We all know that sinking feeling after hearing the unmistakeable sound of something hitting the windscreen. It’s horrible. And then there’s the anxious scramble to see just how bad the damage is.
If there is a crack or a chip, you’re faced with the dilemma. Do you just ignore the damage or do you repair or replace your windscreen? How do you know what the best and safest option is?
Well, rule number one is that you should never ignore damage to your windscreen – no matter how insignificant you think it is. There are lots of factors that can turn a tiny chip into a bigger issue such as extreme heat or cold, bumpy roads, moisture, dust and dirt so it is always worthwhile having any windscreen damage checked out as soon as possible.
The good news is that most chips and cracks can be repaired – and with a little help from a professional auto glass technician, your windscreen can be as good as new.
They’ll also have the experience and knowledge to determine whether the damage can be repaired or whether you need to replace the whole windscreen and will base their recommendation on the size, type, depth, location and severity of the damage. They’ll also take into consideration the age of the windscreen and how contaminated it is.
When to repair
Chips or cracks can usually be repaired when they are relatively small and aren’t in the line of sight of the driver. Even the best repair job may result in some slight discolouration or unevenness in the glass, and if that’s in the driver’s line of sight, it may impact on clarity and impair their visibility.
Depending on the type of chip (star break, bull’s eye, partial bull’s eye, half moon, ding or pit), these can be repaired if they’re around 2cms in diameter (a 20c piece is a good indicator of size). Cracks around 4cms long can also usually be repaired easily by a professional windscreen repair technician.
When to replace
Windscreen replacement is usually required when the damage:
- Compromises the driver’s viewing area
- Is close to the edge of the windscreen (this may affect its strength or structural integrity and may be a safety hazard)
- Is on the inside the windscreen
- Is so deep that it has penetrated both layers of glass
- Has impacted on any sensors on the windscreen (eg rain sensors)
- Renders your vehicle unroadworthy
Replacement may also be necessary when complex multiple cracks or long cracks are involved, and where the cracks are contaminated.
It’s not worth taking chances as far as your windscreen is concerned and you should see a professional windscreen repairer as soon as possible after the damage has been done. They have the skills and knowledge to see beyond the obvious – and will make recommendations based on the size, location and severity of the damage as well as on driver and passenger safety and roadworthiness.
If you’ve had some bad luck on the road and need professional help with either windscreen repair or replacement, Autoscreens should be on your speed dial. They have 20 years’ experience in windscreen repair and replacement in Perth and best of all, when you call them on 0400 200 086, you’ll speak directly to Jason, who owns and operates this highly recommended business. You can also get in touch with them via the website www.autoscreens.com.au – but whatever you do, don’t hesitate if you have any damage to your windscreen because the longer you leave it, the worse it could get.