When Does a Cracked Windscreen Need to Be Replaced?
A chip or a crack in your windscreen needn’t be the herald of an expensive windscreen replacement. Depending on your car model and its features, you could expect to pay anything between $200 and $2000 to replace a windscreen. The best thing to do when you have a chip or a crack in your windscreen is to try and have it repaired as soon as possible, so that you don’t have to shell out cash unnecessarily.
Naturally, one wants to know in advance when a cracked windscreen needs to be replaced. One wouldn’t want to hope for a fast and affordable repair only to find out that a complete replacement is necessary; that’s why we want to talk about when a cracked or chipped windscreen needs to be replaced – for your peace of mind.
What Type of Chip or Crack Does Your Windscreen Have?
It’s good to get familiar with the distinct types of chips and cracks which may occur. This is the first step to an assessment of the damage.
Types of windscreen chips and cracks:
Horseshoe or halfmoon chip – this type of chip is not entirely circular; instead, it presents as a semicircle.
Pit or divot– this type of damage is deep, and there will be a piece of the glass missing from the impact.
Bullseye – as with a pit, this type of chip will have a piece of glass missing from the impact. It is circular in shape with rings around it.
Star – this chip is small with fine cracks extending outwards from the centre in the shape of a star.
Stress cracks – these are usually caused by extreme temperature changes and form in a straight or slightly bent line without any sign of impact.
Edge crack –often caused by excessive heat, these cracks start within 2.5cm of the edge of the windscreen or reach the edge of the windscreen. These cracks tend to grow quickly.
Floater crack – this type of crack starts in the middle of the windscreen, more than 5cm away from the edge. They appear in a variety of shapes and can be dangerous.
Assessing the Damage to Your Windscreen
The primary factors which decide whether your windscreen can be repaired or not are the size, depth, and location of the damage. Chips and cracks obstructing the driver’s view, are too large, ot too deep are unlikely to be repaired successfully.
Your windscreen can probably be repaired if:
- Your critical vision area is not obstructed – this area is directly in front of the steering wheel.
- The chip or crack is smaller than 7cm
- The damage has not penetrated the second layer of glass in your windscreen
- The damage is not on the edge or close to the edge of your windscreen
Your best bet to avoid a complete windscreen replacement is to get the damage assessed immediately. If you leave a chip or crack in your windscreen for too long, it will spread, become a hazard, and become irreparable. Make an appointment with a professional windscreen repair shop such as Instant Windscreens today and get that crack fixed!