A cracked windscreen dramatically increases the chances of drivers getting into an accident. When you notice a crack, it is best to slow down and park the vehicle to assess the damage. It is easy to determine whether it is best to call an expert and have the vehicle towed for car repair, or whether the vehicle can still run even with a cracked windscreen.
A great simple test is to do the $1 dollar test. If the crack is bigger than a 1 dollar coin, then you should immediately get assistance. This is an indication that your windshield will need to be replaced. Furthermore, if the crack is located at the center of the driver’s windscreen vision, then you should not drive your car until you have a professional repair the crack. If the crack is smaller than a $1 coin and not obscuring the driver’s direct vision, then your windshield may not need to be replaced entirely and you may be able to use a windscreen chip repair kit . We always recommend consulting a professional before carrying out any DIY repairs yourself.
Your first point of call should be to your local insurance provider such as NRMA. If windscreen cracks are not covered under your policy then you can seek alternative replacement and repair options such as a local and mobile windscreen replacement professional. Please note, here at Peninsula Auto Clinic, we do not offer windscreen replacement services, however our Northern Beaches Mechanics can recommend some fantastic local repairers who will not charge you a ridiculous markup!
The Function of a Windscreen
The car windscreen plays an important part in any vehicle. This glass in front of the car gives the driver and passengers a clear view of the road ahead. Most windscreens are made of laminated safety glass bonded by a urethane sealant.
The windscreen is in charge of the following:
- Clear vision – As previously mentioned, this glass allows the driver to have a full view of the roads. An unobstructed view helps the driver keep the car, himself and his passengers from road accidents.
- Protective shield – It also acts as a shield. This protection is not only for the driver and his passengers but also blocks external factors like stones, bugs, dirt and other debris from entering the vehicle.
- Proper deployment of airbags – The piece of equipment also inflates airbags when they are most needed. The windscreen acts as the backstop for airbags when they safeguard the driver and his passengers. It is also responsible for absorbing the impact on airbags.
- Safety – Aside from protecting the passengers, the windscreen also provides 40% structural strength to the car roof. When a vehicle rolls over, it acts as a supportive beam and prevents the car roof from caving in and collapsing on the passengers.
Common Causes of a Cracked Windscreen
Cracked windscreens always happen at the most unexpected times. It could break while driving or while preparing for an early commute to work. Regular car inspection helps in preventing this kind of issue as some cracks are so minor, you won’t even notice them!. However, there are still unavoidable accidents that could break the windscreen. These common factors are responsible for a broken windscreen:
- Stones and other road debris – Stones, gravel and pebbles commonly cause cracked windscreens. This scenario usually happens on roads where a significant amount of debris is present. This debris could get caught in the tyres and reach the windscreen when the vehicle accelerates.
- Extreme temperatures changes – With extreme temperatures felt across the country, it is not surprising to find a windscreen broken.
- Bad weather – Aside from instant rising and falling temperatures, most of Australia is also experiencing record amounts of rainfall. With strong winds and hail damage, it could easily send rocks and other debris crashing into the windscreen.
- Incorrect installation – Poor workmanship is a sure formula to getting the car in danger. A poorly installed windscreen has the possibility of being dislodged when driving and causing accidents. Poor installation can also impact airbags’ function when getting in a collision.
- Low-quality glass – Going for significant car savings does not always ensure the safety of the vehicle and its passengers. Poor quality glass is most likely to break even when the smallest rock touches it. Our Mona Vale mechanics recommend always investing in every car component to avoid accidents.
What to Do When There’s a Cracked Windscreen?
We recommend the following steps when your windscreen cracks:
- If you are driving, Safely Pull over
- Inspect the damage – Windscreens are designed to be tough. However, there are cases where an object can cause cracks or chips. It is always recommended to stop the car when one notices a cracked windscreen.
- Determine if the vehicle is still driveable – Once the car is parked, our mechanics advise checking if the crack or chipping can cause further accidents when the car moves. Significant damage to the windscreen can affect the driver’s line of vision, aside from increasing the possibility of it breaking into pieces while on the road. Please refer to the $1 test mentioned previously
- Prevent further damage – A crack or chip in the windscreen can cause irreparable damage and costly car repair in the future. We recommend securing a car repair immediately. However, for those who are waiting for an available replacement part, it is best to stay out of extreme temperatures to put less stress on the already damaged windscreen.
- Call your insurance provider – Insurance coverage may or may not cover the repair of a cracked windscreen. While many car insurances include glass repair or replacement, it is always recommended to double-check with the insurance provider.
Repair or replace the windscreen – Settling for a windscreen replaced who has spent years dealing with windscreen repair or replacement is the best decision a car owner can make when dealing with a cracked windscreen. While there are ways to DIY a small crack, it is always recommended to have a professional look over and further assess the damage. They also have the basic skills to call whether or not the damaged windscreen needs a replacement or whether it can be repaired. A recommended local windscreen repair shop or the NRMA can help deal with the needed repair and will assess whether to replace a cracked windscreen, windscreen replacement happens when in cases where the length of the windscreen is affected. Our professional advice, is that if your insurance does not cover the crack. You will be better of seeking a local business who specialise in chips and replacements. Generally speaking, larger auto glass repair shops have higher fees and markups for the exact same components!
Experience the Best Northern Beaches Mechanic Now!
While we do not offer cracked windscreen replacement, our Northern Beaches mechanics are experts in a lot of car service and repairs. Our team has long been offering to help car owners on this side of Sydney with their car concerns. Each member of our team has completed the NSW Fair Trading-required courses, Certificate II in Automotive Servicing Technology and Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology. For over 25 years, we have been offering a variety of car inspections, including brake service, 4WD service and automatic transmission service, among other vehicle inspections and repairs. Contact Peninsula Auto Clinic now if your car is due for a vehicle inspection or needs a car repair today!