So your vehicle has a crack or a chip on the rear window? Learn the art of fixing rear window cracks and chips with professional finesse in this step-by-step guide to automotive repair by Auto Glass America.
Gather Your Tools and Materials
You’ll need some basic tools and materials for this job. Here’s what you’ll need:
Windshield Repair Kit:
You can find these kits at an auto parts store or online. They usually come with everything you need, including resin and applicators.
Cotton Swabs or Toothpicks:
These will help you apply the resin.
Razor Blade or Scraper:
You’ll use this to remove any loose glass or debris around the crack.
Clean Cloth and Glass Cleaner:
You want that area to be squeaky clean.
To create a barrier around the crack, keeping the resin where it should be.
Assess the Damage
Take a good look at the damage. If the crack is longer than a dollar bill or if the chip is deeper than 1/8 inch, you might want to consider consulting a professional. This DIY method is best for small cracks and chips.
Clean the Area
Now that you’ve decided to proceed, the first thing you need to do is clean the area around the crack or chip. Use your glass cleaner and cloth to make it as clean as possible. Get rid of any dirt, dust, or debris. The cleaner it is, the better your repair will turn out.
Create a Barrier
Use your masking tape to create a barrier around the crack. This will help contain the resin and prevent it from spreading where it shouldn’t.
Remove Loose Glass and Debris
If there are any loose bits of glass or debris in or around the damaged area, carefully remove them with a razor blade or scraper. You want a clean surface to work with.
Time to Apply the Resin
Now it’s the fun part! Most windshield repair kits will have detailed instructions, but let me give you the gist of it.
Take one of the applicators from your kit and load it with the resin. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Place the applicator over the crack or chip and make sure it’s centered.
Apply gentle pressure to the applicator to force the resin into the crack. You might see some air bubbles coming out – that’s a good sign. It means the resin is filling the space.
Let it sit in the sun for about 15-20 minutes. The UV rays will help cure the resin.
After it’s cured, remove the applicator.
Repeat the Process
You might need to repeat the process a couple of times to make sure the crack or chip is filled properly. If it’s a chip, you can add more resin until it’s flush with the surface.
Scrape Off Excess Resin
Once you’re satisfied with the repair, remove the masking tape and use your razor blade or scraper to carefully scrape off any excess resin. Be gentle to avoid scratching the glass.
Polish the Area
To make it look as good as new, apply a bit of glass polish to the area and give it a good buff. This will help smooth out the surface and make the repair less noticeable.
After all this is done, step back and admire your handiwork! Your rear window should look a whole lot better now.
A Few Tips and Tricks
It’s best to do this repair on a warm, sunny day. The UV rays help the resin cure properly.
Don’t rush through the process. Take your time to get it right.
If the crack or chip is in a spot that’s in your line of sight while driving, it’s better to consult a professional. Safety should always come first.
Some kits come with a syringe-style applicator that can create a vacuum and pressure to force the resin into the crack. This can be very effective for deep chips.
Don’t be discouraged if the repair isn’t 100% invisible. It might still be noticeable, but it should prevent the damage from spreading.
Repairing a rear window crack or chip is totally doable with the right tools and a bit of patience. Not only will you save some money, but you’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing you fixed it yourself. However, it is best to get it checked with an expert technician as they have a better understanding of dealing with autoglass.