Windscreen damage

Severely damaged windscreens can not only obscure the driver’s vision, but also weaken the car’s structure and affect the way passenger side airbags deploy. 

Some windscreen damage can be repaired, but where a windscreen is not repairable, the glass will need to be replaced. 

Windscreen replacement

If your windscreen needs to be replaced, the glass is removed by cutting the glue that holds it in place, or much less commonly these days, removing it from its rubber.
  • For bonded windscreens: the opening is prepared and new bonding material is fitted. The new glass is then fitted into the opening. 
  • For rubber-mounted windscreens: the new glass is fitted into its rubber and the body opening and is sealed to prevent water entry.
Vehicles fitted with a windscreen rubber can be used immediately the new glass is fitted, but vehicles with bonded windscreens may need to stand for several hours until the bond cures to full strength to ensure that the windscreen’s bond is sufficiently cured to withstand the forces of a deploying airbag.

Water leaks

Rubber mounted windscreens are far more prone to leakage than bonded screens due to the deterioration of the rubber seal. In most cases, this can be fixed by replacing the rubber seal. 

Leaks from bonded screens are more difficult to fix, because it’s often caused by the bond breaking. In this case, the windscreen will need to be removed and re-bonded. Removing a windscreen can be risky, as there is a chance that even an undamaged screen may break during removal.

The other common leak source is rust in the windscreen opening, which will need to be repaired before the windscreen is refitted.

Roadworthy issues

Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads requires windscreens, windows and associated components to be in such a condition that the driver has a clear field of view under the normal range of climatic conditions.

General requirements 
  • Glass must be of an approved type.
  • Glass must not be badly chipped, scored, cracked, sandblasted or otherwise damaged so as to impair the driver’s vision or damage wiper blades.
  • Windscreen repairs must comply with the relevant Australian Standard.
Note that these requirements are only a brief outline. For more details consult Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads, contact RACQ Motoring Advice or email a question

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