The windscreen on your car is far more important than you may give it credit for. As well as keeping you warm, by keeping the wind and rain out as you drive, it can also help to make sure that you have a good, clear view of the road – provided that you keep your windscreen clean and clear. A bonded windscreen is an integral part of a vehicle’s body shell, and contributes towards overall strength and stiffness. Autoglass say that “your windscreen provides up to 30% of the vehicle’s structural strength, and the passenger airbag relies on the windscreen to provide support if the airbag deploys.”
This is why it’s so important to make sure that any chips or cracks in your windscreen are repaired quickly and effectively, to minimise any ongoing damage.
Chips and cracks
Chips and cracks on a windscreen can be a big problem. Depending on where they are located, they can affect your view of the road in front of you, as well as potentially distracting you from road ahead.
Any scratches or chips on the surface of your windscreen can make glare and dazzle from the sun worse, which can impact your view of the road. Having new, clean windscreen wiper blades is another way to help make sure that your screen is clean and clear, and reduce the dazzling effect of the sun’s rays.
Autoglass say that a car windscreen chip can turn into a crack at any time, and if this happens when you are driving it could have a serious effect on your safety. According to The AA, if ignored, small chips can grow and become irreparable. “Secondary cracks can form under the combined effect of heat, moisture, frost, dirt and vibration. Any dirt or moisture entering the chip will make it more difficult to produce a visually acceptable repair so it’s important to act quickly,” they advise.
Be aware of MOTs
Not only can chipped or cracked windscreens be a concern for the safety of you and your passengers, but they could also cause you problems when it comes to your MOT. The AA say that some windscreen damage will result in an MOT failure if not attended to, depending on where it is located.
When it comes to an MOT, the screen is divided into two areas. These are the ‘A-zone’, described by The AA as “a 290mm wide band centered on the steering column and bounded top and bottom by the wiper swept area”, and elsewhere on the windscreen. In the A-zone, chips, cracks or damage larger than 10mm across will normally result in your car failing its MOT. On the rest of the windscreen, your car will typically fail its MOT if there is any damage larger than 40mm across.
According to Autoglass, repairing a chip when you first notice it is a much better idea than letting the damage get worse. Repairing a windscreen chip can take less than 30 minutes when done by a reputable professional, and costs far less than replacing a whole windscreen – which may be necessary if you ignore the damage for too long.
When it comes to repairs, the route you’ll have to take depends on the size and location of the damage. Damage in the A-zone, right in front of the driver, can only be repaired if it is less than 10mm in size. For the rest of the windscreen, damage of up to 40mm across can be repaired usually.
The AA say that repairing cracks and chips in a windscreen typically involves cleaning and drying the damaged area, before filling it with a clear resin with similar optical properties to glass. Find out more about windscreen repairs in this handy beginner’s guide from our sister brand insurethebox.
Cover from drive like a girl
If you use our approved glass repairer to make a claim for loss or damage to the glass in your car’s windscreen, or the sunroof or windows, we will cover the cost of repairing or replacing it. Claims under this section of the policy will not affect your No Claim Discount. For more detailed information on our cover for windscreen damage, or information on what is not covered, take a look through your policy document, or get in touch with us if you have any questions.