Damages to a car windscreen can be a cause for alarm. When your car windshield sustains damage, in most cases, an immediate replacement is in order except if there minor chipping or cracks (typically less than 2 cm dia).
What are windshields made of?
Car windshields need to satisfy the following requirements in modern day cars – need to scratch resistant (to retain clarity), strong enough to resist damages in minor collisions, and most importantly stay shatterproof to protect the inhabitants of the car in case of a serious damage.
Most car windshields are made of Laminated safety glass (at least the front windshield) to meet these requirements – and is composed of three layers. These are 2 layers of tempered glass with a middle layer of poly-vinyl-butyral which acts as a bond to prevent shattering of glass in case of damages.
Repair vs. Replacement?
It’s always unsafe to be driving around with even minor cracks in the windshield. Forces caused by the motion of the vehicle, changing temperature and weather conditions, not to mention debris from the road, the windshield of your car is subjected to various forces during daily commutes. These conditions can only propagate existing damages causing the windshield to potentially break or shatter.
Repair of windshields is possible usually by sealing the crack or chip using clear resin only if the chip or crack is less than 2 cm dia. For all other situations the only solution is to replace.
Windshield replacements are actually quite straightforward and don’t take too much time to complete. They can be replaced at your doorstep or at a workshop.
The following are the steps involved in replacing a windshield.
In this case a Fiat Palio sustained damage to the bottom part of the windshield which caused a crack to develop all the way up towards the top.
The bonnet is popped up and the wiper arms are unscrewed and removed
The cowl on the front of the vehicle is unscrewed as well as the frames that run along both sides of the windshield as shown in the image below.
Once all these components are removed, the windshield beading which runs along the perimeter of the windshield is removed.
There is an existing sealant which holds the windshield to the frame of the vehicle. This sealant needs to be chipped off. The technician uses a tool to separate the windshield from the sealant.
Once this step is completed, the windshield is lifted off the car
The new windshield is placed on a stand and the rear view mirror and beading is fitted to it. It is then applied with sealant along its edges.
With the help of suction cup holders, the new windshield is placed on to the car and the technicians ensure that the windshield sits in its frame properly.
Its pressed down into the frame to ensure that it fits and cello tape is applied to the top edge in order to ensure that any kind of movement is avoided.
After this the team gets to work re-fitting the cowl, frame and windshield wipers.
After this the windshield is allowed to set for a while so that the sealant hardens properly.
All of this work gets done in less than 90 minutes. The glass used is an original Fiat approved windshield glass. Commonly used brands of windshields are Saint Gobain, Asahi in India.
Could you claim insurance for windshield damages?
In most cases of windshield damages (cracks greater than a certain minimum length), insurance claims are possible. Insurance claims reduce the overall outflow for the car owner to around 25% of the windshields MRP. If you don’t want to disturb your NCB (No Claims Bonus) record, it is better to pay the full amount yourself.
Cartisan offers doorstep windshield replacement services (currently in Bangalore) including cashless insurance claims. All you need to do is place a request through the app or website and let Cartisan team take care of your windshield worries!