A scratched windshield is something you could ignore. But in rare cases, it can be dangerous. Auto repair companies often suggest that if there are deep scratches, dings, or even microabrasions on its surface, you should consider getting it replaced. With enough damage, these imperfections can hamper your road visibility and increase your risk for accidents.
However, not everyone has the luxury to replace a damaged windshield right away, nor is it necessary. There are times when a simple fix might be able to do the trick. So if you’ve ever had your it scratched from improper cleaning methods, tools, or perhaps an accident, you might be wondering if it can still be saved.
The answer is yes, it is possible to fix a windshield and avoid unnecessary bills. But before anything else, it should be understood that not all types of windshield damage are salvageable. Whether or not it can still be repaired will depend on the extent of the damage. If the scratches are minor, or if there are small areas exhibiting hairline cracks or small fissures, then it can be repaired. Deep scratches or cracks affecting large areas are beyond fixing.
Moreover, fixing scratches doesn’t guarantee flawless results. The structural integrity of your windshield even after repairs is still compromised, and you will have to replace it eventually for safety reasons.
Quick Fixes for Windshield Scratches
Now that we’ve covered the technicalities, here are three ways that you can remedy a scratched windshield.
1. Acrylic scratch removers
These are available at any auto shop and almost all leading home depot shops and hardware stores. What this does is it acts like a filler that builds up the scratch, which can then be buffed by the time it dries.
Acrylic dries clear, so it can be safely used on a windshield without affecting its clarity. However, it does have the tendency to distort light that passes through the repaired area and cause glare under certain conditions. On the plus side, it does a great job at covering up scratches and preventing them from getting worse.
Tip: If you don’t have an acrylic scratch remover on hand, another quick fix is to use superglue which is made from essentially the same compound.
2. Cerium oxide
Commonly used by jewelers to buff gemstones and precious metals, cerium oxide is the go-to solution for deeper scratches or pitting on windshields. Heavy duty scratch repair kits will have a paste which contains the compound.
Cerium oxide is applied using a woolen buffer wheel. It is then slowly rubbed across the affected area until the compound bonds with the glass. Afterwards, you can polish the surface to even it out, resulting in a better and far more durable finish than acrylic scratch removers. However, its application can be time consuming.
3. Whitening toothpaste and baking soda
It isn’t exactly a proper solution but it can solve minor issues in a pinch. If you have barely noticeable scratches on your windshield and would want to get rid of them, combine white toothpaste with baking soda, and add some water. Rub the mixture on the problem area to buff it out. Take note that this solution is only for minimal scratches.
Regardless of these easy solutions, it is always best to have an expert take a look at your windshield and conduct any necessary repairs. Keep in mind that a damaged windshield is a ticking time bomb, and it is best to opt for a replacement whenever you are able.