Can Extreme Cold Temperatures Break Car Windows and Windshields?

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Your windshield and other windows are extremely important parts of your vehicle’s structural integrity. They provide rigidity in the body and prevent vehicle sway, much like the sway bar does underneath. But once your windows are compromised, they can crack or shatter. The following situations can lead to cracked or shattered windows:

  • Stone chip in one of the windows
  • Crack in the glass
  • Stress from an improper installation
  • Pressure from misalignment

No matter what it is, if there is a flaw in your window it can crack or shatter when the temperature drops.

How extreme cold affects the glass

Extreme cold temperatures cause everything to contract. Metal, rubber, sealant, and even glass are subject to expansion and contraction in any temperature difference. When your glass is exposed to extreme cold, there won’t be a problem if your glass is in good condition and installed correctly. Even though the glass will contract at a different rate than the metal, the sealant that holds the window has enough flexibility to allow the windshield to maintain its integrity. There is more stress on the glass, but its structure is able to withstand the pressure.

If your glass is chipped or cracked, the extra pressure on the glass can cause your window or windshield to crack or shatter, though it is more common for cracks to form than for the window to shatter. The crack will typically form from the point of weakness and extend towards the edge, but not always.

If the windshield is improperly installed, such as being replaced when the car is not on level ground, there can be stress on the window already, even without factoring in the extreme cold. Once the window is exposed to cold temperatures, the extra stress can crack the window. This type of crack usually forms from the outer edge and stretches into the center of the glass.

Because your window can break in extreme cold weather, it is very important to have any damaged windows replaced as soon as possible.


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Jason

31 years of experience
148 reviews
Jason
31 years of experience
Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Surprise, Arizona
Needed new brake pads on my Land Rover-and booked through “your mechanic”- this was my second time using this service and I have to say- these guys are awesome- Today, Jason came out to my work place- and completed the work quickly. Thank you!!
Honda Accord - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Phoenix, Arizona
Jason was on time, self motivated, well educated in his craft, and very helpful. I am fully sold on your method of using the home service. Jason helped by creating a safer ride for my wife, saving me time, and saving money for my family. I will be a client forever. Dennis Laycock

Lee

18 years of experience
105 reviews
Lee
18 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Richmond, Virginia
Lee was professional and knowledgeable. The job did not take long he was a little late but like I said professional because he let know that he was running late. LEE IS AWESOME!!!!!!

Willie

23 years of experience
23 reviews
Willie
23 years of experience
Jeep Compass - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - North Hollywood, California
I made an appointment to have my brake rotors/disc replaced. On the day I scheduled my car services- it ended up raining. Willie checked in, moved my appointment, and continued to communicate through out the day until he was able to come work on my car. He took great car to make the repairs ANNNDDD SAVED ME MONEY by only doing what was necessary (only one of the rotors needed replacing). A blessing.

Honorio

18 years of experience
782 reviews
Honorio
18 years of experience
Saturn Vue - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Sunnyvale, California
This was our second appointment to service our Honda and Saturn with Honorio and we will continue to do so in the future. We highly recommend Honorio.

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