Getting a chipped or cracked windshield is never fun. However, if and when it happens to you, there’s no need to stress yourself out over an expensive repair. When you get a chipped windshield, you can often repair it yourself with a few simple tools. Read our list of ten steps to learn how to fix a cracked windshield.
1. See If You Can Repair It
The first thing you want to do is find out if you can fix your cracked windshield. There are several things you want to look for. If the crack or chip is near the edge of the windshield, that may cause structural damage. In this case, you probably need to take the cracked windshield to a professional. Measure the crack or chip. If a crack is six inches or shorter, you can probably repair it. If a chip is less than one inch in diameter, it can probably be fixed at home.
2. Get a Repair Kit
After you’ve determined that you can repair your chipped or cracked windshield yourself, you’ll want to acquire a windshield repair kit. You can get one at most auto parts stores. If there are several brands available, ask a store associate which one they recommend.
3. Clean Windshield
Now that you have your repair kit, it’s time to learn how to fix a cracked windshield. First, you should clean the windshield off with a towel or rag. Remove any broken glass from the chip, and make sure the rest of the cracked windshield is clear. Then you’ll be ready to get into the repair.
4. Apply Suction Cups
Take the windshield repair tool from your kit. Place it on the windshield so that the suction cups stick. Align the circle on the tool with the center of the chip the best that you can. If you have a cracked windshield, place the applicator at one end of the crack. This will assure the proper administration of the resin.
5. Load Resin
When you’ve attached the cracked windshield tool to the area of the crack or chip, then you can load the resin into the applicator. Before you load the resin, make sure the suction cups are adequately lubricated, so they slide across the windshield. This is especially important if you have a cracked windshield. Most repair kits come with two kinds of resin, one specifically for chips and another for cracks. If your kit only came with one, use that one for either. Pour the appropriate resin into the tube of the applicator. Then screw the tube into the applicator.
6. Apply Resin
Now comes the important part. Screw the resin plunger into the tube. This will force the resin out of the tube and into the crack or chip. If you have a chipped windshield, simply screw the plunger in and wait for the crack to fill. If you have a cracked windshield, screw the plunger down and look to see if the resin is coming out. Then, slide the applicator across the length of the crack in one smooth motion.
7. Cover With Curing Tape
As soon as you apply the resin, use the curing tape in your kit to cover the entire crack or chip. Make sure this is not regular tape from your house, but a film made for curing resin. This will hold the resin in place and keep it from oozing out of the chip or crack.
8. Cure Resin Under Light
After you apply the curing tape, you’ll need to leave your chipped or cracked windshield under UV light. This will take at least 30 minutes, and it may take as long as two hours. Leaving your car outside on a clear day is ideal, as sunlight will cure the resin. If you have to keep your car indoors, use a powerful ultraviolet light to cure the resin.
9. Remove Excess Resin
Once you’ve given the resin enough time to cure, you’ll want to remove any excess from the windshield. You can do this pretty easily with a standard razor blade. Once you’ve removed the excess, your windshield should be good for driving again.
If the resin didn’t set right, or it’s not smooth in places, don’t worry. You can always repeat the process until you get your windshield to look just right. If you don’t know how to fix a cracked windshield, it may take a few tries to get it right.
When to get it professionally repaired
Remember, if the crack is too big or causes structural damage, you’ll need to take your car to a professional windshield repair shop. That’s why it’s important you pay close attention to the size and location of the crack or chip.
Hopefully, you can now use your knowledge of how to fix a cracked windshield to save money when you get smaller cracks or chips. Taking your chipped windshield into the repair shop isn’t always necessary.
Remember that there are things you can do to keep your windshield in good shape. For example, installing a bug deflector can keep bugs and road debris off your windshield. Be sure to visit the Wade Auto site to view an array of automotive accessories and deflectors for your windshield.