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Quick, Catch That Windshield Before It Gets Away From You!

I have zero deductible coverage on windshield damage. However, I believe that some insurance companies will waive the deductible some people pay if they opt to have their damaged windshields repaired, rather than replaced.

Recent radio commercials in my area have been advising people to let their company fix chips in windshields. They claim that if an event occurs, like cold water hitting the glass or the car hitting a bump, that the chip could turn into a major crack. They claim they can epoxy the chip to prevent that from happening.

This sounds too good to be true, but if so, why would insurance go for it? Can damaged auto glass be “glued” to be as strong as new? What has your experience been with repaired glass? Also, does the repair become invisible? Is that radio ad completely legitimate or are they just blowing smoke?

Most auto glass shops can repair small dings and chips and the insurance companies will pay for it because it is a lot less expensive to repair it than replace the whole windshield later on after the chip develops into a full lenght crack. After the repair it is hard to see where the damage was. It is wise have any chip repaired ASAP so it doesn’t get worse.

When my 1995 Dodge Dakota’s windshield got chipped the insurance company gave me two options.

  1. Have the chip repaired with no deductible. If the repair failed then the windshield would be replaced and I would pay the comprehensive deductible.

  2. Pay the comprehensive deductible and have the windshield replaced.

I went with the first option and had the chip repaired with no problems.

About 4 years ago, my 1993 Caprice’s windshield was chipped going down I-95 to Wash D.C. I paid around $80 for the repair and haven’t had any problems with the repair since. I have to look really hard to find the repair so for all intents and purposes it’s invisible.

Ed B.

The chip repair isn’t really making the glass as strong as new per se, its job is to eliminate the stress risers that form when the glass is chipped. This is where any force will be concentrated and cause severe cracking. By filling in the void, they eliminate the stress risers and so the possibility of further cracking.

The repair material closely matches the optical characteristics of the glass and has a smooth finish so it doesn’t cause any appreciable image distortion.

The epoxy to protect the area and fill in the cracks and make it less noticable.

They simply drill a tiny hole which allows for the stress in the windshield to be dissappated into. If that tiny hole (filled with epoxy) where not there the stress would otherwise cause further cracks.

A small chink in the windshield does not compromise the strength of an entire windshield.

Now That Makes Sense. A Diamond Drill! When I Worked At An Airport . . .
. . . mechanics “stop drilled” the ends of cracks in sheet aluminum aircraft skins to arrest the crack and keep it from growing longer. They must have to go only through the top layer of glass and not all the way through both.

I’ve repaired several chipped windshields using a repair kit from J.C. Whitney. The one on my 88 Accord is ~10 y.o. with no problem.