A clear view of the road is extremely important for the safety and well-being of both the driver and his or her passengers. Your windshield and windows must be clear of dust, debris, cracks, and chips that can get in the way of how you view the road. Window rock chips and other damage to your vehicle’s windshield and windows can get in the way of safe driving. Here are some ways to get rid of them.
How Windshields and Windows Get Chipped
Dust, debris, and other objects on the road usually don’t do any significant damage to your vehicle, except for shallow, almost invisible scratches. Sometimes larger pebbles, rocks, and the occasional dust storm can totally ruin your car windows. The laminate design and coating of most modern windows and windshields protects the passengers by keeping the glass fragments in line, but when the chips and scratches become obvious enough to obscure or compromise your view of the road, window damage gets dangerous. The structural integrity of the car window is also reduced, making it prone to more damage in the long run as the cracks and chips expand to damage the entirety of the windshield. It is very important to repair chips and cracks the soonest you can.
When your window gets chipped on the road, you don’t need to pull over just for a repair job that involves resin or window replacement. There are two things that you can do when your window gets chipped on the road, before you can pull over to your garage or an auto repair shop:
- Leave the window alone. Most modern car windows are laminated plastic. While parts of the window may get shattered or damaged, the laminated multi-layer structure protects underlying glass layers from flying all over the place. The glass is strong enough to hold itself for quite a while before you can take it to a shop or garage for repair.
- Clear adhesive tape. For more serious chipping problems, you can keep a roll of transparent adhesive tape inside your glove compartment to repair the chipped window. Make sure to use a wide roll the width of most box-packing tapes not only to keep glass fragments from flying all over the place, but also to preserve the laminate coating and layers as you drive along. Don’t use too many layers of adhesive tape, since too many layers of tape may turn the view too opaque.
Repairing Chipped Windows
Window and windshield replacement can be a bit expensive, and you may not need the complete replacement unless your windshield is completely shattered. Repairing window chips on car windows and windshields is an easy task that requires only a few tools and some simple steps to complete.
To repair chipped windows, you need the following tools:
- A small hand-held motorized rotary tool
- Window repair kit (the product is a resin complete with sticker appliqués that you can buy from any auto supply shop)
- Cleaning tools (soapy water, Squeegee)
Follow these steps to repair chipped windows:
- Park the car on a level surface.
- Clean the damaged window.
- If there is debris lodged into the cracked part of the window, clean it out with the motorized rotary tool. You may want to expand some of the cracks so that the resin will have room to seep in.
- Apply the repair stickers to the inside part of the cracked window. The sticker should cover as much of the the range of the cracked or chipped window as possible.
- Using the pump or syringe, inject the resin into the cracks of the window. Make sure to keep the flow even to avoid air bubbles, and that the resin comes into contact with the inside surfaces of the cracked window.
- Cover the curing resin with the other sticker appliques.
- Allow the resin to cure for at least 4-6 hours until the substance completely sets into the windshield.
- Remove the stickers and inspect the surface to see if the window resin cured properly.
In serious cases where the windshield or window may shatter completely, you need to have the entire glass pane replaced (Learn how to repair a windshield chip). While you can do this on your own, it’s best to have the component replaced by a professional.
A car with chipped windows is not only unappealing, it is also unsafe to drive. With these steps, you can easily repair chipped windows and drive a car safely, securely, and keep yourself looking good on the road. For more information regarding this article, read how to fix chipped windshield.