Want to know how to repair a windshield crack or chip yourself? Don't worry, we've got your back!
In this ProperMechanic.com guide, you'll learn:
- How to calculate the cost of professional windshield repair vs. DIY cost
- How to identify a "fixable" windshield crack or windshield chip
- The supplies you'll need to repair your cracked windshield
And Much more!
Few things are more aggravating than finding you need to repair a windshield crack due to a wayward rock that was sent sailing through the air, by a fellow motorist’s tire.
Whether it is the loud noise caused by such a rock strike, or the sudden realization of the bullseye shaped crack in your car windshield, even the calmest car owner can be driven mad by a suddenly broken windshield.
That's why we compiled this guide to make it easier for you to learn how to DIY your windshield crack repair.
So, before you try to DIY your cracked windshield repair, I recommend you keep reading to learn everything you need to know about properly repairing your windshield!
Are DIY Savings Worth The Effort?
While no one appreciates needing to fix a cracked windshield, once you find a small chip or crack, there's no going back. You'll need to decide if the damage is something you can fix yourself, or something you'll need a professional to take on.
To make an informed decision regarding whether or not DIY windshield repair is worth the effort, you must first identify how much money can be saved when completing such a repair yourself. While prices for windshield crack and windshield chip repair, as well as windshield replacement, often differ from one region to the next, prices are typically close enough to obtain an average cost.
Average Cost Of Professional Windshield Repair:
Average Cost Of Professional Windshield Replacement:
Average Cost Of DIY Windshield Repair Kit:
As you can see from the figures above, repairing your own cracked or chipped windshield can save a substantial amount of money.
You must also factor the expenditure of your time as well.
However, if you have an extra hour on a Saturday afternoon, and would like to save a little bit of money along the way, then DIY windshield repair might just be your best option.
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Signs Your Windshield Crack is Repairable
Before deciding to repair your own windshield, you must first assess the defect in question to confirm that it is repairable. Most dime or nickel-sized chips and cracks can easily be repaired at home, with products that can be found at any auto parts store.
However, while small cracks are easily repaired, large cracks warrant further assessment by your local auto glass repair shop. Cracks of this size are prone to spreading and can signal a potential hazard for a car’s driver.
The Following Forms Of Windshield Damage Require Professional Repair:
- Cracks longer than 3”
- Cracks that extend into the outer edge of the windshield
- Cracks that penetrate deeper than halfway through the windshield
- Cracks in the driver's line of sight (repair can cause some distortion in the field of view)
DIY Windshield Repair
The most common variety of DIY windshield repair kits utilize a syringe, or integrated plunger, to eliminate air within the damaged portion of the windshield and to inject sealing resin into the crack or chip.
The two most commonly marketed DIY repair kits are:
- Adhesive strip and syringe combo
- Suction cup mount applicator combo
Adhesive Strip and Syringe Combo
This particular style of kit utilizes a double-sided adhesive strip, on which an adaptor fitting is affixed. Once these base components are in place, a syringe that is preloaded with resin is fitted to the previously mentioned adaptor.
The syringe plunger is then withdrawn to the full extent of its stroke, thereby pulling a vacuum to eliminate air pockets within the surface defect that is to be repaired.
After a duration of 10 to 15 minutes, the syringe plunger is then engaged in the downward position until completely bottomed within the bore.
This allows the resin to be forced into the windshield’s crack or chip. After the resin has been injected, let the syringe and adaptor sit idle for another 10 to 15 minutes.
This process of withdrawing and engaging the unit’s plunger is to be repeated in an identical fashion until five cycles have been completed.
Once satisfied that the chipped or cracked portion of the windshield has been filled with resin, you then remove the syringe, applicator, and double-sided adhesive.
You can now wipe down this segment of the windshield with an alcohol saturated paper towel. After allowing the area of your newly completed repair to sit for 15 minutes, you will now employ the use of a razor blade to carefully scrape away any dried resin that remains on the surface of the windshield.
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Suction Cup Mount Applicator Combo
When using a suction cup mount applicator combo, you will wipe the area of the windshield that is to be repaired free of all dirt or road grime.
You will now stick the mount’s suction cups to the windshield in a way that places the mount’s center hole directly over the defect that is to be repaired.
With your mount situated, you will place the applicator within the mount’s center hole until it bottoms out on the windshield’s surface.
This applicator is then filled with five to six drops of the liquid resin that comes with your repair kit. You will now thread the plunger assembly into the top of the applicator body until it bottoms out completely.
This forces resin into your windshield’s crack or chip, while also expelling any air within. Let the entire assembly stand for thirty minutes.
After the newly injected resin has been allowed to dry, remove the repair assembly from your windshield and ensure that the crack or chip has been completely filled with resin.
You will now add two drops of resin over the face of the newly filled defect, and cover it with a piece of translucent film that is included with the repair kit.
Your car should then be allowed to sit outside in direct sunlight for 15 minutes for the resin to cure. Once this time has expired, remove the previously applied film, and scrape away any excess resin with the use of a razor blade.
Final Thoughts on DIY Windshield Crack Repair
Although the thought of a cracked or chipped windshield is never welcomed, such an occurrence is hardly a death sentence to your car’s windshield.
With a small expenditure of time and a can-do attitude, you can forgo a dreaded insurance claim and gain significant satisfaction at the sight of a job well done.
Just remember to get your work double-checked with a basic inspection to ensure that your vehicle's windshield is safe and secure.
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