Best Way to do When Your Windshield got Cracked
If you’re someone who’s ever driven around town, chances are at some point your windshield will be the recipient of a large crack or chip. You may leave it alone and allow nature to take its course, causing the break to grow larger each day until it becomes so big that you can no longer ignore it. Or if you’re like me, you become a little nervous every time a bug hits your windshield because you think oh-my-gosh is this going to start another crack?
Whatever happened to those old newspaper inserts that were reported by drivers claiming they used newspaper to fill in cracks and chips on their windshields? Well, I’m going to share with you some easy tips on how to fix a cracked or chipped windshield.
Before you actually do anything, make sure the area surrounding the chip or crack is clean. The last thing you want to do is try to fix your windshield only to discover that tiny shards of glass are embedded into the fiberglass or whatever material your car may be made of. You can buy a bottle at Walmart called “Citrus stuff” and it’s very cheap compared to buying some cleaner from an auto store. This cleaner will also help soften up any caked-on bug guts so they are easier to remove. Spray some Citrus Stuff over the whole windshield first then use paper towels, dish sponges or even old t-shirts (just cut them into small squares) if need be – just don’t use cloth towels or regular rags because of lint.
This is the only time we want to use water and a paper towel – good thing we used that citrus stuff! Using a wet paper towel, you can steam the chip and loosen any dirt and debris stuck in there. This will make it much easier to clean out without having to poke something into your windshield to get those hard-to-reach areas. Once it’s cleaned well, allow your windshield some time (maybe about 5 minutes) to dry off completely. The last thing you want is for moisture from the cleaning process to seep inside and start rusting away at those steel cables holding up your hood (I don’t know if that actually happens but I’m just trying to be safe here).
Now comes the actual process of filling in your chip or crack. There are many different products out there, but I will share with you what worked for me. This product seems very aggressive – I was scared at first that it would dry out after one day so I didn’t use all of it on one chip, using only about 1/8th of a bottle for just the one break. It’s best if you start with a smaller dab because you can always go back and add more if needed. By adding too much, you risk having it spill out from both ends (front and back) which could end up causing an even bigger mess. Heating things up is probably what does the trick, so what I did was I took a lighter and just heated up the tip of this glue/filler until it melted slightly. Then you dab a little onto your chip or crack by squeezing the bottle very lightly, just enough so that a small dot is squeezed out onto your fingertip.
I used an old credit card to push the filler into place – something thin and plastic would work great. You can even use a piece of cardboard if you don’t have anything else around. By pushing down on one side of the crack at a time, you can almost feel where exactly it needs to be filled in more because it will start to ooze out from underneath the filler stick.
Another important step is to let your newly filled windshield sit in the sun. I left mine out for about 30 minutes and when I came back, it had dried enough where you could no longer see any wet or oozing filler. The whole surface of the windshield should be smooth like glass again (obviously not perfectly smooth but very close).
Why is this important? Sunlight seems to cause the epoxy resin in the filler to dry, which makes it even harder and more resilient against another possible crack forming.
Be careful not to heat up your new windshield too much with the lighter though because you don’t want the glass to get hot enough that it feels warm on your fingertips.