Best Windshield Repair Kit (Review & Buying Guide) in 2022
Quickly and easily fix annoying chips and small windshield cracks with these top repair kits.
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BY Lisa Conant / LAST UPDATED ON December 8, 2021
Why is it that any time you get a small chip or crack in your windshield, it seems to be directly in your line of vision, taunting and annoying you every time you get in the car? Not only can these distractions in your line of vision be a source of frustration, but they can also spread to become a more serious problem. If not caught and addressed early on, unsightly chips in your windshield can lead to the need to replace your entire windscreen. This is where an affordable and effective windshield repair kit can save the day. These handy kits have everything you need to fix those chips and cracks right from your own driveway.
No need to spend hundreds on a new windshield. If you’re in the market for a top-quality windshield repair kit, The Drive has you covered with top picks and a handy buying guide that will teach you what to look for to ensure you’re getting a good quality kit that will get the job done.
This kit is good for multiple repairs, and cracks vanish when examined at a 45-degree angle. It works best on one-inch-wide round damage or smaller and cracks tinier than 12 inches.
- Fills in chips and small cracks nicely and makes them hardly noticeable.
- Easy to use.
- Doesn't take much time to complete a repair, and is simple to clean up.
- The kit cannot patch large holes
- Instructions are somewhat technical
- Product has a strong odor, and it can adhere to your skin if you don't wear gloves.
Consisting of a glass resin, this windshield repair kit is excellent at preventing the spread of cracks. It reduces the look of chips and returns the seamless appearance of the windshield.
- Affordably for any budget.
- Comes with everything you need to fill in chips and cracks.
- Can prevent further damage.
- Kit isn’t designed for larger cracks.
- Not able to fix extensive damage.
- Only viable when used right after crack occurs.
This is a straightforward kit that’ll walk you through windshield repair step by step, with little prep needed and no prior experience.
- Photo-based step-by-step instructions are clear
- No mixing of resin or other ingredients required
- Works to prevent more damage on bullseye and star cracks
- Resin can take longer to cure
- May need additional UV light exposure to fully cure
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
There is no shortage of viable options on the market when it comes to windshield repair kits. Those listed here were selected based on the fact that they are made by reputable and long-standing manufacturers who have an excellent track record of producing reliable and high-quality products. Kits that get high marks for being easy to use and not overly complicated were selected, as many users have little to no experience with windshield repair. Affordability was also a factor in selecting the top windshield repair kits. For more info on selection criteria and methodology, check out The Drive’s Gear About page here.
Best Windshield Repair Kit Reviews & Recommendations
Our Verdict on Windshield Repair Kits
Our pick for the best windshield repair kit is the Rain-X Windshield Repair Kit. The biggest benefit is that it can be used for multiple repairs. It is also easy to use and makes chips and cracks significantly less visible. If you’re looking for a top quality budget-friendly option, check out the 3M Windshield Repair Kit. It comes with everything you need to complete a repair and is priced just right.
What to Consider When Buying Windshield Repair Kits
There are several factors to consider when purchasing a high-quality windshield repair kit that will deliver reliable results. That said, the type and size of the chip or crack is the main consideration. If the crack or chip is too big, then even the best windshield repair kit won’t deliver sufficient results. If you have damage that measures more than 1 1/4 inches in diameter, you might need professional assistance. The following are some other important factors to look for if you do have a repair that can be done by yourself.
Types of Cracks
A bullseye crack looks like a true bullseye and it’s a type of surface damage that happens when something small strikes your windshield. The resulting damage includes a center chip and more extensive cracks in a circular pattern around that primary deep chip.
When a crack chip occurs in your windshield, you’ll wind up with a crack that’s smaller than a quarter’s diameter in size. There’s just one sole point of impact to these windshield cracks.
If you’re seeing a crack that’s placed close to the edge of your windshield, you’ve likely got an edge crack. This kind of windshield damage tends to happen right at the edges, and it’s often the result of excessive pressure placed on the sides of the windshield, right where the glass was actually installed.
Floater cracks kind of float right in the middle of your car’s windshield. They typically appear in the center, spreading out from there depending on their size and length. If significant enough, floater cracks can stretch across a good portion of your entire windshield.
Stress windshield cracks are caused by exactly what you’d expect based on their name: Stress that’s placed on your windshield. A stress crack can happen as the result of significant stress, like rapid changes in temperature (or even significant changes like high heat to freezing), excessive pressure on the glass, and multiple impact points.
Similar in their shape and overall appearance to a bullseye crack, half-moon cracks tend to create a more spread-out wound in your windshield. This kind of damage tends to appear in a half-circle or moon shape.
Star Cracks (or Breaks)
A star break, or star crack, is a spot of damage that’s caused by an impact. When the impact occurs, it results in a star-shaped (or somewhat star-like) appearance. These cracks typically spread out rapidly, showing cracks in every direction and with “hands” like a traditional star shape.
If you’ve got multiple kinds of cracks happening on your windshield, you’re likely seeing combination cracks. These cracks can include all different types of windshield damage, from floater cracks and edge cracks to stress cracks and star cracks. Ultimately, combination cracks all combine together to form one huge problem spot.
Windshield Repair Kit Key Features
Sensitivity to Temperature
When you’re using a windshield repair kit, you’ve got to consider temperature and you’ve also got to consider how sensitive the materials in the kit are to the ambient outdoor temperature or your garage’s temperature. Try to fix your windshield cracks or chips in weather that’s too cold, and the resin could seize up without curing properly. Do so in high heat, and the resin might never set because it stays liquid too long.
In order to cure the resin patch, the best windshield chip repair kit will include instructions on the best temperature range to make the fix. Most kits recommend curing the repair in direct sunlight, while others say the exact opposite. It's essential to follow the product's directions in order for the resin to properly cure. However, regardless of what the kit’s instructions say, it’s always a good idea to choose a moderate temperature (and a dry area) to perform windshield repairs.
The best windshield repair resin repairs chips and cracks, but it needs to be a high-quality substance. How can you tell if a kit’s included resin is worth your investment and your effort? When looking for the best windshield repair kit, find one that has a denser and thicker material that dries clearly. You want the resin to blend into the windshield without leaving a big blemish. Look for details like clear-drying resin, users’ reports of flawless, seamless, and totally non-visible final results to determine just how high-quality the resin is in any kit. Additionally, you’ll also want to look for updated remarks about how well a repair kit’s resin performs after a year or more after being applied.
Lower-grade resin kits may dry in a pale yellow shade. If you can’t clearly identify that a windshield repair kit’s resin will dry clear, then skip it. You want to make sure the final repair blends right into your windshield and offers a clear line of sight.
One windshield repair kit should be suitable for a one-time repair on a small crack on a single windshield. Remember, you want to try to repair cracks and chips as soon as they appear rather than waiting for the problem to worsen. Ideally, you should only need a small volume but if you notice that you have multiple small spots of damage, you may require more.
If you're repairing more than one windshield, you will need a kit that can be used more than once. Dealing with a significant number of chips and cracks? Have a combination crack in your windshield? Then you’re also going to need more than just one windshield repair kit. Extensive damage means you’ll need more material to fill and smooth out all of the damage. So, if a single repair looks like it will require multiple kits, you’re most likely in replacement territory.
Windshield Repair Kit Brands To Know
Rain-X has been around since 1972 and was sold to Quaker State in 1997. Since then, the company has diversified its product options to offer a comprehensive collection of items that are all designed to help drivers see better. Some of the company’s top sellers include Rain-X Silicone Endura Wiper Blades and the Rain-X Headlight Restoration Kit.
3M was founded in northern Minnesota in 1902. The five founders had no idea that more than a century later, 3M would have corporate offices in 70 countries and sales in over 200. A leader in scientific, technical, and marketing innovation, 3M offers such game-changing products as 3M Platinum Plus Filler, 3M Copper Anti-Seize Brake Lube, and many more.
Founded in 1909, Permatex is an Ohio-based company that specializes in manufacturing, distributing, and marketing premium chemical products specifically for the automotive, home, and hardware markets. Check out the company’s line of cleaners and degreasers and adhesives and sealants next time you have a need.
J-B Weld got its start as a mom-and-pop operation back in 1969. Founded by Sam and Mary Bonham, the company got its start by offering “cold-weld” product that would replace the need for traditional torch welding. Today, the company offers innovative products like the J-B Weld SuperWeld Extreme Instant Adhesive and the J-B Weld KwikWood Epoxy Putty.
Windshield Repair Kit Pricing
Most typical windshield repair kits can be found ranging between $8 to $15. These kits offer repair compounds and accessories needed to complete at least a single windshield repair. Some kits in this price range will also offer enough formula for multiple repairs. For higher quality compounds that tend to offer more professional results, look in the price range above $20. Some top-quality products can even cost as much as $30 or more, depending on the amount of resin you buy.
Tips and Tricks
As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and windshield repair kits. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.
- Look for a kit that has all the accessories required for the job: resin, an injector, curing strips, adhesives, applicators, and a razor blade. Alcohol wipes, pushpins, and a pedestal are also great to have to complete the task.
- Be patient when repairing your windshield. Take your time, thoroughly read the directions, and become familiar with all the tools before you start the project. If you rush, you may make a mistake.
- The first step to a quality repair is cleaning the surface. Remember that any dust left behind will become trapped in the resin and remain visible after it hardens. The residue left on the surface can also affect the resin’s ability to properly bond with your glass.
- When you finish using the windshield repair kit and the resin solidifies, use a razor blade to scrape excess resin away from the windshield. Then clean the glass with a cloth.
- Not all windshield damage can be repaired. Before you spend your time and money on a do-it-yourself repair kit, thoroughly inspect the damage and determine if a replacement windshield is required.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers!
Q: Is it better to repair or replace a cracked windshield?
A: If the crack or chip is smaller than the size of a quarter, a windshield repair kit can do the job just fine. A good-quality DIY kit will prevent a rock chip or crack from expanding but will not remove the damage, and correcting a cracked window is not very costly. In fact, professionals use similar or identical techniques to repair small chips and cracks. However, if the crack, bullseye, or star is directly in front of your line of sight, you may want to replace the windshield. Also, if your vehicle is old, the windshield may not hold up as well under stress and probably should be replaced.
Q: How do I use a windshield repair kit?
A: Position the applicator over the crack, and insert the extension base over it. Put the resin tube over the extension and tighten it until resin replaces the air inside the applicator. Press the syringe to insert six to 10 drops of resin inside the applicator. Put the provided screw inside the resin chamber, and turn it clockwise until it tightens. The resin will press against the glass. After five to 10 minutes, unscrew and remove the applicator.
Q: How do you keep a windshield crack from spreading?
A: There are ways to delay the inevitable, but a cracked windshield is only going to get worse. Every bump and change in temperature has the potential to damage your windshield beyond repair. You can even cause a crack to spread just by touching the glass with your finger. Take our advice and fix the problem before it’s too late.
Q: Can I use a windshield repair kit on other things?
A: Sure! If the alternative is to throw something away, it might be worth your time to try repairing it with one of these kits. We’ve heard of people repairing everything from old-school glass headlights to the glass in a procure frame.