A cracked windscreen can happen to the best of us. You could be as good of a driver as F1 racer, Daniel Ricarrdio and still fall victim to a random pebble being flung from beneath the vehicle in front of you.
But alas, there is now a small crack on your windscreen. What to do from here? You could choose to ignore the issue, after all it’s so small you can barely see it, but you’ll soon find out just how bad things will get, and at an alarming rate.
When it comes to preventing windscreen cracks from spreading, you need to act fast. Going over even the smallest of bumps can cause the crack to spread like wildfire.
So how do you prevent a windscreen crack from spreading?
3 Methods to slow the spread of a windscreen crack
Below are three temporary fixes car owners can use to try and stop or slow the spread of a windscreen crack. These are not permanent fixes and will eventually require professional assistance in getting the windscreen either repaired or replaced.
1. Use a windscreen repair kit
Windscreen repair kits such as a Ufixit Windscreen repair kit, can be purchased at any local Supercheap Auto, Repco or Autobahn for around $35 to $42. These DIY repair kits are very simple to use and usually get the job done within 20 minutes or so. There are detailed instructions provided inside the kit and works best on small round chips no larger than 30mm or cracks no longer than 100mm.
It’s important to keep in mind that windscreen repair kits only provide a temporary fix. If you start to notice the crack or chip spreading even after applying the repair, it’s time to contact a professional.
2. Use superglue or clear nail polish (1 day fix)
Before attempting to fill the crack, clean off any dirt residue or glass around the impact area using auto glass cleaner and paper towels. Next, apply clear nail polish or superglue to the chip and allow it to dry, before placing a clear piece of packaging tape over the area to help keep the dirt out.
Once again, we have to reiterate that this is only a temporary fix until it is professionally repaired and should not be used as a permanent solution.
3. Avoid extreme temperature changes
If possible, avoid parking your car under direct sunlight or exposed to the cold. Glass expands and contracts when it gets hot and cold, which may cause the crack to spread. Park your vehicle in your garage when possible and avoid using the window defroster until the crack has been repaired.
Is it illegal to drive with a cracked windscreen in Australia?
The short answer is no, however, this will all depend on certain factors, including the location of the damage, the size of the chip or crack, and it’s severity.
In WA, it’s illegal to drive with a chipped windscreen if the location of the crack or chip impairs the driver’s ability to see the road, or if it compromises the safety of your vehicle and reduces overall structural integrity.
Based on the extent of the damage, a windscreen will not pass a safety check inspection if it has two or more of the following defects on the drivers half of the windscreen:
- A hairline crack up to 30mm
- A crack from the edge up to 75mm
- A bullseye crack up to 16mm
Is it dangerous to drive with a cracked windscreen?
Choosing to ignore the crack on your windscreen is entirely up to you and if you’re not breaking any of the laws mentioned above then you’re completely in your own right to do so.
But just how dangerous can a non-life threatening crack be if you have chosen to ignore it?
The evolution of the windscreen has come a long way, from what was once offered as an extra in the 1900s, has now become an essential part of the automotive industry.
Windscreens are designed to protect us from random projectiles and the outside elements, but to also keep us safe in the event of a collision.
Driving with a cracked windscreen reduces its ability to keep you safe but also weakens the overall structural integrity of the car.
A chipped or cracked windscreen has more chances of shattering upon impact and is less likely to protect you from objects or major accidents.
To make matters worse, the longer you leave the chip or crack the more chances of the damage spreading to other parts of your windscreen.
Going over the slightest of bumps, speed hump at your local supermarket or even reversing out of your driveway, can cause the cracks to spread beyond the point of repair.
Stress-less with Dean’s Auto Glass Perth
Prolonging the repair process of a cracked or chipped windscreen not only puts the driver and passengers at risk, but also for other motorists on the road. It can also lead to further damage being caused, resulting in a more expensive fix.
Costs may differ depending on the extent of the damage, so it is always a good idea to get a professional opinion. Tackling your windscreen problem as early as possible ensures that you not only reduce all safety risks, but also the cost that comes out of your pocket.