How do I fix a cracked windshield

Repairing cracks in the windshield

Windshield cracks often arise from chipping that has not been repaired in a long time and has become a major problem. Sometimes, however, an object hits the windshield with such force that it immediately cracks. There are many different types of cracks. For example, they can appear as a star fracture, with several cracks running in different directions away from the point of impact. Or a single, long crack develops. In any case, cracks should be repaired as soon as possible so that an expensive replacement of the entire windshield is not necessary later. For example, a star fracture often turns into a 30 centimeter long crack that can no longer be repaired within days.

In rare cases, the police also stop drivers with clearly visible cracks in the windshield and issue a fine for the damage. It does this because a large crack can restrict the driver's view and endanger other road users. One more reason to have the crack repaired quickly.

In some cases, customers find it difficult to distinguish a crack from a scratch on their windshield. The difference is that a scratch doesn't go through the entire layer of glass like a crack. If you are unsure whether your windshield is scratched or cracked, you should first ask an auto glass professional. It is significantly cheaper to remove a scratch with the help of a simple polishing kit and you do not necessarily have to go to a specialized auto glass company to do this.

How to prevent cracks from spreading

Cracks spread because large forces are created on a given surface when the disc is deformed, stretched, or otherwise stressed. In modern vehicles, the windshield is an integral part of the static construction. Whenever your vehicle twists, the windshield twists too. The effects of heat and cold on glass at the molecular level should also be considered. Temperature fluctuations change the structure of the glass, the resulting forces can also lead to the expansion of cracks. If a crack appears in late summer or early autumn, it should definitely be repaired before the first frost. Not only because of the effects of the cold on the glass itself, but also because the temperature change also affects the metal frame around the glass. If the metal expands or contracts, it can cause existing cracks in the glass to lengthen.

They are also exposed to the weight of snow, which can weigh on the windshield in heavy snowfall.

Another stress factor is a stereo system that is operated too loudly. The vibrations from the bass can put extra pressure on the windshield and cause cracks to expand.

Sometimes well-meaning friends will give good advice that they know from hearsay. This includes using super glue or other adhesives to stop a crack. However, these adhesives were not developed to withstand the daily stresses and strains of a windshield, can create a false sense of security and lead to a proper repair being delayed too long. You shouldn't use adhesives on or in cracks. Even taping a crack over a crack will not prevent it from expanding. However, it will ensure that no dirt or water penetrates the crack, making it easier for a later successful repair. There are several methods of preventing a crack from expanding. However, none of these should be relied on for long periods of time. In any case, the repair should be carried out as soon as possible. Here you can read a lot more about what you should or shouldn't do to prevent the expansion of cracks.

Can a crack be repaired?

It is usually believed that a crack less than two inches in length can be repaired. Larger damage, on the other hand, usually requires the entire pane to be replaced. Another rule says that cracks that are not insignificantly soiled on the inside can hardly be repaired. For this reason, it is advisable to cover a crack with transparent, residue-free removable adhesive tape until the vehicle can be repaired by a specialist. It is important that the adhesive tape used can be removed without leaving any residue, as other adhesive tapes could leave adhesive residues behind in the crack. This would make repairs more difficult. In some cases a mechanic can foresee that the repair will not produce a satisfactory result. In such cases, he will recommend replacing the windshield to ensure that the customer only drives with a perfectly transparent and safe window.

Affected drivers should also not wash their vehicle until the windshield has been repaired. While washing, water could seep into the crack, making it more time-consuming to repair or even making the crack worse. Extreme environmental conditions can also worsen the damage. It is therefore advisable to avoid extreme heat in summer and deep cold in winter. And one thing is clear: the sooner the repair is carried out, the better the result will be.

You should also keep in mind that it is not always possible to remove all dirt from the crack, especially if you have waited a few weeks or more before visiting a workshop. In such cases, the repair will not always give a perfect result. Minor soiling that cannot be removed from the crack is embedded in the repair resin and remains visible even after the repair.

The following types of cracks cannot be repaired:

  • Cracks longer than 5 cm
  • Cracks on the edges that extend to more than one edge of the disc
  • Cracks in the driver's direct field of vision
  • Cracks that cannot be adequately filled with resin due to contamination

Repairing cracks in the windshield

The repair process for cracks in the windshield is not much different from repairing chipped parts. The mechanic will inspect the crack and then use a vacuum cleaner to remove as much water and dirt as possible from the repair area. Then the crack is filled with resin that hardens under ultraviolet light. Excess resin is then removed so that the windshield has a smooth surface again. The resin hardens clearly and adapts to the glass so that the customer receives a fully functional windshield again.

Windshield repair cost: cracks

The entire process of repairing a crack in the windshield takes about 30 minutes. A repair usually costs around € 99.00. In many cases, however, partial or fully comprehensive insurance covers these costs for their customers. Others may have to pay a deductible or all of the costs themselves. Some customers also have to advance the repair costs and can then have their insurance reimbursed for them.

Most repair shops handle damage directly with insurance, which makes the entire process quick and easy for the customer. However, customers should inform themselves in advance about the legal situation and their rights so that a repair does not cost more than it should in the end.