Fixing Your Cracked or Chipped Windshield
You should repair cracks as quickly as possible before the chip to become a full unrepairable crack (+6 inches) which may be very expensive to replace. If you closely the crack you often times notice it is black in the center where the debris made impact, this is trapped air. This is due to how modern windshield are created; with a layer of laminate in the middle and glass on both sides. This is called laminate glass or safety glass because the laminate layer does not allow the glass to shattered and fall apart like traditional glass. However, these layers are what cause air to get trapped between the layers and create those black holes which can be detrimental to the life and longevity of the windshield.
- Buying the proper tools. Go to any automotive hardware store and they will have windshield repair “kits”. These kits are the bare minimum of the required tools which include a bridge tool with a suction cup and threaded injector, the resin and curing tabs. You will also require a small screw driver, rag or towel, razor blade, and window cleaner. If you have a dremel tool it will help the process, although it is not required.
- Identify your crack/chip. There are three different types of cracks, they are listed below from least severe to most severe. Identify what type of crack/chip you are repairing; the steps you take to repair the chip/crack are the same between the three different types of crack, but be aware of how much pressure and precautions you should take depending on the severity of the crack/chip during the repair process.
- Bulls eye
- Spider Crack
- Prepping the windshield. First clean the area of the windshield with the crack using the window clean and rag. Next use the screw driver to simply dig at the area with very light pressure to remove any pieces of loose glass. If you do not possess a dremel tool, please skip the following instructions.
- Use the dremel tool and a drill bit to drill at the crack where the debris made a hole. Drill with putting minimal pressure to avoid further cracking the glass, until you here a pop. This pop will be you penetrating the laminate layer of the glass.
- Setting the Equipment. Use the suction cup to stick the bridge tool onto the crack so that with the injector removed, you can see that the hole in the bridge lines up with the hole in the glass. Lower the bridge until contact is made between the tip of the bridge tool and the glass. Be careful not to put too much pressure as it can cause the windshield to further crack.
- Injecting the Resin. The resin used in fixing windshield is cured and hardened by UV light. So for the rest of the article, cover the area we are repairing with the rag or towel. Do not worry if the glass becomes hot because of the heat as heat does not cause the resin to cure, only UV or sunlight can. With the area covered by a rag, apply 5-10 droplets depending on the size of the repair, of resin into the barrel of the bridge tool. Next we will use the threaded injector tool and simply screw the injector into the barrel all the way to the bottom of the barrel.
- Wait. for about 10 minutes for the resin to move through the glass and remove the air, creating a seal between the broken layers of laminate and glass.
- Curing the Resin. Remove the entire bridge assembly and rag. Using the provided UV curing tabs, add a few more droplets of resin on the exposed repair spot and place the curing tab on top.
- Wait. Now allow the sunlight to cure the resin, this may take up to 10-15 minutes depending on how much sunlight there is hitting the area. If it is dark, you will need a UV light as there is no other way to cure the resin.
- Finishing the repair. Remove the curing tab, there should be hard layer of resin on top of the repaired area. Using the razor blade perpendicular to the windshield, scrape away the resin. Do not worry about scratching the glass as long as you keep the blade perpendicular to both the glass and direction you are scraping. Continue to do so until no resin is left, except a tiny dot where we made the repair. Run your finger over the repaired area and it should feel smooth as if no resin was present.
- If it does not feel that smooth, repeat steps 7, 8 and 9 until it is smooth.
- Using the window cleaner, simply clean the repaired area to remove any resin shavings.
- Drive without worry. You have now repaired your shield and should have no worries about your safety while driving. Treat the cured area like regular glass by cleaning it and washing it. There will be a small "scar" where the repair was done, this is completely normal. However, the integrity of the windshield has been restored which is the most important thing!
Things You'll Need
- Safety Glasses
- Windshield Repair Kit (More Details in Step 1)
- Small Screw Driver
- Rag or Towel
- Razor Blade
- Window Cleaner
- Dremel Tool (optional)
- UV light lamp (optional)