American Mini Windshield Repair Kit Review

A small rock flying and cracking your car’s windshield is one of the few things that can make you furious while driving. It will not only destroy the front exterior aesthetics of your vehicle but could also pose safety hazards. Moreover, the annual vehicle safety inspection is another concern for car owners with a chip or a minor crack on their windshield. In several states, many vehicles failed to meet the standards, and windshield cracks are among the common reasons for a failing mark. 

Car owners should never settle for driving with a cracked windshield. But if you are forced into such a situation, the American Mini Windshield Repair Kit provides one of the most practical solutions for resolving the problem. It is one of the several brands that provide glass repair kits for vehicle windshields that let you fix the problem at a fraction of the total windshield replacement costs. A comprehensive American Mini Windshield Repair Kit review should help provide a better understanding of why it is one of the top choices among car owners. 

But before diving into the review, let’s acquire a better understanding of the general guide for car windshield laws in most states. Having adequate knowledge about the applicable laws in each area can help you pass the annual vehicle safety inspection, which is critical for the yearly renewal of vehicle registration. It can also help you avoid getting a ticket while driving on the highway.

A Quick Guide for Car Windshield Laws

Every driver needs to have a full unobstructed view of the road ahead, and the windshield plays a critical part in providing the best picture of the road for safe driving. Any minute obstruction in the driver’s line of sight may cause a distraction and pose a danger. So it’s not surprising for some states to have laws regarding cracks, star breaks, chips, bullseye cracks, stress cracks, and other forms of damage to the windshield. These laws arise out of the States’ safety concerns for people on the road. 

The windshield is only one of the many concerns of every car owner. There are other types of inspections to be mindful of. Several types of tests are normally due for inspection every year at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Every driver should be aware of what inspections are necessary for each state and which locations require annual and biennial inspections for motor vehicles.

Surprisingly, the majority of the states in the US have no inspection requirements at all. But that is no reason to be carefree about windshield damages in those areas. Even if there is an absence of existing laws mandating vehicles to undergo a yearly test, state troopers have the authority to inspect vehicles at the roadside if there is reasonable cause to believe that a particular vehicle is unsafe. Thus, exposing you to the risk of getting a costly traffic ticket.

Three Major Types of Motor Vehicle Inspections

The Department of Motor Vehicles in each state has its own policies governing annual vehicle inspections. Some states may require a comprehensive inspection. Other states will only mandate a specific type of inspection either every year or every two years. Knowing the three types of inspections done by the Department of Motor Vehicles will put you to good advantage during yearly renewals.

Safety Inspection

A safety inspection is the most comprehensive of all types of inspections since it covers all aspects of the vehicle’s safety on the road. The test covers the lights, brakes, windows, windshield, wipers, mirrors, tint, directional signals, horn, tires, and the steering mechanism. This safety inspection will also inspect the windshield for chips and cracks. 

If you belong to areas that require an annual safety inspection, an immediate fix for the crack on your windshield is mandatory to avoid problems while passing the safety test. Some states will only require a safety inspection every two years. But the majority of the states do not require any inspection at all. Below is the list of states with safety inspections. Take note that the list is not static and changes over time as new laws are passed. 

States that Require Safety Inspection Every Two Years:

  • Delaware
  • Louisiana
  • Missouri
  • Rhode Island

States that Require Yearly Safety Inspection:

  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Hawaii
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

Emission Inspection

A few states are strict when it comes to emission, requiring out-of-state vehicles to undergo regular emission tests. The emission inspection will determine the level of air pollutants from the exhaust system of the car. Failure to pass the emission test will result in a mandatory repair and retesting until the vehicle passes the test. An exhaust system replacement or an upgrade can usually help vehicles to pass the emission test.

States that Require Emission Test Every Two Years:

  • Illinois
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Rhode Island
  • Missouri

States that Require Yearly Emission Test:

  • Atlanta Metro of Georgia
  • Cumberland County of Maine
  • Washoe and Clark Counties of Nevada
  • North Carolina (22/100 counties only)
  • Pennsylvania (25/67 counties)
  • New Hampshire
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • Texas
  • Vermont

There are states that require both the safety inspection and the emission test every year. So, take note of the big seven states as follows:

  • New York
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Vermont
  • Texas

Vehicle Identification Number or VIN Inspection

Every car has a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which should match with the details on the vehicle ownership documents. A VIN inspection is the process of verifying the VIN of your car against the details on the ownership document. The inspection is usually done by the Department of Motor Vehicles in the locality. While most states no longer require a yearly VIN inspection for out-of-state vehicles, some states still require vehicles to undergo the yearly inspection. States like North Dakota and Alabama already incorporate the VIN verification in the safety inspection for rebuilt cars and new vehicle purchases. 

States that Require VIN Inspection:

  • Florida
  • Wyoming
  • Kentucky
  • Nebraska
  • Kansas
  • Oklahoma

Preparing for the Annual Motor Vehicle Inspection

There are measures you can take to ensure a passing mark during the regular motor vehicle inspection. It is better to prepare ahead of the inspection and resolve any issues that could lead to a failing result than to fail during the actual inspection. The best way to prepare is to know the full coverage of the inspection ahead of time. Having a checklist can further help to serve as a guide.

Motor Vehicle Inspection Coverage

The extent of the inspection may vary from state to state. But generally, those that require an annual safety inspection have similar coverage. For a better understanding, the following is the usual coverage of the inspection by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

  • Windshield
  • Brakes
  • Vehicle lights
  • Parking brake
  • Signal devices
  • Tires, wheels & rims
  • Mirrors
  • Horn
  • Fuel system
  • License plate
  • Steering & suspension
  • Windshield wipers & defroster
  • Airbag & airbag readiness light
  • Hood & area underneath
  • Air pollution control system
  • Exhaust system
  • Vehicle doors
  • Driver’s seat

8-Point Vehicle Inspection Checklist

Based on the general coverage of the actual inspection, below is a checklist to guide you in preparation for the annual safety vehicle inspection. While some items in the list may not be applicable to certain states, it is still best to conduct a more comprehensive check for safety purposes. 

  1. Check the windshield for any cracks or chips and make necessary repairs using a windshield repair kit. Also, check the wipers and make sure they are working properly. Do the same with the defroster or defogger. Keep in mind the proper placement of stickers on the windshield – they should be placed far from the driver’s line of vision.
  2. Check the horn and make sure it is loud enough and not muffled.
  3. Inspect the side view mirror and look for cracks. Fix any cracks or chips as necessary using a cracked glass repair kit.
  4. Inspect the car’s entire lighting system and make sure every light is working with no cracks on the glass housing.
  5. Check the dashboard for any warning light that could indicate a dysfunctional engine. 
  6. Inspect the exhaust system and monitor the color of the exhaust. A dark emission could indicate a faulty exhaust system that may require a replacement.
  7. Pay attention to any unusual sounds from the vehicle that may indicate some issues under the chassis, in the engine bay, or inside the passenger cabin.
  8. Check the tire and inspect the tire tread. The legal limit for the tread depth is a minimum of 2/32 inches as required by U.S. law.

Essential Requirements for the Annual Vehicle Safety Inspection on Windshield Cracks and Chips

Every state in the U.S. has a unique set of rules and policies for windshield damages relative to the annual vehicle safety inspection. A total windshield replacement would be the ideal choice to guarantee a passing mark for cars with windshield cracks. But this can be an extremely costly option. A windshield repair kit, on the other hand, provides the chance for windshields with cracks, star breaks, bullseyes, and chips to pass the inspection without an expensive replacement. 

Unfortunately, there are limitations to these cracked glass repair kits since the scope is only up to a certain severity of the damage. Some states may allow one or two chips or star breaks, as long as they are out of the driver’s line of sight. For a better understanding, you check out the laws on windshield damages in some states to know how the safety inspection manages windshield cracks and chips.

Crack Length

The length measurement of the crack is critical in determining if it is repairable or not. The crack length is also a part of the inspection and could result in a rejection. Some states are lenient and allow cracks, not more than 12 inches in length. But other states have stricter laws allowing only less than 6 inches of crack length.

Cracks less than one foot is usually repairable using the American Mini Windshield Repair Kit. It would be wise to make an immediate repair since changes in temperature could shatter the crack. Moreover, dirt could enter the crack and create sufficient stress over time, causing severe damage beyond repair.

Crack Expansion

A seemingly harmless crack, less than 6 inches in length or a few inches in diameter for star beaks, can spread into a web of similar fractures resulting from sudden fluctuations in temperature, especially in areas with extremely hot or cold weather conditions. Turning on the heater while the windshield is freezing may cause the crack to spread further. Likewise, turning on the air conditioning system to full blast on a hot day, where the car is under direct sunlight for several hours could also produce the same result.

Crack Placement

Some states classify the area of the windshield into three major areas of concern for inspection purposes. They are the acute area, the critical area, and the non-critical area. 

The Acute Area

The acute area falls directly in the driver’s line of vision, covering a space similar to the size of a standard typing paper, or a dimension of 8½ x 11 inches. Some states like West Virginia do not allow any crack or chip in the acute area, including repairs made on this space. But in other places, a star break or two is allowed but should not exceed half an inch in diameter. 

The Critical Area

On the other hand, the critical area is the area immediately outside the acute area, one that is cleaned by the driver-side wiper blade’s sweep. West Virginia rejects any repair on cracks that extend more than 3 inches in length or a diameter of 1 1/2″ inches for chips and star breaks on the windshield’s critical area. 

The Non-Critical Area

The non-critical area of the windshield is the rest of the space outside the critical area. Some states may reject vehicles with repairs made on cracks extending 6 inches in length and chips or star breaks larger than 1 1/2″ inches diameter. So, if you have a small crack less than 6 inches in length, you can fix the crack using the American Mini Windshield Repair Kit and pass the test.

American Mini Windshield Repair Kit Review

MANUFACTURER: American Windshield Repair Systems | BRAND: American Windshield Repair Systems | ITEM WEIGHT: 15ml Repair Resin and 10ml Pit Filler Resin | PRODUCT TYPE: Pit Filler Resin | BOX CONTENTS: 1 repair bridge, 5 external end seals, 10 inner O-rings, 5 drill bits, 1 UV flashlight LED, 1 repair resin (15ml), 1 pit filler resin (10ml), 1 6-inch UV light with a suction cup, 100 count curing film strips, 5 razor blades, 1 variable high-speed rotary tool with charger of 9.6 volts, 1 heating element, 1 single point probe, 1 repair (DVD) video, and 1 nylon case with strap.

The American Mini Kit by the American Windshield Repair Systems provides the most comprehensive and highly detailed repair for all sorts of damages on vehicle glasses and windshields. It also gives a professional shop quality output. The kit contains everything you need, not just for the repair of multiple cracks and chips, but also for the finishing touches for the best quality output. You can even start a small windshield repair business with a single American Mini repair kit.

Unlike most cracked windshield repair kits designed by manufacturers for a single crack, the American Mini kit is best for multiple cracks and chips, enough for 50 windshield repairs per kit. Thus, making it the most ideal for owners of multiple vehicles, companies with a vehicle fleet, and DIY enthusiasts looking for business opportunities in the windshield repair market.

About the Company

The American Windshield Repair Systems started in 2002 as a subsidiary of Apex Auto Glass, Inc. The company’s main goal is to help rock chip technicians and entrepreneurs by providing an affordable yet high-quality system of repairing rock chips and cracks on glasses and windshields. The company continues to invest in research and development by employing skilled engineers in order to provide the best quality yet affordable repair system for its target customers.

An experience of close to twenty years in the field of glass repairs has significantly helped the company in building trust and confidence among its users. This is on top of the world-class quality technical support it provides to its customers. American Windshield Repair Systems has already sold thousands of repair kits across the United States and Canada, and its global expansion is unstoppable as its quality puts the American Mini windshield repair kits at the forefront of many car owners in search of a quick fix on a windshield crack issue.

What Makes it Standout

No other windshield repair system is as comprehensive as the American Mini kit. While most repair kits stop at the repair resin, the American Mini kit goes above and beyond by adding pit fillers to seal the repair areas for a durable finish. Thus, improving the quality of the work. The ultimate finishing touch clearly separates the professional work from a DIY cracked windshield repair job.

Each kit contains a one-set screw design for the repair bridge for easy and quick mounting and versatility. Thus, allowing anyone to perform the repair tasks even without prior experience and expertise in DIY windshield repairs. The kit also comes with a DVD demo for easier comprehension and more accurate execution of each step of the repair process.

Major Setbacks

A single glance at the price could deter many, given the expensive cost. Although the price point is way higher than other standard kits, it is important to note that what you are buying is not a single-use product, like the Permatex windshield repair kit or the Rain-X cracked windshield repair kit. Instead, you are buying a complete windshield repair business in a bag that quickly pays off after just a few repair jobs. 

In the long term, it actually becomes more economical per repair compared to most single-use products in the marketplace. This aspect further separates it from its competitor, making the American Mini kit stand out in the windshield repair market. For a better illustration, the following are some advantages and disadvantages.

Pros
  • It comes with pit fillers for finishing touches
  • Best for multiple uses and enough for fifty repairs
  • Enables you to start a windshield repair business with just a single kit
  • It comes with a detailed instruction manual and a DVD video
  • One rear set screw repair bridge makes the application process easier
Cons
  • High price but more economical in the long-term use
  • It looks complicated, given the many tools, but the DVD video demo simplifies the process
American Mini Windshield Repair Kit
  • Everything you need in a professional windshield repair kit
  • Compact design for mobile use
  • Enough windshield repair resin for over 50 repairs

Last update on 2021-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

American Mini Windshield Repair Kit Review Recommendation

The American Mini kit is apparently not for a normal repair of a single crack. It has a market of its own that deserves full attention given the increasing incidents of rock chips and cracks on the windshield. So if you see a crack during one of your drives, the American Mini Windshield Repair Kit would be the best and most economical option. You’ll have peace of mind during long drives knowing you have a kit in the trunk of your car for quick fixes for glass cracks and chips. 

This is also the best option for owners of multiple cars and entrepreneurs with several vehicles in a fleet. Every time each vehicle goes out of the garage, there is always the risk of getting a rock chip, even when parked at the roadside. While the cost is a major hindrance, it is a good long-term investment for a product that provides the best quality finish, unmatched by most single-use products.

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Last update on 2021-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Windshield Replacement