You’re driving along the highway and you hear it. A smack, like something just hit your windshield. Fortunately, it wasn’t a bird or an animal. Unfortunately, however, it was a fairly-big pebble from the road, leaving a good-sized chip in the middle of your windshield. Although not too pressing, it kind of obstructs your view, so you want to get it fixed as soon as possible.
If you leave the small windshield chip unattended and uncared for, it can turn into a huge problem without you realizing it. After being exposed to the elements, like dirt, exposure to the sun, and certain weather conditions, the chip can become filled with dirt, making it difficult or impossible to fix.
If water gets into the chip, the windshield can become foggy, which will completely obstruct your vision while driving, making this so much more dangerous scenario. By scheduling a windshield chip repair, you can save time and money in the long run. Taking your car in for a windshield chip repair can save you money and headache.
What To Do When A Windshield Chip Happens?
After a chip occurs on the windshield of your car, you should get your chip repaired immediately or try and do it yourself. The chip can turn into a crack that can obstruct your view while driving, which can put you in harm's way. If for some reason you don't have time or you have to wait a few days before getting it fixed, there are a few things that can be done to prevent the chip from gaining size and growing into a larger crack.
If you let the windshield chip grow into a crack, you can be spending more money to fix the chip in the long run – the average cost to repair your windshield is between $200-$1000.
First, you should cover the chip in packing tape in order to prevent dirt from getting inside of the chip and making it difficult to repair. Only clear packing tape should be used to prevent leaving marks and debris in your windshield.
Second, avoid washing the car, especially with cold water. If you are in an environment where it is consistently raining or in colder weather, we recommend leaving your car inside of your garage and not driving it until you repair the chip.
Third, you should monitor and take note of the internal pressure placed on the windshield. Since the windshield glass is tempered, any pressure from the inside of your car can cause the chip to easily spread into a bigger crack. Avoid touching the glass, pushing on the chip, and doing anything that can cause the chip to become a bigger issue – literally. Try and keep the glass in your vehicle in good condition – some old junk car glass is recyclable.
Fourth, don’t put any glue or adhesive substances into the chip. Despite some remedies you might see online that are supposedly going to repair the chip, this shouldn’t be done. Certain mixtures of solutions you might find are ineffective and make a chip repair very difficult, since debris will gather in the chip.
Lastly, try and repair your chip as soon as possible after the windshield chip occurs. We know that life can get in the way and you might have plans, but the sooner you get it fixed, the easier it will be for you and your wallet. If you leave the chip alone, it can burst into a series of tiny cracks, or grow into one long crack across the span of your windshield. This will turn into a costly repair that is much more difficult and time-consuming to fix.
Windshield Chip Repair Kits – Do It Yourself
If you don’t want to spend the money to bring your vehicle into a mechanic’s auto body shop, or you just believe that you can handle it on your own with a repair kit, then check out these pros and cons of using a repair kit for that windshield chip.
Windshield Chip Repair Kits – Pros
First, the cost of a windshield chip repair kit is lower than taking your car to an auto body shop. Not only will they charge for the products used and the actual repair, mechanics charge for the cost of their labor. The window repair products are generally inexpensive and can be easily ordered online if you choose to do it yourself.
Second, repairing a chipped windshield is fairly easy in terms of car repair and maintenance on your vehicle. Compared to other more complicated internal parts of your car like an engine or transmission system, the windshield is a fairly straightforward part of your vehicle. The typical chip repair kit you can purchase comes with everything you need, like epoxy and resin, curing strips, scraping tool, and plungers.
Third, the windshield chip repair kits are a convenient solution. The process generally takes less than a few hours, if you follow the directions, and has a success rate of 90%. Even though you are guaranteed a higher percentage of a solution when visiting a mechanic, the ease of doing this at your own home adds to the convenience factor.
Fourth, some windshield chips can spread into longer spider cracks that can take up your entire windshield and cause a visual problem. Changes in temperature can exacerbate the issue – if you live in a temperate climate, then you should look into buying a windshield chip repair kit as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Check for any scratches on the windshield of your car as well. Repairing a scratch on your windshield can cost $30-$60 if you take it to an auto body shop.
Last, the products that you will find in a windshield repair kit are oftentimes just as effective as the tools that the mechanics or mobile windshield repairers use in their own kits. By doing it yourself, you aren’t skimping on product quality, but just saving money on the labor.
Windshield Chip Repair Kits – Cons
First, you might end up voiding your vehicle warranty if you try to fix a windshield chip on your own. If you end up damaging your car further or you can’t fix the issue and it spreads across the windshield, then you could cause injuries or an accident – and then you’d be in trouble.
Second, if you try doing it yourself and end up messing-up the solution, then it can’t be re-done. If you don’t follow the instructions carefully and properly, there is no second chance – the windshield is then beyond repair. You would have to buy a new windshield if you end up improperly following the order of the steps. A new windshield can cost an average of $100-$400, with the median price being $214.
Third, only very minor damage like small windshield chips can be successfully repaired with the do-it-yourself method. Most mechanic shops contain the necessary gear and tools to repair more significant damage to your windshield, like longer cracks and spiderweb cracks.
Fourth, the cracks and chips that are located close to the wipers are generally not repairable with a windshield chip repair kit. These spots on your windshield are consistently under pressure from the wipers, making the chance of re-cracking especially high.
Last, your car insurance company might be able to cover the cost of any windshield repair necessary on your vehicle – without raising your premium. By having a professional look at your windshield chip, you can prevent damaging your car further, or causing any insurance issues by making the problem worse.
Windshield Chip Repair Kits – Which One To Use?
If you decided to fix the windshield chip yourself, then you need to decide which windshield crack repair kit is the best for you. These kits can be found in most department stores in the auto parts section, and specified auto-stores like AutoZone.
Although the procedures can slightly differ depending on the product, the main method is the same. There are a few products and kits that are sold in numerous stores, like Permatex, RainX, ARISD, Loctite, and Gilston. We are going to go over how to use a windshield chip repair kit with the basic tools provided.
Step 1 – Prep The Chip
The very first thing you need to do is prep the chip and the windshield to begin the repair. Use the cleanser provided or an alcohol pad to clean the area thoroughly and get rid of any loose glass that has been sitting around the center point of the chip.
Now, hook the mirror up on the inside of the windshield. Center the mirror on the chip you are repairing. This is helpful in letting you keep an eye on the chip, and being able to get the right field of vision.
Step 2 – Make A Seal
Center your bridge or tool in your kit directly over the chip. This part is so you can create a seal over the area that is lacking glass from the accident.
Step 3 – Use The Resin
After you have created a seal around the chip, insert 3-8 drops of resin into the injector area. Resin is a highly viscous substance that is made of organic compounds and is commonly used as glue to transfer stress between the fibers.
Step 4 – Injecting The Chip
Now, you have to use the injector to force the resin into the windshield chip and the missing glass. After you do this, you should be able to see it starting to clear up through the mirror you have hanging. Be sure to watch the process, and re-inject the resin when needed after taking breaks and releasing air. After this step, let the resin sit for about 5-10 minutes and wait.
If you are doing this repair in direct sunlight, be sure to cover the area while you’re waiting. You don’t want the resin to cure too early. If possible, try and do this repair indoors, or have your car under a covered area. Once you have let the resin sit, you can remove the bridge.
Step 5 – Fill In The Missing Glass
Although it may seem as if the repair is over, be sure not to skip this step. You need to fill in the main center portion of the chip. The center spot, or the pit, is the area where the little sections of glass are missing. This step will provide the glass a smooth finish and a consistent feel with the rest of your windshield.
Grab your pit filler, and drop a tiny bit of the liquid on the point of impact. Take a plastic curing tab and place it over the area. Now you can leave your car in sunlight – let it sit for a minute to let it cure.
Step 6- Scrape Off The Excess
Grab a scraper or razor blade and hold it securely. Scrape off the excess pit filler that you used, and leave only a little bit in the area where the glass was missing. If you have the tools, you can use a light polish to flush the area for a smooth feel.
Repair Or Replace?
There are a few factors that determine if you need to replace or repair your existing windshield. If your windshield chip repair has a chip that is less than ⅜ of an inch in diameter, then you can usually repair the chip yourself or bring it to a mechanic. If you have multiple chips or a crack in your windshield, then you should visit a mechanic or auto body shop to completely repair the crack.
If the repairmen and auto body workers see that the windshield chip has spread and the windshield is no longer structurally sound, then they will recommend a full replacement. The windshield replacement cost is generally between $100-$400, with the average cost being between $210-$230. The average price of replacing a rear windshield is between $200-$450.
What If My Car Has Other Problems That I Need To Fix Along With The Windshield Chip Repair?
If you find that your car isn’t running smoothly, has transmission issues, safety problems, and the windshield chip is spreading, you might determine that the quality of your car isn’t worth it. You might not even want to pay for any fixes since your car is in bad shape – and declining fast.
Once you forego any maintenance processes and skip repairs, the lifespan of your car can significantly decline, making it difficult to drive confidently, and leaving your best choice to sell your car for junk. There are reputable locations that can give you a fair quote and price for buying your junk car, which can give you the freedom to save some money for your next vehicle.
Remove all the non-metal components from your car and sell them for some cash, and then bring your vehicle to CashCarsBuyer to obtain a fair quote, great customer service, and earn some money for your vehicle.