Let’s be honest, we all consider adding little or big accessories to our car at some point or the other. While some are categorized as comfort enhancers, others are there to make it appear more attractive or distinct. But windscreen cracks definitely aren’t what anyone enjoys seeing on their car. Having said that, there are worse things to happen to your car.
Apart from the fact that they destroy the flawless appearance of the vehicle, it also makes the vehicle dangerous to travel in. The windscreen plays a pivotal role in providing support to the structure of the vehicle. It also keeps the travellers safe within the vehicle from flying debris and also shields you from sun, rain, hailstones, etc. With this fact in place, a chip or crack is bad news in every sense of the word.
How dangerous is it to drive around with a cracked windscreen?
Experts and traffic officials cannot stress enough on the importance of having a cracked windscreen seen to immediately by a professional. The crack can interfere with the driver’s vision as well as give way in the middle of driving, resulting in a life-threatening accident for passengers as well as those on the road. The windscreen protects the passengers in the event of a collision, and hence, when damaged, your safety is compromised upon.
What to do if you spot a windscreen crack?
It is recommended that you have a trusted professional inspect the glass and advise you on whether it requires repair or complete replacement. However, if you cannot get it seen to immediately, here are some hacks that could serve as a temporary solution.
- A glass repair kit: Easily available at a shop that sells tools for car repair and materials. This kit will help you until the time when you can have a professional repair the chip or crack.
- Avoid parking your vehicle in direct sunlight: Heat and cold influence the expansion and contraction of the windscreen’s glass so direct exposure to these temperature fluctuations can cause the chip or crack to get bigger, causing more damage even resulting in the need for complete replacement, which probably wasn’t the case earlier. Parking in the shade can protect the windscreen from getting pressurized with the temperature and can also prevent your vehicle from heating up and protect the interior from any damage caused by the harsh UV rays.
- Consult with an expert: If you absolutely cannot visit a professional car service in Melbourne, Australia quickly, at least speak to someone who has credible knowledge of cars and windscreen glass. They can at least take a look or maybe even identify the type and severity of the damage.
- Try preventing the crack from getting bigger: Experts recommend you avoid driving the car especially if the chip or crack is in line with the driver’s vision. Only if absolutely necessary should you drive with a damaged windscreen. Do not use the car for long drives and avoid driving on damaged roads or those which are under construction. Vibrations can cause the damage to get bigger due to rattling, which is why you are better off not using the vehicle.
- Understand the extent, type, and size of the crack: Take a good look at the damaged area to understand the type it is. You could even measure the length and width of the crack so you are able to explain it clearly to any expert you speak to.
- Try using nail polish to fill the crack: Yes, nail polish does serve more than cosmetic purposes. However, bear in mind that this hack should only be used during desperate times. Apply nail polish on the cracked area so that it’ll act as a seal over the affected area.
- Get professional help ASAP: As mentioned at the start, the importance of getting a trusted professional service to tend to the windscreen cannot be stressed on enough. Do not delay this as you are compromising the safety of your loved ones, yourself, and other travellers on the road.
In conclusion, while these hacks do provide temporary relief, they should not be depended on as a permanent solution.
Additionally, the professional you seek help from also plays a huge role in making the experience an effortless one. A credible, reputable, and knowledgeable professional will advise you correctly on whether it needs to be repaired or replaced. They can even help give you a cost-effective solution, so remember to research well and choose wisely.
Darren Pay and Justin Oakes are the co-owners of A1 windscreens, a premier service for car side window replacement and car windscreen replacement in Melbourne Australia.