How can I tell if my auto glass was repaired?
September 15, 2009 9:50 PM   Subscribe

How can I tell if the crack in my car windshield has been repaired? You would think it would be obvious.. but apparently it's not.

My car windshield got hit by a small rock which made a really small ( the size of 4 or 5 matchheads ) "star" fracture. I took my car in to an auto glass repair place and picked it up later. It looked EXACTLY the same, so much so that I questioned the repair. The tech came out and said he used a syringe to inject a resin into the fracture and heated it up with the UV light thing. He said they don't always clear up visually like they do in the ads on television. I've run my finger over the fracture and it still feels.. well fractured.. Shouldn't it feel smooth? Also the area around the fracture wasn't clean. I would think they would clean the work area? What signs am I looking for to tell if they really did the work? I feel crazy because as he explained it to me and pointed at the fracture I couldn't see anything different from when I brought it in.
posted by snorlaxx to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If it expands afterwards, it didn't take. I have the same issue. A small rock hit my windshield a few years ago and left a star fracture. The tech used the same resin. The fracture is visible but it hasn't enlarged since.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:01 PM on September 15, 2009

The only time I had such a repair done (2002 or 2003, I think), there was no visible evidence on any casual inspection of any damage to the window after the repair guy finished, and the whole procedure took about a minute and was done in a parking lot. While I'm not an expert, I'd say your skepticism is justified.
posted by tellumo at 11:09 PM on September 15, 2009

I had a windshield repaired from a single line fracture. The only way I could see anything had been done was that a tiny hole had been drilled at the bottom of the fracture, perhaps to give a channel for the resin to flow into? Either way, the crack didn't disappear, but it never altered after that, so the repair was a success I guess.
posted by annathea at 12:39 AM on September 16, 2009

The resin repairs do not always totally hide the crack. As long as it is not spreading you are fine.
posted by COD at 5:39 AM on September 16, 2009

(annathea, they drilled a stop hole to stop the crack propagating. It's a fairly standard procedure from materials science.)
posted by scruss at 5:55 AM on September 16, 2009

I made a DIY repair the same way on my wife's car and it didn't hide the crack completely but it didn't spread either (at least until another rock totalled the windshield 2 years later).
posted by TedW at 6:01 AM on September 16, 2009

Best answer: The resin that is used is clear and will not be visible to the naked eye. If it were an off color then you would have issues with driver obstruction. The crack will still feel rough as the resin is meant to stop the spread of a crack, not fill it in like you're repairing drywall. You might get lucky and have a repair done that makes the chip disappear, but those are far and few between.

One of the issues that comes up is that dirt and water will prevent a chip repair from working correctly. So the first thing you don't want to do is spray the area with glass cleaner and smear any dirt on the windshield around, potentially pushing that crap into the crack or chip on the windshield.

That said.

After my family bought an auto glass company, I firmly believe that most of the individuals in the business are shady as hell. If you even question what they have done in the entire process, go to another company and have them verify that the work has actually been completed. Be very careful that you do not hire guys that work out of the back of their trucks and don't have a psychical location. These guys are fly by night and will not be around in 6 months under their present company name. Always watch the technician perform the work you hired him/her to do.

Depending on your location I can recommend a reputable company that would verify the work has been performed properly. Hit me up on mail if you're interested.
posted by Gravitus at 7:41 AM on September 16, 2009

Response by poster: I went out with a magnifying glass and a flashlight and I was finally able to see the outline of a transparent circle which I assume is the resin between the layers of glass. I think this turned out to be a case of my expectations ( based on advertisements ) not matching the reality of how it really works. Thanks all!
posted by snorlaxx at 4:09 PM on September 16, 2009

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