A chip or a small crack on the windshield can be a frustrating sight to see, but it is something that requires immediate action. Time is critical when it comes to windshield repairs, and it helps if you have a preferred brand especially when the crack or chip obstructs the driver’s line of view. While shopping for windshield repair kits, you’ll come across a plethora of products in the marketplace, and 3M is a brand that stands out from the rest. I hope that my 3M windshield repair kit review will help you assess if the product truly lives up to its marketing promises.
But before we dive into the depths of the review, it helps to know how to shop for cracked glass repair kits so as to do away with selection stress and enjoy your shopping instead. There are a couple of features to look for that can make it easier for you to find the right product. So be sure to check out the quick buying guide when shopping for the solution to your windshield breaks.
Windshield Repair Kit Buying Guide
The windshield is a sensitive part of the car as it is exposed to heavy stress that comes from daily drives. The wind load is deflected and absorbed by the windshield as the vehicle increases speed. It is also subjected to fluctuations of indoor and outdoor temperatures.
So it’s no wonder that a small bullseye break can quickly turn into a big crack as you continue to drive the car with a damaged glass that has not been immediately fixed. Hence, you must fix the windshield crack as it happens, and make use of a windshield repair kit for the job.
Things to look for in a Windshield Repair Kit
The market is overflowing with numerous brands of automotive glass repair kits that can be a little overwhelming for the inundated car owner. But if you know what to look for in a product, shopping for one can be simple and fun. For cracked glass solutions, there are only a few things to keep in mind, and you will have yourself the best product that suits your needs.
Scope of Repair
The first thing you should look for when shopping for windshield repair kits is the repair scope. Not all products are designed to fix any and all types of windshield glass damages. Some kits are specially made for cracks, while others have the necessary tools for star breaks, bullseye cracks, and chips. You could end up buying a cracked glass repair kit like the Versachem flowable silicone when what you actually need is a windshield chip repair kit that contains more tools for fixing chips and bullseye breaks, like the 3M windshield repair kit.
Likewise, you must also assess the type of damage on your windshield in order to find the perfect match of repair kit that will fix your windshield issues. If there are multiple damages on the windshield like cracks, chips, and bullseye, you may need a repair kit designed for multiple uses. While most products are for a single-use only, you can purchase a bundle pack for extra savings.
Damage assessment is a critical part of the repair process. No matter how quick and easy, there are limitations to windshield repair kits. Most products can only fix cracks up to 12 inches in length, and chips or star cracks up to 1 ½ inch in diameter. Damages beyond that would require a total windshield replacement. In any case, the first step is to match the damage with the right kit, and everything should end up well. You can fix or minimize the visibility of the cracks with the right product.
Another important buying factor is the type of material used by the brand for the repair. For windshields and glasses, flowable silicone and liquid resins are the most commonly used materials. There’s a separate article on the pros and cons of liquid resins and silicone for repairing glass breaks and windshield cracks. It would help to know the differences between the two types since each has its own significant advantages for specific damages.
Bullseye breaks and spiderweb cracks usually demand a more complex repair process, and liquid resin repair kits are normally the ideal choice. These kits come with repair tools for pushing the liquid resin into small gaps of the break to create a vacuum seal. The liquid resin also works for cracks and chips. On the other hand, the flowable silicone works well as a windshield and glass sealant, effectively creating a water-tight seal around the damaged area.
The Repair Tool
What really sets a particular brand unique from its competitors is the repair tools that come with the windshield repair kits. Each brand has a distinct applicator tool designed to force the advanced resin formula into the cracks, it is only for you to decide which one would be best for you.
Regardless of the design, a windshield repair tool usually contains a resin chamber for the temporary storage of the liquid resin, a suction cup for better grip of the repair tool during the repair, and head screws for pushing the liquid into the cracks.
Some repair tools are fairly easy to use, while others have more complicated designs. So, if you want a quick fix, go for the kit with a straightforward repair tool design, like the 3M repair kit for windshields.
Curing Time and the Curing Strip
Curing is a critical process since this can greatly affect the quality and durability of the repair. If you fail to observe the proper curing time, you could end up with a faulty repair job. So, it is no surprise if you see review feedbacks of unsatisfied customers saying that the product didn’t work. But on the flip side, there are happy customers who said it worked, and that is probably because they did exactly as instructed.
The quality of the finished product is the result of an accurate implementation, and curing is one of the fundamental steps that should be properly observed. The curing strip is another significant item in the kit that distinguishes one brand from the other. Some kits have no curing strips at all thus, increasing the risk of degrading the quality of work.
A curing strip serves to protect the adhesives or the liquid resin applied on the glass breaks during the curing time. The curing strip protects the repaired area from dust and air, thereby allowing the resin to harden and solidify in an air-tight space to provide the best results. 3M uses a clear plastic film instead of a curing strip for their glass repair kits.
Cost is always a determining factor while shopping, as the availability of resources can either limit or expand your choices. But price shouldn’t be a problem when it comes to windshield repair kits, as it is already the cheaper option to a complete windshield replacement, which can be extremely expensive. But when you are down to a couple of choices among similar products from different brands, the price point will become a significant factor.
In general, most rock chip repair kits are affordable, with a price range of 10 to 20 dollars. However, these products are usually for a single repair. So, if you have multiple cracks on the windshield, you’ll have to buy more kits. However, there is one brand, the American Windshield Repair Systems, which has an American Mini repair kit good for 50 repairs. The price per kit is also substantial. But it is also cost-economical with an average cost of 5 to 6 dollars per repair.
Thus, you must properly balance your choices to get the most value of your investment. You can invest in an expensive yet cost-economical kit if you are facing windshield crack problems too often. But if it is only an isolated case, you are good with a single-use kit for a minimal investment.
The 3M windshield repair kit provides the perfect solution to star breaks and bullseye cracks that are less than an inch in diameter. The highly advanced resin formula of 3M is the result of the company’s collaborative ways of improving the lives of people by applying science to its products.
3M’s liquid resin fills the gaps and seals the cracks in an airtight space that effectively eliminates air pockets, thereby achieving the best result by restoring the appearance of the glass to its pristine condition. It also prevents cracks and star breaks from further spreading into a web of similar glass fractures.
The repair tool that comes with the 3M windshield glass repair kit has a special design that provides optimum convenience and accurate application. The procedure allows any car owner, regardless of their experience in DIY windshield repair, to perform the simple steps within just a couple of minutes. Thus, there’s no need to hire a technician or a glass expert to do the repair job. In the end, you will have made huge savings on the total cost of repair.
Based on the 3M windshield repair kit’s instructions manual, the product should be used only on small chips, spider web breaks, bullseye cracks, and star damages with a diameter of not more than an inch. It also works for cracks and surface pits more than 3/16ths of an inch in length. The product has a certification of Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standards (ROLAGS). Thus, providing assurance on quality. However, the kit may not be able to provide a full repair matching the optical clarity of the glass. But it can notably minimize the appearance of cracks while effectively preventing further spread.
- Glass resin fills small bull’s eyes and chips to prevent spreading
- Preventative damage control can stop more extensive damage from spreading
- Repair kit minimizes appearance of glass chip to make windshield look like new
Last update on 2022-01-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
About the Company
Brand credibility is one of the core advantages of 3M, with more than a century of worldwide operations across a broad range of industries that include automotive, energy, electronics, safety, manufacturing, healthcare, and consumer markets, to name some. Today, 3M has a global presence in more than 70 countries, offering 60,000 products for homes, hospitals, schools, business establishments, and commercial and industrial settings.
Its scientific and technical innovations fueled the company’s success over the years, allowing 3M to be a regular in the Fortune 500 list. 3M has become a household name synonymous with quality for its innovative and durable products supported by good customer support. So there is no doubt it can live up to its marketing promises of providing one of the best solutions to cracked windshield issues.
The 3M rock chip repair kit is already a complete set with all tools necessary for the repair. The kit contains a bridge assembly where the suction cups are attached by two Phillips head screws. The bridge assembly also serves as a platform where the resin chamber is mounted.
An injector with an o-ring is also provided inside the kit to assist you in applying the liquid resin into the chamber. When you are done with the repair, you have a clear plastic film with a similar function to that of a curing strip to allow more effective curing of the resin and achieve a durable result. Thus, the kit has everything you need and requires no mixing whatsoever.
When it comes to the procedure, there are only a few easy steps to follow. The kit comes with a detailed instruction manual for an accurate implementation of each step, which is critical to avoid a bad repair. For a quick overview of the procedure, below are a few important steps to follow.
- Clean the area and get rid of any dirt. A stick pin is provided inside the kit for cleaning deep cracks of dirt, tiny debris, and loose pieces of glass.
- Assemble the bridge and place it over the chip or bullseye break.
- Screw the resin chamber into the bridge assembly until the tip touches the surface of the windshield.
- Fill the chamber with the liquid resin using the dropper provided in the kit.
- To apply the liquid resin into the damaged area, screw the injector into the resin chamber.
- Once the crack is filled with resin, remove the bridge assembly and wipe off excess resin on the surface.
- Apply the clear plastic film and cure the repaired area under direct sunlight for about 30 minutes. A longer curing time may be needed on cloudy days with no sunlight. Alternatively, you may cure the area using UV light (not included in the kit).
- Once cured, remove the plastic film and scrape off the excess cured adhesive with a scraping blade provided in the kit.
Looking at the above steps, you can ascertain how easy the steps are, and you can complete a single repair job in an hour or two under direct daylight for curing. But you still need a glass cleaner for a glossy finish and to make the glass look new. But this is optional, what matters most is the chip becomes less visible and should not cause a distraction.
What makes the 3M Windshield Glass Repair Kit stand out
Every brand has some strengths and a couple of flaws. A quick overview of the pros and cons should help further simplify your buying decisions to determine if 3M is the best fit for fixing the crack on your car’s windshield.
Among the many things that make this kit stand out is the brand name. 3M doesn’t need any introduction since it is already a household name commonly associated with quality and trust. Based on its ratings and reviews, it does not fail, and the cracks are hardly visible after the repair.
Quick and Easy Process
A major strength of the 3M windshield repair kit is the ease of use. The process is straightforward and quick. You don’t have to be a technician or a glass expert to perform the job. Any driver can perform the steps by following the illustrated manual. You also have everything you need inside the kit, and no other tool is required.
Fast Curing Time
Another strength is the quick curing time. The 3M kit has one of the fastest curing times, which is 30 minutes under direct daylight. Other brands would usually require an hour or more under the sun. This further reflects the quality of the advanced resin formula that 3M uses for the product. So, if you are short on time and you need to make a quick repair job during a long drive, this is the kit to use. It is best suited for car owners who constantly travel. Take note that every chip should be fixed immediately to minimize the damage. Thus, having a 3M complete windshield repair kit in the trunk would come in handy for individuals who are always on the road.
A Few Setbacks
As with any brand, there are a couple of setbacks to this product. But these are nothing significant that should stop you from buying it. One of them is the plastic materials used in some parts of the repair tool. Therefore, you should handle them with care to avoid breaking the parts. Furthermore, there are installations required to assemble the repair tools. But these are easy steps, and a manual is provided with illustrations to make it easier for you to install.
3M Windshield Repair Kit Review Recommendation
The strengths outweigh the setbacks, and the kit has the brand advantage that provides an initial guarantee that what you will be getting is not an item borne out of a sudden influx of demand, but a product of years of research inside an advanced laboratory conducted by top-rated scientists. In short, there is already a guarantee of quality that comes with the brand name.
Moreover, the easy steps and fast curing time makes the 3M repair kit stand out from the rest of its competitors. Making it perfect for busy car owners and those who are regular on the highways and interstates. You can complete a repair job in 30 minutes and another 30 minutes for curing time while enjoying a nice cup of coffee. Once you’ve consumed your coffee, the resin would have fully cured, and your vehicle would be ready to hit the road again.
All things considered, this 3M windshield repair kit review concludes that the product is highly recommended as one of the best solutions for spiderweb cracks less than an inch in diameter. The highly advanced resin formula of 3M works well in penetrating deep into the web of cracks, filling every space, and effectively sealing the whole damaged area. This is also perfect for repairing minor windshield cracks.
Best Selling Windshield Repair Kit
Last update on 2022-01-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API