You’re driving down the road one day, and suddenly you hear a small but somehow loud hit on your windshield. You begrudgingly scan the glass in front of you, and sure enough—there’s a chip.
This is a frustrating situation that most of us have been in. It’s especially irritating if you just washed your whole car, windshield included.
But it isn’t the end of the world. In fact, fixing a chip in your windshield can be a fairly easy and affordable process. You just have to know how to use the right tools.
You don’t have to bring your car into the shop and, depending on the chip or crack; you definitely don’t have to replace the whole window.
Windshield repair kits are easy to use, but you want to make sure you read the directions and know what you’re doing. At Shine Armor, we care deeply about you and your vehicle, not just how it looks but its safety as well. So, we made this guide on how to use a windshield repair kit for you.
Why You Should Fix Chips In Your Windshield Immediately
Before we get started, we should address this first: Always take care of chips in your windshield as soon as they happen. We know you’re the type of person who takes care of the car, so we probably don’t need to mention it, but it is important to note.
What you want to avoid is any dirt getting into the chip. This can make correctly fixing the chip next to impossible.
You also want to make sure to take care of a windshield chip quickly because any further stress, like the temperature changing or air pressure differences, can cause the chip to spread out into a crack.
Cracks of around three inches can still be repaired, but you’ll have to take it into the shop at that point. More than likely, though, the chip will spread out across the windshield, and you’ll have to completely replace it.
Obviously, we want to avoid spending that much if we can, so make sure and fix any windshield chips ASAP.
How To Use the Kit
Exactly what the kit's process is will depend on the kit, but the basic principles will be the same.
- Purchase your repair kit and read the directions completely. You want to make sure you know exactly what to do and when because some of these steps will be time-sensitive.
- Always clean the chip and the surrounding area. As we said, any dirt or dust that gets into the chip will decrease the effectiveness of the resin you’ll use to fill the chip. We recommend using Ultra Concentrated Car Wash Soap to really remove any and all traces of dirt from the area.
- Place the resin distributor over the chip. They typically come with an adhesive so you can securely mount the device.
- Mix and inject the epoxy resin into the chip.
- Allow the resin to cure and harden. How much pressure and time you’ll need will depend on the instructions. It might even be in multiple phases, during which you’ll have to leave the applicator on the chip site.
- Remove the resin distributor and then, using a razor blade or any other provided tool, remove any excess resin from the site.
- Clean the surface of your window again after the epoxy has cured to its full extent. You might still see signs of the crack, but that’s alright. As long as you followed the directions as well as you can and filled the chip, this should be your final step.
Advantages of Fixing Windshield Chips Yourself
There are a ton of advantages to fixing your own windshield. As long as you go through the process as directed and properly use the kit, you’ll extend your windshield's life without any need to go to a shop and spend a decent chunk of change (and time.)
It’s Very Affordable
Most windshield repair kits might run you between $15 and $30. Which, when it comes to auto repair bills, is extremely low. Of course, you have to do everything yourself, but if you were to have the professionals do it, you might end up paying closer to $100.
And don’t worry: While the professionals do have fancy equipment that they use to justify their price tag, the affordable repair kits you can get at the store will do just as good of a job.
Save Yourself Time
While the entire process of the repair kit might take up to two hours, a big majority of that time is the curing process. The actual work time might be no more than ten minutes. This is a far cry from how much you could spend waiting at the shop.
Anyone who has dealt with auto repair shops knows that there are at least a few days to get an appointment, then a few hours after you drop it off. And that’s hoping that you get your car back that day.
It’s Extremely Easy
As we’re sure you noticed when reading our step-by-step of how to use a windshield repair kit, there aren’t exactly a lot of steps.
Certainly, none that are particularly complicated.
As far as auto repairs go, fixing up a chip in your windshield might be one of the easiest. This, along with the price and time commitment, just make fixing window chips yourself a no-brainer.
Risks of Fixing Chips In Your Windshield Yourself
While fixing a chip in your windshield is a good plan, there are certain risks involved in the process. You’ll definitely save money and time, but here are some things to consider before moving forward.
Fixing automotive problems yourself can lead to a void in your warranty. Depending on how old your car is or what deal you had with the dealership or prior owner, it might state that you need all repairs done by professionals.
Otherwise, any future damages will be your responsibility which could be a hassle. Luckily chip repair is a pretty straightforward and reliable process, but this is another opportunity to stress that you need to read the instructions and know what you’re doing.
You Only Get One Chance
Because you’re filling the chip with an epoxy resin, which hardens to an extremely hard state after an hour or two, you really only get one shot at fixing the damage.
If you accidentally spill any of the resin or miss the chip for some reason, you’ll want to wipe it away immediately before it starts to harden...and we mean immediately. Unfortunately, the kit may only supply enough epoxy to fill the chip once, and you might need a backup to finish the job.
You’re Limited To Minor Chips
This isn’t so much a risk but more of a limitation. Repair kits are fantastic when it comes to fixing small chips under the size of a penny, but any bigger and you might need an extra hand.
Cracks of any size and larger chips will need to be addressed by the professionals as they are too difficult to properly handle without the tools that they have. At a certain length, you will have to just replace the windshield.
Your Insurance Might Cover You
This one isn’t really a risk per se, but it is something to keep in mind.
If you’re really feeling like you don’t want to go through the process of repairing a chip in your windshield by yourself, you should check with your insurance.
Most average auto insurance coverage will include windshield chips. They probably will even waive the deductible for the work. This is because your insurance would rather deal with a small chip than a large crack in your windshield, so they don’t mind covering the smaller cost.
Definitely call your provider and confirm before making any appointments with the auto-body shop. As we mentioned, you could pay upwards of $100 and a good chunk of your time, so it’s worth double-checking before you decide not to do it yourself.
Don’t Throw Caution to the Wind
Getting a ding in your windshield is a painfully annoying moment that, unfortunately, most drivers will experience at one point or another.
But fortunately, the tools to fix these small chips are widely available at a minor cost. They’re simple to set up and can save you hundreds of dollars. Replacing an entire windshield because of a single small ding isn’t a reality that you have to accept.
If you’re looking for more protection from the elements for your windshield and other glass windows, our Nano Glass Coating spray will have you and your sweet ride back on the road in no time.