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4 months ago

How to Repair a Chipped Windshield – The Easy Way

If you want to know how to fix a chipped windshield, you have come to the right place. As daunting as it might seem, you can fix windshield cracks with ease at home by yourself. We will explain the whole process and will also address some of the most common misconceptions and questions. First, let’s see what some of the common causes of windshield damage are and what are the implications of using a vehicle that has a cracked windshield. Then we’ll tell you how to fix a chipped windshield with a windshield chip filler right on your driveway.

Why does windshield chipping happen?

Car windshields are made of glass, due to their resistance to scratches. However, glass is also not a perfect material and it can chip or crack quite easily. As the windshield of a car is the part that stands between you and everything outside the car, there are several reasons that can cause the windshield to develop a chip or a crack. Here are the most common ones:

  • The most common cause of windshield chipping is the pieces of debris that fly off the road from the tires of the vehicles ahead of you. Even though these particles are small and seemingly harmless, they are ejected at tremendous speeds by the tires of vehicles and can easily cause your windshield to crack.
  • Rapid changes in the temperature are the second most common issue that damages windshields. Glass is not very good at handling the stresses caused by the change of temperature. So, if your car’s windshield is subjected to a rapid change in temperature due to the weather or any other issue, it can very easily crack it.
  • Impacts also contribute towards some windshield crack incidents. We are not talking about a full-on collision that obliterates the shield. Even if the front window is not directly hit, the stress transferred to the windshield by the frame of the car in the event of an impact can cause the glass to develop cracks.

Why is it not a good idea to drive with a chipped windshield?

If you think that fixing or replacing a cracked windshield is too expensive and you decide to keep using a vehicle with a cracked windshield, think twice. You should not  drive around in a car with a cracked or chipped windshield because of the following reasons:

  • You can get a penalty of three points on your license and a fine for driving a car with a chip or crack in the driver’s field of vision.
  • A chip or crack in the windshield can obstruct your view of the road; the effect is more pronounced at night when the light from the oncoming traffic disperses on the chipped area and practically blinds the driver. 
  • A chipped windshield is not structurally sound and can easily cave in from the pressure of the air when driving at highway speeds.
  • If you plan on selling a car, a chipped or cracked windshield will sit you back around $1000 to $1500.

Don’t be upset about all that, as we are about to tell you how to fix a chipped windshield.  So, if you want to know how to repair a cracked windshield, read on.

Repairing or replacing – what is correct for a chipped windshield?

There are a number of things that you need to consider when making this decision. Here are some of the things that you need to keep in mind.

  • Fixing a cracked windshield will cost you under $100 at home and under $200 at a mechanic, while a new windshield for an average car is priced upwards of $1,000.
  • If your car has active driver-assist features like automated braking or adaptive cruise control, you will need to get the sensors calibrated and that will cost you another $1000.
  • If the crack in the windshield is bigger than 10 inches, repairing might be off the table and you’ll need to resort to replacing the whole thing.

The process of windshield crack repair

So, now the part you were looking for. Let’s see how to repair a windshield chip. 

DIY or professional help?

There are two approaches that you can use for this. First, you can go to a mechanic and have the chip repaired by them, or you can buy a windshield chip repair kit and fix the thing on your own. 

DIY windshield chip repair – the process 

Here is the process for repairing a cracked windshield at home:

  • Assess the damage before you start. To be repairable, a windshield chip needs to be between 1 and 10 inches. Measure the chip on your car to know if it can be repaired.
  • Buy a windshield chip repair kit that is enough for the size of the chip you are dealing with. 
  • Clean the windshield area where the chip is with rubbing alcohol to make sure that the area is clean of any contaminant that might affect the process.

From this point on, you need to follow the instructions on the windshield chip repair kit you bought. Here’s a rough outline of how to fix a small chip in the windshield at home. 

  • Use a sharp object to remove any loose pieces of glass from the chipped area.
  • Install the pedestal on the chipped area and make sure it is firmly attached to the windshield and there is no air in it.
  • Prepare the resin as described by the manufacturer of the kit and pump it into the pedestal with the syringe.
  • Let the resin dry for the duration specified by the manufacturer.
  • Take the pedestal off and clean any of the residual resin that might have seeped out.
  • Clean the area with rubbing alcohol.
  • NOTE: In case any of these steps differ from the ones given on the instructions that came with the windshield chip repair kit, follow the instructions on the kit over the ones given here.

That’s how you repair a chipped windshield at home. Look, the process is simple and easy as we told you. Now let’s address any doubts that you might have on the matter to make sure you know everything there is to know about this matter.

Frequently asked questions

Can windshield chips be repaired?

Yes, you can use a resin to fill the chipped area to make a crack or chip in the windshield disappear forever. After the repair is done, you’ll never notice there was any chip in your windshield.

Is there a windshield chip too small to repair?

No; there is no such thing. If you can see a windshield chip with a naked eye, it can be repaired. All you need is to have the right windshield chip repair kit for it.

What is the maximum size of a windshield chip that can be repaired?

You can easily repair a windshield chip or crack that is under 10 inches in size. Anything bigger than that and you will have to replace the whole thing.

Does windshield chip filler actually work?

Windshield chip fillers actually work and it will make the chip disappear forever.

Does repairing a chipped windshield restore its structural integrity?

Repairing a chipped windshield can restore as much as 85% of the structural integrity of a chipped windshield, making it safe to drive.

What is the optical performance of a repaired chipped windshield?

If done the right way, a repaired windshield can have absolutely no optical performance issues. You can very easily make the chip disappear to the extent that you’ll doubt if it ever used to be.

How much does windshield chip repair cost?

Repairing a windshield chip costs as much as the repair kit and around an hour of your time. Windshield chip repair kits go for $100 to $150 in auto stores. If you decide to get the same done by a professional, it will set you back around $250.

What is the windshield chip filler made of?

Windshield chip filler is made up of a clear resin. It is a synthetic adhesive that fills the chip without hampering the optical properties of the glass.

Can I fix a chipped windshield at home?

You can fix a chipped windshield at home. All you need is a windshield repair kit that you can buy online or at an auto store.