hole in windscreen glass

Everything You Need to Know about Windscreen Cover

Despite their strong and resilient build, windscreens are susceptible to chips and cracks. This is becoming more and more common on today’s busy roads where roads are being worn down and grit can be flung up by speeding vehicles.

There are many ways in which your windscreen could get damaged, including a combination of a cold windscreen and warm heaters weakening glass, and rocks and stones being flung off bridges onto the motorway below. These can cause small chips and cracks, or even shatter windscreens completely in worst cases.

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How to change windscreen wipers: Step by step guide

Looking after your car is what we’re here to help with – and over time, your windscreen wipers can wear out as the rubber on them begins to tarnish, meaning they won’t do as good a job at clearing your windscreen as they should do. This is especially important if you live in a country like the UK where, let’s face it, your windscreen wipers are going to be getting a lot of usage. This article aims to explain, step-by-step, how to replace your windscreen wipers.

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What are the different types of windscreen chips?

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.

Edge Crack

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.

Bull’s Eye

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.

Combination Break

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.

Stress Crack

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.

Do on-board cameras help, or just capture viral footage?

Dashboard cameras have been on the market since around 2000. Designed to protect motorists against fraudulent claims after an accident, or theft and damage, these tiny cameras can film for long periods of time. There is no doubt that dashcams are useful, but what benefits do they bring to the average user to make them worth their cost?

Increasing popularity

Dashboard cameras are becoming more and more common around the world, with them being something of a necessity in some countries, like Russia. This is due to their relaxed, often corrupt law enforcement, so they need definite proof to actually win a court case. Of course, this dash cam footage also highlights some of the dangers of driving in Russia, as well as the risk of insurance scams. These ‘crash-for-cash’ scams involve someone making fraudulent claims after causing a crash by slamming their brakes on in front of another motorist. They take advantage of the fact that the driver behind is typically held responsible for causing this kind of crash, which can potentially cause injuries, trauma and increased premiums for the innocent motorist behind.

However, not all countries have taken to the dashboard camera. Due to data protection laws, Austria has banned them outright; Switzerland strongly discourages using them, and Germany has forbidden drivers who do use the cameras from posting the clips online.

The benefits of a dash cam

The main benefit of equipping your car with a dash cam is the peace of mind it provides. If you do ever get into an accident or crash, the camera records irrefutable evidence of what exactly happened, specifically countering the dodgy ‘crash-for-cash’ attempts. This helps significantly with any claims that have to be made to insurance companies.

Dash cams can also help parents worry a little less when allowing their children to take their cars out. It is not uncommon for parents to stipulate that their teens need to live with a dashboard camera if they want to take the car out. While most teenagers will probably see it as a bit of a drag, it can help protect them.

Some insurance companies are also starting to offer discounts to people willing to fit their cars with a free camera, as it provides them with proof that you’re a safe (or not so safe) driver.  These special cameras are sensitive to erratic driving, like weaving, swerving or hard braking, and will send information about this driving straight back to the insurance company.

The downsides of dashboard filming

While the actual main disadvantage of buying a dash cam is the price, these specialised cameras have been dropping in price due to becoming more popular and readily available. The most basic models are available from around £50, and go up depending on what features you want.

However, there are added drawbacks to the idea of dashboard cameras as a whole. They are often the source of viral driving footage, which can detract from their actual purpose of protecting the driver, and in some cases, cause drivers to act dangerously to film something with their camera. On the other hand, a lot of the dangerous driving footage that does go viral can lead to a prosecution, so this is not a huge downside to the cameras.

Ultimately, while dash cams can protect you if you are involved in a crash or accident, they cannot prevent them from happening. It is still important to make sure you are fully insured, taxed and your car passes its MOT! It is also prudent to have an emergency plan in place for random accidents, such as a contact to repair a chipped or cracked windscreen, or a local tow company.

Protecting your car from the summer heat

Most car owners do what they can to protect their car against the worst excesses of the winter weather, but then often undo that good work by leaving their vehicle exposed to the not-dissimilar risks of the summer.

Yes, the skies being bright blue and cloudless doesn’t mean your car is no longer at risk, with the sun’s sheer heat posing its own dangers. So here at Fleet Motorglass, we thought we would come up with a list of some of the things you can do to keep your car in the best condition as the temperatures edge up.

Bring your car inside

Parking your car under some kind of shelter – ideally a garage – shields it from the most intense sunlight and extremes in temperature. It’s as wise advice during the summer as it is during the winter, when the threats to your car from the surrounding climate may be much more visible.

Park in the shade

Whenever you see the chance to park your car in the shade of a large tree or building, take that chance to minimise the amount of time your vehicle spends exposed to direct sunlight. It won’t cost you a thing, takes only a bit of effort and could make a big long-term difference to your car’s long-term condition.

Shield the interior

It isn’t just the exterior of your car that could be vulnerable to sun damage – the likes of your steering wheel, dashboard and upholstery could suffer as well. This is why some especially wise vehicle owners who are unable to park their car regularly in a garage or in the shade invest in windscreen sun shades to protect their interior from the adverse effects of both heat and light.

Invest in tinted windows

Window tinting is one of our newest services here at Fleet Motorglass. It is a popular and long-awaited service, and with good reason! Not only can window tinting improve the appearance of your car and keep the sun out of your eyes while you are driving, it can also help to preserve your car interior in the best condition for longer by warding off the most intense heat and light.

Keep your tyres inflated

The often extremely hot roads during the summer months can also increase the risk of punctures, especially when your tyres aren’t properly inflated. Your tyres’ air level can also be adversely impacted by the steep temperature changes between day and night. So, take special care during the warmer months to constantly check the pressure in your tyres and make sure they are inflated to the pressure your owner’s manual specifies.

Monitor the engine belts, too

Any component of your car that is largely made from rubber is vulnerable during the summer, given how rubber expands when warm and contracts when the temperature drops. Tension being continually built up and released in this way may lead to cracks and eventually, outright breaks in your vehicle’s engine belts. While this isn’t really preventable, you should certainly be alert to any unusual engine squeaking that may be the telltale sign of belt damage, and have it quickly checked out by a professional.

Much like humans are advised to protect themselves during the summer using various common sense measures, so the same principles should apply to your car! Apply these above tips to help keep your car looking and driving without a hitch right through to autumn.

Cracked Windscreen – Repair or Replace?

Just a few years ago, a cracked windscreen meant replacement. At Fleet Motorglass, we have the expertise and technology to repair as well as replace your cracked windscreen. Small chips leading to minor cracks can often be repaired, however, if the damage is severe, we suggest replacing it.

Repair or Replace – Your Choice

Whether your windscreen has to be repaired or replaced depends on many factors, such as the size of the crack, the location and the severity of the crack. At Fleet Motorglass, we use the latest technology and materials to repair cracks, circular “bullseye” damage and star-shaped breaks on windscreens. We use the pound coin rule; if the crack or the damage is not bigger than the diameter of a pound coin, we do not recommend replacing the windscreen. We have skilled glaziers, who can repair cracks and damages within 30 minutes; and if your insurance policy covers the repairs, you will not have to deal with any out-of-pocket expenses.

When doing windscreen repairs, we ensure that the best quality materials are used. The quality of our repair-work has always exceeded the satisfaction of our customers. In fact, it has helped their vehicles pass an MOT, post repair-work.

If the crack is huge, it can compromise the performance and strength of the glass, and we usually recommend windscreen replacements during such circumstances. By replacing a severely damaged windscreen, you prevent an accident, dirt and grime from entering into your vehicle. We keep a wide range of windscreens in stock, so replacement work can also be done fairly quickly and easily. In case of a comprehensive vehicle insurance cover, you will not have to worry about the cost of replacement, and we would also be quite glad to do the paperwork for your insurance company.

Do not let a cracked windscreen cause you problems during MOT or while driving. Instead, make sure you deal with the crack immediately, regardless of how small or big it is. Contact us at Fleet Motorglass today to find out how our professional windscreen repair and replacement services can help you out.

We would be happy to answer any question or address doubts, so that you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing between repairing or replacing the cracked windscreen. You also can send us an enquiry through our website, and we will arrange a call back immediately.

Will A Damaged Windscreen Mean An MOT Fail?

Your car windscreen is a vital piece of kit, far more than a window or convenient shelter from the wind or rain. Small cracks grow rapidly, and minor damage can result in a significant damage if subject to further impact or shock. Due to this, there are certain forms and types of damage to your windscreen that will cause your car to fail its MOT.

For the purposes of an MOT inspection, your car windscreen is divided into two main areas. The most important for the purposes of an inspection is the area directly in front of the driver, a 290mm wide column from the top of the windscreen wiper’s arch to the bottom of the windscreen itself, and centred on the steering wheel.

While it’s technically possible to repair damage up to 40mm in diameter, some repair companies will only repair damage up to 10mm in diameter if it is located in this zone. Damage larger than 10mm within this zone will result in an MOT failure, as will damage with a diameter of more than 40mm anywhere else on your windscreen.

Significant scratching or discolouration that reduces the driver’s visibility will also cause your car to fail its MOT. Even if damage such as cracks or chips are structurally minor, if it is shallow or minute or if it has a diameter of more than 10mm in the driver zone, your car will fail.

According to industry sources, almost 9 per cent of cars failed their MOT last year due to damaged windscreens. The good news is that we here at Fleet Motorglass can repair such damage, including cracks up to 40mm in diameter. As a general rule of thumb, any damage under 40mm in diameter can be easily repaired, without the need to replace your windscreen.

Our service comes with a guarantee that your car will pass the windscreen aspect of its MOT, and should repair not be possible leaving you requiring a full replacement unit, we will even deduct the cost of the potential repair from the cost of the new windscreen.

Repairs start from as low as £29.99, and are free for drivers who have fully comprehensive insurance. If your vehicle is due in for its MOT and you are concerned about what may be nothing more than minor damage, call in today to see how we can save you time and money through a fast and efficient repair service.

Tinted Window Laws- What You Need to Know

Tinting the windows of your vehicle can bring both visual and security benefits, yet what you might not know is that there are some laws which must be adhered to when it comes to tinted windows. As we are vastly experienced when it comes to tinting windows on all makes and models of vehicle, you can rest assured that we here at Fleet Motorglass always stick to the laws set in place, however thought we’d provide you with them so you know all there is to know.

The first thing to bear in mind is that the rules surrounding both front windscreen and front passenger window tinting depend on the year in which the vehicle was manufactured as there are different guidelines for vehicles used before and after April 1st 1985. For rear windscreens and rear passenger windows, there are currently no rules surrounding the level at which these windows can be tinted.

Vehicles First Used Before 1st April 1985

On vehicles that were used for the first time before 1st April 1985, the front windscreen and front passenger windows must allow at least 70% of light through.

Vehicles First Used After 1st April 1985

On all vehicles that were first used after 1st April 1985, the front windscreen must be tinted to a degree that allows at least 75% of light through whilst front passenger windows must let at least 70% of light through them.

If windows are tinted to a level which doesn’t allow this percentage of light through, you could receive a ‘prohibition notice’ which prevents you from driving your vehicle on the road until the tinting has been adjusted or a penalty notice or court summons could be issued.

At Fleet Motorglass, we will ensure that the window tinting service you have invested in from us will always be completed to the very highest standard and in line with the legal requirements so you won’t ever encounter any problems. If you would like to find out more or wish to book your vehicle in for window tinting, please don’t hesitate to give our team a call on the number local to you and we’ll be more than happy to help.