Is It Better To Repair Or Replace A Windscreen?

Is It Better To Repair Or Replace A Windscreen?

It doesn’t take much to damage a vehicle’s windscreen.  Cracks and chips can result from loose gravel or small stones kicked up by a passing car, the impact of a seed pod falling from an overhead branch, extreme temperatures, other impacts or even inferior autoglass and workmanship.

When there’s damage to a windscreen, many people are understandably concerned about insurance claims, the cost of repairs and the perceived inconvenience of having to get the damage repaired.  Many people also ‘self-assess’ the damage to their windscreens and will often decide not to take any further action if the crack or chip looks minor.

What people don’t realise however, is that a seemingly innocuous chip can escalate into a major crack – so early intervention is always recommended.

Regardless of the extent of the damage, it is always best to have it assessed by experts as soon as possible after the incident.  They will make an informed decision based on their expertise and experience and recommend either a windscreen repair or a full windscreen replacement.

In other words, there is no definitive answer as to whether it’s better to repair or replace a windscreen.  It depends on the unique circumstances of each situation.

When can a windscreen be repaired as opposed to replaced?

Several factors influence whether a windscreen can be repaired after it’s been damaged or whether a full windscreen replacement is necessary.

The decision will depend on the following:

  • Size
  • Depth
  • Length (of a crack)
  • Location of the damage
  • Type of autoglass

When can you repair a windscreen?

It’s more cost-effective to repair rather than replace a windscreen, and any autoglass specialist worth their salt should offer you the most economical – as well as the safest – option.

Generally, minor damage can be repaired quickly and easily without compromising the safety of your windscreen or the clarity of your vision through the glass.  As a rule of thumb, it’s possible to repair a chip or dent that is smaller than a $2 coin.

Minor damage that is more than 7cms from the rubber seal of the windscreen can also usually be repaired.  Anything closer to the edge may compromise the structural integrity of the windscreen.  Did you know that a windscreen is responsible for around 30% of a vehicle’s structural integrity?  Now that’s something worth considering before taking any shortcuts with a damaged windscreen!

If the damage is directly in line with the driver’s vision, it may also be considered a safety risk.

When should a windscreen be replaced?

A full replacement is generally necessary if the damage is assessed to be compromising the vehicle’s safety.  This may be in relation to the size or depth of the damage as well as the location.

Most vehicle windscreens are manufactured from a layer of plastic sandwiched between two layers of safety glass.  It is not possible to repair damage that has penetrated into the inner layer, nor is it possible to repair a tempered glass windscreen.  A full replacement would be required.

If the damage has weakened the windscreen in any way, it may detach completely in the event of an impact as a result of the air bags deploying.  This would significantly reduce – if not eliminate – the vital protection provided by the air bags to the driver and/or front seat passenger.

Let’s bust the myth about how long it takes to repair or replace a windscreen.

There’s no reason to resist having your windscreen sorted out if it’s damaged in any way.  That’s because modern technology has made it quick and easy to repair or replace your vehicle’s autoglass – and it can be surprisingly cheap depending on the terms of your insurance policy.

The other positive is that many mobile windscreen technicians can actually do the job at a location that suits you – at a time that suits you.  And yes, that includes a full windscreen replacement!  The process doesn’t take long and the car is driveable a short time after the work has been completed.  They also usually deal directly with the insurers and take care of all the paperwork, so the whole process is hassle-free.

A last word on whether a windscreen repair or replacement is better

A repair job is always the preferred option but there are instances when a full replacement is necessary.  From a sustainability perspective, a repair is better for the environment and is quick and cost-effective, but a replacement is necessary when the damage poses a safety hazard or compromises the roadworthiness of the vehicle.

For any help with your windscreen repair or replacement in Perth, please get in touch with our mobile technicians, Jason or Xavier on 0400 200 086 or drop us an email on  You’re also welcome to contact Autoscreens to make an enquiry.

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