Home > Saving Money > DIY Rock Chip Repair and Some Extra Savings

DIY Rock Chip Repair and Some Extra Savings

Cracked windshieldWe all know that DIY car repairs can save tons of money. I would love to have pocketed the money we’ve spent on car repairs and maintenance over the years, but who am I kidding? Everything under the hood looks like a thingamajigger to me and watching a million YouTube videos isn’t going to help. However, I have finally found one car repair that anyone can do at home.

Windshield Rock Chip Repair

We have a 1999 Civic named Yertle that I drive almost exclusively in the summer. Yertle is old and slow but runs great and gets good gas mileage. We are all for keeping him running but don’t want to spend more than necessary.

I set out for town one Saturday a few weeks ago and noticed a rock chip in Yertle’s windshield. If you’ve ever had a chip in your windshield you probably know what happens if you let it go. The whole windshield has to be replaced, which can cost a few hundred dollars.

We seem to get a couple of rock chips a year, and they usually cost around $30 to replace. I called the glass shop we use only to find them closed, along with every other glass repair shop in town. It’s the weekend in a small town.

Have I Ever Been to the Auto Parts Store?

I stopped in at an express lube place on the off chance that they might do windshield repair, but no luck. The mechanic did say that he thought they sold kits at the auto repair store to fix chips. I’m not sure I’ve ever been to the auto parts store, but I always love a new experience. What a lovely place! For $14.99, I bought the kit, thinking it was probably throwing money away, but that we’d give it a try.

To my surprise, the kit worked perfectly and was easy to use. It only took a few minutes to do the repair, and then the windshield had to dry for a couple of hours. It has been fine ever since , and you can barely see where the original damage was.

Fifteen dollars saved might not seem like a ton of money, and if this had taken hours to do, it would have been a waste of time. Small savings add up over the course of time, and maybe this will encourage me to look into other easy repairs in the future.

Earmark Helps You Save Money

I used this savings to put toward a mini-trip we are taking this weekend. I’ve been testing a new smartphone app that Erin at Broke Millennial hooked me up with. I’m into techie things about like I’m in to car repairs, but this one is really easy. It’s called Earmark*.

Earmark tries to recreate the psychological rush of impulse buying by allowing you to see what you can buy if you forgo unnecessary spending. For example, I set a earmark of saving $200 for this upcoming weekend trip. Whenever I passed on spending, I entered the amount and it automatically showed me how close I was toward reaching my goal.

Some of the things I’ve saved on recently were skipping the movies to go to the park, packing a picnic lunch instead of eating out, and eating the food we already had in the freezer and pantry instead of grocery shopping. Each thing by itself might not seem like a big deal, but it’s nice to have something that tracks your progress so you can see how it does add up. Maybe I didn’t save enough to retire this month, but I did save enough to pay for our weekend getaway.

*Update: Earmark has been removed from the app store until further notice.

How much did you save this month? Do you do your own car repairs? 

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net/Ratcliff


About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. Is the kit for one repair or can you use it again? I just had a pretty major repair on my car, and the guy spent over 2 hours on it… for $10. So no, I am not trying to DIY haha. Have a nice mini trip!

  2. Call your insurance company, too. In FL, I believe all windshield repairs are covered in full with no deductible and they are not allowed to raise your premiums for them.

    • Years ago, we did let the insurance cover it, and our premiums did go up. I’ve been afraid to try since then for $30, it didn’t seem worthwhile. Now for $15, we’ll do it ourselves.

  3. I do not do my own car repairs, but I have a friend that will sometimes check out my car if I think there is a problem and give me a diagnosis. I end up just bringing it to the mechanic a mile or so from my house who has done a great job in the past. I applaud you for repairing your windshield chip repair!

  4. Unfortunately, I’m not very handy when it comes to my own car repairs. That is not something I have ever enjoyed or taken the time to learn. I guess my mindset is I would rather pay someone to do it for me quicker instead of taking hours out of my day and then messing it up myself. This sounded like an easy repair though so perhaps I could have handled that one. 🙂

  5. That’s cool Kim, especially for only $15! I love the idea of trying to do car repairs on my own, but the fact is we’d have to buy a new car if I ever tried it Lol! I leave it to those who know what they’re doing.

  6. Luckily W works at a car dealership so we get everything pretty cheap. We had a big rock chip recently and I think they charged only $10 to fix it.

  7. Our budget went to hell this month. My laptop died and Greg’s car went totally beserk. The total damage was about $1150 for the laptop and the car!

  8. I’ve been trying to do my own repairs/maintenance recently with varying success. I definitely think being able to do at least the basic stuff like oil changes is a great way to save money. Sounds like a rock chip is something I could handle.

  9. Wow, $14.99 to repair your own rock chips, great deal. Luckily for me, I’ve got great insurance so, they cover it for free. But, if I ever decide to change the insurance, I’m definitely going to keep this in mind! Thanks for the tip!

  10. I am not good with DIY projects, so I just find the lowest best price to repair. I just might attempt it on a 14 year old car though.

  11. That sounds like an awesome app. I need to see if I can download it on my semismart phone. I like to think of the little savings too. All the little savings add up fast. I need to make me a mini goal to work on.

  12. Thanks for trying out Earmark. I hope you love it! Send feedback @earmarkit! Especially the stuff you don’t like.

    Our car just got smoked with hail damage…wish there was a DIY kit for that. $1k deductible too…Laaaaame.

  13. Way to go, Kim! We are lucky that our auto insurance includes glass coverage for pretty cheap. I read about that Earmark app – it sounds super cool! You’ll have to let us know how it works out for you.

  14. I have had a chip in my windshield for like 8 years! What was the name of the kit? It sounds like just what I need.

    • I can’t remember the name, but if you go to Auto Zone or whatever store you have, just ask the clerk for a windshield rock chip repair kit. Actually, I bet you can order them online as well. I didn’t want to wait.

  15. I’m trying earmark out as well. The thing is for me I just have to remember to use it. Hope you have a great weekend Kim!

  16. With the invention of home repair kits, I feel like I am a bit lazy for needing to go to an auto repair shop for repairing the chip. I just like the feeling of knowing an expert was able to help me. These things may seem a bit costly to others, but I think it is money well spent.

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