Who knew that one tiny pebble could cause so much damage? A small chip can soon expand, with a web-like crack slowly crawling across your windshield. Put off this repair long enough and your windshield may suddenly break, showering your interior with glass. You may be able to handle a temporary repair yourself, provided you take the following steps.
1. Measure the Damage
If the damage to your windshield measures one inch or less, then proceed to the next step. If it is larger than one inch, then do not read on as you will need to have your windshield repair handled by a professional.
2. Shop for a Windshield Repair Kit
Several manufacturers offer windshield repair kits, providing temporary solutions for your minor windshield repair. Blue-Star, Permatex, 3M Auto, Loctite and Pitstop offer kits, each retailing for less than $20. We’ll use the 3M Auto kit as an example for making this particular repair.
3. Consider Temperature and Conditions
Plan your windshield repair for a warm, moisture-free day when temperatures are at least 60 degrees and no more than 90 degrees. Ideally, you will accomplish this repair in a climate-controlled garage where outside temperature and direct sunlight are not factors.
4. Review and Prepare
Read the instructions that come with your safety kit carefully before going through each step. Avoid contact with chemicals by wearing gloves and put on safety goggles when handling this repair project.
5. Assemble the Injection Tool
Your windshield repair kit will come with a bridge assembly, a resin chamber assembly and an injector assembly, in addition to an alcohol wipe, a stick pin, one eye dropper, a scraping blade and a tiny sheet of clear plastic film. Assemble the injection tool with the parts provided to make this tool.
6. Clean and Repair
Spray the windshield area surrounding the damage with glass cleaner. Wipe clean with a paper towel. Take the stick pin and clean out the affected area, removing loose pieces of glass. Wipe the damaged area with the included alcohol wipe.
7. Center the Injector Tool
Place the injector tool over the damaged area, screwing in the injection nozzle directly over the chip. If you have difficulty centering the tool, tape a mirror to the inside of the windshield for improved visibility. Press down on the assembly to allow the suction cups to adhere to the glass.
8. Fill the Resin Chamber
Take the eyedropper and fill it halfway with the provided glass repair resin. Screw the upper portion of the injector tool into the resin chamber. The resin will begin to fill the damaged area as you screw it in place.
9. Observe and Repeat, if Necessary
From the underside of the windshield (inside of your car) ensure that the affected area has been filled with resin. If not, adjust the assembly and repeat the previous step. Once you are satisfied that the job has been accomplished, then add a drop of resin and place the clear plastic film over the treated area.
10. Remove and Cure
Remove the bridge assembly from the windshield and place your car outside in direct sunlight. Allow the resin to cure for 30 minutes before cleaning up.
11. Clean and Observe
Once cured, scrape around the edge of the treated area with the scraping blade to remove excess resin. Remove the plastic film. Wipe down your entire windshield with glass cleaner and a towel. Observe that the damage has been repaired.
Temporary Repair Ahead of a Permanent Solution
A temporary windshield repair is just that: a chance for you to put off a more expensive car repair until you have the money to pay for one. If you have comprehensive auto insurance coverage, your windshield repair may be covered. However, a deductible may still apply. Contact your auto insurer to learn what your share of repair costs will be.
See Also — The Average Salary of Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers