Small Chip In Your Windshield? You Might Be Able To Repair It Yourself

Has your windshield developed a small chip? It's never wise to ignore the issue, since water can easily freeze inside the chip, expanding it into a larger crack or possibly even causing it to shatter, posing a danger to you and your passengers. Yet, repairing a chipped windshield can be expensive, particularly if you don't have glass coverage on your insurance.

You can save some cash by repairing the chip yourself. As long as it truly is a small chip and not a large crack, you should be able to accomplish this task with some basic tools and a tube of epoxy filler. Here's how:

Step 1: Examine the chip with a magnifying glass.

Take a magnifying glass and, in good light, look closely at the chip to ensure there are not any small, barely noticeable cracks radiating from it. If you do see cracks, then the damage is more extensive than you can hope to repair on your own. In fact, a windshield expert will probably recommend replacing the windshield rather than attempting to repair it. If you do not see any cracks and your chip truly is just a chip, then move on to step 2.

Step 2: Purchase your supplies.

You can find chip repair kits in many auto parts stores. This is the easiest way to get the supplies you need. The typical kit includes a syringe, a bottle of epoxy filler, an adhesive strip with an adapter to attach it to the syringe, and a curing strip. You'll also need some alcohol wipes (alternatively, some gauze and rubbing alcohol will work) and a razor blade.

Step 3: Clean the surface.

Open an alcohol pad or apply some rubbing alcohol to a piece of gauze. Use this to thoroughly wipe the chip and the area surrounding it. Make sure any little pieces of glass are cleaned out. This should ensure the adhesive strip that you use to guide the epoxy into the hole sticks. Let the area dry completely before proceeding. (This only takes a few minutes.)

Step 4: Apply the adhesive strip.

Remove the adhesive strip from your windshield repair kit and peel the backing off of it. Line up the adhesive strip so that the plastic adapter attached to the chip is positioned directly over the chip. Use your hand to press down around the edges of the adhesive, ensuring that it is attached firmly to the windshield.

Step 5: Add the epoxy to the syringe, and attach the syringe to the adapter.

Insert the syringe into the bottle of epoxy, and pull the handle up to draw epoxy into the syringe. (The syringe should be marked with a fill line. Make sure you fill it with epoxy up to this line.) Then attach the syringe to the adapter that is stuck to your windshield. It should screw right into place.

Step 6: Fill the chip with epoxy.

It might sound strange, but to fill the chip with epoxy, you are actually going to draw the handle of the syringe up. This will suck air out of the chip and cause the epoxy to slowly drip down into the chip. Keep holding onto the end of the syringe for 1 minute after you initially draw it up. Then, let go of the handle and let it "flop" down against the car. The pressure of this movement will force the epoxy to settle into the chip.

Step 7: Disassemble the apparatus.

Unscrew the syringe from the adapter, and remove the adhesive strip from the windshield. You should see that the chip is not full of resin. A little resin might be running down the windshield. Wipe it up with alcohol wipes. Do not touch the filled chip -- it's okay if it looks like it's raised above the surface of the windshield.

Step 8: Cure the epoxy.

Place a curing sheet over the filled chip, and leave it in the sun to cure for at least a few hours or up to one day. Then remove the curing strip and use a razor blade to scrape off any epoxy that has leeched out around the chip. When you're done, the chip should be virtually invisible.

If you feel you cannot do this yourself, take your car into an auto glass repair shop or visit websites like http://www.centralglassutah.com for more information and assistance. 

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