How to Do a Glass Scratch Repair on an Auto

January 27, 2012

Performing a glass scratch repair on you car is a typical repair that is easy to do. When scratches and small chips appear on the surface of the car's windshield, you should address them immediately by following the steps laid out below. Failure to do so may result in the damaged area becoming larger, ultimately requiring you to have the windshield repaired or replaced by a qualified auto glass technician.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Auto Repair Kit
  • Rubbing Compound containing Cerium Oxide
  • Water Hose
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Soft Cloth

Step 1: Clean the Window Surface

Using a water hose, carefully clean the window to remove any dirt or debris. You want to use light to moderate pressure so that you do not aggravate the scratch or make it larger as a result of the cleaning process. Be sure to dry the window thoroughly before proceeding with the next step.

Step 2: Check the Scratch Depth

Take your fingernail and rub it across the surface of the scratch. If you do this several times and your fingernail does not become caught in the scratch, you can proceed to the next step in the repair. If your fingernail does become caught, this is indicative of a deeper chip or crack in the windshield. This requires the attention of a qualified auto glass technician to inspect the area, in order to perform a more extensive repair than what you may be able to accomplish.

Step 3: Apply Rubbing Compound

Take the auto repair kit that you can purchase from an auto glass repair shop or auto supply shop and remove the rubbing compound. The rubbing compound should contain the chemical compound cerium oxide, which is a sealant. Rub the compound carefully over the scratch, being sure to cover the surface area completely. Do not apply a lot of pressure while applying the rubbing compound, to avoid further damage to the window.

Remove any excess rubbing compound as instructed, and clean the area with a soft cloth.

Step 4: Clean Window and Dry

Take the water hose and rinse the window completely. Once you have rinsed the window, use the glass cleaner that came with the auto glass repair kit and apply it to the window. Clean the window and rinse again with water. This should complete the scratch repair, and you should notice that the area is now clear.

You will need to repeat this process as instructed in the kit at least once every 6 months.

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