How To Repair Your Windscreen When Off The Beaten Track
When you hit the open road, there’s always a chance a stray stone flicked up by a vehicle can damage your windscreen. There are a few defensive measures you can use to reduce the odds such as slowing down while road resurfacing is being done or pulling completely off the road when a road train approaches.
However, sometimes you just can’t help bad luck. The upside is you can carry inexpensive DIY kits to repair small chips and cracks so you can continue with your travels. There are several products available through auto accessory shops that work on the basic principle of forcing or flooding resin into the damaged area to prevent cracks from spreading and minimising the visual impact.
Writing this article prompted us to perform a repair on one of our team vehicles. The product we used claimed to repair chips up to 15mm in diameter and cracks up to 100mm long depending on the type and position on the windscreen. Below is a summary of the method required for repairing a small chip.
At the very earliest opportunity cover the damage up to prevent dust, water etc. getting into the broken glass as it is very hard to get it out once it is in the cracks. You can buy ready-to-go patches for this job or you could use a bit of clear plastic and tape to make a ‘band aid’. Just don’t let the adhesive from the tape come into contact with the crack as then you will have a hard time getting the residue out of the crack.
At the next opportunity use the windscreen repair kit. You need to be able to work in a shaded area as direct sunlight is what triggers the resin to cure.
- Wipe away dust and dirt from the surrounding area with a dry paper towel
- Remove loose glass fragments or any other debris from the cracks in the glass with the razor blade provided
- Attach a little suction cap device over the damaged part of the windscreen which will hold a chamber to accept the resin
- Screw the resin chamber into the suction cap device
- Keep screwing the resin chamber until it comes into gentle contact with the glass - the chamber has an opening with a rubber face which will open up later
- Squeeze three to six drops of the resin into the chamber
- Another threaded part with a closed-off tip (pressure driver) is screwed into the chamber to pressurise it and drive resin into the voids in the windscreen
- Tighten this pressure driver until it is almost screwed all the way in
- Check from the inside of the car that the rubber mouth has opened up
- Allow 10-15 minutes for the resin to be absorbed into the break
- Unscrew and remove the pressure driver to release any trapped air from the resin chamber
- Screw the pressure driver into the chamber again to push out any remaining air in the break
- Inspect the break from inside the car from various angles to check for air bubbles and if the break has been completely filled with resin
- If necessary, add more resin to the chamber and repeat the pressure driver process
- Repeat until all air is removed
- Loosen the resin chamber and remove the entire device by releasing the suction cups being careful not to drip resin
- Add a drop of resin onto areas where damage may still be visible
- Gently apply a clear plastic strip supplied over the resin
- Move the car so the windscreen is in direct sunlight or use an ultraviolet light
- Leave the resin to cure which should take about 5-10 minutes.
- Scrape away excess resin with a razor blade.
If in doubt, consult a professional
Improper repairs could lead to injury, death or property damage. Repairs of this nature should only be undertaken by persons with suitable mechanical competence. The information provided is general in nature, not comprehensive and can only be taken as a guide. Individual discretion must be exercised and persons undertaking described tasks do so completely at their own risk. Publishers and creators of this content accept no responsibility for loss or damage.