Thursday, November 30, 2017

DIY WindShield Repair - Cracked or Chipped


My wife was driving to work one morning and BAM!

She heard it but couldn't see what had happened.  Nothing was immediately apparent but that afternoon as she was walking to the car after work she noticed it.

A chip caused by an apparent rock strike on the highway located just above the passenger side wiper.

When she got home and informed me of what had happened I walked outside to take a look at the damage.  The chip had already started a crack about an inch out from the chip.  
It seemed I was too late to start a repair on our windshield.  I notified our insurance and 2 days later a new windshield was in place, good as new, or perhaps not.
Did you know their are benefits to keeping your factory original windshield?  Benefits such as increased protection in a rollover accident among others.
Time is not on your side when it comes to this DIY job however.  The longer you wait the less likely your repair attempts will be unsuccessful. 

Today's post is a guest post by Mr. Mark Slater.

 

He has extensive experience writing on various topics in the automotive world including tips for first time car buyers, the future of autonomous vehicles, and hybrid cars."

Mr. Mark take it away!! 

DIY REPAIR YOUR CRACKED WINDSHIELD

Are you annoyed by a small chip on your windshield? Did you know that you could fix it yourself and that you don’t always need to buy a new windshield? Sometimes you can’t reach perfection with a DIY repair. However, with a windshield repair kit, you can prevent the chip from spreading and further damaging your windshield.  

Consider Your Options

Windshield replacement can be expensive. It can cost $200-500 for the windshield alone, and hiring a glass expert to fit it starts at around $75. However, the methods they use are not particularly advanced. Professional glass experts may use a diamond-tipped drill and might have a better “bridge” tool. This tool attaches itself to the windshield through suction and forces resin into the crack of your windshield.  

Tools and Repair Time

Repair kits come with almost all the materials necessary. The job takes about an hour to complete. It’s important to wear latex gloves in order to keep your hands free of resin, use a roll of paper towels under your windshield wipers, and use a towel to protect your car’s finish. Don’t forget glass cleaner to complete the job.
Make sure that you start away from direct sunlight and that the windshield does not feel hot when you touch it. You will have to move your car into direct sunlight when you are almost done.  

Repair Steps

Kits will come with specific instructions you should follow. However, this is an overview of the process:
  1. Use an alcohol pad to clean around the break.
  2. Dig out loose chips of glass using the push pin. Make sure to protect your hands from sharp remains. Professionals use a drill to make a small hole through the top layer of the windshield to allow the resin to more easily penetrate the break. Now use an alcohol pad to clean the area once more.
  3. To apply the doughnut-shaped adhesive onto the windshield, peel off one of the sides on the back. Then directly press it on the windshield, while making sure you are completely surrounding the center of the break.
  4. Peel off the other side. You want to angle it straight up by pressing the “pedestal” onto the adhesive.
  5. Remove the tip of the tube and empty about three-quarters of the resin into the pedestal. There is no way of knowing how much resin is in the tube, so it may be difficult to know the right amount. The key is to not squeeze too hard. Cover and set aside the resin. The broken glass area will now be flowing with resin.
  6. To get an airtight seal, you will need to push the plunger all the way in, insert the syringe into the pedestal, and push it all into place. Bring the plunger back close to the tip of the plunger, and then twist it to lock it into position. This will get rid of air bubbles in the broken glass area. Leave the syringe in position for about 10 minutes.
  7. Allow air into the pedestal by breaking the vacuum and removing the syringe. Make it airtight again by reinserting the syringe. Now hold the syringe in place with either hand, press the plunger down with the other hand, and lock it using a lower setting. Here you are forcing the resin down into the break by using the sealed space and the airtight plunger. Leave it in this position for no less than 20 minutes.
  8. After you remove the syringe, you can cut the pedestal and adhesive doughnut from the windshield with the razor included in the kit. The paper towels under the windshield will absorb any resin that flows down.
  9. Place your car in direct sunlight. Leave some drops of resin on the center of the break. Cover the resin with the plastic square and get rid of any air bubbles by using the edge of the razor. You need to evenly coat the area with the resin. Leave it alone for 15 minutes if it’s sunny or an hour if it’s cloudy. The resin will harden due to the ultraviolet rays.
  10. Take off the plastic strip with the razor and scrape all the resin on the glass. Use glass cleaner and wipe it down.  

Repair Tips

Some tips usually not found in kit instructions:
  • You may encounter some problems reaching a window break on trucks or large SUVs. To reach over the hood you will need a secure step stool or small ladder.
  • To avoid scratches, use a towel wherever you lean against the car.
  • To make sure the resin will flow into the broken section, you need to make sure you inspect the break closely and remove any broken glass before you begin.
  • If you are using a kit with a syringe, it’s imperative that you understand that you need to clear air bubbles by sucking the resin out of the breaks and then force it back in with air pressure. Before you squeeze the resin in, practice using the locks on your syringe.
  • Make sure you are careful and press the doughnut-shaped adhesive all around and firmly onto your windshield.
If instead your car seems to be beyond salvage, or you’d just prefer to buy a new car, Cash.car offers a service where they quickly provide cash offers for cars.

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