Whether it’s a touchscreen car display, a car audio system, or your stereo screen, a cracked screen is more than just an aesthetic problem. It’s a roadblock to fully enjoying your vehicle’s functionalities.
A cracked screen can happen for several reasons, like extreme weather changes, accidental bumps, or even just the passage of time, but how to fix it? Let’s find out.
To repair a cracked screen in a car, follow these steps:
#1. Clean the cracked area with mild soap and water.
#2. Apply a clear epoxy or a windshield repair kit.
#3. Use a curing film to cover the adhesive.
#4. Allow the epoxy to cure according to the instructions.
#5. Polish the area with a glass cleaner for a smooth finish.
For more severe cracks, it is recommended to replace the entire screen with a new one.
|Before attempting any repairs, evaluate the size and location of the crack on your car’s screen. Small cracks may be fixable, while larger or spreading cracks may require professional intervention.|
|If the crack is small and manageable, invest in a windshield repair kit available at automotive stores or online. These kits typically include resin, a curing agent, and tools for applying the repair solution.|
|Thoroughly clean the cracked area using glass cleaner and a lint-free cloth. Ensure the surface is dry before proceeding with the repair process.|
|Follow the instructions provided with the windshield repair kit to apply the resin into the crack. Typically, this involves injecting the resin into the crack and using pressure to force it deep into the damaged area.|
|After applying the resin, cover the repaired area with a clear curing strip and park your car in direct sunlight or use a UV lamp to facilitate the curing process. The resin should cure within a few hours, depending on the instructions provided with the kit.|
|Once the resin has cured, remove the curing strip and use a razor blade to scrape off any excess resin. Polish the repaired area using glass polish and a clean cloth to achieve a smoother finish.|
|If the crack is large, spreading, it’s best to consult a professional repair service. They have the expertise and equipment to assess the damage accurately and determine whether a repair or radio screen replacement is necessary.|
Don’t let a malfunctioning car radio display spoil your journey. Find out how to fix this common problem in our article Why Is Car Radio Display Not Working.
Understanding the Problem: Can a Cracked Car Screen Be Repaired?
First things first, we need to understand the problem. Not all cracked car screens are the same, and your ability to repair them successfully will depend on several factors—mostly the type of screen and the severity of the crack.
Types of Car Screens That Can Be Damaged
There are several types of car screens that can be damaged, and each one has its unique considerations. Here are the primary ones:
#1. Touch Screen: This is becoming increasingly common in modern cars, where various functionalities are controlled through the touch interface.
A cracked touchscreen car display can be tricky, as the cracks might affect the touch sensitivity.
#2. LCD Screen: Many car screens, especially older models, use LCD displays for showing information such as mileage, fuel level, and even radio stations for the car stereo.
When this screen is cracked, the display may be distorted, making it hard to read the information.
#3. Radio Screen: Speaking of car audio, your radio screen is another potential casualty. This is the screen that displays what’s playing on your stereo.
Damage to this screen may interfere with your music experience.
#4. Navigation Screen: Getting around without GPS is unimaginable for many of us. A crack on your navigation screen can make it difficult for you to follow the map and could also lead to dangerous distractions while driving.
Can I Notice a Difference After Repairing a Cracked Screen?
After repairing a cracked screen, you might notice a difference in the screen’s appearance and functionality. But it depends on the extent of the original damage and how effectively the repair was done.
Sometimes, the repaired area might be slightly visible, especially if it was a large crack. However, in many cases, the crack may become almost invisible, and the screen could look nearly as good as new.
How Repair Affects Screen Functionality
Now, let’s discuss how a repair might affect screen functionality.
#1. Touch Sensitivity: If you’re dealing with a touchscreen, post-repair touch sensitivity is a key concern.
If the repair is done correctly, touch functionality should be restored to normal, although in some cases, it might not be as smooth as before.
#2. Display Clarity: For LCD screens, display clarity after repair is vital. The repaired areas should not distort the display, and you should be able to read all information clearly. If not, it might be time to consider a replacement.
#3. Visibility of Repaired Area: Ideally, the repaired area should blend with the rest of the screen.
However, you might notice slight discoloration or unevenness on the screen where the repair was done. Don’t worry, though, this is often only visible on close inspection.
DIY Solution: How to Fix a Cracked Screen in Car at Home
If you’re wondering how to DIY fix a cracked screen in your car at home, here’s your step-by-step guide. Bear in mind, this may not work for touchscreens as with extra
Tools Needed for Screen Repair
Before we start, let’s gather all the tools and materials we’ll need for this DIY repair job. You’ll need the following:
#1. A car screen repair kit: You can find these online or at your local auto parts store. Make sure it’s compatible with your car’s screen type.
#2. Microfiber cloth: For cleaning the screen.
#3. Thin plastic card: Like a credit card, for smoothing out air bubbles.
#4. A curing light or UV light: This is usually included in the repair kit. If not, you’ll need to get one.
Steps to Repair a Scratch on Car Screen
Now that we have our tools, let’s walk through the process step-by-step.
Cleaning the Screen
First, clean the screen to ensure a smooth repair process. Using a microfiber cloth, gently wipe down the screen to remove any dust, grime, or residue.
Make sure the screen is entirely dry before moving to the next step.
Applying Repair Kit Materials
Next, apply the repair material from your kit onto the cracked area. Spread it out evenly using the applicator included in the kit.
This is where you need to be extra careful and ensure the liquid fills in the cracks, but doesn’t spread too far onto the rest of the screen.
Once you’ve applied the repair material, use your thin plastic card to smooth out any air bubbles. You don’t want bubbles messing up the repair work.
Curing and Polishing the Screen
After the repair material is applied and smoothed, it’s time to cure it. This is where your UV light comes in. Shine it over the repaired area to harden the repair material. Follow the instructions in your repair kit for how long to cure.
Once cured, use your microfiber cloth to polish the screen gently. Be careful not to apply too much pressure as it could damage the fresh repair.
Car Touch Screen Repair
If you’re working with a touchscreen, the process is largely the same, but you need to be extra careful not to disrupt the screen’s touch functionality.
When applying the repair material, ensure it doesn’t seep into the sides of the screen, as it can (and often will) interfere with touch sensitivity.
How to Reset a Car Touch Screen After Repair
When the repair is complete, you need to reset your car touch screen. This is a simple process. Usually, it involves holding down certain buttons on your car’s dashboard or steering wheel for a few seconds.
For details, check your car’s manual for the exact process for your specific model.
The Cost of Repair and Replacement: Is It Worth Repairing Cracked Car Radio Screen?
Now the classic question: repair or replace?
In the case of the car screens, it’s not just about the money—it’s also about time, effort, but most importantly, about the extent of the damage.
Car Touch Screen Repair Cost
Repairing a car touch screen can be a relatively affordable fix if you decide to do it yourself, with most screen repair kits ranging from $10 to $50 depending on the quality and brand.
Of course, remember to factor in your time and effort, as these kits do require a bit of patience to apply correctly.
If you’d rather leave it to professionals, the cost can vary widely based on your car’s make and model, as well as the extent of the damage. On average, you can expect to pay between $200 to $400 for a professional repair.
If your screen is severely damaged, replacement might be your only option.
Replacing a car screen can be more costly, with prices ranging from $200 to well over $1000, depending on your car’s make and model, the type of screen, and whether you opt for a new or used replacement.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Repair and Replacement
As you mull over these numbers, here are some factors to consider when deciding between repair and replacement:
#1. Extent of Damage: Small, superficial cracks may be easily repaired, while deeper, larger cracks may necessitate a replacement.
#2. Age of the Car: If your car is relatively new and you plan to keep it for many more years, investing in a replacement might make more sense. On the other hand, if your car is older, a cheaper repair might suffice.
#3. Repair vs. Replacement Cost: Consider the cost difference between repair and replacement. If a repair costs nearly as much as a replacement, it might be worth opting for a new screen.
#4. Functionality Post-Repair: Consider how the screen’s functionality might be impacted after a repair. A touch screen with reduced sensitivity after a repair, for example, might be more frustrating than it’s worth.
Remember, everyone’s situation is unique, and only you can decide what’s best for you and your car.
Protection and Prevention: Avoiding Future Cracks
Now that we’ve walked through how to fix a cracked screen in your car let’s talk about the next step: prevention. So, how can you protect your car screen and avoid future cracks? Let’s explore.
Screen Protector for Cracked Screen
In my experience, one of the most effective ways to protect your car’s touch screen is by using a screen protector.
Much like a screen protector for a phone, these thin sheets of plastic or tempered glass provide an added layer of protection against scratches and cracks.
It’s a simple, cost-effective step that can go a long way in prolonging the life of your car’s screen.
To apply a screen protector, thoroughly clean your screen to remove any dust or fingerprints. Then, slowly apply the protector, smoothing it out as you go to avoid air bubbles.
Trust me, rushing this process can lead to unsightly bubbles that can affect your screen’s visibility, so take your time.
Once it’s on, the screen protector acts as a barrier against potential damage, especially those made from tempered glass.
Even if it gets scratched or cracked, you can easily replace the protector, which is much cheaper and simpler than repairing or replacing the entire screen. I have one on my car’s touch screen, and it’s saved me more times than I can count.
Other Preventive Measures
Aside from using a screen protector, there are other preventive measures you can take to protect your car’s screen from damage:
#1. Careful handling of stereo: The car stereo screen is often the most used and, therefore, the most prone to damage. When adjusting the stereo, be gentle to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the screen.
#2. Regular Cleaning: Keep your screen clean. Dust and dirt can lead to scratches, which can develop into larger cracks over time.
Further Reading on Car Screen Issues
Why is CarPlay Not Appearing on Car Screen?
Apple CarPlay enhances the in-car experience by bringing the power of the iPhone to your vehicle’s display. But what happens when CarPlay is not appearing on the car screen?
It could be due to a variety of reasons, including a faulty USB cable, outdated iOS or infotainment system, or compatibility issues.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Car Radio Screen?
Like any digital component, a car radio screen it’s susceptible to damage and malfunctioning. When this happens, the first question that likely comes to mind is how much it costs to fix a car radio screen.
The cost can depend on various factors such as the extent of the damage, the specific model of your car, and whether the entire unit needs replacing or just a few components.
Before starting anything, consider the extent of the crack, the type of screen, the cost of repair versus replacement, and your comfort level with a DIY repair.
If the screen is possible to repair and you choose the DIY route, arm yourself with the right repair kits and tools. Don’t rush the process.
Carefully follow the steps, from cleaning the screen to applying the repair materials and curing the screen. Be patient with yourself. Remember, the goal is not only to fix the cracked screen but also to restore the functionality of your car’s display system.
Post-repair, you may notice some changes in the screen’s functionality, especially if it’s a touch screen. This is why (unless you are skilled in electronics and screens) I recommend leaving touchscreens for a professional repair or replacement.
Once your screen is repaired or replaced, invest in a good screen protector, and do not forget about regularly cleaning it.