Windscreen repair vs replacement

At one time or another in your driving life you will find a small chip somewhere on your windscreen. It’s nothing big, barely noticeable, and out of your immediate field of vision. So it’s no big deal, really. It doesn’t affect your ability to see the road or to drive safely. Or does it?

Debris from road surfaces, such as gravel, small stones, or other rubbish that may be lying on the road, can get kicked up and propelled onto your windscreen. The velocity of that projectile could cause some damage to your windscreen, either in the form of a small chip or a crack. But when is it ok to repair it and when do you need a full windscreen replacement? Read on to find out all you need to know…

Windscreens and your MOT

Did you know that a cracked windscreen could lead to your vehicle failing its MOT? The way that pass or failure is determined is by identifying exactly where the crack or chip is on your windscreen and how big it is. For MOT purposes, the windscreen is broken down into four zones – A to D.

  • Zone A is directly in front of the driver and in line with the steering column, with a width of 290mm. Any damage greater than 10mm is unacceptable in this location.
  • Zone B is the rest of the area that is covered by the driver’s windscreen wiper. Here, the damage can extend to 15mm before you fail your MOT.
  • Zone C is the area covered by the windscreen wiper on the passenger side. The damage here can be up to 25mm in size.
  • Zone D covers the rest of the windscreen. Any damage can be as wide or as long as 40mm.

Whatever the size of the chip or crack when it starts its life, know that it will inevitably grow. Over time, dust and moisture will get into the chip. Coupled with movement and changes in temperature, even the smallest chip could eventually turn into a windscreen-wide crack.

Repairing a windscreen

If the chip is small enough it is usually easy to get it repaired. This is done by injecting a special resin into the chip and bonding it to the rest of the glass using heat to cure it. It’s an easy job and can typically be done within half an hour or so. It’s also very effective, and in most cases you won’t remember where the chip was.

The resin technology is also pretty advanced which means that the repair should last for the lifetime of your vehicle. If your vehicle has a heated windscreen or other sensors embedded within it, be sure to let the repairer know as they will to use special resins and/or recalibrate your windscreen when they have finished.

Many insurers will cover repairs for free but check with them first before going ahead and booking in a repair.

Replacing a windscreen

If the damage is more extensive, then it may be wiser – and cheaper – to have the windscreen replaced. Again, this is covered by most insurance policies, but you will need to pay the excess for a replacement.

If you are unsure of whether to repair or replace, or it’s time for your MOT or annual service, get in touch with our mechanics at Double Dee Autos who can advise and help on the best course of action. All you need to do is give us a call on 020 8460 3040 and we’ll take it from there.