Windscreen Diagnostics

Windscreen DiagnosticsOn the Arrive Alive website, we find a detailed discussion on the importance of the windscreen for road safety. We emphasize the importance of visibility through the windscreen for the roadworthiness of the vehicle as well as the importance of the windscreen for the structural integrity of the car.

It is important to note that not only a chip from a rock or other projectile could cause damage to the vehicle and reduce visibility through the windshield. Damage to windscreens typically falls into two categories; sudden impact damage and degradation or wear.

There are many other factors to consider and it is important to recognize which steps can be taken to ensure safety.

While windscreen repair is less expensive than replacement, if you wait too long, and the damage has time to spread, windscreen repair will no longer be an option. Remember that just because a windscreen is chipped doesn’t mean that it needs to be totally replaced. Thirty per cent of the time a windscreen can be easily and effectively repaired before the damage worsens. The important thing is that, once a motorist notices a chip or a crack, it must be repaired as soon as possible, to prevent further damage that might impair visibility.

In the below chart, we provide details on possible threats to windscreen safety as well as suggestions on how to address any safety concerns.

Diagnostic Chart: Impaired Visibility Through Windscreen
Problem Description Picture Dangers Remedy
Chip Usually caused by an impact from a stone or other debris hitting the windscreen. Damage usually surrounds the point of impact. Can impair vision. Extreme temperature changes, vibration, shock or dirt and moisture getting inside can cause the windscreen to crack. Can damage windscreen wipers. Repair without delay.
Crack Sudden impact damage to the windscreen. Extreme temperature changes, shock, vibration or dirt and moisture getting inside a chip can also cause the windscreen to crack. Can impair vision. Can weaken the windscreen, lessening the windscreen's ability to protect the vehicle's occupants in case of a collision or the overturning of the vehicle. (Modern windscreens are an integral part of the safety system of a vehicle - helping to keep the roof from crashing in.) Some cracks may be repaired. Otherwise, replace windscreen.
Delamination One or both of the layers of the glass separate from the vinyl layer. It usually occurs when moisture gets between the layers that compose the windscreen Can cause optical effects that impair vision. This can also impact negatively on the ability of the windscreen to help protect the occupants of a vehicle in case of os an accident. Replace windscreen.
Fog/mist Varying inside and outside temperatures can cause fog/mist to gather on the inside of the windscreen. Impairs vision. Turn on the vehicle's demister. Use the felt layer of a blackboard brush for a quick cleaning.
Frost In cold days frost gathers on the outside of the windscreen. Impairs vision. Can cause chips to crack Cover the windscreen with an old blanket when cold weather is expected. There are a number of products available that can be sprayed onto the windscreen to prevent ice build-up. Stand-alone heaters are also available that are specially designed to defrost the windscreen when positioned on the dashboard.
Ghost image/ glare An illusion that may appear to drivers as a result of the dashboard being reflected in the windscreen.  Distracts the driver and impairs vision. Keep both the inside and the outside of your windscreen as clean as possible.
Haze Occurs sometimes when wipers are used. Impairs vision. Clean the windscreen with a soft cloth and white vinegar.
Milkiness Occurs when the vinyl layer separates from the glass layers and starts to return to its prelaminated state. Can impair vision. Can impact negatively on the ability of the windscreen to help protect the occupants of a vehicle in case of os an accident. Replace windscreen.
Sandblasting Sand and dirt particles abrade the windscreen surface over time.  It appears as sparkles that can reflect the sun or the headlights of approaching vehicles into the driver's eyes. Replace windscreen.


It is always the best advice to approach the experts for advice. We would like to advise that you approach a reputable windscreen supplier for advice and a quote for the repair or replacement of your windscreen/ windshield.  They will also be able to process any glass repair or glass replacement insurance claims without a hassle!

Windscreen Diagnostics

Also, view the following sections:

Road Safety and Your Windscreen

Road Safety and Avoiding Windscreen Damage

Chip Repair and Windscreen Safety

Vehicle Maintenance

The importance of clear vision

LLumar Window Film and Road Safety

Shatterprufe and Road Safety

Cracked Windshield, Safe Driving and the Law