Windshield PolishingRemoving scratches and repairing hairline fractures
Windshield damage is a year-round phenomenon, but it seems to happen more often in winter. Aside from the projectiles ejected from tire treads onto cold glass, many people scratch their own windshield when they turn on the wipers and discover that the rubber has deteriorated. Metal on glass leaves a scratch.
Anything that obstructs the driver's vision is a safety issue. We all know this, but most of us live with scarred windshields until we either get cited or suffer migraines from blurred vision. Replacement windshields can cost $200 or more depending on vehicle. Since this is often less than our insurance deductibles, we keep driving with dinged glass.
Luckily, scratched windshields can sometimes be repaired. Just as scratches in paint can often be buffed out, hairline cracks in glass can be polished away by the adventurous do-it-yourselfer.
Glass polishing kits come with the necessary components to polish out front windshield scratches and hairline cracks with an electric drill. Worthy candidates for the procedure are any scratches or cracks that are shallow enough to not catch a fingernail.
The accompanying photos show how a typical polishing kit works. This system's caveats are that the renewal is intended for front windshields only (other kits are intended for any glass surface), and working temperature should be between 60 and 90 degrees F and the same on both sides of the glass (don't work in direct sunlight). Finally, cleanliness takes on the usual importance: protect all painted surfaces from the polishing compound and keep the compound itself free from contamination.
An hour of time and $20-$35 for a glass polishing kit can be worthwhile investments compared to the cost of a new windshield.
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