Updated: Mar 1, 2019
Obviously, your car would be no good to you if you couldn’t see out the front. That’s the purpose of your glass windscreen – protection from the elements while enabling you to see the road ahead.
Your car’s windscreen may never crack during its lifetime, but that’s not a promise.
All it takes is a stone kicked up by a vehicle ahead to create a crack. Under normal use, pitting and even chips can be created in the windscreen surface.
Through temperature changes or vehicle flexing, they can develop into a crack which requires replacement. Your car insurance may cover windscreen replacement costs with a deductible.
If you don’t have windscreen replacement insurance, the cost can vary widely, depending on your make and model.
In some cases, you can expect $250 while in other situations, windscreen replacement is over $1000.
WHAT IS A WINDSCREEN?
You might think the windscreen is simply a curved sheet of glass; a window in front of you. It’s much more than that.
The windscreen is a key component for structural integrity, supporting your car’s roof and adding rigidity in case your car rolls over.
The windscreen is made of two sheets of glass with a clear plastic layer between them. These layers are fused together in a process known as lamination, which adds strength to the glass layers.
If you’ve seen a smashed windscreen, the laminating process is what keeps the glass pieces all together and not harmful projectiles into the driver and passengers.
A windscreen should not have any damage obstructing the view.
Chips in the driver’s sight line or cracks in the driver’s view can distort or block the view of the road, plus it compromises the windscreen’s integrity, and the windscreen needs to be replaced.
SIGNS YOUR WINDSCREEN NEEDS TO BE REPLACED
- One or more cracks 30mm long on the driver’s side of the windscreen
- A crack on the driver’s side longer than 75mm, extending to the edge of the windscreen
- A bruise or star more than 16mm in diameter
- Any other damage that impedes the driver’s vision
HOW IS WINDSCREEN REPLACEMENT PERFORMED?
- A glass technician removes the trim around the inside and outside perimeter of the windscreen, as well as the rear view mirror
- The sealant on the perimeter of the windscreen is cut using a wire saw
- The technician along with an assistant lift the damaged windscreen out using industrial-strength suction cups with handles
- The old sealant is cleaned and a new bead of sealant is applied to the mounting surface
- A new windscreen is lowered into place and seated into the sealant
- The trim is refitted to the exterior and interior
- The windscreen is secured with adhesive tape temporarily while the sealant cures
TIPS TO REMEMBER
- Because the windscreen is important for structural integrity, you should address a broken windscreen as soon as damage occurs
- Always have an approved glass installer perform your windscreen replacement to avoid water leaks, wind noise, and the potential for the glass to jar loose.
HOW IMPORTANT IS REPLACING YOUR WINDSCREEN?
It’s not all about a clear sight line, although that’s important as well. A cracked windscreen can reduce your car’s safety in the event of a collision or rollover.
Driving with a damaged windscreen might not seem like a big deal, but it can be dangerous in an emergency situation.
If you’ve read this far, you obviously care about your car. A lot. So next time you need a service, repair or inspection, visit Airlie Auto.