Every driver has his own story to tell about a cracked windshield. You drive along a highway at high speed, and then out of nowhere, you hear a loud thud. Suddenly, you see a chip on your windshield, and then it grows bigger and becomes a crack. Why would that small pebble fly and choose your windshield to crash into? Tough luck. But you can still fix that crack with some work and elbow grease.
When a windshield is cracked, repair it as soon as possible. If the crack becomes too large, the best thing to do is to replace the whole windshield, which would be very expensive. If a crack is still repairable, you will need to follow some steps to get it done.
Get a repair kit. You will find several products online or at auto supply and DIY stores for repairing windshield glass. The price depends on how serious the crack is and how serious you are about doing windshield repairs. Choose the one with detailed instructions and the best price offer.
Know when to repair and when to replace. Don't let your ego get to you. You might compromise the quality of work, if your abilities cannot meet the requirements of the job. Do not try to repair cracks more than three inches long. Have the windshield replaced already if that is the case. Also, check your chosen repair kit if it fits the job. If the repair kit is for cracks less than one inch, and your windshield crack is longer, then forget about repairing it.
Repairs do not mean your windshield will be as good as new. Do not expect your windshield repair to be completely invisible. The main purpose of the windshield repair is to stop the crack from spreading and reduce the amount of visibility that it obstructs. Most of the time, a small blemish about the size of a pencil lead will remain after even the best repair job. You may be left with a place about an inch in diameter where the glass appears slightly distorted when looking through it.
There is a possibility of the crack getting worse. Even if you followed every instruction, the crack can still get worse. Was it your fault, or the repair kit? Remember that you are not a professional windshield repairman so it is best to practice on old windshield first, if you can get your hands on one. It will mean that you have to expend some of your time and materials, but figuring out how everything works before doing it on your own windshield can save you a lot of grief. To make your life easier, you can just replace your windshield.
The repair process. Start the process by following the guidelines to prevent the crack from extending during the work. This can mean drilling a small hole at the end of the crack or other possible techniques for different types of chips and cracks. Using a tool that spreads the crack and injects the resin, begin at one end of the crack and fill it with the adhesive resin. Move slowly along the crack until the resin has filled the entire length. Using an ultraviolet light source, harden the resin. Some resins use heat from a small flame instead.
Polish the repair. Once the adhesive resin has hardened, you need to polish the repair. Using a buffer to polish glass, gently work your way back and forth along the repair. Polishing the repair is what makes it vanish from sight. After the polishing is complete, take a soft cloth and clean up any dust and fingerprints that remain on the glass.
Remember that you are doing this to stop the crack from spreading. Small marks will be visible after repairs. If you don't want this replace the windshield instead.