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How to Fix a Windshield Scratch

Your windshield serves a fundamental purpose. Visibility on the road is crucial for avoiding accidents, so keeping your windshield scratch and crack-free must be a priority. Enough damage to your car’s windshield can not only impede your ability to see but also weaken the overall integrity of your vehicle. If there’s a large crack or break, you must take your glass to be professionally repaired. However, a small scratch may not seem like a reason to rush your car to the shop, but you should invest time into fixing it. Here’s the why and how of fixing a windshield scratch.

How Bad is a Windshield Scratch, Anyway!?

A surface scratch may not be so bad for your windshield. Your windshield is designed to take a certain amount of damage while you’re out on the road. It can withstand small pebbles and other debris flying at your car as you drive down the highway, but some of these items may damage the glass. If you run your finger over a new scratch and it is deep enough to where your nail gets caught, it might be a problem for an auto glass shop. If it’s shallow enough, there are a few DIY ways to minimize the damage.

The other thing determining how devastating a windshield scratch is its placement. Even the most minor, shallow scratch can cause a problem if it is directly in your line of visibility. You should have zero obstructions to your view of the road. 

What to Do With a Small Windshield Scratch

So if you’ve done the nail test and determined it is just a tiny scratch, you may be able to fix it yourself. You’ll need windshield-safe soap, an auto glass repair kit from your local store containing cerium oxide, and a microfiber cloth. 

First, wash the area thoroughly and dry it with your microfiber cloth. If it is a surface scratch, you may be able to use an acrylic scratch remover or even toothpaste to buff out the area so that it’s aesthetically pleasing (and safe!) once again. If it is deep enough, you’ll follow the instructions in your auto glass repair kit  using the cerium oxide to fill the scratched area. If it’s a very deep scratch, the equipment should come with tools that help you remove any oxygen bubbles and smooth out the glass afterward. 

When you’re done, give the cerium oxide time to dry! Give your windshield at least 15 minutes to dry and settle before you drive your car. Otherwise, the treatment may not take, and you’ll make a small scratch worse. 

For Large Scratches, Gouges, and Dents

Unfortunately, what seems like a small scratch may occasionally merit an entire windshield replacement. If it’s deep, repeated bumping and jostling of the car may cause a small laceration to extend into a large crack. The way that auto glass is designed is that it breaks into small, dull pieces (in a spiderweb form), which is safer but does impede your vision on the road.

Depending on what caused the crack, insurance may actually cover the cost of a windshield replacement! Not to mention, cracks and scratches downgrade the resale value of your car, so if you’re looking to maintain your vehicle, it’s a good idea to get any damages and scratches taken care of right away.

Contact Smiley’s Glass by calling 804-320-7172 or stop by our shop for quick and easy windshield repair and replacement. Our staff is certified to handle most vehicles and has proudly served the Richmond, VA, area for over 50 years.

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Richmond, VA 23225


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