repaired if they meet certain criteria.

Chips are divided into three main categories shown below:

Close-up illustration of a bullseye glass chip

Bullseye Chip

Bullseye chips have a series of concentric rings spreading out from a center point.

Close-up illustration of a star glass chip

Star Chip

Star chips have a series of small individual cracks connected by a center point.

Close-up illustration of a star glass chip

Combination Chip

Combination chips can have both bullseye and star elements.

The 3 Types of Windshield Cracks

A crack is a long, extended break. Most cracks are caused by objects hitting the windshield.

Cracks can be divided into three types (shown below).

Multiple cracks and non-impact (stress) cracks generally cannot be repaired, while some single cracks are repairable.

Windshield with a large single crack

Single Crack

A single crack is one extended break. This is the most common type of crack.

Windshield with multiple large cracks

Multiple Crack

A multiple crack is multiple extended breaks that may or may not be connected.

Windshield with stress crack extending to its frame

Non-Impact (Stress) Crack

A non-impact crack is not caused by objects, but by structural issues like crashes.

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