Windshield Scratch Repair: A How To Guide

January 27, 2012

In order to complete a windshield scratch repair, here are some steps to help you accomplish the task. It should be noted that the process for repairing a large windshield scratch might be better handled by a professional in order to ensure that the job is done correctly and further damage does not ensue. Small scratches should be addressed immediately when detected and can be handled by most car owners. The repair process helps restore the window's structural integrity.

Follow these steps in order to successfully repair a minor scratch. After you complete the repair, you will continue to monitor the scratch to ensure that it does not lead to further damage to the windshield.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Glass Repair Kit
  • Rubbing Compound containing Cerium Oxide
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Dry Soft Cloth

Step 1: Determine the Type of Scratch

Run your finger or a fingernail over the scratch to determine if it is surface scratch or a deep scratch. A surface scratch will feel smooth to the touch and this is the type of scratch that you will be able to fix. If, while running your nail of the scratch, it is caught, this is a deep scratch that will require replacement of the entire windshield. Deep scratches will grow over time and no repair kit will stop the inevitable break that will cause the window to fail.

Step 2: Obtain a Glass Repair Kit

Go to an auto repair shop or auto parts supply store in order to purchase a glass repair kit. The kit will contain a rubbing compound that you will use to eliminate the scratch and restore the windshield to good working order. One such product that you can purchase is the Diamondite brand glass repair kit.

Step 3: Clean the Windshield and Apply Rubbing Compound

Wash the windshield thoroughly with soap and water in order to clean it. Rinse all of the soap residue or glass cleaner with water and dry the window before applying the rubbing compound to the scratch. Place the rubbing compound into the scratch--the compound should look like toothpaste and be easy to apply. Spray the compound with water and then use a cloth to rub the compound gently, being sure not to apply to much pressure.

The rubbing compound should contain cerium oxide. This chemical helps seal and bond the scratch, preventing it from deepening and causing the windshield to crack.

Step 4: Let Compound Dry

After applying the compound, allow it to dry in accordance with the instructions on the package. It should take up to 30 minutes for the rubbing compound to dry completely. Wash the window and clean, drying it with the cloth.

This should complete the repair of the scratch. You will need to reapply the compound every so often in order to ensure that it remains fixed. If the scratch becomes deeper or a fingernail can be caught in it, this indicates that the scratch has grown and will signal replacement of windshield.

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