Repair Your Chipped Windshield With a Windshield Repair Kit

01
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The Windshield Repair Kit and What It Can Do

James Lee/Flickr

We've tested the windshield repair kit, and it worked quite well on rock chips and bullseyes that can obscure your vision and make your windshield look junky. You can buy one of these kits anywhere, and they're actually a simpler version (and much cheaper) of professional kits sold to real shops. Follow these directions and tips from experience, you'll have a repaired windshield in no time.

It's important to know what you can do and what you can't do with a kit like this. They work great on chips, but anything with a running crack is a bigger challenge. We had little to no luck repairing a crack with the kit, even though they claim it works, and provide instruction in how to do it. We just couldn't get it to look right despite a number of attempts. But for chips and bullseyes it was amazing.

To see before and after photos, check out our initial review of the windshield repair kit.

Important! Don't perform this repair in the hot sun. It will cause the resin to harden too quickly and your repair won't be as beautiful as it could be.

02
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Clean the Wound

Prepping the glass for repair.
Carefully remove any loose glass pieces. photo by Matt Wright, 2008

The first step toward windshield repair is to clean the damaged area of the windshield. You aren't using Windex, however. You need to take the razor blade and pick out any tiny loose pieces of glass. Any loose pieces inside the damaged area could throw off the repair process so they need to be carefully picked out. You'll also need a clean section of windshield to place the suction cup tool, so I like to use glass cleaner to clean the surface, but be sure to allow lots of time for the damaged area to dry completely before you move on to the next step.

03
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Place the Suction Cup Tool

Center the windshield repair tool.
Place the suction cup tool over the damage. photo by Matt Wright, 2008

With the damaged area clean and prepped, position the suction cup tool so the threaded center section is directly over the chipped area. Firmly press the suction cups into place, securing the 4 arms of the tool. Don't worry if you're slightly off center at this point. You can adjust the aim of the tool by sliding the arms into or out of the suction cups. It's adjustable.

04
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Insert the Threaded Repair Tube

Tight, but only by hand.
Insert the threaded repair tube and tighten. photo by Matt Wright, 2008

With the suction cup tool directly over the damaged area, thread the repair tube into the suction cup tool. You will need to screw it in tightly -- really tight -- but don't use any tools to do it. Hand tight is what's needed.

05
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Check the Tool Alignment

Recheck the tool alignment.
Recheck the alignment of the repair tool. photo by Matt Wright, 2008

The windshield repair is so dependent on the proper alignment of the tools, it's essential to re-check the position of the threaded tube. Make this check from inside the car. The rubber end of the tube should be directly on top of the chip in your windshield. If it's not, unscrew the tube and reposition.

06
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Add the Windshield Repair Resin

Adding the repair resin.
Add the repair resin to the center tube. photo by Matt Wright, 2008

Now it's time to open up the tube of super juice and add it to the repair tube. You don't need lots of resin to make the repair, but you don't want to skimp, either. The directions call for 2 drops, but I double that to 4 drops just to be safe. You can't use too much, but too little will add a lot of time to the repair process.

07
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Insert the Plunger

The plunger pressurizes the repair.
The plunger pressurizes the repair and injects the repair resin. photo by Matt Wright, 2008

Quickly after you add the drops of repair resin, insert the center plunger and tighten it almost all the way down. The plunger adds pressure to really push the repair resin into the damage. You'll be able to tell you're adding enough pressure because it'll get harder to screw in. After you've tightened it, loosen the plunger briefly to allow any air bubbles to escape, then re-tighten it.

08
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Release Any Air Bubbles

Loosen and re-tighten the windshield repair plunger
Loosen then re-tighten the plunger. photo by Matt Wright, 2008

After you've tightened it, loosen the plunger briefly to allow any air bubbles to escape, then re-tighten it. This is an important step since air bubbles will show up in the repair and make it look like crap.

09
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Remove the Tool and Apply the Finishing Film

Apply the smoothing film.
Add the film tothe top of the repair. photo by Matt Wright, 2008

Once you've given the resin a minute or so to fully penetrate the glass chip, remove the suction cup tool completely from the windshield. Quickly place a section of the clear finishing film over the still-moist repair area. Use the razor blade to carefully press the resin toward the edges of the film. You aren't trying to get it out of there fully, you just want it to be as thin and evenly spread under the film as possible.

It's not required (or in the directions) but I like to add a little tape to the film to be sure it won't slide around while the resin is setting. If it's a windy day you can lose the film, which is a real bummer when your repair is all messed up.

10
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Finishing and Admiring Your Repaired Windshield

Let the repair resin dry fully underneath the clear film. You can let it set as long as you want, there's no time limit. The last thing you want is to pull it off while it's still wet. Ten minutes should be plenty of time. Don't start cussing if you pull it off too soon. All you need to do is add a new drop of resin and re-apply a new piece of film.

Clean up your repair by scraping the excess resin from the windshield with the razor blade. Now step back and admire your work. You know you've done a good job when you can't even find the old chip in the windshield.

If the repair isn't perfect, all you need to do is repeat the process until it's smooth and perfect.