DIY Windshield Repair
by Pat Goss
There’s some things on an automobile that are almost inevitable. Take this rock chip. Every day you go without one of these chips is typically a day closer to when you will have one.
Now we look at this one, it is a bullseye, but it has a big crack out of it. Now, if it wasn’t for that crack, this would be readily repairable…but with the crack: maybe, maybe not… we’ll see as time goes on.
Now, a lot of these chips can be repaired with do-it-yourself kits. They’re available all over, go to any parts store and you’ll find repair kits for windshields. Now here we have a very popular one. This one is from Permatex. I’ve used this one over the years, had good luck with it. Now, the way this works is real simple: you have a patch here with double-sided tape that goes over the damaged area in the windshield, so it’s glued in place and it’s airtight. Now you have this chamber here, this plunger, that you pull up once it’s installed. It forms a vacuum inside the chip, pulls the moisture out, and then you can go ahead and inject the resin that will actually repair the glass.
Now they all work pretty much the same but they have different ways of applying the resin to the glass. Like this RockPro unit here, it has this rather large and elaborate applicator, uses these three suction cups and it has a center that can be screwed down to apply force to make an airtight seal down at the bottom, and it has a center section that is used to put pressure or vacuum on the different components.
So, we’re going to try this one and see how it works. But the big thing here: remember that when you get one of these stone chips, you have to treat it as soon as possible. The longer you let it wait, the worse the repair will probably be. And that’s because dirt gets in there and dirt works its way into the resin as you’re filling the voids in the glass, and that dirt shows up, so that instead of having this crystal clear repair, you may have lines in it and so on caused by the dirt, because you didn’t take care of it soon enough…..
Well, our repair is not perfect, but it is light years ahead of what it was when we started. Now keep in mind that we didn’t know anything about the age of this damage or anything like that, so had it been done earlier, the results might have been better. Big thing is, do it as soon as you possible can.
And if you’ve got a question or a comment, drop me a line, right here at MotorWeek.