Car Window Repair

Do you have a crack, chip or bullseye in a car window?  Car window repair is no fun and takes up time and money that you would rather be spending somewhere else, but the time and money it takes to repair car glass is far less than the time and money it takes to replace car glass!

Replacing car windows can be expensive, and even a cheap auto glass replacement isn’t really cheap, especially if you have to take it to an automotive window repair specialist! If the damage is not too extensive, you may be able to have it repaired instead of replacing the glass, and you may even be able to do it yourself.

I have to warn you, though, even though you will see and hear claims that a car window repair will be invisible, the reality is that it may not be noticeable, but in most cases it will not be invisible.  Your satisfaction with the results will depend on the quality of the repair, where it is located, and how picky you are.

If you are driving a two year old Porsche that you wash once a week, personally hand wax four times a year, and notice every tiny rock chip that appears in your front bumper, you may not be happy with the results of an autoglass repair!  However, the average everyday driver that uses their car as a means to get from Point A to Point B, washes their car three or four times a year whether it needs it or not, and doesn’t lose sleep over the occasional spilled coffee or squished ketchup packet in their floor will likely be quite content with a car window repair that is done correctly.

Before you decide to jump in to an auto window repair, one thing to consider is the location of the crack, chip or bullseye.  If the damage is directly in the driver’s line of sight, it may be a constant annoyance if the repair turns out to be even somewhat noticeable.  An average-quality autoglass repair may be perfectly acceptable on a rear side window or back window, over on the passenger side of the windshield, or on one of the two front windows if it is not near the center.  If it is in the direct view of the driver, though, an auto window replacement may be in order.

The do-it-yourself (DIY) automotive window repair kits on the market have mixed reviews.  Some people have been thrilled with the results and some people have been severely disappointed, and it all comes down to two points: your expectations and the quality of the repair.  If you didn’t follow the directions on the package to the letter, you should expect inferior results.

If you were expecting the autoglass repair to be completely invisible to the naked eye, you will likely be disappointed.  I believe that most of the products on the market will provide an acceptable result for most car owners if the directions are followed exactly, especially if the repair is not in the driver’s direct line of sight.

The results from a professional car window repair are typically more satisfactory than repairs that are done by the car owner, for several different reasons.  The average car owner is probably trying the autoglass repair for the first time, and has no experience to guide them.  They are using a kit that costs less than $20, and the process has to be simplified for the non-professional user.

If the process is too complicated, requires expensive tools or has too may steps for the average do-it-yourselfer to follow, then they won’t sell very many kits or the product will get a bad reputation.  Compromises have to be made in order to meet the expectations of the consumer in regards to price, ease of use and the time it takes to perform the repairs.

A professional has done this dozens, hundreds or even thousands of times before, and has the experience to know how the resin reacts to high humidity or low temperatures.  The professional knows when a crack is too big to be repaired, and has learned tricks through trial and error to help him get a better result.  He has likely spent several hundred dollars or more on his tools, and the process he goes through to create a high quality, lasting repair may take longer than the directions say on your $15.95 repair kit from the local auto parts store.  Every crack, chip or bullseye is unique, and the professional has the experience and the benefit of better tools and materials to be able to produce a better result than the average car owner.

This is not meant to discourage anyone from using a DIY car window repair kit, but to help the user to have realistic expectations.  You may not achieve a professional-quality autoglass repair with the DIY kit, and there is nothing wrong with that as long as you realize that to start with.  Even with a professional glass repair, it may not be completely invisible, and there is nothing wrong with that either, as long as you realize that and accept it up front.  An auto window repair is much less expensive than a car window replacement, and the cost savings is well worth the trade-off IF the results are acceptable to you.
One last thing to keep in mind is that procrastination is your enemy!  A small crack or a bullseye that has cracks emanating from it will likely spread or enlarge over time if not taken care of.  As you drive your car and the body flexes and vibrates over bumps, the glass is being subjected to these movements, and every time the glass moves, the cracks spread just a little.

Changes in temperature and exposure to sunlight will also put additional stresses on the glass and cause the damage to spread.  Don’t take too long to decide if you are going to do a car window repair yourself or hire a professional, because if you do you may be replacing car windows instead of repairing them!


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