There are many things that can go wrong when you own a car. Spotting a crack in your windshield is far from the worst. However, if you don’t take care of it, you may be in for trouble down the line. The last thing you want is for the final straw that causes your windshield to shatter to come while driving.
The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to prevent a crisis. Here is what you need to do.
Call your insurance
Most car insurance policies don’t cover windshields, unless they are broken in a collision or an “act of God.” A stone flying off the road and hitting your windscreen does not count. However, you should phone them to ask whether a specific scenario is covered. Some companies will go further on what repairing is covered with their policies than others, so if you have comprehensive car insurance, ask them.
A crack can refer to anything from a tiny bullseye to a multi-branched crack across the whole windshield. Depending on the type of crack, you may be able to repair it. Repairing a crack is relatively cheap, while replacing the windshield can cost hundreds of dollars – and even upwards of $1,000 depending on the car!
Speak to your local mechanic or windshield expert about the crack in your windscreen. They will help you determine whether it can be repaired or not. If it is just a small chip, it will probably be fine. However, if it is a deep crack you may well have to replace the windshield, especially if the crack is in the driver’s line of sight.
Apply a quick fix
In an ideal world, you would take your car straight to an expert to repair your cracked windscreen. Unfortunately, when it comes to car repairs, the best times to take your car in are usually when you need it most. But, if you can’t have it repaired immediately, that doesn’t mean you should leave it alone.
Rather, you can apply a quick fix. There are windscreen repair kits, but don’t use one unless you are confident in what you are doing. A simple alternative is to clean the windshield and apply superglue to the crack. Let it dry and place clear tape above it. This will prevent the crack from challenging the structural integrity of the entire windshield as you drive.
You should also take special precautions if possible. If your windscreen cracks in the middle of a freezing cold winter, driving your car is going to put your windscreen under pressure, as you have no choice but to heat up the inside. However, if your windscreen is only slightly misty, rather use a cloth or alternative method to clear it. Directing your AC at it is going to put it under too much pressure.
Book it in ASAP
Yes, I know. You once drove a car with a cracked windshield for years without ever facing a real problem. That certainly happens. It’s more likely than the crack suddenly spreading across the whole windshield overnight. But you should not take the chance.
Unless you are really struggling to make ends meet, book it in as soon as possible and make other arrangements regarding your transport for that day. The sooner you take care of the crack, the less likely it is to become a real problem.
If you’ve been told your whole windscreen will need to be replaced, that can be slightly tricker. You may simply not have the cash available to pay for a new windscreen. Unfortunately, it is not safe to drive a car with a crack of this severity in your windscreen. You may well be lucky and get by until your finances open up, but you don’t want to take the chance. In some cases, continuing to drive the car may even be illegal.
No matter how big the crack in your windscreen, get it assessed immediately. The sooner you take care of the problem, the less of a problem it will be.