Which windshield chip repair?
July 7, 2014 2:56 PM   Subscribe

My windshield got chipped today by a rock kicked up by a truck. It's a combination star and chip, less than 2" in total diameter at this point. Due to the location, it seems unlikely that a reputable shop will attempt to repair it and I'd rather not spend $300 on a new windshield just at the moment. Advice is welcome.

The impact was below the rear view mirror about halfway to the dash, which I understand to be in a location many places will refuse to do a repair for.

Looking around on the Internets, I see that repair kits can be had for under $20. I'm definitely willing to give it a shot since the worst case scenario if I mess it up is that the windshield has to be replaced, which is pretty much what I'm looking at now since I'm not terribly interested in leaving it to spread.

Which windshield repair kit (available at places like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, or Pep Boys) works best? Alternatively, does anyone know a good place in south Florida that would repair it despite the chip being in the clear area of the windshield, preferably for $60 or less?
posted by wierdo to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total)
How is your car insurance? If it's reasonably good, they may repair such a thing for free. Happened to my husband recently (on Geico) -- as long as it was able to be covered by a dollar bill they'd repair it -- they sent someone to his office and repaired it in the parking lot during the day, no big deal. If I recall, it was somewhere in the middle of his windshield, and I don't think they asked location when he set up the appointment anyway (just the size).
posted by brainmouse at 3:02 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Some states require car insurance to cover this sort of thing free of charge, other states require a maximum windshield deductible so your out-of-pocket cost is limited.

Check with your insurance company or agent.
posted by tckma at 3:29 PM on July 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

Not in Florida, but in New Mexico this is a very common repair. I went to a glass shop and had two star dings fixed for about $30.
posted by Flamingo at 3:48 PM on July 7, 2014

I had something similar on my windshield (truck/highway/rock), just to the left of the rearview mirror and at about 2 o'clock. My insurance company was willing to cover it, no problem (GEICO/New Jersey). However, the windshield repair guys told me that it wasn't deep enough; it's probably a little smaller than a pencil top eraser with a millimeter-length star.

I told them I was concerned it would crack from extreme temperature variations. They said that wouldn't cause a problem, but trying to drill it out to fix it would almost certainly crack the window. I asked that they document their refusal to repair it in case there was a future problem and was on my way a whole ten minutes later.

To add to the chorus, it should be covered. I'm almost certain my brother's was covered without a deductible in Florida.
posted by dancinglamb at 4:01 PM on July 7, 2014

FWIW, I'm a resident of Oklahoma, so Florida's law requiring insurance companies to cover windshield repairs at 100% is no help to me. Safelite wants $110 to fix it (sight unseen, so maybe they'll refuse to do the job after looking at it), which seems a bit ridiculous.

Guess I'll call around tomorrow, but if anyone has used a DIY kit and has a recommendation, that would still be appreciated.
posted by wierdo at 4:53 PM on July 7, 2014

If you're a member of AAA they can put you in touch with a repair shop that won't scam you.
posted by brujita at 5:04 PM on July 7, 2014

I had a similar chip-star a couple years ago and used one of the kits. It didn't fill in the chip very effectively, but the star hasn't grown any, so I guess that's success! It also didn't make it invisible, but mine's not directly in a sightline (left side, low).
posted by pjenks at 5:59 PM on July 7, 2014

I've had many such stars and cracks to my windshield due to kicked up rocks. My insurance covers it and I've almost always used Safelite. The one exception was a no-name repair shop and they did a terrible job! Safelite has always been wonderful.
posted by kbar1 at 6:15 PM on July 7, 2014

I was told that injuries under the size of a dollar bill could be repaired. As it happened, my windshield needed to be repaired. I have a $500 deductible. Quotes from companies associated with my insurance company were over $300. I asked around, and a friend told me to go to this seedy part of town where all the junk yards and strip clubs were located. A dingy looking place there did an AWESOME job replacing it for $150.
posted by MeiraV at 7:30 AM on July 8, 2014

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