A car's windscreen is by far its most delicate external component. Because of this, it is very important you take care of your windscreen and replace it whenever necessary. Windscreen replacement is not as expensive as most expect; if you take into account quality, replacements are cheaper now than ever. The overwhelming majority of windscreens can be replaced in a relatively short time. Also, in Australia, you can be fined for having a damaged windscreen, so there is really no reason to procrastinate getting it fixed. There is a variety of reasons your windscreen may need replacing, here are four of the most common motives:
Significantly scratched windscreens are not only aesthetically unpleasing, but can also lead to distraction of drivers through visual distortion and obstruction. Scratches can normally be cheap to cover, and sometimes can even be polished off at home. However, occasionally this is not the case. If your windscreen is covered by deep scratches which obstruct your view while driving, a windscreen replacement may be needed.
Having a chip in your windscreen can be very annoying, and also very risky. A chip in your windscreen, if left to fester, can quickly lead to cracking. If your windscreen gets chipped, you should cover the chipped area with tape, to slow the spread of cracks, and look at getting it fixed as soon as possible. Most windscreen chips can be filled with resin at a low price. However, some chips, if deep enough, can't be filled, and may lead to you having to replace your windscreen.
Driving with a cracked windscreen to anywhere other than a garage is simply not worth it. Cracks can spread rapidly across your windscreen, and it's hard to tell how deep the crack actually is. If a crack obstructs your view, it is not only dangerous, but could also lead to you being fined. Sometimes, a windscreen replacement isn't absolutely necessary. However, a cracked windscreen, more often than not, needs to be completely replaced, and should be attended to as soon as possible. The crack will only spread, increasing the chances of an accident occurring.
Many older windscreens are made of unsafe, out-dated materials, such as ordinary window glass, which is a lot less safe than modern windscreens. Newer windscreens often have safety seals and lamination, which greatly decrease the chances of serious injury caused by windscreen shattering. There is really no point taking the risks, especially with almost all windscreens having replacement options.