If you’ve been searching for how to fix a long-cracked windshield, we are here to help. Getting a crack in your windshield can rapidly ruin your day by taking value away from your car and blocking your driving view, depending on where the crack is located. Cracks can also quickly spread. So if you don’t fix the crack soon, you might end up with more damage, more repairs, and less money in the bank.
If done correctly and carefully, DIY approaches are just as good as professional ones. You just need to make sure you have suitable materials. Don’t rush through the process. Patience is key to ensuring you get the result you want. This article will explain why it’s essential to fix a cracked windshield as soon as possible and how to fix it properly.
- Why It’s Important to Fix a Cracked Windshield?
- How to Fix a Long-Cracked Windshield?
- Can You Prevent or Stop a Crack From Spreading?
Why It’s Important to Fix a Cracked Windshield?
If the crack isn’t big, you might be thinking you can leave it and continue with your day. Unfortunately, this is a costly mistake that could ruin the exterior of your car. Traffic officials and car safety specialists also recommend you get the crack repaired as soon as possible. It’s more than just a minor annoyance. You don’t want to ruin your car by not making a simple fix.
Here are the most important reasons you need to fix a cracked windshield and the dangers of not fixing it.
- By fixing the windshield as soon as possible, you will save a great deal of time and money! You will also protect the overall integrity of your car and ensure there is no prolonged damage that can’t be fixed in the future.
- Windshields are part of the car for protection. If a windshield is cracked or chipped, you will not be as safe and protected in your car as you should be. Large cracks and damages also block the driving view. This means you can’t see correctly and may end up getting into an accident because of impaired visibility.
- State inspection officers will not pass vehicles that have cracks in a particular region of the windshield. They will also not pass windshields if the damage is too significant. Unfortunately, this means you might not be able to register your car or renew your title without fixing the crack first.
- If you get into a collision while your windshield is cracked, there is a high chance that the glass will break entirely. This could leave you and the other passengers in your car with serious injuries. During front-end collisions, the windshield can also protect the vehicle’s inside against impact. With an impaired windshield, you are putting yourself and your passengers in danger.
How to Fix a Long-Cracked Windshield?
You can take many simple approaches to keep the crack from spreading. The break might seem minor at first, which may tempt you just to leave it. This is never a good plan. Star breaks can spread quickly, and this could be dangerous if it happens while driving.
To stop a crack from drastically affecting your car, the first thing you need to do is to ensure no water or dirt gets into the crack. This can make it harder to repair. Applying a transparent adhesive tape across the crack is usually enough to keep weather conditions from affecting the crack. In severe weather conditions, though, the tape will not be enough to cover the crack.
Cracks in the driver’s line of sight often need to be repaired by professionals because you need to see clearly. If the crack is longer than 3 inches long, you probably need to start consulting professionals for a new windshield.
Below are the best methods for DIY approaches on how to fix a long-cracked windshield. Make sure you try them right away. Don’t leave the tape over the crack forever.
Using a Professional
Using a professional is the route you should take if you aren’t confident in your windshield-fixing capabilities. Professionals can look at the crack and see what the best solution is. They also have more tools and materials to repair the windshield easier and give you a more permanent solution. To find an expert, use your town’s social media pages or ask your friends and family for recommendations. You want to make sure you use someone who has good reviews and knows precisely what they are doing.
Use a Windshield Repair Kit
Windshield repair kits can usually be found at a local car part shop. However, you might also be able to find them online. A good repair kit will include resin and an adaptor. The glue in the repair kit will help cover the tiny crevices in the crack and cover it. This can stop the pile-up of dirt and water in the glass. It will also prevent extra spreading.
If you have worked in an auto repair shop, you could try the steps below. However, if you are not a windshield master – it would be best to leave this to the professionals.
Start by drilling a small home through the top layer of the glass at one end of the crack. 1/16 drill bits usually work the best for this. You can then force the resin from the repair kit into the seam.
Consider Using Super Glue
If the crack is tiny, you can probably use Super Glue or cyanoacrylate glue. You need to apply it with force into the crack. You should be able to stop the crack from spreading. Again, though, this isn’t a guarantee – as Super Glue isn’t intended for windshield use.
Use Nail Polish
Nail polish can work, but only temporarily. First, you will need to clean the crack thoroughly to ensure no dirt or trapped debris. Then, apply the nail polish generously in even coatings. You might want to use more than one coating to ensure every crack part gets covered. Clear paint is the best so that it doesn’t affect the windshield’s integrity and won’t be noticeable.
You should also apply some to the exterior zones where the crack can spread. This is only a temporary fix and will give you more time to make it to the repair shop. Don’t leave this solution on the window for more than days or weeks. The same goes for the superglue method. You will still need to take the car in for professional inspection.
Always Park the Car in the Shade
The heat can expand the temperature in the car and press on the windshield. Heavy downpours, severe weather, and snow can also worsen the crack. While waiting on repair services, park the car under the shade every time you drive.
If it’s raining or snowing, consider not driving until after the storm has passed if you can. You might also want to park the car inside the garage or other covering so that inclement weather can’t affect it as much.
Can You Prevent or Stop a Crack From Spreading?
This mostly depends on the severity, the size, and the location of the crack. If you have already let the crack get too big, you probably can’t keep it from spreading further. You might even need a complete windshield replacement from a professional.
Wherever your windshield is fixed, there will always be signs of mutilation and damage. This is especially why it’s essential to repair the damage right away. If the crack is within the driver’s line of sight, take extra precautions when fixing it because you want to make sure you can see the road clearly and won’t cause accidents.
Assessing the Crack
Before making any moves, assess the crack to see what you’re dealing with. Slight damages are commonly star breaks, bullseye, chips, or stress cracks. Regardless of what kind of chip you’re dealing with, the crack will spread if not fixed. In addition, the glass will contract and extend due to temperature and pressure changes causing the glass to break further.
Measure the crack to find the size. If it’s less than 3 inches, you can use the suggestions above to fix the crack. Still, ensure you take precautionary measures not to worsen the crack. You can shop for better prices, but don’t take long as you don’t want the crack spreading. Professionals might also fix larger cracks without replacing the entire windshield. It all depends on the exact size and location.
A complete replacement of the windshield will depend on the place and size of the crack. A crack that is a foot long and more than an inch wide should be looked at by a professional.
Stop the Spreading with a Repair Kit
In most cases, minor cracks can be fixed with a DIY repair kit. Make sure to get one right away and get started working before it’s too late. If you aren’t sure what to do, though, you can always call an expert. Make sure you are working with someone honest and reputable.
If you see that the crack is already 3 inches or longer, call a professional and ask them to take a look. Ask them for an honest answer and what they would suggest. Then, ask if you can still make a DIY approach.
If the professional thinks the damage is too severe, ask them for a quote on replacement or a professional repair. While DIY approaches are great, you don’t want to ruin the integrity of your car by taking the cheap way out.
Many of the DIY approaches are affordable and won’t break your wallet. First, assess the crack to determine how severe the damage is, and decide if you want to risk repairing the crack with your DIY skills and a repair kit or if the better option would be to use a professional – depending on the size and length of the crack.