- What makes falling rocks so dangerous
- What to do if there is a stone chip on the windshield?
- When do I have to replace the windscreen if I have a stone chip?
- Who pays for the stone chipping in the windscreen?
- Repair stone chips in the windshield yourself
Car drivers in Germany are hit by rockfalls more than two million times a year. This is not surprising: in everyday traffic chaos, it often happens that small stones are thrown up from the road. With a bit of bad luck, they hit a windshield at high speed and leave an imprint on it. What usually only looks like a small crack in the glass can quickly lead to major damage. In this article you will find out what to do in the event of a stone chip in the windshield and who is responsible for it.
What makes falling rocks so dangerous
At first glance, stone chipping looks like minimal glass damage, but what starts as a small crack carries high risks. For example, the crater in the glass can expand as a result of vibrations or airflow. This not only obscures the driver’s vision, but in the worst case even leaves it crack the entire windshield. Then the pane is not only irreparable, but also a risk of accidents.
In addition, the windscreen is not only a protection against the cool driving air. Since it contributes about 30% of body stability, its impairment also generally leads to an increased risk when driving. A body with a damaged windscreen has reduced rigidity, which can lead to an unsteady driving experience in the vehicle. It is therefore advisable to have the damage repaired as soon as possible.
What to do if there is a stone chip on the windshield?
In the event of a rock fall, it is difficult for many drivers to keep a cool head. Here one checklist, with which nothing goes wrong:
When do I have to replace the windscreen if I have a stone chip?
Basically, the windshield does not always have to be replaced in the event of a stone chip. It depends on the size and position of the rockfall:
- The stone chip must not be in the driver’s field of vision.
- The stone chip may not be larger than a two euro coin overall, the impact point no larger than 5 mm.
- There must be a distance of at least ten centimeters from the edge of the glass.
- The foil of the glass or the inside must not be damaged.
In this case the stone chip on the windshield can be repaired by an auto glazier without replacement will. To do this, the damage is first cleaned thoroughly and then repaired using a special resin and a vacuum pump. The resin also closes fine cracks in the glass. Best of all, this repair process only takes about 30 minutes. However, the vehicle then has to rest for another 30 minutes. In total, you have to plan about an hour here.
However, if one of the above criteria applies to the stone chip, the entire pane must be replaced. Such damage to the windscreen is also considered a significant defect by the TÜV and can lead to a Refusal of TÜV sticker to lead.
In contrast to the repair with special resin, it takes about 2-3 hours for an expert to change a windscreen. If smart driver assistance systems are also installed in the window, you have to allow even more time for the calibration.
Who pays for the stone chipping in the windscreen?
The good news: If those affected have partial or fully comprehensive insurance, this applies in both cases. Both when repairing and replacing the defective windscreen.
The bad news: sufferers have no comprehensive insurance, it can get very expensive.
A special feature: If the rockfall in the window was caused by a vehicle driving too fast on a gravel road, the liability insurance of the other driver pays for the damage caused. Of course, only assuming that the person concerned can prove it to him.
Cost of partially comprehensive insurance
As a rule, randomly thrown stones cause glass damage. Such stone chips are covered by the comprehensive insurance. And that even regardless of the cause and origin. This means that those affected do not have to tell the insurance company exactly which car was the cause of the stone chipping. Normally, the driver did not do it on purpose and followed the rules of the road. Therefore, the assumption of costs is usually safe here.
If those affected are still lucky and the stone chip in your car window can be repaired, the comprehensive insurance covers the entire amount. This usually amounts to no more than 100 euros.
If the stone chip cannot be repaired, the insurance company will also cover the main costs, but will ask for the deductible. Of course you’ve already arranged that with her, but that’s usually about the same 150 euros.
Cost of comprehensive insurance
The fully comprehensive insurance also includes the services of the partially comprehensive insurance. In the event of stone chips in the windshield The same applies here as with partial comprehensive insurance. The advantage of fully comprehensive insurance: Drivers are also protected against damage to the paintwork or damage caused by vandalism.
costs without insurance
Do you have neither fully nor partially comprehensive, you are solely responsible for the costs, regardless of the type of damage. While a professional repair is still quite cheap at just under 100 euros, replacing the windscreen can be expensive. Depending on the model, such an exchange can cost between 600 euros and 1,000 euros. Here, too, the price is determined by the special features of the car window. features such as B. Windscreen heaters, rain sensors and cameras drive it up.
Repair stone chips in the windshield yourself
At these prices, it sounds Do-it-yourself repairs tempting. After all, you can get repair kits for stone chips in the windshield that can still be repaired for around 15 euros. We will now show you how this works and whether you should repair your glass damage yourself.
First of all: We strongly advise against particularly cheap sets. If those affected decide to take on the stone chip repair themselves, the equipment should also be right. Sets from around 30 euros are ideal entry-level models in this case. In the long term, this saves trouble with poorly curing resin or improperly working devices.
If you have received your set, you can start right away. Ideally, the kit will include a repair bell or socket, a funnel, and the resin. In many cases, a needle or a sharp knife and foil are also included.
- As a first step, the operating instructions should be read carefully. The process may vary for each set.
- Now you have to clean the stone chip from splinters and other foreign objects with a sharp knife or a needle. Moisture or fat must also be removed.
- Now that the stone chip is properly cleaned, the centering unit can be placed over the damage on the windshield. This consists of the repair bell or funnel and suction cups. These are used to fix the centering unit on the glass.
- Now the synthetic resin is placed in the centering unit. Simultaneous negative and positive pressure ensures that the viscous liquid fills even the smallest cracks. A little patience is required here.
- Once that is done, you can remove the centering unit again. Now the film has to be glued over the stone chip prepared in this way. This protects it from further contamination and gives the resin the time it needs to harden. How long this takes is in the manual.
Tip: Curing can also be accelerated with a UV lamp. More information is usually available directly from the manufacturer.
- Finally, the bumps are removed. To do this, take the blade and remove the excess resin.
We see: repairing the windshield yourself is not rocket science. Nevertheless, sufferers should better think twice before deciding to repair it yourself. If, for example, dirt or impurities remain in the crack, this not only endangers the integrity of the entire windshield, it also has to be replaced. In this case, it can very well happen that the insurance company does not want to contribute to the costs.
In addition, most of those affected lack the special toolto check after the repair whether the windscreen is really perfectly intact again. Anyone who is then checked by the police with a stone chip in the windscreen that has not been properly repaired, for example, faces a fine of 90 euros and a point in Flensburg.
A stone chip in the windshield is always a serious damage. Stone chips can not only crack the windscreen, they can also negatively affect the handling of the car. So if you get hit by a rockfall, it’s best to act immediately.
If the stone chip is only on the outside, not in the field of vision, no closer than 10 cm to the frame and no larger than a two euro piece, the screen can be repaired quickly and easily. Otherwise the disc must be replaced. If the insurance is taken out, the repair is covered in full, and the deductible is due when the windscreen is changed. It gets very expensive without insurance.
Self-repair with synthetic resin is possible, but involves risks. Insured persons should therefore prefer to have the damage repaired for free in a workshop.