Cracked windshields aren’t only caused by rocks falling out of the back of a truck, of course. Although windshields are very strong and resilient pieces of glass, they can crack under various forms of stress. One often overlooked source for cracks is extreme heat.
With temperatures rising higher every year, it’s no surprise that more people are having to deal with cracks. An auto glass replacement is a guaranteed fix, but we know it can be expensive. That’s why we’ve decided to research various DIY repairs and temporary fixes.
Are they worth the trouble? Do they actually work? We’ll find out with a few of our own tests. These are our top five ways you can fix windshield cracks.
1. Nail Polish
Stay with me on this one. We’re not talking about hot pink nail polish to highlight the lines of the crack. Clear nail polish is a decent fill for windshield cracks.
It’s not going to permanently hold it together, but it will reduce the eyesore in front of you. It can also mask an obvious crack a bit, so you don’t get pulled over and told the obvious. Nail polish can also help protect the crack from spreading due to the cold.
Start by cleaning the surface off with soap and water. Dry it completely, then start applying an even coat with the nail polish brush. Don’t pour it on or you’ll end up making a mess.
Don’t apply nail polish in the hot sun. The heat makes it set quickly and you could end up missing cracks.
2. Super Glue
An alternative to nail polish (for those who don’t have access to a woman’s beauty supplies). Super glue is another temporary fix that can fill in a crack and keep it from getting bigger. The concept is similar, but the application can be a little tricky.
Start with a clean surface and away from any trees. Cut a fine point tip on the super glue tube. Make your way along the crack, trying to minimize excess spilling over. Use cotton swabs to help spread the glue out and wipe away the excess.
We recommend waiting 4-6 hours to dry in the sun or overnight before attempting to scrape off excess glue. A simple razor will do the job.
3. Tape it Over
Yes, we mean regular packing or scotch tape in this instance. The tape’s job is to keep out dirt and moisture from the crack. Anything that gets between the glass can lead to widening and weakening of the windshield.
When you’re in a pinch, it’s best to tape it over until you get your hands on a better fix or an auto glass replacement. Since your heavy-duty, water-proof tapes don’t come clear, you should only use those if the crack is in a far corner. Again, we don’t want you to call attention to law enforcement for a temporary fix.
4. Prevent Them
Knowing how to prevent windshield cracks is a lot better than knowing how to fix them. As we mentioned previously, the temperature can be a silent assassin of windshields. Too much direct exposure to the elements could be killing your windshield.
Always try to find a parking spot in the shade for your car. Don’t follow closely behind trucks with a payload. Go out of your way to find a nice garage whenever the weather is taking a turn for the worst. Saving cash with DIY repairs is one thing, but don’t put yourself in a bind if you don’t have to.
5. Use a Resin-based Kit
We wanted to save the best for last. The only viable solution for repairing cracks is with a reliable repair kit. You don’t need to be an expert to apply these windshield repair kits. In fact, applying a resin to fill the cracks is not much different than the nail polish or superglue.
What you’ll need is a good starter kit like RainX (research and read reviews on Amazon). Next, you’ll need a set of glass drill bits. These prevent the crack from getting bigger. Finally, you will want a special plunger tool that can inject the resin into the crack.
After prepping the surface, you’ll want to drill a point at the ends of the crack. That means every point where the crack ends gets a small hole. The hole will be a shallow point, enough to penetrate the surface layer of glass.
As you are filling your crack with resin, these holes will prevent it from spreading under the pressure. Next, you must grease up the area surrounding the crack to allow your plunger tool to glide along the length of the crack. Vaseline or shop grease will work fine.
Have a partner push on the crack from the inside as you apply the resin. This will allow for maximum coverage. Wait for it to dry for a few hours in direct sun, then scrape off the excess. The crack should disappear and the resin should hold for a long time.
Needing an Auto Glass Replacement
Hopefully, these tips and tricks come in handy. We can’t stress the importance of prevention enough. The inconvenience of having to walk from a covered parking space is worth the preservation of your car.
Remember, a weakened windshield has a direct impact on the integrity of your roof. A lot of people assume that windshields are too strong to be a threat outside of visibility issues. It’s car facts like these that can save us lots of time and money wasted on assumptions.
If you’re looking for more great DIY guides like this, check out our blog. With decades of experience under our belts, YouFixCars.com can help answer the toughest car questions. Whether it’s an auto glass replacement or a classic case of “I locked my keys in the car, again.”
We’ve got your fix on DIY car fixes.