Your vehicle’s windshield is more than a transparent barrier; it’s a critical component ensuring your safety on the road. Understanding the most common types of windshield cracks is essential for timely intervention, whether through windshield repair or replacement. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the various types of windshield cracks, the significance of addressing them promptly, and the role of ADAS calibration in maintaining modern vehicle safety features.


A cracked windshield isn’t a one-size-fits-all problem. Different types of cracks can manifest, each with its own set of implications. From the seemingly benign chip to the more extensive spiderweb crack, each requires a unique approach for resolution. Let’s delve into the most common types of windshield cracks and decipher the mysteries behind them.

  1. Bull’s Eye Crack

The bull’s eye crack is characterized by a circular impact point, much like its namesake. Typically caused by a rock or other debris hitting the windshield, this crack radiates outward from the center. While it may appear small initially, neglecting a bull’s eye crack can lead to further spreading and compromise the structural integrity of the windshield.

  1. Half-Moon Crack

Similar to the bull’s eye, the half-moon crack is also caused by a direct impact. However, its shape is more semicircular, resembling half of a circle. The key challenge with half-moon cracks lies in their potential to expand and intersect with other cracks, necessitating prompt attention.

  1. Star Break Crack

Characterized by a central point of impact with multiple legs extending outward, the star break crack resembles a starburst. These cracks often result from significant impacts and should be addressed swiftly to prevent further branching and potential obstruction of the driver’s view.

  1. Combination Break

As the name suggests, a combination break involves a mix of various crack types. It might feature characteristics of bull’s eye, half-moon, or star break cracks. The complexity of combination breaks underscores the importance of professional assessment for an accurate diagnosis and effective solution.

  1. Edge Crack

An edge crack occurs near the outer edge of the windshield. These cracks can result from temperature changes, stress, or impact. If left unattended, an edge crack can compromise the windshield’s stability, necessitating replacement.

  1. Floater Crack

Floater cracks appear in the middle of the windshield, away from the edges. Typically caused by a sudden impact, they can vary in size and shape. While smaller floater cracks may be repairable, larger ones often require windshield replacement.

  1. Stress Crack

Unlike impact-related cracks, stress cracks develop over time due to temperature changes, structural stress, or existing manufacturing defects. They often start at the windshield’s edge and can spread gradually. Identifying the root cause of stress cracks is crucial for effective resolution. 

Significance of Timely Intervention

Understanding the types of windshield cracks is only the first step; recognizing the importance of timely intervention is equally crucial. Ignoring even seemingly minor cracks can lead to significant consequences, including:

Compromised Safety

A compromised windshield compromises your safety. Cracks can obstruct your view of the road, increasing the risk of accidents. Moreover, a weakened windshield may fail to provide adequate protection in the event of a collision.

Legal Consequences

Many jurisdictions consider driving with a cracked windshield a safety violation, leading to potential fines or penalties. Addressing cracks promptly ensures compliance with road safety regulations.

Cost-Effective Solutions

Timely windshield repair is often more cost-effective than allowing cracks to expand, necessitating a full windshield replacement. Repairing minor cracks prevents them from evolving into more extensive issues.

Windshield Repair vs. Replacement

The decision between windshield repair and replacement depends on factors such as the type and size of the crack, its location, and the overall condition of the windshield.

Windshield Repair

Suitable for Small Cracks: Windshield repair is effective for smaller cracks, especially those that haven’t spread extensively.

Cost-Effective: Repair is generally more cost-effective than replacement.

Preserves Original Glass: Repairing the existing windshield preserves the original factory-installed glass. 

Windshield Replacement

Extensive Damage: If the crack is extensive, especially reaching the windshield’s edges, replacement is often the safest option.

Advanced Safety Features: Replacement ensures the proper functioning of advanced safety features integrated into modern windshields. 

Structural Integrity: A new windshield restores the structural integrity of the vehicle.

ADAS Calibration: A Crucial Consideration

Modern vehicles often come equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), including features like lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking. These systems rely on sensors and cameras typically mounted on or near the windshield.

When replacing or repairing a windshield, recalibrating the ADAS is crucial to ensure these systems function as intended. Professional ADAS calibration is a meticulous process that aligns the sensors with the vehicle’s specifications, preserving the accuracy and effectiveness of safety features.


Understanding the most common types of windshield cracks empowers vehicle owners to make informed decisions about repair or replacement. Whether it’s a bull’s eye, star break, or stress crack, each requires careful consideration. Timely intervention not only ensures road safety but can also save costs in the long run.

When faced with a cracked windshield, consult with a professional auto glass technician to assess the type and extent of the damage. Addressing the issue promptly, whether through repair or replacement, is a proactive step toward maintaining a clear, safe, and structurally sound windshield.


Can I repair a crack near the windshield’s edge?

Repairing cracks near the edge is often challenging. It’s advisable to consult with a professional for an accurate assessment.

Are all types of cracks repairable?

While many types of cracks are repairable, extensive or complex cracks may require windshield replacement.

How long does ADAS calibration take?

ADAS calibration duration varies but typically takes a few hours. It’s a meticulous process ensuring the accuracy of safety features.

Can stress cracks be prevented?

While some stress cracks result from external factors, regular windshield maintenance and avoiding extreme temperature changes can minimize the risk.

Is it safe to drive with a small crack?

Small cracks should be addressed promptly to prevent further damage. Ignoring them can compromise visibility and safety.

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