How to Fix a Cracked Windscreen

Have you recently had some form of damage done to your windscreen? Well, if you have, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to find out what to do if your windscreen is chipped or cracked — and how to fix it.

Cracked windscreens are never a good time, but we’ve found a few ways to help you manage. There are many variables, from the size and location of a chip or crack, which may change the repairments required. 

If you find yourself with a damaged windscreen, it’s important to know what steps to take next to ensure your windscreen is fixed and your vehicle is safe to drive. Ensure you understand the different types of damage, how to temporarily fix minor damage, and the cost of repairing or replacing your windshield. From fixing small cracks and trying to keep a crack from extending, we cover it all in this article.

Photo by Taneli Lahtinen on Unsplash.

Should your windscreen be repaired or replaced?

When your windscreen is first impacted, it can be hard to know what to do next. Whether it’s a small chip or a crack, you need to assess your windscreen and decide if it needs to be repaired or replaced.

Average cost of a windscreen chip (or small crack) repair is about $70, while replacing a windscreen varies depending on the car and model; it can be anywhere from $200 to over $1,000

O’Brien recommends to have your driver’s side windscreen replaced if:

  • There is a chip larger than a $1 Australian coin
  • A crack longer than 3cm
  • If there is any damage in the driver’s line of sight 

Autoglass claims a windscreen can be repaired when:

  • The chip is not in the driver’s line of vision
  • The chip is not closer than 7cm of the windscreen’s perimeter
  • The chip is not larger than 25mm (slightly larger than a 20 cent Australian coin).  

Competitive Windscreens agrees and adds even long cracks can sometimes be fixed, depending on the size, depth and location of the crack. Furthermore, Competitive Windscreens states, “…it is illegal in Australia to drive a car with a damaged windscreen and you will be fined.”

Car windscreen repair infographic.

How to repair a chipped windscreen.

If you have been unfortunate enough to be hit by a tiny rock — or other infuriatingly tiny, but damaging, item — then you know how annoying the small chip it leaves on your windscreen can be. Luckily, you can often get away with repairing this chip yourself before you take it in to be repaired.

If the chip is small, you can use clear nail polish or super glue to temporarily fix the damage. Small chips may lead to only needing a windscreen repair, where it can be fixed by using an acrylic or epoxy compound to fill the chip and prevent the windscreen from further damage.

How to temporarily fix a chipped or cracked windscreen:

  1. Make sure the vehicle is in the shade.
    It’s important to make sure your vehicle is not in direct sunlight, as this may cause the nail polish or glue to dry too fast.
  2. Clean the windshield.
    Clean the windshield to ensure no dirt, leaves or other small particles get in the nail polish or glue when applied.
  3. Apply the clear nail polish or super glue.
    If you’re using clear nail polish, apply it using the attached brush to fill the chip. If there are small cracks, you can apply the nail polish to these as well, and make sure to fill the crack, especially at the ends of the cracks. This helps to prevent the cracks from extending and causing further damage.

    The process is the same for super glue, except you can use a cotton tip swab to distribute the glue into the chip and cracks. If there is excess glue on the windscreen, you can use an additional cotton tip swab to remove it.

  4. Check the nail polish or glue has dried.
    After a couple of hours, check the nail polish or glue has dried. Once it has, you can clean away any excess nail polish or glue and wipe down the surface again.
  5. Book to have your windscreen properly fixed.
    This is only a temporary fix to help stop the crack or chip from worsening. Make sure to get an expert’s opinion to ensure your windscreen is fixed or replaced properly so your car is safe to drive. O’Brien states, “We can repair your windscreen in around 30 minutes. You can drive away immediately, knowing our workmanship is guaranteed for the life of your vehicle.”

Replacing a windscreen.

If a windscreen does not meet the repair requirements, then it needs to be replaced. This is because the damage terms the vehicle as unsafe to drive and a repair will not allow for enough of the damage to be fixed. When a windscreen becomes damaged, it is also weakened — and a weak windscreen has the potential to become detached when airbags go off.

If you’re looking for windscreen repairs or replacements, you can find them on!

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      Chloe Thistle

      Junior Marketing Administrator

      Chloe Thistle is a Junior Marketing Administrator at Localsearch, bringing her talents and background in digital and social media marketing to her role. She has sharpened her marketing skills across many different industries, including entertainment, fashion and in the B2B field. In her spare time, Chloe can be found either lounging at the beach or five coffees deep at one of her favourite local cafés. No stranger to adventures, she’s trekked to Mt. Everest Base Camp — fueled by coffee of course — has completed the Kokoda Challenge and is always looking for the next mountain to climb! Chloe loves looking for ways to combine her passions for adventure, sustainability and marketing, always chasing the latest trends in both marketing and fashion. Now, she’s utilising her vast life and digital marketing experience to blog and assist in the content with the Localsearch Marketing Team.