Home General Can a Pitted Windshield be Fixed?

Can a Pitted Windshield be Fixed?

A windshield is generally considered to be part of an automobile’s body, something that serves its purpose until broken, cracked or damaged by impact. In fact, a glass windshield is vulnerable to gradual deterioration as a car ages.

Small particles of sand can pit and crater a windshield, degrading visibility and reducing the effectiveness of windshield wipers.

Although the glass may appear transparent enough to serve its purpose most of the time, badly pitted windshields are a safety hazard. If sunlight hits the windshield at an oblique angle, it can cause the windshield to blank out like a television screen and reduce visibility to zero.

Glass is softer than you think

Pitting of windshield glass is a significant problem in desert areas, where blowing sand creates extreme abrasive conditions, and in colder climates, where sand or gravel is applied to icy roads.

Although many motorists consider glass to be a hard substance, it is quite soft. Sandpaper, for example, can easily scratch tempered glass.

Auto windshields are made with two layers of glass with a vinyl laminate in the middle. The laminate holds the glass together so occupants won’t get sprayed with fragments in a collision. In other areas of the car, toughened safety glass is used; it is designed to shatter into dull-edged pieces. Each type of glass transmits about 80% of visible light.

No quick fix

Some independent repair shops will polish glass with special rouge compounds to alleviate pitting. This method is not approved by technical organizations in the glass business, however, and many repair firms have refrained from using it. Neither the National Glass Assn. nor the Society of Automotive Engineers could identify an acceptable repair procedure for worn glass.

One problem is that the quality of such restorations is uneven at best. An even more significant problem is that there are no standards for what is considered unacceptable pitting and therefore what would represent an acceptable repair. Most states have no safety regulations concerning pitted glass.

Replace pitted glass, repair cracks or holes

The only way to correct a badly pitted windshield is to replace it. The average cost of a new windshield is $200. Special windshields, like those with special defogger elements or complex contours, can cost more than $1,000.

If a windshield is not pitted but has minor cracks, holes or scratches, it often can be repaired.

Several systems offered by franchise glass dealers can fuse cracks so that they are nearly invisible. One system uses a resin bonding agent that is cured with ultraviolet light. The damaged part is drilled out, a transparent liquid resin is injected, and the compound is cured with ultraviolet light. The repair costs about $40.

In addition, small holes caused by rocks can be filled and polished. In most cases, these repairs are performed only in areas outside the driver’s critical viewing area.

Finally, many auto insurers will begrudgingly pay for windshield replacements, because in many cases cracks or pitting can be attributed to road damage.

Shop for a New Car the Easy Way

Check out these similar Cars – and many more for sale right now.

Shop All Cars

New Car Spotlight


Advertisement

Take the Next Step.

Price Your New Car on KBB.com

Latest News

2021 Porsche 718 GTS 4.0 First Review

  718 Boxster/Cayman GTS 4.0 trim adds new flat-6 4.0-liter naturally aspirated engine makes, 394 hp/309 lb-ft 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds, top...

2020 Hyundai Sonata vs. 2020 Toyota Camry Comparison

2020 Hyundai Sonata Starting Price: $23,400 | Price Yours Above Average: Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, standard safety suite,...

2020 Kia Optima vs. 2020 Volkswagen Passat Comparison

2020 Kia Optima Starting Price: $23,190 | Price Yours Above Average: Great overall value, standard Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, tons...

2020 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2020 Volkswagen Jetta Comparison

2020 Hyundai Elantra Starting Price: $18,950 | Price Yours Above Average: Great overall value, standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, tons of advanced safety features, and a long...

2021 Toyota GR Supra First Look

Sports coupe adds new 2.0L turbo I4 3.0-liter I6 boosted to 382 horsepower Limited-edition A91 model added 0–60 mph...

2020 Kia Telluride vs. 2020 Nissan Pathfinder Comparison

2020 Kia Telluride Starting Price: $32,735 | Price Yours Above Average: A sleek SUV with room for eight passengers, quiet and loaded with safety technology, the...

2020 Kia Sorento vs. 2020 Honda Passport Comparison

2020 Kia Sorento Starting Price: $28,110 | Price Yours Above Average: Great warranty; good reliability record; top safety ratings from both IIHS and NHTSA Below Average: Smaller...

2020 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2020 Nissan Sentra Comparison

2020 Hyundai Elantra Starting Price: $18,950 | Price Yours Above Average: Great overall value, standard Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, tons of advanced safety features, and...

Advertisement

AD