How To Repair a Chipped Windscreen

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The loud crack of a stone hitting your windshield usually means your glass is chipped.
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The loud crack of a stone hitting your windshield usually means your glass is chipped.

The loud crack of a stone hitting your windscreen usually means your glass is chipped.  One of the most shocking sounds you hear when driving is the loud crack of a stone hitting your windscreen. It’s a rude awakening, especially during your 7am commute. It’s a definite wake-up call but not for the reasons you think. 
Yes, the rock has chipped your windscreen, probably thrown by a nearby lorry while you were driving. But that chip can quickly turn into a splintering spider crack, the long fissures slowly creeping across the window, making it impossible to fix. But if you act quickly with a little do-it-yourself ingenuity, you can fix the chip yourself and keep it from getting worse.
Windscreen repair kit
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Windscreen repair kit

What Does the Chip Look Like?

First, take a look at the chip. As was mentioned above, if the chip is growing long spider legs, then it’s unlikely it can be repaired. Unfortunately, it probably requires a call to a repair shop or your insurance company. 
If the chip has remained just that, a chip, then it can be repaired with a windscreen repair kit. With a kit and a few other repair necessities, you can get it patched up quickly.

A small handheld vacuum can clean fragments of glass from a windshield chip.
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A small handheld vacuum can clean fragments of glass from a windshield chip.
Clean the glass with alcohol pads before repairing it.
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Clean the glass with alcohol pads before repairing it.

Step 1: Clean the chip And glass

Begin by cleaning the chip and glass surrounding it. Don’t use a water-based cleaner though. You need the glass to be dry, especially the cracked area itself. You’ll be injecting a resin-like material into the chip and you don’t need it trapping water within the hair-like fractures. 
Alcohol pads work great and will take care of cleaning the glass as well. It’s possible there may be small glass splinters in the chip. These can be brushed away while you clean the windscreen. Better yet, your  portable vacuum with a crevice tool can suck out the glass chips. 
Also, attach a small mirror on the inside of the windscreen, centred on the back side of the chip. This will help you watch it while you fill it with the resin.

A bridge, small or large, is important to getting the best seal for a repair.
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A bridge, small or large, is important to getting the best seal for a repair.
Large, commercial version of repair bridge.
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Large, commercial version of repair bridge.

Step 2: Make a Seal

Using a windscreen repair bridge, seal the chip in preparation for the resin. A smaller bridge helps you repair a chip anywhere on the windscreen, even on curved glass.

An example of an injector.
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An example of an injector.

Step 3: Inject the Resin

With the injector that comes with the kit, gently push the resin into the chip. Here is where the mirror you attached to the inside of the windscreen comes in handy. It gives you a great view of the resin filling the chip. As the resin fills the chip, it will slowly clear up, disappearing and looking more like the glass around it. The bridge can be removed when the chip clears up as much as possible.

Small bottle of pit resin
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Small bottle of pit resin

Step 4: Fill the Pit

There will probably be a small pit that didn’t fill with the bridge and injector. Simply fill it with a few drops of resin, then cover it with a curing tab. The tab is a thin piece of plastic to help keep the surface of the repair flat while it cures.

Single edge razors work great at removing the excess resin.
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Single edge razors work great at removing the excess resin.

Step 5: Remove Excess Filler

Once it’s cured, use a single edge razor blade to remove the curing tab and a thin layer of the dry resin.

How well the repair looks when it’s all said and done can vary. Everything from how well the bridge sealed the chip to temperature has an effect on how well the resin filled the nick in the glass. Structurally, the glass should be as strong as it was before being hit by the stone. But the important thing is you’ve repaired the chip yourself and avoided having to pay for a new windscreen.
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WRITTEN BY: ridestory
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