The best part of learning what causes a broken windshield is knowing how to avoid situations that can lead to one. Some are fairly preventable, but others are just unfortunate incidents. Either way, a broken windshield is no fun and has to be dealt with for your safety and security. We have collected a few of the most common causes of broken windshields, and we will share those below.
Auto Accidents – In the incident of a collision, a windshield is subject to impact, but also pressure. An accident will place pressure on the vehicle’s frame causing damage to the front window and other auto glass in your vehicle. Some windshields can withstand some accidents if they are in tip-top shape. However, if your windshield is damaged with a crack, it might be compromised and fail. If you get into an accident and the windshield seems okay, you might consider having an auto glass specialist look at it anyway. Some windshields will not crack or shatter but are placed under pressure from a bent frame.
Temperature Fluctuations – Auto glass is designed to handle a significant amount of heat and chill. But when it is placed under those conditions over long periods, a sudden shift in temperature could make the glass crack. This is due to your glass being under what is called “thermal strain,” which is simply the normal wear and tear on auto glass. The heat causes the glass to expand, while cold temperatures will make the material contract. There isn’t a fool-proof way to avoid this, but you can try to use climate-controlled environments when parking if you live in extreme temperatures.
Poor Installation – Not all auto glass professionals are created the same. If a windshield rattles or vibrates because it’s too loose, it can crack or shatter. Proper installations of auto glass are not easy and are rather tricky if not done by an experienced technician. If you hear or see a strange vibration coming from your windshield, take it to an auto glass professional as soon as possible to avoid damages or an accident. A good tip: Always look into the history and recommendations of the auto glass shop you’re working with. Choose one that has a 100% labor warranty, so repairs like this are fully covered.
Bad Quality Auto Glass – While most auto brands use the highest standard of auto glass and adhere to safety standards, replacements are not always the same quality. Replacement auto glass can be found anywhere by manufacturers who aren’t the least bit concerned about the condition. This leaves your vehicle in a vulnerable place if you have to have your auto glass replaced. We suggest asking your shop about their manufacturers and where their auto glass comes from. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get satisfying answers.
Debris and Weather – It’s no secret, debris causes significant damage to auto glass. You may have already experienced this by following a semi-truck that kicks up rocks onto your vehicle. This is hard to avoid, aside from staying a good distance from other vehicles. The same goes for weather damage to windows. If you park outside or get caught in a random pop-up storm, your vehicle might experience weather damage. It only takes one violent hail storm to see how weather can damage a windshield, causing it to crack or shatter. Park undercover whenever you can, but unfortunately, there is little you can do to avoid this sort of damage.
What to Do if You Have Broken or Damaged Auto Glass
The moment you realize you have a windshield crack or someone tried to break into your vehicle, it’s hard not to be upset. After you process that, you’ll want to have your auto glass repaired as quickly as possible. The main reason is that you don’t want to leave your vehicle in a vulnerable situation. But also, the broken auto glass will negatively impact your vehicle’s strength.
Find a reputable windshield replacement company and contact them to get started on getting your repair scheduled. They can work with your auto insurer to see how you are covered. If you end up having to pay out of pocket, most (probably all) will go to great lengths to find you a high-quality auto glass at an affordable price.