Do I Really Need to Replace that Cracked Windscreen?
Cracked or chipped windscreens are one of those things that drivers have to face. There are lots of ways that a windscreen can be damaged and there are also different approaches to handling the damage. The good news is that you don’t always need to replace the cracked windscreen – sometimes repair is the solution.
Can a windscreen be repaired?
The first question people ask when they come into our Wolverhampton garage with a crack or chip in their windscreen is whether it can be repaired. The answer to that isn’t just a yes or no because there are a few factors we have to consider to make that assessment.
The size of the crack or chip is a big factor. Repair technology has come a long way in recent years but there is still a point when a chip is simply too big to be repaired. Cracks as long as three inches can be repaired in some cases.
The depth is the other factor – how deep into the windscreen does the damage go? It is worth remembering that a windscreen is more like a sandwich of layers than anything with an outer and inner layer of glass and a plastic interlayer in the middle. If the damage is too deep, then it can be impossible to repair.
The third factor is the location. If the crack is in the line of sight for the driver, usually defined as 29cm with the steering wheel as the centre, then the crack or chip is obscuring vision and needs to be replaced.
Do you need a repair?
When the chip or crack is in a less vital part of the windscreen, there’s a temptationto leave it alone and not worry about it. But this isn’t the best approach because any damage can weaken the windscreen. And what we often don’t realise is that the windscreen is around one-third of the car’s structural strength. If it isn’t as strong as it should be, your car can’t protect you as it should.
The other reason to get something done about any damage is to do with the Highway Code. Under The Highway Code, you have to make sure your car is in good condition when on the road and there is a case that a chipped or cracked windscreen fails this. And if you are involved in an accident where the damage could have contributed, you could face a much more serious situation with the police.
Windscreen damage and the MOT
The other reason to chat with a windscreen expert about the damage is if your MOT is coming around. Under the MOT rules, a car will fail if there’s damage in that’s drivers’ viewing area mentioned above. Additionally, if there’s a crack of more than 40mm long elsewhere on the windscreen, you can also get a fail.
Chips and cracks don’t always mean a replacement windscreen because repair services are so good. But it is important that you get someone to look at the damage as quickly as possible to protect yourself and anyone in the car.
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"Thanks to all the lads at Budget. Fantastic, quick service and reasonable price for replacement windscreen. I have no reservations in using them again."