When is it not possible to repair a windshield?

Repairing stone chips / changing windshield - symptoms, repair / replacement & costs simply explained!

The most important things at a glance
  • The majority of all glass damage to a windshield or windshield can initially be traced back to stone chips. The craters created by small stones or chippings, for example, can then spread and lead to larger cracks. This can be caused by temperature fluctuations or driving through potholes.
  • A stone chip in the windshield can generally be repaired. However, this is prohibited, among other things, if the rockfall is in the driver's field of vision. Then the front screen must be completely replaced. It is important to have the rockfall assessed by a specialist as soon as possible.
  • What costs you have to expect and when the repair is a matter for the insurance company, you can find out in the following guide.

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Immediate measures in case of falling rocks

If you notice a rockfall, you should act quickly. It is ideal to use a so-called "windscreen plaster" (see for example here on Amazon *). In this way you create an effective barrier against moisture and dirt and increase the likelihood that the damage can be repaired without changing the window.

It also protects the windshield wipers. If you don't have a “windscreen plaster” at hand, you can also use clear adhesive tape to begin with.

After that you should Drive promptly to a car workshop or to a vehicle glass specialist to have the damage assessed. There it will be decided whether the rockfall can be repaired or whether the pane needs to be replaced.

Consequences of ignored falling rocks

If you ignore the damage, the falling rocks - e.g. when driving through a pothole or due to temperature fluctuations - can cause large-scale cracks. In this case, the pane usually has to be completely replaced and repairs are no longer possible.

Even if the crack can then be traced back to a rockfall and the insurance pays, the stipulated deductible of the partial comprehensive insurance applies. Often that is at least 150 euros. If there is no partial comprehensive insurance, you have to pay for the new windshield including installation yourself.

If the damage is in the driver's field of visiond if this occurs during a police check, a fine of 90 euros and one point in Flensburg can also be imposed.

General inspection despite falling rocks?

If there is a rockfall in the driver's field of vision, the general inspection is not passed. The same applies to larger cracks in the pane.

Small stone chips outside of the field of view are usually classified as minor defects and have no effect on whether the general inspection has been passed.

Repairing or changing the windscreen?

Small stone chip damage to the windshield can generally be repaired. To do this, however, certain requirements must be met. If one of the following exclusion criteria does not apply, the windscreen must be replaced.

  • Damage is not in the driver's field of vision
  • Damage is less than a two euro coin
  • The damaged area is at least 10cm from the edge of the pane
  • The intermediate film and the inner pane are not damaged
  • The damage has not yet resulted in any cracks across the pane

Whether a repair or a change of the window is the better choice must be decided together with the workshop. If it is not clear whether a repair will be successful, a repair attempt can also be agreed. If this does not succeed, the pane will be replaced. However, clarify in advance who will pay what part of the costs.

If the window has to be replaced and the vehicle has installed a camera system (e.g. for traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, etc.), this must then be recalibrated using a special device according to the manufacturer's specifications.

This defines the driver's field of vision
If the damage occurs in the driver's field of vision, repairing the windscreen is prohibited by law, as the special resin could cause slight "distortions" of the field of vision, for example. The field of vision is around 30cm wide, starting from the center of the steering wheel. The height is limited by the functional area of ​​the windshield wipers. In order to be able to assess precisely whether there is damage within the field of vision or not, a special template is placed on the pane.

This is how stone chips on the windshield are repaired

If a repair is possible, the affected area is first thoroughly cleaned. Among other things, any remaining glass splinters can be removed. The stone chips are then processed in such a way that the repair resin can penetrate optimally later and that good cohesion between the resin and the pane is guaranteed.

With the help of a vacuum pump, the air is then sucked out of the affected area. Then the rockfall can be filled with a special resin. The final curing takes place with the help of a UV lamp. In the last step, residues are removed and the pane is cleaned.

Depending on the incidence of light, the repair area can usually still be recognized as such. However, this is not a problem if it is out of the field of view. It is important that the stability of the pane is guaranteed and that no more cracks can occur at this point.

This takes around 30 minutes in total. You can then drive again directly by car.

By the way: The high pressure with which the resin is applied can also enlarge any cracks (especially in the edge area). There is never a 100% guarantee that the repair will be successful.

What does it cost to have the windshield repaired or replaced?

A rockfall repair usually lasts around 30 minutes and causes Total costs of around 80 to 150 euros.If the car has partial comprehensive insurance, the costs are usually borne entirely by the insurance company.

If the stone chip cannot be repaired, the front window must be replaced. Due to the higher total costs, a deductible is then due. Depending on the insurance conditions, this usually costs between EUR 0 and EUR 450. A deductible of 150 euros is typical.

Usually, a direct billing is made between the workshop and the insurance company, so that you do not have to interpret the repair costs.

Always report the rockfall damage to your insurance company before the repair is carried out. In some cases, there are contractually stipulated requirements when choosing a workshop, which you have to observe. Otherwise it may happen that the costs are not (fully) covered.

It is different if there is no partial or fully comprehensive insurance. Then the total cost of installing a new pane is usually between 400 and 1,000 euros, which you have to pay yourself. The material costs vary depending on the vehicle model and any equipment (e.g. heating wires, certain sensors, etc.)

Do not save on material costs and only use high-quality branded windows in OEM quality. Well-known manufacturers include Sekurit or Pilkington.

Incidentally, it is not worthwhile to organize used windshields from the scrap yard. The probability of damage during removal is very high, even if the pane is in good condition.

Material / serviceestimated prices
Repair of the windshield 80 to 150 euros
New windshield including installation400 to 1,000 euros
All prices are rough guide values ​​including VAT and can of course vary.

TIP: Do not drive to a workshop before you have determined the current value of your vehicle. So you always know in advance exactly the cost up to which a repair is still worthwhile!

Simply use the following form from wirkaufendeinauto.de (100% free and non-binding).

Will using my partial coverage change anything in my no-claims discount?

If the stone chip repair or the change of the windshield is regulated by the partially comprehensive insurance, this has no effect on your no-claims discount. It is important that you report the damage to the workshop before the repair or a possible window change is carried out.

Can I also repair the windscreen myself?

Even though there are numerous DIY repair kits available online, we do not recommend repairs yourself for safety reasons. It is not uncommon for further cracks to occur during such repair attempts, which make repairs no longer possible and then require the pane to be replaced.

Other typical damage patterns on the windshield / windshield

Regardless of stone chips and the resulting cracks, there are also other types of damage that make it necessary to replace the windshield.

So can through worn windshield wipersfine scratches appear on the windshieldwhereby the view is impaired when the sun is low or in the dark (oncoming traffic with dipped headlights). It is not uncommon for the pane to then have to be replaced.

In older vehicles, it can also happen that the parts of the window, which are stuck together by a film, loosen and create a white haze around the edge of the window. Here, too, the only thing that helps is replacing the pane.

If a heated windscreen is installed and it steams up faster than usual, this can indicate a defect in the windscreen heating. Depending on the exact cause of the problem, it may also be necessary to change the disc.

Another typical sign of a damaged windscreen is when the wiper blades wear out very quickly. This manifests itself primarily through streaks when wiping the window. The exact cause should always be sought and eliminated here.

If there is damage to a side or rear window, the affected window will be completely replaced. A repair similar to that on windshields is not possible here. Most of the time, these panes break immediately anyway because they are not made of laminated glass.

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Still unanswered questions?

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