There’s never a good time to notice that you’ve got a chipped windshield, although we’d imagine it’s probably the worst when you see a rock bounce off the back of a truck in front of you and mar your pristine glass. Regardless, while it may be frustrating, there’s no need to panic; you can fix small nicks and cracks yourself!
Windshield Repair Made Easy
It’s a dirty little secret of the auto repair industry that well over 50% of replaced windshields could likely be repaired easily by a professional or even a home DIY kit. Many drivers choose to visit a glass specialty shop to get their chipped windshields repaired, but often times you can do it yourself.
To prepare your windshield for repair, you will want to make sure you have a nice sunny day lined up, as many repair kits require direct sunlight to cure the solution you’ll be using to fix the crack. If you’ve got some particularly cloudy days coming up, you can use a UV lamp, but the kits generally seal best under sunlight.
First, you’ll want to take a razor blade and carefully remove any remaining loose pieces of glass in the crack, and then slide it across the glass to make sure you have a clean surface over the area you’ll be repairing.
While you will want to take a look at the specific instructions for your repair kit, in general, you’ll want to make sure the area is dry before applying the adhesive. When you do apply the adhesive, be very careful not to get any on your car’s paint job.
Once you’ve finished the repair process, you’ll have a solid layer of the adhesive covering the chip, and if everything went well, the chip should be practically invisible. Sometimes a small bump remains over the adhesive where the last bit was applied; after it has all dried, you can go back over it carefully with that razor blade and even it out.
I know I take great satisfaction in doing these kinds of repairs on my own, in addition to the money saved from taking it in to a specialty shop or replacing the windshield entirely. That said, if you’re ever unsure of yourself, or if you think you might not know what you’re doing, visit a professional and let them handle it.
November 12, 2012 by Jamie Rettig