Why windscreens hate hot chips

Last updated on November 9, 2023
How to prevent little chips and cracks on your windscreen growing into big headaches this summer.
Illustration of hot chips on a car windscreen
Windscreens really don’t like hot chips. Is it because they’re too salty? Or have they only tried the soggy ones? Well, neither actually. Turns out, when the weather warms up, those little chips on your windscreen can expand into larger cracks.

We love when the days start getting longer and warmer. Our windscreens, on the other hand? Not so much. On average, our motor claims data from 2022 to 2023 shows spikes in windscreen claims over the warmer months.

Those perfect summer days aren't so perfect for our cars, and there’s some things we do that can stress unrepaired windscreen chips and cracks.

Summer’s for beach days and road trips. But while you're keeping cool in the water, your car is often left sizzling for hours, especially when the shady spots are all taken. And it's not just at the beach!

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported in 2021 that on average, Australian households have 1.8 vehicles. Not all homes are equipped with secure garages for one car, let alone two, so many of our cars are left sun-bathing outside.

Why’s that bad news for windscreens? Glass can expand when heated. Parking in direct sunlight can heat up your car’s windscreen, adding stress, weakening any areas with cracks and chips, and potentially making existing damage worse.

It’s hard to resist blasting the aircon as soon as we jump into a hot car. But, while you’re sighing in relief, your windscreen might just be shivering in shock!

Cranking the aircon can create sudden temperature changes that may cause the glass of your windscreen to cool and contract, increasing the chance of a crack forming.

Queue of cars on a hot day
When a crack gets too big, the only option is to replace the whole windscreen, which can be costly. Here’s how to keep your windscreen cool (and in one piece) this summer:
Get cracks and chips repaired as soon as possible
Become a shade hunter on hot days - even if takes a little longer to find a park
Increase the aircon more gradually in a hot car, tilting cold air vents away from your windscreen
Be mindful of uneven roads, as sudden jolts and impacts can put stress on existing cracks and chips
If you’re unsure about the condition of your windscreen, we recommend you consult with a professional. You can also check out our article on repairing or replacing your windscreen for more information.
Our Comprehensive Car Insurance offers cover for damaged windscreens subject to payment of any applicable excess shown in your policy documentation. We also offer an optional benefit which can remove excess for windscreen damage only claims. Adding this to your cover means you won't have to pay the excess for one full windscreen, window glass or sunroof replacement and two repairs in each period of insurance where that’s the only damage to your car.

This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL234708 (“Allianz”). In some cases, information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way.

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