Windshield Repair: a Cost Effective Alternative to Windshield Replacement
To the residents of Phoenix Arizona, do not run the risk of driving with an unsafe windshield.
While your windshield may seem like it just protects you from the elements, such as wind and bugs, it serves an even greater purpose. It is actually a vital component of your vehicle's safety net and helps support the roof of your car.
In reality, your windshield should be taken as seriously as your seat belts and airbags.
With so many "do-it-yourself" windshield repair kits on the Internet, why risk your or your family's safety when SunTec Auto Glass can offer windshield repairs for nothing?
Phoenix drivers, generally if the chip is smaller than a dollar bill or if the chip is not in the driver's line of vision, then you can pursue windshield repair instead of windshield replacement. One of our technicians can tell if the chip is eligible for windshield repair and that distortion will not be an issue from the windshield repair. They also can make sure that the windshield's inner Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) layer has not been penetrated or compromised.
- Insurance deductible waived (Most Cases)
- Windshield repair is more cost effective than replacement (cash price)
- Repair Time: 15 minutes for each chip
- Drive-away time: immediately
- Blemishes do not disappear, but spreading is prevented (see above)
- Limit of three chips or a crack up-to 6 inches in length covered by your auto insurance (Most Cases)
- Structural integrity of windshield may be compromised
How to Repair a Chipped Windshield
As a Phoenix resident, the last time a stone damaged my windshield I went home and surfed the internet to find an auto glass company to repair my windshield. During my search, I came across do-it-yourself kits for sale. Could I actually repair the chip myself? I was intrigued with this idea and decided to learn more about the windshield repair process to see if it was a reasonable option for me. I discovered that the windshield repair process consists of basically four steps.
A Few Things to Note before Beginning
- Start with clean tools as dirty tools can contaminate the resin.
- Avoid direct contact with resin by wearing gloves, using goggles and covering your clothing.
- Work in an area that is cool, dry and well ventilated.
- Use polyurethane gloves covered with latex or vinyl gloves, the former are for protection, the latter are for dexterity.
- If the windshield is hot, the windshield should be cooled using shade or a cover.
- If the windshield is too cold turning on the defroster should help warm it as the resin’s viscosity thickens when too cold preventing a proper fill.
Step One: Prepare the Impact Point
- Hold a carbine scribe firmly and position it at the edge of the impact point. Clean and open the impact point so the resin can flow into the crack.
- Push the scribe down firmly two or three times, additional times may be required to clean and open the impact point.
- Use a clean, dry, lint-free cloth to wipe away any debris.
Step Two: Completely Fill the Break
- Position a mirror on the inside of the windshield as this allows you to see the resin fill the break from the inside of the windshield.
- Screw the suction cup tightly to the bridge.
- Screw the injector base into the bridge.
- Check that the injector base and the leveling screw are above the level of the bottom of the suction cup.
- Position the suction cup above the point of impact to prevent the suction cup lubricant from coming into contact with the bridge or point of impact.
- Place the bridge onto the windshield making sure that the injector point is on or near the impact point. Secure the bridge to the windshield by depressing the suction cup lever.
- Depending on the surface or curvature of the windshield, it may require that the brass cap on the suction cup be held firmly to assist in forming suction.
- Carefully lower the injector base and leveling screw until it lightly comes into contact with the windshield. Be sure that its level.
- The suction cup lubricant should not come into contact with either the resin or the impact point.
- Add several drops of resin into the injector base. This should be done by dripping it directly from the bottle containing the resin or by using a UV blocking syringe.
- Now insert the injector.
- Screw the injector press down until you feel it tighten while holding the injector base with one hand. Unscrew it three or four turns and then screw it down again. By repeating the process two to four times, it creates a vacuum and removes the air allowing for the resin to fill the void. Practice is vital as different breaks and temperatures require different pressure. Too much pressure can crack the windshield or give it a daisy effect.
- When working outside always cover the break. This prevents the resin from curing or hardening prematurely, allowing the time necessary to fill in the break.
- Periodically check the break to insure the resin is flowing into the break properly.
- Holding the injector base with two fingers, unscrew and remove the injector press completely. Slide the bridge away from the impact point in order to determine if the damage is filling correctly.
- Use a clean, dry, lint-free cloth to wipe clean.
- If needed, reposition the injector base back over the impact point. While holding the base with two fingers, screw the injector press down again. If the crack is not filling use the carbine scribe to open up the impact point further. If crack still is not filled you may need to begin at Step One again.
- If filled correctly you should see a fine line when looking at the crack head on. To be sure of proper fill look at the crack from different angles and if it disappears, it is filled. (No black should remain)
- When the crack is completely filled, the repair must remain set up under pressure while curing for ten minutes or longer. Start the curing process on the exposed areas by either direct sunlight or by a UV lamp. This prevents the resin from seeping out the impact point before it has had a chance to completely harden.
Step Three: Cure and Seal
- It is important that the resin is cured completely and that the impact point is sealed.
- While holding the injector base with two fingers, totally unscrew the injector press. Only then, should the suction cup lever be released and the bridge removed.
- Wipe away any resin with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth.
- Apply one drop of pit sealer. Cover the repair with a reusable pit sealer tab. Touch the tab lightly in order to spread the drop.
- Use the sun or place a UV lamp directly over the repaired area for approximately five to eight minutes.
- Remove the pit sealer tab from the windshield then use a razor blade at a 25-degree angle to scrape off the hardened pit sealer. Scrape firmly and only in one direction.
- Wipe the area with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth.
- Clean the windshield with window cleaner.
Step Four: Buff and Polish
- Apply a small amount of pit buffer and wipe well with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth. Repeat as necessary.
- This last step will give the windshield a professional finish.
As a Phoenix driver, learning about all these seemingly small details and how important they are to the windshield repair process, I decided to have a professional fix the rock chip instead of attempting to fix it myself and possibly creating a greater problem. As I watched the technician work, I could see that he had done this many times before. Now I no longer have a chip or crack in my windshield and I am confident the job was completed correctly by an auto glass repair professional.
The installation team at SunTec Auto Glass maintains the highest level of certification available in the windshield repair and auto glass replacement industry. From headlights to taillights, from the east valley to west valley, whether you are looking to have a windshield replaced or even a side window replaced such as a door glass, quarter glass, or vent glass the team at SunTec Auto Glass is qualified. If you live in the greater Phoenix metro area or anywhere in the valley of the sun, look no further. For professional help and premium quality automotive glass, parts and moldings. Contact us today. Find us on Google.
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