Avoiding Windscreen Hazards
It is amazing to see how many car owners underestimate the importance of a tidy windscreen.
Apart from being a stylish feature of a car, the main purpose of a windscreen is to protect the driver and other passengers from the incoming air current as well as from other dust and debris.
Maintaining a proper visibility when driving is directly related to the state of a car’s windscreen.
The cleaner the windscreen the better the driver can see ahead.
Maintaining a clean windscreen
As you drive, dust particles and tiny debris accumulate over the windshield, lowering visibility over time.
However, the process is so slow that you only see the accumulation after it has laid out a considerable layer.
In order to clean your vehicle’s windscreen, use a small amount of non-abrasive window cleaner to wash the glass and also the rubber band on the windscreen wipers.
Check your wipers every time you fuel and replace them every 6 months – this way you will avoid dust deposits and reduce the risk of cracks.
Also, always use a racket to remove ice and snow from your vehicle’s windscreen; de-icing by wipers will damage the rubber blade and may cause damage to the motor acting on the wipers.
Treating windscreen damage
No matter how well you take care of your vehicle, chips and cracks may appear from reasons out of your control.
Small rocks may fly directly onto your windscreen causing a small chip; don’t worry, though, as most small sized chips can be fixed using a dedicated kit.
Follow the instructions on the kit packaging.
Most of the time, you need to clean the chipped area with a razor blade to remove any loose glass pieces, position the suction cup tool directly over the chip, then insert the threaded repair tube.
Next, pour 2 to 4 drops of raisin through the tube then screw the center plunger as soon as possible.
We spoke to Koala Glass in Newcastle about the approach we should take when considering a DIY job.
They said: “Tighten as much as possible without using tools then loosen a bit to allow air bubbles to escape then tighten back up. Allow the resin 2 minutes to penetrate the glass then remove the suction cup tool completely. If you don’t, you are going to find the job doesn’t last.”
Add a piece of finishing film and press it against the still-moist resin. Ten minutes later, you can remove the film and the operation is done.
We managed to pick up a Permatex Kit from SuperCheap Auto, but for other small cracks and fissures can be fixed, but only in specialized repair shops, as the equipment required stretches to more than just a DIY kit.
No damage is too small to be kept un-repaired. Untreated windscreen damage can extend and cause the glass to break, putting your safety at risk.
Another type of common windscreen damage is the gasket leak. Usually happening in older vehicles, the gasket going around the windscreen fails to stop water from leaking inside the vehicle due to extensive wear or mechanical damage.
The cheap way to fix the issue is to use a transparent flow-able silicone sealant. This will work as long as the leaks aren’t extensive; otherwise, the gasket will need to be replaced in a specialized service unit.
There are a number of situations when windscreen repair is not possible. Such situations include:
- Multiple complex cracks
- Damage within the driver’s critical view area
- Damage on the edge of the windscreen
- Cracks near the rain sensor
- Damage over the antenna
- Cracks protruding both layers of glass
- Large cracks covering more than 10% of the windscreen
If any of the cases above apply to your vehicle’s windshield, then a replacement is in order.
Although there may be various DIY guides on how to replace the windscreen by yourself, it is highly recommended to choose a professional windshield replacement service to ensure proper mounting and sealing over the chassis of the car.