Dealing With A Broken Car Window

19 August 2015
 Categories: , Blog


You walk out to your car and discover one of the side windows has been shattered by a vandal. Or you're driving behind a construction truck and a rock flies out of its bed and puts a chip in the windshield. Broken auto glass can't be ignored, and driving a car with a broken window is illegal in some states. Here is what to do when it's your turn to experience the frustration of a broken window.

Is the Car Safe to Drive?

A cracked windshield with the break right in front of the driver definitely makes your car unsafe. A break on the other side of the windshield may allow you to drive the car safely to an auto repair shop. A shattered rear window will make driving difficult, but not impossible as long as you use your exterior rear view mirrors. Any other broken window will likely not affect your ability to drive your car to get the window fixed.

Getting the Window Repaired

To repair a broken windshield when the car is unsafe to drive, most large cities now have mobile auto glass replacement services. A call to one of these companies will get a technician out to replace any of the windows in your car. This is your best option if your car is unsafe to drive. If these services aren't available in your area, you'll have to have your car towed to a glass shop.

If your car is safe to drive, you can still use a mobile service. But if you can't interrupt your day right away for a repair and need to use your car, you can create a temporary cover for the window.

  • Carefully remove the broken glass from the window frame and throw it away. Auto glass is safety glass, so it doesn't create the sharp splinters that home window glass does when it breaks. But use gloves to make sure you don't get cut.
  • Wipe any dirt or grit from around the window frame.
  • Place strips of clear packing tape across the window opening. Overlap the tape edges a bit to prevent any gaps.
  • The clear tape allows you to see through the broken window space. In some cities it's illegal to cover an auto window with something that restricts your vision.
  • Packing tape also leaves little residue on the window and door to clean off once the window has been repaired.

Remember that this gives you no security, so don't leave your car like this for long. Get to an auto glass shop as soon as you can to replace the window.

Repair Versus Replacement

A rock chip in your windshield can be filled in by most glass shops. If the chip hasn't yet spread into a crack, a transparent material is injected into the chip which holds the edges together and prevents a crack across the windshield from occurring. Once a crack starts, the windshield has to be replaced. Get rock chips repaired quickly because you don't know when a crack will start to form.

For more help, contact a company like A.O.K Auto Body & Glass.