No matter how careful you are when driving your car, or how many safety precautions to take to avoid costly repairs, accidents do happen and one day you might notice that your windshield has a crack in it.
It’s definitely not the most serious damage that can be done to a car and compared to engine or electrical wiring issues, it’s actually quite simple to fix, but there’s something about seeing a crack in the window that makes drivers forget that professionals are the best at their jobs and go down the DIY path.
Whether your auto glass was damaged by hail, a heavy object that someone threw at the car or a pebble that ricochet from the road while driving at high speed, it’s important not to lose your calm and take rash decisions.
If the crack is very small and very visible, there is a chance of it expanding on the entire surface of the windshield, which can become a major safety hazard, so never ignore the damage either.
Mistake #1: applying tape on the chip or crack
Transparent tape may sound like a good short-term solution when dealing with damaged auto glass, but it will not do anything to prevent the crack from expanding. It will only make it more visible and, from a safety perspective, it might affect your view by reflecting light or obscuring your view. Besides, the regular tape from school supply shops cannot keep dirt and moisture away.
Mistake #2: washing over the crack
Depending on the depth of the damage, your windshield can be repaired or replaced. To avoid costly replacements, you should avoid any type of contact that could expand the damage, and this includes washing. No matter how dirty the windshield might seem, postpone pressure washing until the glass is repaired or replaced. If you simply must clean, use a soft damp cloth and clean with gentle motions. Water can seriously affect the inner safety layer of your windshield or moisture can get stuck inside the crack, preventing the resin from adhering properly when someone tries to repair it.
Mistake #3: using nail varnish to cover up
Transparent nail varnish might be a quick fix in the case of broken tights, but it is in no way a sustainable solution for cracks in the windshield. It simply doesn’t last and it will not stop the crack for expanding. Contacting an auto glass repair company remains the safest and most effective option of fixing your windshield without wasting time and money on ineffective tricks.
Mistake #4: attempting to repair the damage yourself with DIY kits
No matter what object you need to repair, there is an online store selling a DIY repair kit for it. Of course, cracked windshields are no exception. The idea of getting away with just a few dollars definitely sounds tempting, but it’s too good to be true. Remember those car scratch repair pens that were heavily advertised on TV but quickly proved to be a scam? Well, DIY repair kits fall into the same category, but you lose even more money. The glue included in these kits is not compatible with the material that the windshield is made of, so it will not repair the damage as well as an OEM part. Besides, DIY kits are tricky to use, so an air pocket could form within the crack as you try to apply the glue. Even if you are a handyman, low-quality DIY kits could cause the windshield to crack even more, contaminate the crack with debris and force you to spend more than necessary on repairs.
Mistake #5: using replacement parts that aren’t original
If the crack is too big to be repaired, the only course of action left is to repair the entire auto glass, which can be quite expensive. Every auto repair shop can replace a windshield, but keep in mind that using non-OEM parts is very risky. You might pay less for the replacement, but parts that are not from the original manufacturer are usually low quality, do not fit the car perfectly and have a high risk of breaking easily. Besides, non-OEM parts are usually not included in the insurance, which could affect the value of the vehicle if you decide to sell it later. OEM parts are a great investment for your car, so even though they cost more than cheap replacements, you should refuse working with any repair shop that only offers this option.
Mistake #6: driving the car immediately after the repair
Last up, there is one small mistake that could cause the crack to appear again, even after it’s been repaired by a professional: driving the car immediately after it was repaired. For best results, you should leave your car overnight at the repair shop in order for the glue to settle, otherwise it will crack again easily.
Keep in mind that all these tips also apply for the read windscreen and rear-view mirror and, when dealing with car damage in general, it’s better to avoid the DIY option and go straight to the experts. Short term solutions do save money, but in the long run it’s a wiser idea to invest in high quality parts and services that don’t lower the resale value of your car or do more harm than good.