G’day, mate! Welcome back to Patty’s Garage where we talk all things classic cars. Now I’ve got a real treat for you today, plenty of DIY tips and tricks to help with car window repair.
You’re likely no stranger to damaged windows and windscreens. After all, these cars from the ‘60s and ‘70s are much more likely to get chipped or cracked than modern vehicles.
Fixing this damage by yourself (with a little help from me) is the best way to get your classic looking its best without spending tons of cash.
Let’s get cracking!
Now it might feel like a real pain to start your car window repair, or windscreen, but it’s a super important repair and your classic will look loads better because of it.
I have lots of experience with DIY car repairs and this is one of the most important and satisfying.
Not only does repairing your windows remove an eyesore but it might be necessary to get your classic on the road. If you’ve got the wrong crack in the wrong place on your windscreen then it might not be considered roadworthy.
So, in my eyes, the main benefits of DIY car window repair include:
Unless you’re one of the lucky Classics for a Cause giveaway winners, you know all too well that our beauties are bloody expensive.
‘Cause of this, I like to cut costs where I can and doing my own repairs is an easy and fun way to pocket some cash.
Hiring a professional to properly repair your car window, or windscreen is not only costly but it take ages. Doing it yourself means skipping the hassle and those annoying wait times. And being able to do the repairs yourself is a damn useful skill to have.
Many of these classics were designed with weaker windscreens and windows than modern cars so you might end up dealing with cracks and chips all the time. Having the skills to fix it yourself is much better than constantly forking out for a professional.
Plus, if you’re a serious car nut like me, then you probably spend half your time holed up in the garage anyway. I look at problems like window damage as an opportunity to improve my classics and get the beauties looking better than ever.
The good news is that not only are there all these benefits but DIY car window repair is more than possible. Many small chips can be patched up without causing any structural damage to the car.
Car window repairs can be very necessary and doing it yourself is cheaper, faster and you get to learn a new skill along the way.
Now let’s be clear, it ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. I had a good long rant about how great DIY car window repairs are but the truth is, that’s not always the case.
Sometimes, DIY solutions can actually threaten the structural integrity of the entire car, particularly the roof. None of us want that and luckily, the way to avoid this is simple.
You have to know when it’s time for an at-home fix and when you need a proper windscreen or window replacement.
Something like upholstery repair (one of my favourite DIY upgrades) can be done safely on nearly every car. Car window repair is a lot riskier as it’ll affect more than just looks if something goes wrong.
Don’t be a drongo and ruin your whole car for the sake of one fix! No matter how experienced you are, sometimes these things won’t work and that’s the nature of the damage.
Trying to fix a windscreen that’s unfixable can lead you down all sorts of troubles. It’s just not on mate!
Good news is there’s a pretty simple test to know if it’s worth trying to fix by yourself. If your crack or chip is around the size of a dollar coin or less, give it a shot. Any bigger than that and you’re running a bit of a risk.
However, even with a tiny crack, you’ve still got problems to face, especially when repairing a windscreen.
If your DIY repair kit dries poorly, you can be left with a thick line through the glass. Trust me, that really sucks. Not only can it block your vision but it’s an ugly scar right at the front of your car.
And in a really bad scenario, the glass might be misaligned in a way that actually misrepresents how far away vehicles are.
Now all of this is highly unlikely. However it’s still possible and when doing your own repairs, you have to accept these risks.
Still, the good news is that if worse comes to worse and you end up replacing your windscreen or window, at least your original crack is gone!
The best way to avoid all of the problems I pointed out is to do proper research (like reading this right now!), follow the steps carefully and use the proper equipment.
Let’s have a look at how these repairs actually work.
Before you start your repairs, I always like to think about why I need to fix something. In the case of a car window, some of the common issues are:
Let’s take a look at how to best fix each of these.
When you have issues rolling down the windows, this could mean a whole range of things. Just like people, classic cars start to fall apart as they age.
You often have to deal with windows that have come loose from their mechanisms and are left misaligned or unable to even roll up and down.
Now this is obviously a big problem, particularly if the windows are stuck down. This’ll leave your beauty exposed to the harsh Australian elements, hail, sun and storm!
Sure, you can cover it up with cardboard but that ruins the whole look and is only a short term fix. The real solution requires going a little deeper and disassembling all the nuts and bolts in the door panel.
If you’ve got a window crank, then you’ll want to remove that and all the other parts of the door panel.
Be real careful when doing this (not just because this stuff is expensive and possibly rare) but also because you’ll have to reassemble it later. I like to take photos or videos of my progress so I don’t forget where everything goes.
The next step is locating the issue and solving it. Now your problem could be any number of things (broken track, broken C clip, etc.).
If you can’t figure out what the problem is, then odds are, you shouldn’t be trying to fix it yourself. That’s something I’ve had to learn the hard way.
Scratches can generally be fixed with one of those DIY repair kits we’ll be talking about more in the windscreen section.
It’s broken glass that’s the real problem. Now, I know I’m supposed to be talking about how to do your own car glass repair but I’ve got to be straight with you. If you’ve got broken glass, then I honestly don’t recommend doing it yourself.
It’s just not worth risking your beautiful classic for something as serious as that. Sometimes we just have to buckle up and pay the price to get it properly fixed.
However, there’s still plenty for you to do in the meanwhile. As a temporary fix, you’ll want to cover up the window with a plastic bag, clear packing tape or ideally, a plastic sheet. That’s to prevent the harsh Aussie elements damaging the inside of your classic.
Car windscreen repairs can be pretty simple or a real pain, depending on how serious the situation is.
I spoke a lot earlier about the importance of knowing when to attempt a DIY fix and when to call in the pros. Try to keep this in mind when examining your own windscreen issue.
The good news is that if it’s only a small chip, you can easily repair it with a resin kit. These babies are dirt cheap compared to proper replacements and come packed with a syringe to force the resin into the crack.
Just remember to take your time so it sets right, otherwise it can mess with your vision and look plain ugly.
A car windscreen repair for something minor is a simple thing. Buy your kit, use the syringe and be careful doing it.
It’s that easy! Otherwise, hit up your local mechanic. (Psst… Classics for a Cause members get discounts on heaps of auto mechanics so check it out!)
Pumped to try out these new repairs? Save heaps on essential auto parts with our VIP club membership, which provides access to discounts from over 200 Auto retailers and services providers within Australia; as well as getting exclusive access to classic car giveaways.
It makes those DIY repairs that much cheaper and puts you in the running to win some of the most iconic classic cars on the market.
If this all sounds pretty sweet, then be sure to sign up today! Join now and I’ll see you next time.