Great! – You’ve made an appointment to have your windshield repaired. That’s a good first step and could very well be just what you needed to do, to save your windshield from cracking further. Here’s a few tips that will ensure the best possible result.
- Your windshield has to be cool when being repaired in order to minimize the risk of the damage cracking further. Auto windshields are comprised of three layers which are laminated together. The windshield is both strong, and somewhat flexible. As with any glass, it expands in the heat and contracts in the cold. If a technician attempts to work on the glass when it is too hot, or too cold, it can easily crack. Ideally the windshield should be between 60 – 80 degrees, but around 70 degrees is optimum. When scheduling your repair, if it is very warm outside, try to schedule an early morning appointment before the temperature rises.
- At least an hour before the repair, keep the vehicle either in the garage or in a shaded area. Even when the temperature outside is only 70 degrees, the windshield will heat up to well over 100 degrees if it is in direct sunlight.
- If it is warm outside, turn your car air conditioner on medium to high and defrost while you are driving to your repair appointment. This should cool it down by the time you arrive so that it is ready to be worked on.
- If the temperature outside is cold, use your car’s heater on defrost to warm the windshield. You do not want to heat the windshield so that it is above 60-70 degrees. Remember what happens when you run a cold glass under hot water or visa versa? The variance in the temperature will cause the glass the break.
- If water is present in the damaged area, the result will be less clear than if no water is present. Immediately after a rock hits, cover the rock chip with a clear piece of packing tape, (the kind you use to ship a package). This will help keep out dirt, debris and most importantly, moisture.
This morning, a customer showed up and I could see that there was something in the damaged area that appeared like glue. I asked the woman if she had attempted to repair the damage on her own or elsewhere and she told me that her husband bought a do-it-yourself repair kit, attempting to repair the damage himself. The do-it-yourself kits rarely work as advertised. This woman was driving an expensive BMW and her husband’s attempt to repair the damage left the windshield in pretty bad shape. I did my best to fix what he had repaired, but the result was very visible. I saved the windshield from cracking further, but she will have to live with a very visible, permanent “scar.” Never attempt to repair a windshield on your own. I’m not advising so because I want the business, (which I do) but because a windshield is a far more complicated system than one might imagine and like any essential component of your vehicle, it needs to be repaired by a professional.