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What to do if you have a chipped Windscreen?

Date: Mon 29th January 2018   |   Author: L Blake

Are you driving with a chipped windscreen? Driving with a chipped or cracked windscreen is dangerous. Chips not only obstruct your view, but can also worsen and turn into irreparable cracks. For more information on driving with a chipped windscreen and the causes of a chipped windscreen, visit AutoProtect. 

The dangers of driving with a chipped windscreen

Have you recently noticed your vehicle has a chipped windscreen? Driving with a chipped windscreen or, worse yet, driving with a cracked windscreen can be very dangerous as any damage to the windscreen, even minor, can easily obscure your view.

How do windscreen chips happen?

Your windscreen not only keeps you warm and protected whilst driving, but the windscreen

most importantly provides you with a clear view of the road. Small windscreen chips can happen easily and can grow to become irreparable, which can make driving dangerous. Not repairing small chips can also lead to secondary cracks from a combination of heat, moisture, frost and vibrations. Therefore to prevent yourself from potentially driving with a cracked windscreen, as soon as you notice a chip or crack you should aim to get it repaired.

In extreme cold temperatures

In cold temperatures, the windscreen can expand and contract continuously, causing small cracks to appear on the glass. Moisture from inside the car can then cause these cracks to expand at a faster rate. Therefore you should be careful when defrosting your car during winter and look out for small chips in the windscreen.

Direct sunlight

Although extreme temperatures aren’t very common in the UK, direct sunlight is still the number one cause of a crack in the windscreen. In summer, avoid getting a chipped windscreen by parking your vehicle in the shade or by placing a sun shade inside your car to block direct sunlight.

Stones and debris

Another common cause of chipping the windscreen is from stones and debris from the road coming into contact with the windscreen. This mostly happens when roads are under construction, leaving loose stones remaining on the motorway. These loose stones can then bounce off passing cars and come into contact with your vehicle's windscreen.

You can reduce the risk of a chipped windscreen by reducing your speed on roads which have visible debris on them or are under construction. Other risk factors include cars that are overtaking you. You can reduce this risk by slowing down when a vehicle is attempting to overtake you.

 

Extreme weather

Extreme weather is another common cause of chipped windscreens. In icy weather, many of the roads are gritted. Grit often contains stones so keep a good distance away from the car in front to avoid them throwing debris up at your windscreen. Frost can also make the windscreen glass contract, before expanding when heated. This change can result in chips turning into cracks or cracks getting worse.

Structural weakness

Although windscreens are installed using a strong adhesive glue, structural pressure can still cause the glass to crack. This is because the edges of the windscreens are always the weakest and therefore are more prone to breakage. Structural pressure is dependent on the quality of glass used, as well as the manufacturing process. Often damage due to structural weakness is unavoidable.

Direct impact 

Another cause of a cracked or chipped windscreen is from direct impact. Often accidents are avoidable and can happen at any time. Depending on how severe the accident was, it’s likely your windscreen may be shattered or cracked. You should avoid driving with a cracked windscreen, so as soon as you’re involved in an impact, it is advisable to take your car to a specialist to have it repaired.

How to repair a chipped windscreen

Repairing a chip in your vehicle's windscreen typically involves cleaning and drying the damaged area and then filling the chip with a clear resin. It is important to make sure this resin has the same optical properties as the rest of your vehicle's windscreen. Although repair kits are available, it is recommended that you take your vehicle to a specialist. This way, you can be assured the job has been done effectively to minimise any future damage.  

We hope you found this article on the causes of a chipped windscreen and why you should avoid driving with a chipped windscreen informative. There’re plenty more helpful guides available on AutoProtect to help you understand how to properly take care of your vehicle.