Can you fix a windshield crack yourself?
You can sometimes fix a windshield crack yourself, but it depends on how you define a “crack”. Windshield crack and chip repair kits only work on certain types and sizes. Here are the five types of windshield cracks that can be repaired using a UV-cure resin that’s injected into the chip. There are really chips. More about cracked windshields here. If you fix a cracked windshield crack chip right away, you can often prevent it from spreading into a long crack which can’t be repaired.
Windshield chip repair on a star break
This is an example of a star break. Notice the short radial cracks/legs radiating off the impact point. If you don’t fix this early, those legs will spread and turn into long cracks that can’t be fixed. You can try fixing this yourself, but really, this type of windshield crack is best left to the pros.
Car windshield Bullseye break
A bullseye chip is more like a divot, where there’s a dark colored circle right at the impact point without extending cracks. This can be filled with UV cured epoxy resin much easier than the other types of windshield cracks.
Windshield crack half-moon break
Just like the bullseye chip above, this one doesn’t have extending cracks. It looks like a half-circle has been scooped out of the glass and can be repaired using a windshield chip repair kit.
Windshield crack combination break
A combination breaks has multiple types of breaks within the impact area and is slightly harder to fix yourself because you have to force the resin into the cracks. Like the star break, this windshield crack is best left to the pros.
Windshield daisy break
Th daisy windshield break has a series of small radial breaks. You can sometimes fix this with a windshield repair kit.
Windshield chip repair maximum size
Most windshield chips up to 1¼-in. diameter can be repaired by a professional glass repair company or with a DIY kit or from online or auto parts store. Plus, a single line crack up to 6-in. in length can be professionally repaired as long as it’s located in the outer portion of the windshield and not in the driver’s line of sight.
However, some professional glass repair companies can repair longer cracks. Single line cracks on the inside of the windshield or cracks the break into additional cracks can’t be repaired.
Windshield crack repair depends on the chip or crack location
Windshield cracks and chips in the “acute area” driver’s line of sight cannot legally be repaired.
Windshield crack and chip repair should be done as soon as possible
Windshield chips can spread quickly, so it’s critical to get them repaired before they grow beyond the repairable stage. Plus, every state has different regulations regarding driving with a cracked or chipped windshield.
Can you do a windshield chip repair yourself or should you call in a professional glass repair company?
Glass repair companies use professional grade equipment to repair cracks and chips, so you’ll usually get a much better repair and one that’s less noticeable. Professional windshield chip repair usually costs less than $100 and can be done on location as long as outside temperatures are above 50°. At colder temperatures, you’ll have to bring your vehicle to a glass repair shop so it can be performed in warmer conditions.
However, if you can’t justify the cost of a professional windshield chip repair, then you can try a DIY windshield chip repair kit as long as the chip meets the criteria listed above.
Purchase a windshield chip repair kit from any auto parts store. I’ll use the Permatex Windshield (arund $13) chip repair kit as an example here. Other companies make DIY windshield repair kits, but most of those aren’t readily available at auto parts stores. Here’s the procedure.
Step 1: Clean the windshield chip with the supplied push pin to remove glass particles. This ensure a good bond and reduces the possibility of trapped air bubbles.
Step 2: Clean the outside and inside of the windshield chip with the alcohol wipe
Step 3: Remove the adhesive liner and center the adhesive disc over the windshield chip and press it onto the outside of the windshield. Press firmly to remove any air bubbles between the adhesive and glass.
Step 4: Remove the adhesive liner to expose the outer portion of the adhesive pad and press the pedestal mount onto the pad. Press firmly to remove air bubbles between the pad and pedestal.
Step 5:Fill the pedestal with resin
Step 6: Attach syringe and pull the plunger to the top location and lock in place. This procedure pulls a vacuum on the damaged are to remove air bubbles. Leave the plunger in the full up position for at least 10-mins.
Step 7: Remove the syringe to allow air into the pedestal. Then reconnect the syringe to the pedestal and push the plunger to the second marked position. This pressurizes the resin, forcing it into all the radial cracks and divots in the glass. Leave the syringe in the pressurized position for at least 20-mins.
Step 8: Remove the pedestal and adhesive pad and remove excess resin with the single edge razor blade.
Step 9: Apply a drop of resin directly onto the windshield chip repair area and cover with the yellow curing strip. Squeegee out any air bubbles.
Step 10: Expose the windshield chip repair to direct sunlight for 15-mins. or up to 1-hour on cloudy days.
Remove the yellow curing strip and cut the excess resin from the repaired area.
©, 2017 Rick Muscoplat
Posted on by Rick Muscoplat