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Rock Chip Repair

Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Though the windshield of a car is very strong, it is prone to damage from various sources. Any direct impact to the windshield, be it from sources small or big, can cause anything from cracks or holes in the windshield.
Minor damage can be addressed through a process called rock chip repair, though for major damage you will have to get the windshield replaced.
A small stone thrown off a truck on a highway, an errant trolley at a supermarket, or a violent neighborhood, can all lead to only one thing―a gaping hole in your car windshield! Your first thought upon seeing a hole or an ugly spidery chip would be to run to the nearest auto part shop and get a replacement. But wait a minute!
Did you know that by going for a repair instead of a replacement, you can save you at least a few hundred dollars? According to professional auto glass repairers, about 75% of windshield damages can be repaired. Thus, before you consider replacing the entire glass, you ought to give replacement work a try.


The first requirement for rock chip repair is that the crack must not be in the direct line of sight of the driver. Since repair work is bound to leave a mark behind, it might be risky if it gets in between the driver's range of visibility. Also, holes are best to repair than cracks that run across the windshield.
Cracks that spider out are most difficult to repair. The crack tends to gather dust and debris over time, which may not give satisfactory results after repair. Also, temperature fluctuations induce further cracking of the glass.
Thus, if you want to achieve desired results, you should get the job done as early as possible. Until then, keep the crack covered with clear tape, so as to prevent it from gathering debris.

Repair Procedure

You can do a repair job yourself, with the help of kits available at auto shops. A repair kit contains a syringe and an adhesive compound. All you have to do is follow the repair instructions that come with the kit. However, our advice would be to get the job done from a professional.
If you do it yourself and end up with a messy job, you will probably have to replace the windshield. Hence, it is always better to rely on professional help. The repair person first cleans the glass with acetone or glass cleaner. Then he vacuums the chip, so as to get rid of glass shards and other debris.
A resin that is optically compatible with glass is then injected inside the crack. The resin is sealed dry with the help of ultraviolet light. The repair work is mostly satisfactory and prevents the glass from cracking further from the point of impact.
You should always expect practical results from rock chip repair. The result of a repair job can never be as good as a replacement job. But as long as the chip is sealed securely and does not mar the beauty of your car, you should be happy.