It’s a good day; you are driving carefully to your destination, listening to your favorite music tracks, and then whack, a flying stone comes and hits the windshield, leaving a big crack!
Whether caused by a flying stone or some other object on the road, a windshield crack can spread quickly. And the only option you will be left with is replacing the windshield.
However, it is possible to stop and repair the cracked glass, so you can save a good amount of money and time.
But the big question here is “how to fix a cracked windshield at home“? Read on, as this post covers the best tried and tested tips to fix a cracked glass.
What Causes a Car Windshield to Crack?
No stone flew off the road, and nothing hit the screen, why is there a crack? Well, there are plenty of reasons why the windshield can crack without getting hit by anything. Sudden changes in temperature and pressure have a significant effect on the windshield’s structural integrity. As the glass expands and then contracts rapidly, so cracks can develop.
Here are a few reasons why the windscreen glass gets cracked:
Sunlight is good for you, but it ain’t for the windshield. Prolonged exposure can result in the edges of glass heating up quickly, and when you turn on the AC, the glass gets cooled down, resulting in cracks.
If possible, park your car under shade, or use windshield covers to save your life.
If you have just got the windshield replaced, and it got cracked after a few months, it could be a case of poor installation. The stress developed around the glass when you drive can lead to cracks, and even the entire windshield can shatter in worst cases.
Using Improper Defrosting Techniques
A lot of people pour hot water on the frozen windscreen, thinking it’ll help them clear the snow. However, this results in a sudden temperature change, and the glass expands due to heat, so you may see several cracks over it.
Here’s your definitive guide to defrosting the windshield properly.
Did your car meet with an accident a few months before? If yes, the windshield cracks may appear after a few months. Sometimes the cracks are minuscule, so they aren’t visible at all. However, with time they grow larger, and you can easily spot them.
Also Read: How To Remove Car Window Tinting
How Dangerous is a Cracked Windshield?
It may come as a surprise, but around 45-60% structural integrity of your vehicle depends on the windshield! Driving with a cracked front or rear screen means compromising your as well as passengers’ safety.
Furthermore, the cracks may hinder visibility and create difficulties while driving, especially during the night.
Here’s why driving with a cracked windscreen is not worth it:
Obstruction to Visibility
A windshield crack sitting directly on the driver’s side can cause hindrance while driving. Moreover, the light from the oncoming cars can scatter due to the crack, which results in distractions.
Improper Deployment of Airbags
The airbags are there to save your life during fatal injuries, but the safety balloons may not act properly if the windshield has cracks. The airbags open with a force and inflate towards the passengers to save them from a collision.
However, a cracked windshield can shatter quickly, and the small glass particles can puncture the safety balloons making them ineffective.
Poor Structural Integrity
Your car becomes less safe with a cracked windscreen. Also, you may have several issues in renewing the insurance if the glass is not fixed.
Entire Windshield can Shatter Anytime
If you drive with a cracked windshield, you are taking the risk of facing shattered glass while driving on the road. The glass can cause several fatal injuries that can even lead to casualties.
And there are plenty of risks associated with a cracked windshield, so you should always fix the cracks right away you see them.
Types of Windshield Cracks
A crack is a crack, why should I know about its types? However, it is essential to know the type of windshield crack so that you can use the right remedial procedure. Moreover, some types of cracks can be irreparable, so you have to opt for windshield replacement in such cases.
1. Ding or Star Crack
It looks like a star and is usually created by a flying stone or some sharp object hitting the windshield. Sometimes, the crack cavity can be very deep, making the windscreen unfit for repairs.
Furthermore, ding cracks spread quickly if not dealt with on time.
2. Bull’s Eye Crack
Bull’s eye is one of the most common types of windshield cracks. It’s small but fatal for the glass. Usually, caused by hitting a rock, a small piece of glass falls off, leaving a cavity behind. You can fix the windshield with household items in case of such cracks.
3. Windshield Edge Crack
Edge cracks are usually on the sides of the windshield glass. A 2″ can quickly become a 12″ long crack if you don’t fix it. There are no cavities in such windshield cracks, but the structural integrity of the glass becomes poor.
4. Half Moon Crack
It is similar to a bull’s eye crack. A big crack develops on the glass that looks like a half-moon. It may have a big cavity as a small piece of glass falls off. These cracks spread in the direction of the moon, either horizontally or vertically.
5. Stress Crack
This is not an external crack caused by a flying rock. Instead, stress cracks are caused due to sudden temperature changes. There is no cavity either, and you cannot feel it with your hand.
Another reason why stress cracks develop is when your vehicle collides with something. The glass is designed not to shatter, but it can get cracked to absorb the impact.
6. Combination Break
This is a combination of multiple types of windshield cracks and can be huge in size. You will see a bull’s eye crack, a ding crack, and even an edge crack in the combination break.
How To Fix A Cracked Windshield with Household Items?
Getting the windshield crack repaired doesn’t require you to visit a local mechanic or a glass shop. Well, you can repair the windshield with household items and make the cracks vanish into thin air.
Furthermore, I’ve covered several methods, so if one doesn’t work, you can use the alternative to get rid of cracks.
How to Fix a Cracked Windshield with Rubbing Alcohol?
Rubbing alcohol is really helpful in hiding the cracks, while you can also improve the windshield glass’s structural integrity. All you need to do is prepare a solution of alcohol along with some other supplies found around the home.
Make a Spraying Solution: Items You Need
- One tablespoon rubbing alcohol
- One tablespoon salt
- ½ cup water
- One tablespoon bug spray
- A mixing bowl
- Safety gloves
Take water and rubbing alcohol in a bowl, and add the salt. Let the salt mix properly, you can even stir it with a spoon. Now add the bug spray, and let the solution sit for some time.
As the salt particles dissolve, the potency of the solution increases rapidly.
Step 1: Put a sponge in the bowl, and let it soak the solution.
Step 2: Pick up the sponge, and rub it gently over the crack. Don’t squeeze too much, as the solution will ooze out. Make a few strokes so that the cracked area is completely wet.
Step 3: Park the car under shade, or use something to block the direct sunlight. Let the mixture dry completely for some time. It may take more than two hours for the alcohol solution to dry, so grab a coffee, and wait for some time till the solution gets settled.
Step 4: Once the solution has dried up completely, look for visible cracks. If there are no cracks, you are good to go. But if you still see some light lines, apply the solution again and wait for some time.
The rubbing alcohol and the salt solution form a layer on the glass filling the cracks. However, this method is good for minor cracks only, like edge cracks. You should avoid using this method for fixing combination breaks.
Keep repeating the process once every 15-20 days to prevent the outer layer of glass from deteriorating.
Is the windshield crack still there? Follow the next step to get rid of it!
How To Fix A Cracked Windshield with Nail Polish?
Well, you may haven’t heard of it, but nail paint can repair the cracked windshield. The beautiful nail paint has a lot of benefits apart from making your wife’s/girlfriend’s nails gorgeous.
The chemicals present in the paint stick fill the windshield crack and make the crack disappear quickly within minutes. It would be great to use clear nail polish, as a colored one will be visible on the windscreen.
Furthermore, I’ve tried this method a few times when in a hurry, and it works like a charm. The best part about the nail polish is it doesn’t require you to make a lot of effort. A few strokes with the nail paint brush, and you are good to go.
Here’s how to make the Windshield Crack Disappear:
Step 1: Clean the windshield properly so that there are no stains of dust and debris. You can even wipe the screen using a good windshield washer liquid. Now use a microfiber cloth, and wipe off every drop from the glass.
Step 2: Apply the nail polish on the cracked windshield, and cover the entire crack in a single swoop. Ensure applying an even layer, and cover every visible sign of damage on the windshield.
Step 3: Wait for some time, and let the first coat dry. Then apply another coat the same way to fill the visible damages and cavities.
Step 4: It would be great to bring your car under direct sunlight so that the nail polish dries quickly. You can even use a hairdryer on the heating mode to do the job quickly. Wipe off the residual paint using a soft cloth with some nail paint remover on it.
There are a few things to keep in mind when using nail paint for fixing the cracked windshield. Nail paint is a temporary solution, so you cannot be assured that it will last for a couple of months.
It can even come off if you wash the car. Therefore, I only prefer using this method when in a rush and don’t have enough time to follow other remedial methods.
How To Fix A Cracked Windshield with Super Glue?
You may think, I am kidding, but Super glue is a superb windshield crack repairing thing. It can even fix the biggest of cracks which are impossible to fix with nail polish and rubbing alcohol.
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Things Required to Repair the Windscreen Cracks
Step 1: Take a cotton swab with some isopropyl alcohol on it, and rub it on the crack. Ensure wearing protective gloves for using the rubbing alcohol safely.
Step 2: Take a paper towel drenched in alcohol, and place it on the crack. After some time, remove the paper towel, and clean the crack.
Step 3: Cut the Super Glue tube carefully and make sure it doesn’t get spilled on the vehicle’s hood. Take another cotton ball and dip it in the glue.
Step 4: Apply the glue on the crack carefully, and try to fill the visible gaps and cavities. Repeat the process until the entire cracks get filled.
Step 5: Remove the excess glue using a paper towel and some isopropyl alcohol on it.
Leave your car in direct sunlight for some time so that the glue dries quickly. This hack works well in stopping the crack from spreading and curtails the chances of the windshield shattering.
You cannot use it on a completely damaged windshield, as glue doesn’t hold the glass parts together. Lastly, it is advised to repeat this process after every few days to keep the windshield in good shape.
How to Remove Windshield Cracks with DIY Windshield Repair Kit?
If you need a long-lasting solution, using a DIY windshield repair kit will be a good idea! Specially designed to fill the crack and stop it from spreading, these kits have a special formula that works on all types of damages.
Furthermore, a kit contains everything you need, so you can repair the windshield anytime, even when you are on a road trip with the family.
Buy a good windshield crack repair kit like Rain-X 600001 Windshield Repair Kit, and follow the steps mentioned below.
- Easy to use - takes only minutes
- Repairs all types of laminated windshields
Step 1: Clean the cracked or chipped area using rubbing alcohol. If you don’t have alcohol available at the moment, wash the glass using windshield cleaner, and dry it with a soft cloth.
Step 2: Open the kit, and put the dual-taped disk on the cracked area. The chip attached to the disk should face the dead middle of the crack.
Step 3: Carefully attach the pedestal disk to the top of the dual-taped disk, and leave it for some time. Glass is non-porous, so the tape takes some time to establish a grip.
Step 4: Load the syringe with adhesive, in some kits, the syringe comes pre-loaded with the adhesive. Stick it to the pedestal disk gently and carefully.
Step 5: It’s time for some action, push and pull the syringe multiple times so that the glue reaches up to the crack’s cavity. Let the glue sit for some time (at least 30-45 minutes).
Step 6: Clean the residual glue using rubbing alcohol, and you’ll notice the crack has got tiny and unnoticeable.
Fixing a cracked windshield using a repair kit is the best solution since the adhesive is specially formulated to stick on the glass.
Also, the results last longer than using other methods. You’ll be able to repair some big cracks as well because the pedestal helps you focus on the dead center, which should be your primary focus.
Make sure to buy and use a good-quality repair kit with a lot of positive customer reviews.
Best Selling Windshield Crack Repair Kits
Q1: Does Insurance Cover a Cracked Windshield?
A: Yes! You can get a cracked windshield replaced at the expense of the insurance company, provided you have comprehensive car insurance.
However, the insurance premium you pay may increase after getting the windshield replaced. So, it is better to repair it first, before opting for replacement.
Q2: Should You Put Tape on a Cracked Windshield?
A: Never! Putting tape on the windshield won’t fix or stop the crack from spreading, but it will block the visibility, increasing the chances of accidents. Also, driving with tape on the windshield can land you in legal trouble, and you may get a ticket.
Q3: What Type of Windshield Cracks Can Be Repaired?
A: All types of windshield cracks are not repairable, so you should not waste your time fixing the glass if it is not: star crack, half-moon, bull’s eye, combination break, and edge crack.
Also, the possibilities of repair depend on the size and severity of the crack.
Q4: How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Cracked Windshield?
A: It depends on the type and severity of the crack. If there are multiple cracks on the windshield, it is better to get it replaced rather than fixing it. A regular windshield of a normal car can cost around $350 without the labor charges.
Q5: Can You Tell If a Windshield is Cracked from the Inside or Outside?
A: It’s pretty easy to figure out if the crack is on the outside or inside. Run your fingernail on the crack, and try to feel it. If the crack is on the inside, you won’t be able to feel it on the outer layer of glass.
Once you know the exact location of the crack, follow the steps covered in this article, and fix the cracked windshield at home.
Q6: How Big of a Crack Can Be Repaired on a Windshield?
A: You can only fix minor chips and cracks with the methods covered in this article. To be precise, the crack to be repaired should not be bigger than 40mm. If it’s a big one, get in touch with a local mechanic for further assistance.
Also Read: How to Remove Water Spots from Car
Do not drive right away after fixing the cracked windshield, as the crack may grow bigger. Instead, let the adhesive/nail paint or the solution dry properly and settle down inside the crack’s cavity.
Inspect the windshield properly and ensure there are no hidden cracks, to have a safe driving experience.
Lastly, it would be great to talk to a local mechanic and know if the glass needs replacement because some cracks are beyond repair.
Last update on 2021-09-21 at 01:12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API