That one small crack on the windscreen is more than just a trigger for our OCD; it is a serious safety concern. This type of damage can happen due to many reasons, and the most common one is a pebble or some other road debris hitting your windshield. However, extreme weather conditions such as high temperature can also make your windscreen crack. Here is a short guide suggesting what (not) to do when it happens, and how to know if your auto glass can be fixed, or it needs a replacement.
How to Tell if Your Windscreen Needs Replacing
Factors most professionals take into account when deciding whether to repair or replace a windscreen are location and size of the crack.
When the damage is located in the wipers area and if the crack goes deeper than one layer of glass, it impairs driver’s vision. If we observe the size of the chip or a crack, any damage bigger than seven centimeters requires a replacement of the entire windscreen. The most important thing is not to ignore even the small damage because it can spread, and instead of simple repair you could’ve ended up with, soon enough you’ll need a windscreen replacement! The spread will most likely occur if the crack is at the edge of the windscreen.
Do’s And Don’ts When Your Windscreen is Cracked
If your windscreen is slightly cracked or chipped, here is a list of things you should and should not do to minimize the damage. In the meantime, the following are in-general suggestions from professionals:
- Put a see-through tape over the crack to avoid debris ending up in the car
- Call a professional repair service if the crack is on your side of the windscreen
- Measure the crack to determine if the glass needs to be replaced
- Be careful while washing your car
- If the damage impairs your vision, do not drive to the workshop even if it is close!
- Do not park in direct sunlight. It can cause even more significant damage
- Do not drive on a bumpy road
- This is not a DIY project!
- Do not use defrosters
Driving with a cracked windscreen puts yours and your passengers’ safety in danger. There are several scenarios that could happen:
- Small fragments of glass can end up in the car and hurt you or your passengers
- Even a slightly damaged windscreen fails to do its task properly – to protect you by providing support for the roof and enabling airbag mechanism to work
- Ignored windscreen crack can reflect light which can impair your vision while driving
What to do if Your Windscreen is Completely Smashed
If you had a minor accident or a rock hit your windscreen, it might have gotten completely smashed. If that is the case, it is essential for you and other passengers to remain calm. Slowly pull over and call professional help. This is something that is beyond your set of skills because the entire windscreen probably needs replacing, and you cannot continue your trip under these circumstances. While waiting for the help, make sure to follow all security protocols. Once the help arrives, they will let you know when the damage will be repaired and you will be able to proceed with your road trip. Do not try to drive to the nearest repair workshop. Make peace with the fact that your car needs to be towed.
Cracked or chunked windscreen is a severe safety hazard that should not be ignored under any circumstances. Glass fragments, may injure you or other people in the car. Also, even a small crack can impair your vision due to light reflection. A crack tends to spread and pretty soon instead of simple repair, your windscreen will need replacing. Keep in mind that a replaced windshield doesn’t leak. Quite the contrary, it can work even better than the original because it is new and installed by professionals. However, make sure to contact a trustworthy professional service that will give you the best possible advice and assistance.