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How to Fix a Cracked Windshield

A tiny rock can do a massive amount of damage. What started out as a small chip can turn into a huge crack across your entire windshield.

If you’re hoping to avoid replacing your windshield, there are a few things you can try.

Let’s look at how you might be able to fix your cracked windshield.

Can a Cracked Windshield Be Repaired Without Replacing It?

Windshields have an outer and inner layer of lamination that holds them together. If the chip or crack penetrates both layers, the entire windshield will need replacing.

Most auto glass shops can easily repair minor chips and cracks. Once cracks typically reach longer than 3” to 6” in length, they cannot fix them, and a total replacement is in order.

Chips can become cracks if left unrepaired.

The cold weather and the impact from traveling over potholes can cause small cracks to grow and splinter across your windshield. If you’re hoping to salvage your windshield, it’s essential to have it immediately looked at to have the best chance.

How Do You Fix a Cracked Windshield at Home?

A few items you may have on hand can allow you to fix your cracked windshield at home. Remember that any DIY fix is likely to be temporary.

If you use one of the following methods, it’s best to start saving up your change to get proper repairs as soon as possible. These methods can probably buy you some time.

The first trick for a small crack or chip is to use clear nail polish.

You’ll want to park your car in the shade to avoid the nail polish from drying too quickly. Give your windshield a good cleaning to remove any dirt, debris, or bugs from it. You can then put enough nail polish on the brush to coat the entire surface of the crack or chip. Be generous with how much you apply on the edges.

This can help prevent it from further spreading.

Another great option is to create a DIY mix. One of the most common recipes involves

  • A sponge 
  • ½ cup of water 
  • 1 tbsp of salt 
  • 1 teaspoon of bug repellent 
  • 1 tbsp of alcohol 

You mix these ingredients and then apply the mixture using the sponge. Carefully fill the crack with the mixture and then allow it to dry. It should dry within a couple of hours, and you should reapply until you can no longer see the crack.

Lastly, like the clear nail polish, Crazy Glue does a tremendous job with cracks and chips in a windshield.

Carefully fill the gap with the crazy glue and use a cotton tip swab to smooth it out. Let the Crazy Glue dry and use glue remover to clean up the excess.

Don’t forget that these DIY methods are simply temporary fixes. It can buy you some time until you can get your windshield repaired, but it’s not a permanent fix. You will eventually need to replace the windshield. 

Pro Tip: The video below explains how to use a windshield repair kit (it’ll provide a few benefits over DIY home methods).

How Much Does a Crack in the Windshield Cost to Fix?

Depending on the size of the crack, you can expect to pay between $50 and $150 to have a cracked windshield fixed.

It might not cost as much if you’re only dealing with a chip in your windshield and not an actual crack. This is why it’s important to have your windshield repair done as soon as possible, especially if you want to avoid a larger repair bill.

How Much Does a New Windshield Cost?

A new windshield can range from $200 to $400. Depending on your insurance coverage, it may be cheaper.

Some drivers file a claim through their insurance and only pay their deductible. If you’re looking to have your windshield replaced due to a crack or chip, it may be worth calling your auto insurance provider and seeing what options they can provide.

They’ll be able to give you a more accurate bill based on your unique policy and circumstance.

Do Windshield Repair Kits Work?

A windshield repair kit can do the job for minor chips and cracks. The resin in these kits can fill them.

This will minimize their visibility and reduce the likelihood of them worsening. Using a repair kit as soon as a chip or crack develops can differentiate between an easy fix and an entire windshield replacement.

Can You Drive With a Cracked Windshield?

Minor chips or cracks in a windshield may be annoying to look at, but they typically won’t affect your driving ability. The rules and regulations regarding the acceptable size of chips or cracks vary from state to state. However, if cracks are within the driver’s line of sight, it’s likely going to be illegal.

You’ll want to check with your local rules and regulations to stay on the right side of the law.

Whether it’s legal or not, you want to be as safe as possible. If a crack or chip in your windshield makes it difficult for you to see while driving, replace your windshield immediately.

Is Fixing a Cracked Windshield on Your Own Worth It?

Fixing a cracked windshield on your own can be worth it if you’re in a pinch. It can extend the life of your windshield and give you a little bit of extra time to investigate the most cost-effective way to replace your windshield.

Whatever you do, do it as soon as you can when a chip or crack occurs in your windshield. Putting off a repair will only increase the odds of needing to replace your windshield. Have you ever attempted to repair your vehicle’s windshield?

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