The smallest of chips or cracks in your windscreen can escalate into something much larger, causing a safety concern for you and your family and almost guaranteeing an MOT failure in the UK. A new windshield is not a cheap outlay for your car, much like replacing all your tires at once, it is going to hit you in the wallet badly enough to ruin a weekend. So what can be done both to prevent damage in the first place and to remedy certain types of damage to reduce the need for an expensive full replacement screen? We have chosen our top 5 tips on how to prevent windshield cracks and damage.
1.Keep your distance
This may sound obvious, but far too many drivers drive too close to the car in front. This is not only a huge safety risk, dangerous and just generally poor driving etiquette, but it also risks your paintwork and windscreen, leaving them open to damage from stones and debris. A cars tires will often flick and kick up small debris and they are heading in one direction, at your valuable car.
By simply leaving a greater distance between your car and the car in front, you immediately cut the chances of a windscreen chip or crack, this has to be the place to start for damage prevention. A notable inclusion here for preventing windscreen damage is speed. Reducing your speed will have a clear benefit when a piece of debris does unfortunately hit your car.
2.Windshield protection film
This will see you take active steps and make a significant investment into the windscreen damage prevention. Owners of high end vehicle brands, such as Audi, BMW, Aston Martin, Porsche and Range Rover are taking greater steps to protect their cars, knowing that damage is costly to repair and can significantly reduce its value in the current market. The cost of windscreen protection film is well worth it when compared to the cost of a replacement screen.
Products from the likes of Bray have been developed over many years and use technology similar to that found in the leading paint protection film products, with features like tough impact protection, scratch protection and self healing properties. Bray also make products that include removable layers, applied on top of the strongest layer that are ripped off like and F1 drivers visor strip. The advantages here are that any minor damage to the film that may affect the view can be easily removed and also restocked as the layers run out. These products can be extremely valuable and effective for taxis, chauffeurs and long distance drivers or truckers.
This will not prevent damage from occurring in the first place, but it will prevent minor damage escalating if you spot it in time to take action, either with the below advice or through professional support in repairing the windshield. Having damage that is irreparable is the point where the costs can escalate, so be sure to check your screen prior to long journeys or on your return and look for the smallest of cracks or chips. If you find any, get them sorted as soon as possible.
4.Cover the damage
Using clear tape, yes make sure it is clear tape so it doesn’t block the view from your windscreen, apply it over a small chip or crack until you can get it repaired. This is a very short term solution but it will prevent dirt, the elements and even frost from getting into the damage and making it worse. This can be extremely effective and could save you significant costs.
5.Don’t wash the car
This one is much easier to achieve. Simply don’t wash the car until you have a chance to carry out a repair. Hot and cold water, essentially temperature extremes, will have an effect of the damage as the glass expands and contracts under the fluctuations of temperature and can be the leading cause of cracks growing or chips cracking.
We never advise the use of a public car was at the best of times (always use a professional valeter, get your car detailed or carry out a safe car clean yourself) but with a damaged screen it is a definite no no. The pressure applied to the windscreen from the rollers will almost always lead to increasing the size of the damage you already have.