What are the Best Ways To Repair A Broken Windshield?

With the sun shining and the wind flowing through your hair, you take the road on a beautiful day.  As you inhale the sweet air, a pebble from the truck in front of you nails your windshield.

After you realize that you have suffered a minor setback with your car, you need to figure out what is the best way to repair the windshield.  Here are a few tips to consider when you have to repair your windshield.

Windshield 101

Unlike the windows on a house or building which can break very easily if something hits it with force, car windshields need to be durable enough to handle major bumps and bruises.  Over the past several years, car manufacturers have stepped up to the plate with putting a stronger, tempered glass in vehicles to withstand high impact.  This glass is called “laminated safety glass.”  Laminated safety glass was designed with two layers of glass that are molded with a rubber layer.  The one layer can withstand the blow from a pebble or something more destructive.  This layer may chip but will not shatter like the old-style windshields.

Assess The Damage

To figure out if you can repair or have to replace a broken or chipped windshield, you need to assess the type of damage that has been done.  Normally, a crack or chip that is smaller than 3 inches can be repaired either by a kit purchased from a auto supply or hardware store or major retailers.  Anything bigger than 3 inches would most likely have to be replaced by a professional.

The placement of the chip or crack should be factored in when deciding whether or not the windshield should be repaired or replaced.  If the crack or chip is at the bottom of the windshield, then this damage could spread quickly and must be repaired as soon as possible.

Handy Types Should Apply

If the chip or crack is manageable, do-it-yourself aficionados can get their repair game on.  Auto supply stores (like Pep Boys and Auto Zone), hardware stores and major retailers (like Wal-Mart, Kmart and Sears) sell windshield repair kits.  There are several varieties to choose from but the two most popular involve Loctite and double adhesive tape.

The Loctite kit utilizes a syringe to apply the adhesive.  This process requires a lot of patience and dexterity because the syringe has to be stable and lined up against the adapter.  Once the application is applied, it sells the crack in the form of a pimple.  After the pimple hardens, it can be shaved off with a razor blade.

The other kit utilizes double sided adhesive tape.  Although this kit includes a syringe application, users find it easier to handle and manipulate.  After the adhesive hardens, you can shave the excess off with a razor blade.

In order for either kit to work effectively, the windshield needs to be cleaned and prepped.  Here are some steps to get the windshield ready for some action:

  • make sure the window is cleaned and free of debris(leaves, dust, and dirt).
  • the windshield must be dry. To dry the windshield quickly, you can use a hair dryer, lighter fluid or acetone(key ingredient in nail polish).

Leave It To The Pros

A chip or crack in a windshield may not be easy to repair.  So, a professional may be the best choice to repair the damage.  Depending on the type of vehicle, the cost to repair or replace the windshield varies.  You need to check with your insurance carrier to see if the work will be covered.  Some insurance companies may put this cost towards a deductible.  Automobile repair shops or dealerships will assess the damage.  Recently, there has been an influx of mobile window repair services flooding the repair market.  Most insurance companies will work with the mobile units to a potential claim is take care of efficiently and quickly.

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