Windscreen chips are a real nuisance. Sometimes, they’re small enough that you don’t notice them straight away, but leaving them alone can make them grow and cause untold damage to your car’s windscreen. To make sure you don’t fail your next MOT, here a few of the different kinds of chips to help you spot them sooner and save yourself the headache of windscreen replacement.
As the name suggests, these are thin cracks that can start within two inches from the edge of the windscreen. These can be a bit harder to spot, as they’re usually very thin and subtle. They’re made even more tricky to spot because they can happen outside of the driver’s line of vision.
Always check the sides of the windscreen, both the driver and passenger side, to make sure these kinds of cracks aren’t developing, because regardless of how thick they are if the crack is over 10mm in length within the driver’s line of vision then you can fail your MOT.
Outside the driver’s line of vision, you can get away with 40mm in length, but that’s still small enough to not notice straight away.
A bull’s eye is circular in appearance with a cone-like indentation on the outer glass and usually results in a piece of glass being removed from your windscreen.
Less like windscreen cracks that often develop over time, these nasty chips often occur when a loose pebble, rock or piece of debris makes a direct impact with the windscreen. The name of this crack derives from the fact that they usually occur from one single, precise impact.
Thankfully, this means they are a lot easier to spot early on. These kinds of chips can be repaired easily at a reasonably low cost once they have been identified.
Similar to a standard chip, a combination break is a name given to chips that have several small branching cracks coming off of them.
These chips can be a source of massive damage, with additional pressure potentially causing multiple cracks at once. Leaving these chips, or spotting them too late, can cause damage much faster than other variations of chip.
Luckily, just like bull’s eyes, these types of chips are usually easier to spot, as they happen from a single, sudden impact.
As damaging as these chips can be, along with the cracks they create, a simple resin treatment can stop the cracks from spreading and keep the rest of your windscreen safe.
These are the kinds of chips that don’t occur from direct impact of debris and stones. Stress cracks can form for several different factors – commonly with exposure to varying temperatures.
For instance, if someone were to wash their car on a very hot day with very cold water the basis of a highly damaging stress crack can form.
The biggest risk to windscreens is frost, which is commonly removed with hot water. This is the wrong way to clean your windscreen! Be careful not to remove frost with water from the kettle – otherwise, a stress crack is highly likely to form. Be sensible and use de-icer and a scraper.
It pays to be vigilant
Give your windscreen a check every time you get in or out of your car for these common chips. Spotting the signs of windscreen damage early on is a massive time and money saver. Practice good windscreen cleaning and maintenance habits and be eagle-eyed when looking for chips and cracks.