Guide to car windscreen maintenance 

It’s nearly December and we’ve already had our first icy morning. So with this in mind, now’s the time if you’ve got a chipped windscreen to get it repaired before the winter weather arrives. Most of us rely on our vehicles to get from A to B on a daily basis. As the festive period is looming, the chances are we will all be travelling to visit family and friends. It’s therefore important that our windscreens are protected and our visibility on the roads is the best it can possibly be. The last thing you would want is to have to pay out for a windscreen replacement because you’ve let a chip become a crack! Therefore, we have teamed up with our friends at Auto Windscreens to give you some guidance on how to protect and maintain your car windscreen. 

How can I prevent my windscreen from getting damaged?

I’m sure we’ve all been there, driving along and bang! A stone has flicked up off the road and hit your windscreen causing a chip. Frustrating, we know…so we’re here to tell you how you can prevent the chances of a chip occurring and why it’s best to get a chip repaired as soon as possible rather than leaving it!

While we know windscreen damage is often unavoidable, here are a few tips on how to protect your windscreen during the colder months:

1. Make space in your garage so you can park your vehicle in there overnight. Not only will this keep your car warm in the morning but it will protect the glass from the elements. If you don’t have a garage then why not invest in a car cover. You can purchase these from most home stores or online and are an easy way to keep your windows covered. Just remember to put it on when you get home from work!

2. Ensure you top up with good quality anti-freeze screen wash. It may cost you more than just using water but it’s important that your car windscreen stays clean and you have clear visibility on the roads. It’s all well and good purchasing the screen wash, but remember, you need to keep your screen wash topped up throughout the autumn and winter months. Why not keep a bottle in your car, just in case you run out while you’re driving. You may want to get one that is ‘ready to use’ so you won’t need to add water to it on the side of the road.

3. Avoid pouring boiling water onto your windscreen to remove ice or snow, as this may result in the glass breaking or worse, exploding. It’s definitely worth checking the weather forecast the night before and setting your alarm 10 minutes earlier if it’s likely to be freezing. This will give you that extra bit of time to de-ice your windscreen in the morning. Just ensure that your windows are completely clear before setting off as reduced visibility could cause an accident.

4. Ensure you are de-icing your car effectively to improve your visibility. Always use a good quality de-icer and ice scraper when de-icing your side windows, ensure they are free from frost at the edges so the opening mechanism isn’t damaged. Ensure that any excess ice is removed fully or has melted to prevent further freezing.

Is it illegal to drive my car with a chip or crack in my windscreen?

The Highway Code states that drivers should have a full view of the road and traffic ahead. If a chip turned into a crack in your windscreen, this would affect your visibility and would be against the law. Driving without full view of the road and traffic ahead could result in a £1,000 fine and 3 points! Therefore, even if you do just have a small chip, it’s definitely worth getting it fixed sooner rather than later.

Would a chip or crack cause my car to fail its MOT?

Your MOT is vital for assessing the health of your car and you’ll want to give yourself the best possible chance of passing. The windscreen is divided into three zones, A, B and C. Zone A, which is 290mm (29cm) wide, in the swept area of the screen and centred on the steering wheel. Damage not contained within a 10mm diameter circle will fail your MOT.

However just remember that if there is damage larger than 40mm (4cm)anywhere on your windscreen, your car would also fail its MOT and means it would have to be repaired before having a second test.

Does it cost a lot to get a chip in my windscreen repaired?

The insurance excess for repairing your windscreen is cheaper than a replacement, which might be required if a chip is left and turns into a crack. Especially in the winter months as cold temperatures cause glass to expand and contract. Here at Budget Insurance, there is no excess to pay for a windscreen repair so it’s really easy to get it fixed. However other insurance companies may vary so it may be worth checking your documents to see what your excess are. If you are insured with us and need to get your glass chip repaired, please call our windscreen repair line on 0330 018 3242. The lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

How long does it take to repair a chipped windscreen?

Windscreen repairs are often much quicker than windscreen replacements, so you’ll be back on the road in no-time. The actual appointment time only takes 45 minutes and Auto Windscreens are flexible to meet your needs. If your windscreen needs fixing while you’re at work, then Auto Windscreens will come out to you. Or if you’re at home with the children over the holidays, they can come to you! Surely it’s worth booking an appointment and getting it sorted to save you having your whole windscreen replaced if further damage occurs?  

How safe will my windscreen be after a repair?

You might think it’s better to have a windscreen replaced to make sure your car is safe, but once a chip is repaired, the glass is just as strong and secure as before!

How does it affect the environment?

While Auto Windscreens does recycle 100% of glass removed from vehicles, a repair reduces the amount of waste! It’s therefore more economically friendly to repair a chip than a crack, just think the more chips that are repaired the less window replacements are required, which reduces the need for extra glass to be produced. 

If your window does need a repair, you can book a repair appointment with Auto Windscreens, our approved supplier, by visiting the Budget Insurance website or by calling us on 0330 018 3242.

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