No matter how much care you take maintaining your vehicle, accidents are bound to happen, and in some cases, you might not even be at fault. All it takes is one stone flung at your windscreen from the vehicle in front and you could be looking at a serious repair bill and even a dangerous accident.
It is important to note that driving with a cracked or chipped car windscreen can affect the roadworthiness of your vehicles in Melbourne. And it’s also a safety hazard. That’s why it’s vital to assess any damage to your car windscreen as soon as it happens to determine if it needs to be repaired or replaced.
When should you repair your windscreen?
Depending on the severity of the chip or crack in your windscreen, you may be able to repair it, instead of replacing the entire windscreen, which can be expensive. For very minor damage, there are some DIY windscreen repair options. However, glass repair is a specialised field, so when it comes to car windscreen chip and crack repair, you should leave it to the experts.
If you do notice a chip or crack, there are a number of factors that will determine whether it can be repaired, rather than replacing the windscreen. These are:
- Size: Chips with a diameter of 2.5cm and cracks that are 7.5cm long can be easily repaired by a professional windscreen specialist. Once your vehicle glass has been chipped or cracked, it is important to get it fixed as quickly as possible as the damage could get worse, making the car unsafe to drive.
- Depth: There are three layers to a windscreen: the inside layer of glass, a plastic layer and the outer layer of glass. If the crack or chip has penetrated from the outer to the inner layer, then the windscreen can’t be fixed and will have to be replaced.
- Location: The location of the damage determines if it is repairable or not. If the chip is near the driver’s sight, then fixing it might distort the view through the windscreen. And that is a significant safety risk. However, if the damage is outside of the driver’s line of sight, it may be suitable for repair.
- Type of damage: Star breaks, partial bull’s eye or bull’s eye, dings, pits and minor cracks and chips can generally be repaired. However, multiple cracks or points of damage may not be repairable and might require replacement.
When should you replace your windscreen?
While a range of minor windscreen damage can be repaired, other kinds of more serious damage will require immediate windscreen replacement. This includes edge chips and cracks, contaminated cracks, long cracks, cracks that have damaged the inner and outer layers of the glass, multiple complex cracks and cracks in the driver’s view.
There are other situations that will require immediate windscreen replacement. For example, if your windscreen has already had multiple repairs, it may have compromised the integrity of the glass. In this case, a full windscreen replacement will provide you with the longevity and extra security that you require.
In most cases, people do not give much attention to cracks on the edges, as they are further away from the driver or passenger lines of sight. However, edge crack can quickly worsen and weaken the whole windscreen structure. In the case of edge cracking, full windscreen replacement is recommended.
Driving with a chipped or cracked windscreen
In Australia, driving with a cracked windscreen can lead to a vehicle defect. Chipped or cracked windscreens can be dangerous because they can obscure the driver’s view, reflect the sun’s glare and weaken the overall integrity of the windscreen. These are some serious safety hazards that can lead to major injury and even death.
How much does car windscreen repair and replacement cost?
The cost of windscreen repairs or replacement will depend upon various factors such as the car age and model of your vehicle, the extent of the damage, the type of glass you choose for your car and if your car insurance will cover the costs.
Comprehensive car insurance will generally cover all accidental damages on all parts of your vehicle including your windscreen. Some insurance policies will even offer you one new windscreen each year. However, a base level coverage may not cover this kind of damage and you might end up paying out of your own pocket.
In some cases, paying your insurance excess may be more expensive than just paying for the repairs or replacement. So, it’s important to compare the costs to determine which is best.
How to claim windscreen repair and replacement from your insurer
If you choose to claim windscreen repair or replacement coverage, then you must first contact your insurer to report the damage.
Take pictures of the damage and note down the extent and measurements of all damage.
After you have lodged your insurance claim, your insurer will either allow you to pick your own repairer or they will appoint a certified repairer. Once the repair or replacement has been done, the insurer will either pay for it or you will have to pay and provide the insurer with an invoice so they can reimburse you.
In short, as soon as you notice a crack or chip on your windscreen, you should get it repaired or the windscreen replaced as quickly as possible.
About the Author:
About the Author: Darren Pay and Justin Oakes are the co-owners of A1 Windscreens in Melbourne. Using the latest tools and complementing it with their efficient and guarantee backed solutions, they provide window tinting, car windscreen chip or crack repair and windscreen replacement.