If you've seen DIY windshield repair kits, you may wonder if they're actually as great as they claim and what sorts of windshield damage they can repair. The truth is that while they aren't totally useless, they are no substitute for a good auto shop in most cases. Here are three types of windshield damage commonly sustained and the best treatment solutions.
1. Shallow damage
Whether you got something caught in your windshield wiper that then scraped across the windshield and damaged the outer layer of plastic or the tough outer layer was damaged by an uncareful car washer, it's always a sad day when a blemish shows up on your otherwise perfect windshield. The good news is that this is the easiest type of damage to deal with, and the bad news is that if you don't take care of it, it could develop into a bigger problem. So don't ignore this scratch; instead, head to the auto department of your favorite superstore and find a windshield chip repair kit. While this kit is insufficient to repair chips that have any depth to them or cracks that actually go through the glass, it's perfectly fine for surface damage such as a superficial scratch.
While it's not a good idea to try to repair chips in your windshield with DIY chip repair kits, some vehicle owners do just that. The more savvy car owners, though, will know that the resin provided in DIY kits isn't thick enough to do a good job on deep damage such as chips. Taking your car to a repair shop ensures availability of the exact right type of repair resin, which the technician will tailor to the depth and type of chip.
Although conventional wisdom says that cracks have to be shorter than a dollar bill to be fixable, new technology permits some auto repair shops to fix much larger cracks. If your crack doesn't obscure the driver's view and doesn't connect with the edge of your windshield, take the car in for a repair. Obviously you should do this right away, because the crack may otherwise spread into one of these critical areas and then you'll need a replacement windshield.
These three types of damage are among the most commonly encountered windshield issues. Of course, there are other possibilities for windshield damage, such as having a hole punched through your windshield by a beam sticking off the back of the car in front of you. Such catastrophic damage is likely to always require a windshield replacement, so as the saying goes, prevention is the best cure.
Contact a shop like Duncan Tire & Auto for more info.