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Key Tips for Car Owners When Repairing and Replacing Windscreens

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In Australia, just like in many jurisdictions, it is illegal to drive a vehicle with a damaged windscreen. Depending on the magnitude of damage, a chipped or cracked windscreen can impair a driver's view. Also, damage can render a windscreen unsafe. The laws relating to replacing a damaged windscreen vary from state to state. Here is what car owners must know about repairing windscreens.

Causes of Windscreen Breakages -- Gone are the years when windscreens used to be fragile. Modern windscreens are resilient and contribute to the structural sturdiness of a vehicle. Notably, most windscreens are designed by incorporating anti-cracking technology. However, it does not mean that solid objects should impact a windscreen. A windscreen may crack or chip during vehicle collisions or accidents. Also, hard projectiles, including rocks, gravel, metal, and pebbles, that are flung by other fast-moving vehicles can damage windscreens. Besides, major weather events, such as hailstorms, may destroy a windscreen. Likewise, malicious damage can lead to cracks on a windscreen. 

Repair or Replace? -- Note that early detection of a crack makes it easier to repair a windscreen. As stated earlier, each jurisdiction has its laws relating to repairing or replacing a damaged windscreen. Some states require a windscreen to be repaired or replaced if it has cracks exceeding 150mm. Similarly, windscreens with a bullseye or star-shaped cracks exceeding 16mm in diameter on the driver's side must be repaired or replaced. 

Technologies Integrated into the Windscreen -- Modern car technologies, such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), cruise control, lane assist, and autonomous braking, rely on a windscreen to operate optimally. The technologies use cameras and sensors embedded in a windscreen to help make crucial calculations. Therefore, if your windscreen is damaged and needs repair or replacement, you must account for the cost of dealing with an ADAS windscreen. Minor repairs of hairline cracks may not affect an ADAS system. However, if the damage requires swapping a windscreen, replacement costs might escalate in the region of thousands of dollars. Also, the cost of repair and replacement may include recalibrating cameras and sensors using complex diagnostic equipment.

Insure Your Windscreen -- Most car insurance covers are insufficient to cater for windscreen breakages. In some car insurance packages, a windscreen cover is offered as an optional extra. Paying for a windscreen repair or replacement out of pocket can set you back hundreds or thousands of dollars. Therefore, you can reduce the risk by insuring your windscreen against damages. 

To learn more, contact a windscreen repair company.