If your car or van windscreen needs repairing, there is no better way to go about it than to request a quote from myWindscreen; one of the UK's leading windscreen repair networks. We have 300+ mobile technicians operating nationwide, so when you decide to go online to search for ‘windscreen repair near me’, you will find someone not too far away. A windscreen repair specialist, who is more than willing to come to you at your home, your work or your garage, or even meet with you at the side of the road. We aim to make getting a car windscreen chip repair as quick and simple as possible. As soon as you notice you have a problem with your windscreen, however small, call out the experts by requesting a no-obligation repair quote.
Repair or Replace?
This is always a major consideration when seeking help with a damaged windscreen. Our members operate a ‘repair first’ policy, where they will first of all try to repair a chipped or scratched windscreen, rather than simply replace it. This approach has several benefits to you and to the environment.
If you have windscreen cover on your car insurance, the windscreen repair cost may well be covered, and you may not even be charged an excess. Windscreen replacement costs may also be covered, but you may be charged an excess. If you add in the fact that car windscreen glass cannot currently be recycled and has to go to landfill, there is a real cost to the environment every time a windscreen is replaced.
Repair first is the responsible option, and you can rely on our experts to advise you on the best course of action for you and your vehicle. For more information, or to discuss windscreen repair costs, request a no-obligation quote online today.
What does a windscreen repair involve?
The first stage of a windscreen repair is to thoroughly clean and dry the affected glass and fill the damaged area with clear resin. The repair resin has optical properties that are almost identical to the properties of glass. The area of damage won't be completely invisible after repair, but it is usually much harder to see, and will have a smooth surface so as to avoid wearing out your wiper blades.
It is important to take action on chips as soon as they happen - even small chips can grow into cracks as the windscreen is subjected to heat, vibration, frost and moisture. In addition, if the chip fills with dirt or damp, it becomes harder to clean and dry prior to repair, and the end result may be less visually acceptable.
The structural soundness of a repaired windscreen is the same as the original undamaged windscreen, so there is a reduced risk of further damage developing in the same area.
What does it cost to repair a windscreen?
Windscreen repair costs vary widely, depending on the amount of damage and whether a replacement is required. Typically, a professional windscreen chip repair cost around £50 - £70. A replacement windscreen, however, is a different matter, as it will depend on what type of windscreen you have. Some of the latest smart windscreens, fitted with rain and light sensors for example, can run to several hundred pounds to replace.
If you have windscreen cover included on your vehicle insurance, this will usually cover the cost of repairing a chipped windscreen. Depending on the company you are insured with, you may be charged an excess, or the excess may be waived too.
Windscreen replacement costs are usually also covered on comprehensive insurance, but you are more likely to be charged an excess on the cost of replacement. This is one more reason why it is best to get chips and small areas of damage attended to as soon as they happen, to prevent a repairable chip becoming an unrepairable crack.
What can and can’t be repaired?
The rules relating to what is repairable and what is not are contained in the approved code of practice called BS AU 242a:1998. Under these rules, repairs to chips and minor damage are allowed in certain areas (zones) of the windscreen, provided they meet size requirements.
In zone A, damage up to 10mm in size is repairable. In the other zones, the maximum sizes are: B = 15mm, C = 25mm and D = 40mm.
Windscreens that are broken or cracked need to be fully replaced.
Is your windscreen MOT ready?
Before you put your car or van in for an MOT, it makes sense to check the windscreen for any visible damage. Even a small flaw (such as a chip), that sits within the eyeline of the driver, could trigger an MOT fail. If you’re not sure whether your windscreen is MOT ready, get it checked out beforehand by a myWindscreen expert. Our technicians can quickly assess your windscreen’s readiness for an MOT, and carry out any necessary repairs, or even replace your windscreen, giving you one less thing to worry about on the test.
The anatomy of a windscreen
Your windscreen may have started life in the early days of motoring as a simple pane of glass to keep the wind and rain out of the driver’s eyes, but it has come a long way since then. Modern windscreens are miracles of high tech engineering, and they contribute massively to the structural strength of your vehicle, so it makes sense to keep them in excellent condition.
In its simplest form, a windscreen is a complex sandwich of toughened glass and plastic (polymer), which is moulded under heat and pressure into a 3D shape to fit in with the flow and design of the car body. The glass and polymer sandwich is so transparent that you may not even be aware that it isn’t a simple single glass layer.
The polymer layer is there, basically, to ensure that if something strikes the windscreen, and the glass fragments, it will all hold together and you won’t be showered with shards of glass. The glass itself is formulated to break into small chunks on impact rather than sharp slivers, again for the safety of the driver and passengers.
As if this simple construction was not clever enough, modern windscreens have all kinds of additional features, which grow in complexity each year, and which make the windscreen such an integral contributor to safe motoring on our crowded roads. Here are just some of the features you may have on your own windscreen:
A top-tinted windscreen has a band of darker glass covering the top 150mm, which is there to reduce glare in your eyes when the sun is bright. This band is especially useful if the sun is low in the sky.
Some windscreens have an overall tint as well, usually to tone with the body colour, which can ensure increased privacy within the car.
By the way, if you want to determine the colour of your tint, simply hold a sheet of white paper with half behind the screen and half in the open - the tint colour should be easy to see.
In this type of screen, there is a coating between the polymer layer and the upper glass pane which reflects the sun’s UV light. If you have one of these windscreens, you may see a slight hint of pink or mauve in the glass - this colour is most obviously visible for example in Renault windscreens. The UV reflective coating reduces the amount of UV light getting into the car, reducing fading of the interior materials, and keeping the inside cooler, which makes air conditioning more efficient, and therefore increases fuel efficiency.
You may be familiar with rear screen heaters, and windscreen heaters work the same way, but the heating elements are much finer. You may be able to see the elements as incredibly fine wavy lines going from top to bottom of the windscreen.
You may also have a heated wiper park - look out for brownish lines in the lower area of the windscreen where the wipers park themselves when at rest.
Auto rain and light sensors
A rain sensor is usually found at the back of the rear-view mirror, and will sense when water hits the windscreen. This causes the vehicle to adjust the speed of the wipers to match the rainfall.
A light sensor is often combined with the rain sensor, and senses when to automatically switch on the vehicle lights, such as when entering a dark area under trees or inside a tunnel.
Motor manufacturers have been developing these displays (known as HUDs) for some time, although they are still pretty rare on our roads. The aim is to give the driver all the information they need (vehicle speed, proximity warnings etc.), on the lower part of the windscreen, without them having to hunt for the information on the dashboard.
The technology has been in use in aerospace for many years, and the rationale for putting it in cars is that the driver will be less distracted if they don’t have to look down, and can therefore concentrate on the road conditions and safe driving.
Who knows where windscreen technology will go as autonomous vehicle technology continues to develop. For the immediate future, and until a windscreen that is totally impervious to damage is invented, we will always need to be able to cope with stone chips and impact damage. Be assured that myWindscreen technicians are always on hand to offer help, expert advice and affordable windscreen repair services, wherever in the UK you are located, so ask for a free no-obligation quotation today.