Can you fix a windshield crack or windshield chip?
Several companies sell DIY windshield crack and chip repair kits, so you might be tempted to try the repair yourself. Before you spend the money on a windshield chip repair or crack repair kit, you should know that many windshield cracks and chips can’t be repaired. Learn more below
Which windshield chips and cracks can’t be repaired?
- Windshield chips and cracks that are in the driver’s site area CANNOT be repaired by you or a professional.
- Cracks that are longer than 3” can’t be repaired with a DIY kit and cracks that are longer than 6” can’t even be repaired by a professional.
- If there are three or more cracks/chips in the windshield, it can’t be repaired and must be replaced.
- Windshield cracks and chips at the edge of the windshield glass cannot be repaired.
What’s involved in a DIY windshield chip or crack repair
The windshield repair kits contain a mounting jig and a small tube of UV cure clear resin. The DIY kits rely on the sun’s UV rays to cure the resin, so make sure you follow the directions and perform the repair when you’ll have enough sunlight to complete the curing process. You must also follow the temperature guidelines in the kit.
Step 1 Clean out any remaining glass fragments
Use a small pin or shop vacuum to remove any small glass particles from the chipped area.
Step 2 Clean the glass to remove wax, grease or body oils
Most kits recommend using rubbing alcohol for this step
Step 3 Apply the jib to the glass
Depending on the kit brand, this involves applying a self-adhering tape or jig to the glass. Locate the jig directly above the chip or crack.
Step 4 Fill the chip with resin
The resin application process varies by kit design. Some include a syringe so you can suck air out of the chip or crack before forcing the resin in. Others simply force the resin into the damaged area.
Step 5 Allow the repair to cure in the sun
Step 6 Cut and smooth the repair
Using a razor blade, remove any excess resin and polish the remaining resin to get a clear repair
Pros and cons to DIY windshield crack and chip repair
- More affordable than replacing the entire windshield
- Fairly easy to do for a DIYer
- The repair will never be as clear as glass and will almost always be noticeable.
- Limited to small windshield cracks and chips
How about professional Windshield crack and chip repair?
Don’t want to do the job yourself? Well, most glass repair shops will be happy to do the repair for you. They use much more sophisticated equipment than you’ll find in DIY kits. Plus, they utilize a portable UV curing lamp to get instant results.
Many insurance companies cover the full cost of professional windshield repair if you already have glass coverage. Even if you don’t have glass coverage, professional windshield chip and crack repair will always be less costly than replacing the entire windshield.
Can pros repair all windshield damage?
No. Again, large cracks and cracks and chips in the driver’s line of sight can’t be repaired. Depending on the glass shop, some shops can repair cracks up to a maximum of 3” in length, while others say they can repair cracks up to 6”. Shops also have limits on the size and type of chips that can be repaired.
Pros and cons of professional glass repair
Low cost or free if you have glass coverage. That’s even cheaper than buying a kit!
Many glass shops offer mobile service so they can repair your windshield at your home or job.
Shops guarantee their work.
Fast repair. The entire repair from a professional can be done in less than 30-minutes.
Cons of glass repair versus replacement
The repair will never be as clear as glass and will always be noticeable.
The repair isn’t as strong as glass and the windshield is considered a structural component; it supports your roof! That’s an important consideration especially if your windshield is cracked because a new windshield will be less likely to collapse in an accident than a windshield that’s had a crack repair.
Windshields are a sandwich construction of a polyvinyl butyral (PVB) sheet fused between two sheets of glass. The three materials are heated in a furnace until they fuse together and the glass is then cooled to increase strength. The result is glass that resists punctures better than plan glass and breaks into small pieces rather than shards.
Once a chip forms in your windshield it will ALWAYS spread into a crack. If you plan of repairing the chip, get it repaired as soon as possible to prevent crack formation.
If your vehicle is equipped with an Advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) like accident avoidance, lane departure, adaptive cruise control, etc., make sure the glass meets the carmakers’ standards for clarity and shape and the shop is skilled in calibrating the ADAS systems.
Avoid freelance glass repair companies. Windshield replacement requires certified glass and special sealants. Fly-by-night operators often use counterfeit glass and subpar adhesives, resulting in distortion, inability to calibrate ADAS systems, and leaks.
How to find a professional glass repair shop
Search local listings and avoid nationwide 1-800 glass repair outfits. Those companies are usually just brokers that collect a commission for forwarding your job to a local glass repair shop.
Install Time: A new windshield replacement will take more time to complete than a repair job. You can always look for a Mobile Auto Glass Company to come to your work or home and complete it for you instead of waiting at a shop.
©, 2020 Rick MuscoplatPosted on by Rick Muscoplat