Guide: Windshield Crack Repair with Your Hands
Good afternoon, everyone. This post is about the important nuances of repairing a crack on the windshield with your own hands, using a kit from aliexpress, etc. I hope this will help you to achieve the desired result.
In general, I’m not in the habit of writing something on my block – a chukcha is not a writer at all. However, today I decided to pile up a short article on how to properly fill a crack on the windshield with my own hands, using a kit from aliexpress. Here it is:
Be warned right away: if you want to achieve a perfect result, go to the service, they will do beautifully. By yourself to fix the crack without experience is difficult, and without special tools sometimes even impossible, and it will remain visible. What is written below will not guarantee you a perfect result, but it will increase your chances for success. If you are firmly decided to fix the crack by yourself and you are not afraid of screwing it up with wrong hands (and after that the service will not undertake to fix it) – read on.
So, let’s proceed. At first let’s run through the main points in order, and then condensed instructions from beginning to end.
Crack stopping. Whether and how to stop the crack, we will not consider within the framework of this post. In short, if the crack is fresh – it is desirable. If it is old and does not move – it can be neglected.
2. Preparation and cleaning of the crack Again, there is no point in stopping in detail. It is clear that you need to wash out all the dirt from the crack. But with what – this is who is rich. Water, glass cleaner, alcohol, solvent – the main thing that the crack in the end was clean from these means. You may not wash at all if the crack is fresh.
3. Preparing the workplace Many sources claim that the polymer for filling chips and cracks is light-curing. Yes, professional materials most likely are. About aliexpress – who knows. But it is not worth checking. Drive the car in an underground parking lot, where there is no sunlight (even reflected) and put under a lamp so that the cabin was well visible cut (glare) of the crack.
4. Preparing the tool Take tissues or toilet paper to scrub your hands and glass. Purchase a small syringe to accurately dispense the polymer on the crack. This makes it easy to dispense, and the tip of the needle can be used to find the crack and cling to it for greater accuracy. In case the polymer is frozen in the syringe (e.g. the light did hit it) or you can’t pour the polymer from the bottle into the syringe, put the needle directly on the polymer bottle. It fits well. Prepare the foil from the kit and cut it lengthwise to cover the long crack. If there is little or no film, take any other kind, even a cellophane bag.
5. The process of filling the crack Here it is highly desirable to have a helper. It is much more difficult without it. So, the process of filling the crack is the most critical stage. Two people work. One person from the salon presses his fingers on the crack for better flowability of the polymer, and the second one pours the crack from the top. The one who sits inside is in charge of the process. His instructions and finger movements are guided by the pourer.
I will now explain why this is important. When pouring a crack, it is important to control the penetration of the polymer to its full depth. Also, the polymer must spread from the drop on the surface through the crack. If you fill the crack from the top, there will be air inside, which has nowhere to go, it is sealed there, and all your repairs are wasted – like you filled the crack, but the air is left and it glitters. That’s why the process is led by a person from the salon, who sees the cut of the crack and how it is filled with polymer. He presses it with his fingers, and his assistant just follows his fingers with the needle. And there is no other way – haste will lead to failure.
If there is some tricky area – by pressing you will help the polymer pass into the crack.
A very important note: the crack must go from the beginning to the end, without gaps. As you pour, you press on the crack with your fingers to help the polymer penetrate, and it starts to cure after a short time, even without the light. If you press again, it will tear away from the glass, and air bubbles will form in the crack, which there is no way to remove. So you catch a wave and go from beginning to end. You can’t press on the poured area again.
Correctly filled crack (with a small missed bubble) in one pass:
A crack that has been re-pressed 30 seconds after pouring:
If the crack is vertical – it is advisable to move from the bottom up (so that the flowing drop does not seal the air in the crack). But if you have an arc crack, then moving from one edge to the other you will at some point have to move from top to bottom – then clean up the polymer drips with a napkin, and carefully dispense it. The end of a crack is usually difficult, so if you have a choice, it’s better to start at the chipped end, and move toward the end of it. Plus, if the end cracks when you apply pressure, you’ll just go further down the crack to fill it. If you start at the end and it cracks, you’re trapped – whichever way you go, you have to go back, and there’s almost 100% air left if you press down on that area again or without pressing down – the polymer just won’t flow.
6. Final Actions After pouring the crack, you need to pour a “track” of polymer over it and cover it with film. Moreover, the polymer on the glass should be poured enough so that it would spread as a stain under the film, and the whole (!) surface of the crack would be under the layer of polymer and film. The thing is that, although nowhere is it written about it, but it has been established by experience that the Chinese polymer is anaerobic, which means that in the presence of air it does not solidify in principle. In the crack – yes, but on its surface – no. So you have to fill the surface of the crack and close the film. If you see that under the film, part of the surface of the crack is not covered with polymer – remove the film, refill it, put it back, no big deal. After that, carefully move out into the sunlight (or UV lamp) and wait 15-20 minutes until the polymer hardens. Then we peel it off with the supplied blade.
Notes: The polymer needs to squeeze through the crack to spread, so there’s a chance it will go further. Be prepared for this development.
So, the main points we have in detail dismantled, now let’s formulate in the form of a brief instruction all the same, but concisely.
Instructions: 1. We drive the car in an underground parking lot with washed and dried crack, put under the lamp so that from the cabin was visible to the crack to its full depth 2. Commander of the process sits in the cabin and begins to push through the crack with two fingers, starting with a chip (not the end). The second gently dispenses the polymer with a syringe (or needle from it on the bottle), focusing on one of the fingers of the commander, as well as his instructions 3. The commander looks at the fill and makes sure there is no air left in the crack (see first illustration) 4. The crack is poured preferably from the bottom up, in a single pass, without pressing it again after the pour 5. 5. After pouring, polymer is added to the crack surface, the entire crack surface is covered with film, and the machine is rolled out into the sun for 15 minutes. 6. We clean the residue off the glass with a blade.
I hope this helps you and that everything works out for you. I’ve written everything I know here to keep you from making mistakes. Do you know anything else? Fill in the comments, it will not be redundant. And I repeat – if you want perfect results, go to the service.
How to fix a cracked windshield
Cracks on the windshield – an unpleasant phenomenon, which every second driver faces. Not only does this defect constantly “stain” your eyes when you are driving, the crack has a feature to gradually grow to the edge of the glass, begins to limit the review of traffic (which is dangerous) and even sometimes leads to fines from the traffic police. In this case, you will not be fined for the cracked windshield (you will not be fined for that), but for the faulty car, if the damage area of glass surfaces will be more than 50% of their area.
Replacement of the windshield is not a cheap service, and many motorists are trying to solve the problem with a little blood: glass repair. How to do it? How difficult is it? Is it possible to repair your windshield by yourself and save money at a service station?
How dangerous are the cracks
The windshield is designed to withstand strong vibration loads from headwinds and temperature fluctuations. It is also able to withstand a moderate impact in an accident and severe pressure over its entire area. But glass is still glass, and fragility is the most serious disadvantage: the sharp temperature changes and point impact of solid objects (chips on the road, a nut, a pebble) on its surface can be chipped, pothole or a crack.
How dangerous is it? Because the structural integrity of the glass is compromised, it can no longer withstand severe stresses. The vibration and tension of the body structure as the car moves, minor mechanical shocks, strong gusts of oncoming wind, and temperature changes begin to magnify this crack, weakening the structure of the glass. This leads to the fact that it may just crumble from a collision with a curb, not to mention a minor accident.
Naturally, breaking the integrity of the glass is dangerous for the driver and passengers of the car, and can lead to accidents and serious injuries. In addition, the sprawling crack prevents the driver from seeing the road well and creates a feeling of discomfort.
Another problem: it will be difficult to pass the tech inspection at the traffic police if there is a crack on your car windshield. In any case, you will have to fix it or replace the glass in order to get an inspection ticket.
The easiest way to solve the problem of a cracked windshield is to replace it. But it is an expensive pleasure: the glass must be found and bought or ordered at the service station, and you can not install it yourself – you need trained craftsmen and professional equipment.
An alternative solution – glass repair with your own hands. You just need to stop the growth of the crack. But such repair makes sense only if the crack:
- Has a small size and occupies no more than 10-30% of the area of the glass;
- Does not interfere with the driver’s vision;
- has not reached the edge of the glass (not less than 5 cm from the edge).
If these conditions are present, you can try to repair the glass and make it last for some more time. But, in any case, this is a temporary measure – sooner or later the replacement of the glass is inevitable.
Types of cracks and the possibility of their repair
First of all, the possibility of windshield repair depends on the nature and size of cracks. In terms of shape, they can represent:
- “Rays” – this is the result of a strong impact. Such cracks “grow” quickly and tend to reach the edge of the glass, so you need to repair them immediately, as long as they do not exceed a length of 10 cm.
- “Branches” – appear due to a strong and short-term change in temperature or heavy impact. Repair and complicated – it is necessary to localize each “branch” before its length has increased to 12 cm.
- “Circles” – arise from a sharp point impact and can quickly cover the entire surface of the glass. Repair is possible before they grow to 10-15 cm.
- Mixed – appear due to different impacts, bear visual signs of the above-mentioned glass damages and can be repaired only with a small spreading area.
The most problematic type of damage is bilateral cracks that appear after a strong impact with heavy objects. The beam occurs on the inner side of the glass, which is easier to replace – the repair will not give the desired result.
Glass crack repair
As you can see, most types of cracks on the windshield can be repaired, and you can repair the defect with your own hands using the same technology that is used on standard service stations: the crack is svazrezhivsya, degreased, filled with a special sealant and ground to an almost imperceptible state.
Such repair is performed in a warm, clean and dry room with wet cleaning (there must be no dust!). The car should be cleaned and washed before the glass repair. You will need:
- A professional auto glass repair kit ( Visbella, Vints or 3M);
- drill, dremel, or screwdriver with a set of drill bits;
- specialized sealant;
- grinder and sanding pastes;
- clean cloth, detergents.
Repair is performed in three stages:
Drilling cracks in the glass
First, you should check the depth of the crack with an ordinary sewing needle: it is important to understand whether there is a defect only on the outer surface of the glass, or whether there is also on the inner surface of the triplex. Just run the needle across the glass from the inside – if nothing hinders the movement, it means that the crack is not bilateral and it can be repaired without fear that the glass will simply collapse.
Next, drill a small hole at the beginning and end of the crack beam. It will block the crack in the crystal lattice of the glass, relieve stress on the surface at the point of repair and stop the defect from spreading.
- Using a drill, screwdriver or dremel;
- only at low speed and without pressure on the glass;
- on all beams visible on the surface.
In order to avoid complete destruction of the glass surface due to strong vibration during drilling, the work must be carried out with thin and very sharp drills with diamond chips or carbide tipped drills. Drilling should be carried out at low speed of the drill, cooling liquid (oil or soap solution, but not water!) should be continuously supplied to the working area.
Important! Drilling is the most difficult part of the repair. Blunt drill bits, strong vibration or overheating of the glass surface, sudden movements and blows when drilling holes, and pressure of the drill bit on the surface are excluded.
Drill holes on the rays of the cracks should be shallow so as not to drill through all layers of the glass – in this case you will not stop the spreading of cracks, but only aggravate the defect.
The optimum drilling depth is the top layer of glass at the end of each beam. To avoid accidentally drilling through the glass, you can install a special rubber stopper on the drill, which will rest against the glass surface when the hole reaches the desired depth.
Repairing Holes with Polymer
After each beam of the crack is drilled at the ends, the holes must be sealed, for which a special polymer material is used. It is poured into each hole and cures quickly .
To perform this “jewelry” work accurately and quickly, you can use a special frame with suction cups. After that, the sealant should be shaken and gently poured into the dispenser frame. After a couple of minutes, when the composition has hardened, the frame can be moved to the next hole and begin to polymerize it.
After the polymer is poured into the holes, the frame is carefully removed from the glass and a thin protective film (Scotch tape can be used) is put on the surface in the repair area to protect the material until it is fully cured.
The final step of the repair involves polishing the glass in the area of the repair to completely hide the holes and the crack itself. To do this, you can use a grinder with polishing wheels and specialized polishing paste.
This process is not so much difficult as it is very time-consuming: you will have to spend a lot of time to completely “miter” the repair area and achieve full transparency of the glass and the disappearance of all visible defects.
As you can see, to repair cracks in the windshield is not as difficult as it seems, and you are quite able to cope with this work on their own. All the more so that a similar repair in the service station is performed entirely by the same technology, using the same tools and materials.
If you do not have time to do delicate and meticulous work you can, of course, refer to the car service. The service will cost you a decent amount: 1 cm of restored windshield costs 300-700 rubles, just stop a single crack by drilling and without filling with polymer and polishing – 900 rubles. On average, the repair of glass costs up to 3000 rubles, and if the cracks are many, you risk paying more than will cost a new windshield.
In conclusion, it should be noted that the appearance of cracks on the windshield of the car is an unpleasant and unsafe damage, which is dangerous for the complete destruction of the shield even in a non-accident situation. Cracks grow over time, reduce the normal view of the road for the driver and create discomfort for the eye in the cabin of the car.
If you do not want to completely replace the glass, it should be repaired while the damage area is minimal. To do this, you need to drill the edges of cracks, so they do not creep further, and then fill the holes with polymer and grind the repair area. To do this, you can go to a service station or save money and do the job with your own hands.
Author: Kiselev Ya.