Motoring News

Chipped windscreen: An unclear and present danger…!

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – Is your windscreen cracked or chipped? Get it fixed! Now! Winter, with its cold weather in the Transvaal and heavy rain in the Cape, is not the time to have damaged glass up front – here’s why…

A windscreen crack – worse if there are several! – can be affected by any weather but winter can put more pressure on the glass and that can lead to sudden catastrophic failure, especially during cold, sometimes sub-zero, temperatures.


Eugene Herbert, managing director of MasterDrive, reports that a windscreen contributes towards 30% of a vehicle’s structural support: “Many drivers may not realise just how much protection a windscreen supplies.

”Of particular importance is the role a windscreen plays in reducing roof collapse if a vehicle rolls – and that’s just one of your vehicle’s safety function.”

KEEP YOUR WINDSCREEN CLEAN: Put a cleaning agent in the screen washer’s water reservoir and wash off dust and dirt before applying a cloth loaded with a glass cleaner to prevent scratching. Image: Supplied
  • Nitrogen crash mitigation bags, Herbert explains, rely on the windscreen for support during inflation: if the windscreen pops not only will the bags become useless but flying debris might enter the cabin. 
  • A damaged windscreen can cause driving fatigue.
  • Damage can affect the driver’s vision of the road and the damaged glass can dazzled by other vehicles headlights at night.

READ MORE MasterDrive information features

  • A chip can create a halo effect around a light source while a crack scatters the light adding a ‘tail’ to the light source an determining the distance of objects ahead may be affected.
  • A damaged windscreen makes a car legally unroadworthy – and will probably block sale or re-registration. 

Herbert again: “While not fail-proof, ensure that you keep your windscreen clean. Using windscreen wipers that have collected dirt or on dusty windows can add to the scratches that collect over time.

”Worn or perished windscreen should be replaced – they are not expensive – and make a point of cleaning the screen with an approved cleaning agent added the water reservoir.”

”Even chips should be promptly repaired or could spread and require a complete windscreen replacement.”

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