Your car’s windscreen is what protects you and the other occupants of the car from the forces of nature. A small crack on the windscreen is more than enough to let these forces inside and ruin your commute. The damaged windscreen can let in dust, rainwater, smoke from other vehicles, etc. Besides, the cracks on your windscreen will impact your peripheral vision as well. They will cause distractions, as well as interfere with your vision preventing you from seeing what lies ahead.
Thus, driving with a damaged windscreen is risky. On top of that, it is illegal to drive on the roads with a damaged windscreen (cracks with exposed edges). Therefore, you need to get your windscreen fixed or replaced before driving on the roads again. However, do you simply repair the damage, or do you go for a complete replacement? That is what we will be looking into today.
How the windscreen might get damaged
One of the most common ways that windscreens get damaged is when your car has to deal with a forceful impact; like when you are driving and you accidentally hit a tree, or another vehicle rams into your car from the front. Sometimes, hailstorms too can damage your windscreens. In fact, they tear right through the glass, as if they were shotgun rounds.
Based on how you damaged your car’s windscreen, you can get a very basic idea as to how you should deal with it.
When to REPAIR your windscreen
Windscreen repairs will only work if the damage is light. And given how cheaper it is to repair your windscreen than having to completely replace it, you better pray for the damage to be so.
Repairs are only possible for certain types of damages. Whether the glass can be repaired properly or not will depend on the type of the chip, its size, and how many places across the entire surface of the glass do similar chips exist.
Minor cracks are usually quite easy to fix. There is this general rule in the auto repair industry, where any chip under 2 inches in width and one-third of an inch in depth can be repaired easily. Anything above these numbers will most likely require a complete change in the glass.
Sometimes, however, no matter how minute the cracks are, you might still need to change the entire windscreen. This can happen if the frame holding the windshield is damaged in any way. Normally, under such circumstances, you will be fine by just taking the glass out, getting the frame fixed, and putting the glass back in again.
However, this is something your mechanics will strongly advise against. As far as they are concerned, if the frame was damaged enough to be replaced, there could be a chance that the windscreen is suffering from a strain, and thus, it too needs to go.
When to REPLACE your windscreen
Major accidents and impacts can destroy your car’s windscreen. Forget cracks and chips, this sort of accident will either shatter the entire glass or punch a hole right through it. You will usually realize that you need to completely change the windscreen by simply looking at the damage. At that moment, you will also probably start hoping that your insurance covers this.
Now whether your insurance is of any use or not in this regard should not matter. Because even without insurance coverage, you will still need to get a full replacement.
In some cases, your windscreen does not need a hole or be fully shattered. If there are multiple small cracks on it, scattered throughout the surface, you will have to get the whole glass replaced. Otherwise, there is a chance that any minor incident in the near future can completely destroy it.
Besides, if the damage is on the driver’s side of the glass, it is always a wise decision to change the screen. Because even if the experts manage to repair it, the repairing job will leave marks and scratches behind. Also, if your windscreen seems discolored in any way, it is best to change it instead of trying to repair it.
Now that you know whether to get your windscreen fixed or replaced, it is time to go ahead and get the job done. Do not wait too long to work on the damages. Get rid of them as soon as possible, and as efficiently as you can, even if it means replacing the entire glass.