How to keep your windshield chip from spreading

It’s happened to most of us before. You’re driving along the highway, minding your own business when out of nowhere a rock or road debris flies up and smacks your windshield leaving you with a chip in the glass.

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A small chip may be aggravating, but is it really a problem? The answer is yes, eventually. What is a small chip today can very quickly turn into a crack which is unsafe for you, your passengers and anyone near you on the road. Even the simple act of driving normally can cause the chip to turn into a huge crack in minutes. It’s imperative to get your windshield replaced quickly because driving with a cracked windshield is illegal in the state of Ohio. The state doesn’t make it clear exactly what types of cracks or chips constitute a violation. Here are some examples of when an officer may issue you a ticket:


  • Puts you or anyone in the public in danger: All vehicles on the road must be safe enough to keep the public free from harm. An officer may use their judgement and may determine that the crack in your windshield impairs your vision and can issue you a ticket.
  • Doesn’t work as intended: All parts of your vehicle must be able to perform as intended by the manufacturer. So, if your windshield is cracked enough to allow moisture into the car, or your windshield wipers don’t work properly, you can be ticketed.
  • Officer’s discretion: Any law enforcement officer in Ohio may issue you a citation if they feel your windshield cracks/chips are unsafe. You may receive a citation ordering you to repair the windshield, or you could be fined up to $150.  
At SVG Motors, we have a little trick we can share to help you keep that chip from spreading into a crack. This can help give you a little more time to get to our Body Shop for a windshield replacement before being ticketed or getting injured.

Remember, the tips we are about to share are intended to be used on a temporary basis. If you have a rock chip, it is important to get your windshield professionally repaired or replaced. Using these tips can help lengthen the amount of time you have before the chips turn into cracks.

Give your windshield a manicure! Items you’ll need:

o   Clear nail polish (or superglue)

o   Isopropyl alcohol

o   Clean, lint-free cloth

o   Razor blade

o   Hair dryer

  • Step 1: Make sure your windshield is relatively warm. If it’s raining or snowing outside, pull your vehicle into a dry garage and let the windshield reach room temperature before proceeding. Clean your windshield (carefully, so you don’t put pressure on the chip) with windex or a vinegar/water solution. Let it dry thoroughly. It’s critical to allow sufficient time for the windshield to dry! You can use the hair dryer to help speed up the drying.
  • Step 2: Dampen a lint-free cloth with isopropyl alcohol. Clean the chip (and the area around the chip) and let it dry. Alcohol evaporates quickly so you won’t have to wait long. You can use the hair dryer to help speed up the drying.
  • Step 3: Using the brush in the nail polish bottle, apply a drop of polish into the chip. Continue adding polish one drop at a time until the chip is slightly over-filled. You may use a hair dryer on a low setting to speed up the drying time. If you prefer to use superglue, add just a small amount of it at a time; if you squeeze the bottle too hard and a lot of it runs down your windshield, it will be VERY difficult to remove it. Be gentle and add just a little bit at a time! Be extremely careful during this step. If spilled on your vehicle’s paint, both nail polish and superglue can cause damage. Use caution and move slowly, deliberately, and gently!
  • Step 4: After the polish (or superglue) is completely dry, use your razor blade to carefully scrape off any excess polish.

Keep in mind, this method won’t be invisible. You’ll be able to see the repair. It’s not intended to be a permanent fix. However, the repair will allow you a little more time to get to the body shop before the chip turns into a crack.
Categories: Tech Tips