All too often a road trip is rewarded with damage resulting in the need to repair a chip in the windshield. Two of the most common types of minor damage are a chip and a crack. A chip is basically just that; a small piece of the windshield chipped out due to an impact. At times a chip will not enlarge, but often stresses placed on the windshield will cause cracks to form and radiate from the area of the chip. This can happen immediately after impact or over time.
Step 1: A Bit of Post Damage Advice
A small, repairable chip can quickly spread. If possible, do not drive the vehicle until the repair is completed. While a chip may never enlarge or form cracks, it is highly likely that it will. A short ride may be all it takes to form large cracks in the windshield, resulting in the need for a costly replacement windshield.
Step 2: Assess the Damage
Can I repair the damage myself? Possibly. An inspection of the damaged area is required. A general rule is that the damaged area cannot exceed the size of a quarter. If the observed damage is larger than a quarter, a repair may still be possible. This will be determined by a specific repair kit’s recommendations.
Step 3: Choosing the Repair Kit
Different do-it-yourself kits are available at auto parts stores and various retail stores. These kits require no special skills or training. The kit will provide specific directions and the tools required for the repair. Based on your observations of the damage, you will need to find an appropriate repair kit per the recommendations of the manufacturer. One product may be sufficient for your particular windshield’s damage while another may not. Be aware that a temperature range and certain weather conditions may be specified for the repair.
Step 4: Clean the Damaged Area
The first step with any windshield repair will be cleaning of the damaged area and the area surrounding. Caution is required as glass chips from the impact may remain present in the area. Glass chips can be very small and very sharp. Due care should be taken to avoid injury. Carefully clean the damage and surrounding area, attempting to avoid unnecessary pressure on the windshield. Something as simple as pushing against the glass with your hand could cause a crack to form.
Step 5: Making the Repair
It is now time for the windshield repair kit. There will be instructions for additional cleaning. The actual repair will involve using a syringe or something similar, and a special fluid to fill the chip. The kit will include what is needed to temporarily attach the syringe to the windshield and specific instructions will be given for the entire process.
A properly repaired windshield with a do-it-yourself kit can result in complete repair of a damaged windshield and save the vehicle’s owner the cost and hassle of replacing the windshield.