Auto windshield repair is an unfortunate reality of car ownership, and almost everyone has had a crack, nick or chip in their windshield at one point or another. Car washes, weather conditions and other factors can make matters even worse by turning a tiny chip into a large crack over time, eventually requiring that the entire windshield be replaced. In order to avoid this, it’s best to repair any windshield damage as soon as possible. With this in mind, the following information will help you to decide how best to deal with the particular crack, nick or chip you find yourself stuck with.
Do-It-Yourself Windshield Repair
If your windshield has a small, star shaped crack with tiny veins stemming out from its middle, you are in luck and can probably take care of the problem with a do-it-yourself windshield repair kit. These can be purchased at your local auto parts store and will prevent the crack from spreading any further. They contain a stabilizer (a suction-cup-like device) that you attach to the windshield which allows you to fill the crack with resin provided in the kit. While this repair is fairly easy, make sure to carefully read the detailed instructions provided with the kit before attempting it.
Professional Windshield Repair
If, on the other hand, your windshield has a large crack, you should seek out professional assistance. Assuming that the crack is determined to be repairable, a technique very similar to that of the do-it-yourself kit will be used, however, an ultraviolet light is used to dry the resin. This provides a much less noticeable crack when the resin dries and a cleaner, more accurate repair. Though in most cases you will have to bring the car to a repair facility, a professional may sometimes be able to travel to your car’s location and perform the repair there. Often, your car insurance provider will completely cover this repair, as it saves them money over the cost of replacing the entire windshield.
Professional Windshield Replacement
If you are dealing with a very large crack in your windshield, and its vein is longer than two feet, the glass is generally considered unsafe and must be replaced. Unfortunately, the only option at this point is to have the windshield completely replaced by a professional. As with windshield repair, you will need to take your car to a professional repair facility to have this done, though in some cases, a professional may be able to visit your car’s location to perform the repair. Depending on the terms of your specific coverage, your car insurance provider may cover the cost of this repair, though you will be responsible for any associated deductible.
Windshield cracks are never fun, but whether you perform the repair yourself or have a professional do it, taking care of it sooner rather than later will save you money in the long run.