Types of Windscreen Cracks and Chips

Your windscreen is one of the most important parts of your vehicle when it comes to your safety on the road. It is therefore extremely important to ensure your windscreen is well maintained and free of any type of chip or crack that can lead to damage and dangerous situations in the future. Even the tiniest chip or crack on your windshield can lead to major problems in the future, but some are more dangerous than others. Before we discuss the different types of windscreen cracks and chips, and the extent of damage they can cause to your vehicle, it is important to mention that the best way to deal with any windscreen damage is to fix it as soon as possible at your local Vancouver auto body shop.

Identifying the type of windscreen issue you’re dealing with will help you determine the extent of repairs you will require, and how soon you will need to get these repairs completed.


These breaks often occur when a hard object such as a pebble or hailstone impacts the windscreen at high speed. The chip resembles the centre bullseye of a dartboard in shape and size which is where this type of damage gets its name from. Typically, this chip is easily repaired so long as it doesn’t get larger than one inch in diameter and no additional cracks form from it’s centre.

Half Moon

A half-circle chip that is formed by a similar cause as a bullseye chip, this type of damage is best repaired as soon as possible. For the most part, cracks rarely form out of a half moon chip, but the longer this damage is allowed to remain, the more likely it is to expand.

Star Break

One of the most concerning types of windscreen damage is the star break. This is especially true in a city like Vancouver where temperature changes are common year round. As the hot and cold weather cause your windscreen to expand and contract, the likelihood of a star break expanding becomes higher and higher. If the crack from a star break starts to extend, you may find that your entire windshield is compromised, meaning it is best to repair this damage immediately if you want to avoid paying for a brand new windscreen.

Combination Break

Like it’s name suggests, the combination break consists of both a circular chip and extending cracks. Because there is usually some missing glass in a combination break, the damage is more likely to spread, especially if temperatures are rising and falling throughout the day and night as they do in spring and fall in Vancouver. Damage of this type gets more and more difficult to repair the longer it remains on your windscreen, so be sure to take care of a combination break immediately.

Edge Crack

Windshields are sometimes manufactured and installed with imperfections near the outer edges that lead to cracks forming over time. The cracks that form within two inches or so from the outside are sometimes hard to see at first, but will extend to be over a foot in length if not repaired early. Cracks of this nature usually mean you’ll need to have your entire windscreen replaced once they extend past a few inches in length.

Stress Crack

Vancouver’s weather isn’t the only cause for windscreen cracks becoming extended. Rapid temperature changes on a windscreen surface will also lead to a stress crack forming. This can be caused by turning on the A/C after the car has been in the hot sun for a while, or removing ice from the windscreen by pouring scalding hot water on the glass. Like an edge crack, the stress crack will start out small, but it will get far worse in a short period of time if it isn’t repaired.


Any point where a solid object strikes the windscreen and takes a chunk of glass away is known as a chip. These commonly occur on highways as a car is travelling at high speeds. A chip can appear to be quite harmless at first, but since a chunk of glass is now missing from the windscreen, it is far more likely to expand into a dangerous crack if you continue to drive your vehicle.

Floating Crack

Unlike a stress crack or edge crack, a floating crack starts at the middle of the windshield and threatens to expand in multiple directions. Not only does this make the windscreen structurally unsafe, it also makes it harder for drivers to see if the crack expands across their line of sight. It is therefore vital to get this type of crack fixed right away to avoid dangerous driving conditions.

For reliable and convenient windscreen repair service in Vancouver, be sure to visit the auto body experts at Spotlite Collision today!