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Spotting Different Types Of Windshield Cracks

There are many different types of windshield cracks, but they most often occur from an object impacting the glass. These can be anything from rocks falling from dump trucks to rough objects kicked up by the tires of overtaking vehicles. This damage comes directly from objects striking the windshield but there are also other types of damage such as stress cracks, which most often occur from a large variation in the temperature.

There can also be indirect damage, which may stem from an existing chip that over time, expands into a crack. Generally speaking, cracks less than six inches can be repaired. Those, which are longer or reach the edge of the windshield usually, result in a replacement windshield rather than a repair.

Below we have listed some of the most common types of windshield cracks so that you will be able to spot and identify them.


Damage caused whereby a small piece of glass comes away from the windshield due to the impact of a rock or other similar object.


A more common term used to describe a chip.

Crack Chip

A single crack with an impact point that can be covered with a quarter.

Edge Crack

A crack that starts within 2″ of the edge of the windshield, or reaches the edge of the windshield. It normally forms immediately and starts at 10-12″ long.

Floater Crack

A crack that starts in the middle of the windshield or anywhere that is not within 2″ of the edge of the windshield.

Long Crack

A crack that is over about 6″ (15cm) long, which many windshield repair methods are unable to fix.

Bull’s Eye

Damage caused in the glass that is circular, typically with a cone in the outer layer due to the impact of a rock or other similar object. It is similar to but larger than a chip.

Half Moon

Damage caused in the glass that is similar to a bull’s eye crack, however not completely circular but still due to the impact of a rock or other similar object.

Combination Break

When there are multiple types of breaks in a windshield, such as a chip with cracks emanating from it.

Star Break

A series of short radial cracks coming off the impact point which can resemble a star.


An area where a small piece of glass is missing.

Stress Crack

A crack that occurs without anything impacting the windshield, usually due to a large variation in the temperature. Generally beginning at the edge of the windshield, stress cracks are usually in a straight or in a slightly bending line, and won’t show any signs of impact. With this type of crack, no glass actually comes away from the windshield.

Cracks worthy of repairing are ones that are not too old and are still relatively clean. If the crack is caught early, before it has had the chance to get too much bigger or get dirt inside it, most likely it can be repaired. Either way, an auto glass technician will also balance out the other factors to eventually determine if the crack can be repaired successfully and whether it will be worth the time and expense. For example, multiple single cracks may not be worth repairing while complex cracks are very rarely worth it, in which case a replacement windshield will be necessary.

At NOVUS Glass, we advise that you take action by getting in touch as soon as you notice any type of crack or damage in your windshield, as waiting could be the difference between a simple repair job and a whole new replacement windshield.


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  • Josh Newman
    November 13, 2018, 4:46 pm REPLY

    I want to make sure that I get my windshield fixed. It seems like the crack in my windshield is just a chip. I sure hope that they are able to fix it!

  • Tyler Johnson
    August 7, 2019, 3:36 pm REPLY

    That’s good to know that longer cracks might not be able to be repaired. I would think that those would start to block your vision if they keep growing as well as make it less strong. I’ll have to consider getting my windshield replaced since I have a crack that goes most of the way across it.

  • Braden Bills
    September 3, 2019, 2:04 pm REPLY

    I was driving on the freeway when a rock flew up and cracked my windshield. It makes sense that some kinds of cracks might be fixable! I’ll talk to a professional to see if they can identify what kind of crack I have, and whether or not it can be fixed.

  • Spencer Jordan
    February 12, 2020, 8:36 pm REPLY

    I really appreciate you explaining a lot of the words that are used when you are talking about windscreen replacements. It’s great to know that a pet is a small piece of the glass missing, which is what happened to my car. I need to get it fixed soon before the whole piece of glass cracks.

  • Chris Pederson
    June 14, 2021, 2:21 pm REPLY

    I had no idea that drastic changes in temperature would impact your windshield. Maybe that is what happened to my car. Either way, I need the windshield replaced son.

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