Are you lost in a sea of questions regarding windscreen replacements and car glass repairs for your Fiat 500?
Why did this happen?
Could I have done anything?
Why is this so expensive?
How is this made anyway?
For the in-depth answers to all these questions and more, keep reading further, and we’ll solve these mysteries together.
Is the Fiat 500 a good car?
The Fiat 500 has undergone some radical new changes, while still adhering to the classic style that always made it popular and turning heads on the street. Namely, it’s gone electronic only.
But that’s not the only electrifying thing about this compact car. Its upgraded chassis, body and interior have been streamlined and optimised while remaining uncomplicated, a terrific feat to accomplish indeed.
It holds its handling very well compared to most vehicles on the road and its unashamedly retro style combined with economic engines means that it will always be a strong city competitor among other metropolis automobiles.
Why does my Fiat 500 get cracks on its windscreen?
The reasons are numerous and head-ache-inducing reasons why cracks or dents might mar the beautiful surface of your windscreen, or cause the other sections of your car glass to shatter and need replacing. Let’s have at the main two:
The most obvious and most common reason you’re slapping your steering wheel in frustration; small projectiles such as stones being flung up from the freshly paved ground from the car in front of you, or an errant frisbee being thrown by innocent children, could find its way towards smacking your windscreen or car glass dead on, at just the right angle and velocity to cause a crack between the two panes that make up your windscreen or the single glass layer that makes up all the others.
Rapidly fluctuating temperatures
If your Fiat gets exposed to hot and cold temperatures daily, it runs a higher risk of stress fractures occurring. This is when the glass layers expand and contract quickly and begin to fracture under pressure. This cause is not a common reason, but if your Fiat 500 is exposed for too long to these conditions, then you might find a sudden network of cracks spring up very suddenly. This cause is difficult to repair, and often requires a full windscreen replacement instead of a more uncomplicated repair.
How is a Fiat 500’s windscreen and car glass made?
Your Fiat 500’s car glass is made from two types of glass; laminated and tempered glass.
Your front windscreen is constructed with laminated glass, and every single other section of car glass (side windows and rear windscreen) is forged using tempered glass. But how come?
This glass is a little hardy and durable than its tempered counterpart. It’s created by bonding two (or more) layers of ordinary glass with one plastic interlayer, usually a vinyl-type plastic. These panes are sandwiched together with incredible pressure and then subjected to extreme heat to bond and produce a durable glass that can take heavy pressure before cracking.
We make windscreens with this type of glass to prevent glass shards from flying towards the driver and any passengers if there is a sudden impact. Laminated glass can also be repaired if minor damage is involved, which is very useful and cost-effective, considering how expensive windscreens can be.
This type is the slightly more fragile counterpart (while still being stronger than your average or “annealed” glass). You create tempered glass by exposing a clear sheet of glass to incredible heat levels within a large oven, to more than 600 degrees celsius! The glass sheet then undergoes a cooling system known as quenching, where it is pressured down and cooled rapidly. This method results in tempered glass, which unlike annealed glass, fractures into small and relatively harmless pieces when broken.
Because of this, we use tempered glass in those environments where human safety is an issue, such as side and rear windows in vehicles. This glass cannot be repaired though and must be replaced entirely every single time it is damaged.
Can I fix cracks on windscreens myself?
As with all broken things in life, sometimes the most straightforward and cheapest way is to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself!
The nearest hardware store should have all the amenities you need to sort yourself out, as well as any guides (although Youtube will have a plethora of channels offering step-by-step directions to this situation).
But, you should note that there are a few cases where you’ll need to forgo the DIY kit and get in a professional, and this applies to the following circumstances:
- If the chip or dent on the windscreen of your Fiat 500 is greater than a £2 coin.
- The crack/dent location is less than 3cm away from the side of the car frame pane.
- Windscreen cracks or chips should bever obscure the driver’s line of sight.
- If the damage is on the inside of your Fiat 500’s windscreen, not on the outside.
What happens if I drive around with cracks on the windscreen of my Fiat 500?
With every choice in life, there are consequences to be reaped. This reasoning goes doubly when you choose to ignore a safety issue while operating a giant metal contraption weighing over a ton and capable of dangerously high speeds.
You could get in trouble with the law
Police and law enforcement officers don’t take too kindly to “Reckless Driving” which under UK law applies to anybody driving with a sufficiently cracked windscreen which obscures their vision.
This little obstruction of justice can result in three penalty points being applied to your licence or being slapped with a hefty fine of between 250 – 500 pounds.
Your Fiat’s safety could be in jeopardy
Aside from the obvious safety problems regarding not seeing out of your vehicle with a cracked windscreen and putting yourself and other passengers in danger that way, your Fiat 500’s structural integrity is also compromised.
If your Fiat should get into an accident and end up rolling over, its the windscreens and side windows that will help hold the structure of it in place and prevent the frame from closing in like a discarded crisps packet and crushing all the occupants within. Not a pleasant thought, hey?
How can I prevent cracks from appearing on the windscreen of my Fiat 500?
We can all agree that prevention is easier, cheaper, and better for everything in life over repairing or replacing. Here are a few tips and tricks towards getting your Fiat 500’s windscreen clear of all cracks for as long as possible (normal wear-and-tear does get to us all in the end anyway)
Have sufficient shelter
Always make sure that you have your baby under some protective shelter during the day and at night even if the most you can do is a fabric car-cover to throw over it. This will shield it from the suns rays and the winters chill, and prevent stress fractures from appearing within the layers on the windscreen glass.
Having it inside during the daytime can prevent random projectiles, such as wind-flung branches and children’s soccer balls, from coming into direct contact with your car.
Don’t throw hot water onto a frozen windscreen
The rapid and sudden change in extreme temperatures could cause it to shatter instantly. The last thing you need while getting ready in the morning for work!
Always drive carefully
Keeping a safe distance between yourself and the car in front of you, never text and drive, and always being on high alert while on the road could mean the difference between a pleasant drive and a messy accident. Drive like everyone else on the street is an idiot (because odds are; they might very well be).
Keep your windscreen clean at all times
Dirt, sand and water getting into even a minuscule crack can erode and chip away within, causing the tainted gap to degenerate at a more rapid level. Clean and dry any cracks up, and cover with a clear piece of tape to shield it.
How much does it cost for a Fiat 500 windscreen replacement?
There are quite a few factors that have to be considered when working out the total cost of your Fiat 500 windscreen replacement. Let’s go into some full detail on what those factors might be and which ones are of the utmost importance you know about your prized vehicle before the experts can come in.
Despite being a relatively “young” car compared to other makes on the street, there is a large discrepancy between a 2007 Fiat 500 and one produced this year in 2021.
2007 Fiat model with all the windscreen features available: £344.35
2021 Fiat model with all the windscreen features available: £693.03
Typically, the later models have higher tech installed into their windscreens, requiring more parts and expertise in replacing. But the year’s costs may vary due to availability of parts and where they might need to be imported geographically.
Quite a contrast though, hey?
The style of your Fiat 500
From 2009 to 2021, all Fiat 500s’ come with two style options; Hatchback and Convertible. The early Hatchbacks had more windscreen features but were still less expensive to replace than a Convertible. In later years of production, the Convertibles caught up and had more features while still maintaining their higher total costs.
Hatchback: a 2009 Hatchback replacement with all the windscreen features costs £344.35
While a 2021 Hatchback replacement with all the latest in windscreen tech will come to a total of £381.11
Convertible: a 2009 Convertible replacement with all the windscreen features costs £514.20
While a 2021 Convertible replacement with all the latest in windscreen tech will come to a total of £693.03
Subsequently, one of the most critical determinants of your windscreen replacement expense will be what windscreen features it has installed:
What windscreen features does a Fiat 500 have installed?
There are only two windscreen features you need to check whether your Fiat 500 has installed that could heavily influence the total windscreen replacement cost.
Certain front windscreens are created with an extra layer added to the original number of layers in its creation phase. This additional is a viny type layer which has sound-dampening properties that leave the interior of your Fiat quiet and cosy, a veritable sanctuary from sounds.
A rain sensor can be found mounted on a special bracket behind your Fiat 500’s rearview mirror and wired in through the roof. It is a small device that uses light sensor technology to determine the levels of rainfall and moister that come into contact with your windscreen’s surface and sends signals to the wipers to adjust their speed accordingly.
Interesting Fact about the Fiat!
They like to keep it in the family.
The Fiat was established in 1899 by a collection of investors led by Giovanni Agnelli. And to this day, the company created is managed by the Agnelli family, over a hundred years later. The name “Fiat” is the acronym of “Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino” – the company’s original name, which makes sense why they changed it since they probably never had time to get anything done when they tried introducing the car.
However, it also means “so be it” in Latin. And if that’s not just the most Italian thing I’ve ever heard of, I honestly don’t know what is!
Who can I trust to repair or replace my Fiat 500’s windscreen?
Luckily for you, there’s one company that:
- Offers nationwide and mobile coverage at all times (as long as it’s accessible by land in some form or another)
- Asks for fair and market-competitive prices
- Only accredited and professional car glass technicians who utilise the best quality glass and tools on the market.
- Has raving reviews from all its customers
- Works with a well-designed and easy-to-use website
- Accepts most forms of UK insurance policies
UK Car Glass. Just book with the button below today to ensure that your Fiat 500 receives the care it deserves!