One repair that is often overlooked until too late is auto glass chip repair. While a chip in your windshield may not seem like much, contamination from environmental debris and stresses from changing temperatures can cause it to grow over time, leading to cracks and much more expensive repairs. However, it does not have to come to this. With this article, and a do-it-yourself auto glass repair kit, you can fix a chip in your windshield before it gets worse.
Inspect the Damage
The first step in any repair process is to inspect the damage. You can do this yourself or even take your car to a professional if necessary. A general rule of thumb is that if your windshield damage is limited to a minor chip or knick, it should be repairable. Small spider cracks can often be repaired as well, but cracks with long veins present a bigger problem and are usually not repairable. If in doubt, consult a professional for their opinion.
Choose the Repair Kit
If you determine that your glass chip is indeed repairable, a trip to your local auto parts store will provide you with a few different options for repair. Though offered by different companies, most do-it-yourself windshield kits work the same way and come with similar items. The kits usually include a stabilizer or base that looks like a suction cup, an injector or applicator, a tube of resin and an adhesive curing film.
Perform the Repair
Before diving into the repair, be sure to carefully read the detailed instructions provided with the kit. Once you have done this, the first step is to clean out the chip and the area around it as well as possible with glass cleaner. Dry with a clean towel afterwards. If there is any debris left in the chip, a safety pin or similar item can be used to get it out.
When the area is clean, the stabilizer or base will need to be attached to the windshield, usually with an adhesive. Make sure that it is positioned carefully and that the seal between it and the glass is airtight. The next step usually involves attaching the injector or applicator to the stabilizer. Generally, the air is then removed from between the stabilizer and the windshield while the resin is injected. The vacuum this creates helps to draw the resin into the crack and to protect it from contaminants in the air.
Once the resin has cured for the time indicated in the instructions, the applicator and stabilizer are removed. The next step usually involves placing a dab of resin on the repair and then placing the curing film over it. When placing the film, be sure to remove any air bubbles that may be present. Once again, let the resin cure for the amount of time indicated in the instructions.
Once the film is removed, if any part of the repair is uneven, it can usually be fixed with a razor blade. Any excess resin or adhesive residue can be cleaned up with glass cleaner. If completed properly, the repair should be fairly unnoticeable at this point.
While a chip in your windshield may seem insignificant, it’s important to take care of as soon as possible before it becomes something worse. With the information provided in this article, you’ll find that it’s a simple job that can save you a lot of money in the long run.