Windshield damage can unfortunately happen way easier than you might expect. Sure, windshields are laminated glass, and they’re even made from 2 sheets of glass which have a sort of plastic in between them. Still, that doesn’t make them unshatterable by any means. It can take as little as a flying pebble on the highway to chip your glass, since you’re rolling at high speeds. If you’re in such a scenario, a mobile windshield chip repair is what we recommend, but you can buy a windshield chip repair kit and attempt the procedure yourself too.
Do note though that if the crack is deeper than 1/8 of an inch, or larger than 3 inches, not even a repair done by expert technicians can be considered safe, and a full-scale windshield replacement is necessary. Otherwise, the crack can “spider-web” to the corners of your auto glass, weakening its entire structural integrity. If you experience even slight collisions with a compromised windshield, there’s a chance that it won’t be able to shatter like it was originally designed, and instead break inwards, further endangering you.
As such, getting any and all chips and cracks addressed as soon as possible is paramount. The brand of the windshield chip repair kit is up to you, as the process is mostly the same. That being said, the kit isn’t going to offer you the professional tools used by experienced technicians such as ours, but the procedure should hold at least temporarily. Here’s what to do:
1. Thoroughly Clean The Impacted Area
Grab a microfiber towel, pour some alcohol on it, and do some circular swipes. You can also use your glass cleaner if you prefer, but make sure not to spray the windshield directly, only the microfiber cloth. This step is important to get rid of potential dust, grime, and any other contaminants that could compromise the procedure.
2. Remove Potential Shards From The Chip
Before getting down to business, place something distinctly colored behind the crack if possible, so that you can clearly see it. Professionals also use mirrors so that they can see all sides of the crack during the repair, but it can be confusing if you’re not accustomed to it.
Now take something like a needle or a safety pin, and gently scrape inside the crack, removing any shards if present. Be careful not to actually scrape the windshield. If the chip looks black, that’s normal, as air can get stuck in it, and gives this illusion.
3. Apply The Seal
Peel off one side from it, and apply it to the crack, with the tab facing upwards. The crack should remain in the middle of the seal. After it’s secured, remove the other side, and on that sticky side, place the pedestal (circular shape, tube on top).
4. Pour In The Resin
This special type of resin that’s used for auto glass repairs will basically “replace” the glass that was chipped away. Cut the tip of the container, and put about 3 quarters of it inside the pedestal.
Now take the syringe, and secure it within the pedestal, so that it stays tightly fit even if you’re not holding it. Hold the syringe with one hand, and with the other hand pull up, this’ll create a vacuum, sucking up the air from the crack, and letting the resin take its place. Use the clips on the syringe to lock it in position, and leave it like that for about 10 minutes.
From time to time, very gently tap on the area around the crack, so you help loosen air bubbles.
Now remove the syringe just for a couple of seconds to let the air escape, then place it back, move the clips, and start pushing down about half-way, locking it with clips again afterwards. This is now going to push the resin into the crack. Leave it like that for 20 minutes. After that, remove the syringe and put it aside, as you’re done with it
5. Remove The Seal
Some resin is probably going to drip, so prepare a paper towel in advance. Use a safety razor to make this process easier.
Now put another drop of resin on top of the crack, take your little yellow square, and place it above that. Push it gently with the flat side of your safety razor, and leave it like that for 15 minutes if the windshield is in direct sunlight, or an hour otherwise. Using your safety razor for the final time, remove the remaining components of the windshield chip repair kit, and scrape across the resin that remained on top of the windshield.
And that’s that! Depending on your dexterity, a speck of the crack could still be visible, but it doesn’t automatically mean you didn’t do a fine job. Still, in order to assure everything’s done exactly as it should be, and with proper tools and techniques, we recommend opting for a mobile windshield chip repair. If you live in the Phoenix Metro Area, we can reach you for $0 Out-of-Pocket cost, and no charge whatsoever for the mobile service! Get in touch at (480) 525-6554.