Exception in rendering!

Message: window is not defined

ReferenceError: window is not defined
    at new c (/tmp/execjs20161208-18535-utqs2pjs:136:3912)
    at m.mountComponent (/tmp/execjs20161208-18535-utqs2pjs:47:15602)
    at /tmp/execjs20161208-18535-utqs2pjs:49:31860
    at a.r.perform (/tmp/execjs20161208-18535-utqs2pjs:47:12503)
    at Object.a [as renderToString] (/tmp/execjs20161208-18535-utqs2pjs:49:31821)
    at r (/tmp/execjs20161208-18535-utqs2pjs:50:21164)
    at Object.S.ReactOnRails.serverRenderReactComponent (/tmp/execjs20161208-18535-utqs2pjs:32:6073)
    at eval (eval at <anonymous> (/tmp/execjs20161208-18535-utqs2pjs:173:8), <anonymous>:10:23)
    at eval (eval at <anonymous> (/tmp/execjs20161208-18535-utqs2pjs:173:8), <anonymous>:17:3)
    at /tmp/execjs20161208-18535-utqs2pjs:173:8

Q: Can Cold Weather Crack Your Car Windows or Windshield?

asked by on

Can cold weather crack your car windows or windshield?

A: When considering if cold weather can crack ...

When considering if cold weather can crack your windows or windshield, it is important to first note that glass windows are under tension.

As with any material, glass is subject to stress through expansion, and compression or contraction with changes in temperature. If the windshield or rear windows are completely covered in ice, then it is possible for them to crack when heating them either with the vehicle's main heater, or using the electric defrost mode. This also applies to the side windows, but, more commonly, it affects the rear window or windshield due to the direct application of heat. In fact cracking is also possible if the temperature that the glass is exposed to goes through extremes, even without being coated with ice.

Automotive windows are made using tempered glass for the side and rear window, and laminated glass for the windshield. The tempered glass is a single pane which is designed through a process which repeatedly heats and cools the glass during its production and gives it strength to withstand the normal forces that are exerted while driving. The windows are subject to flex as the body is bouncing down the road and shifting when the vehicle goes through turns. This strong glass is designed to shatter into small pieces in the event of an impact. As i mentioned before, it is under tension, but very sturdy while at the same time susceptible to shatter under the right conditions.

Pressure over a large area generally will be deflected by the glass and it will not shatter. However, a fine point of energy applied will generally cause the window to shatter into thousands of pieces. That being the case, it's possible for temperature and stress to contribute to the window shattering. In fact, this is most common on rear glass panels in vans and large SUV’s. I have seen cases of these windows actually exploding when cold or frozen and the rear electric heater element is turned on. The rapid heating of the window combined with the stress or flex of the body can cause it to shatter violently in some cases.

When it comes to windshields, they are laminated. This means that two pieces of glass are bonded together with a plastic layer in between. This strengthens the glass and while it does not make it crack proof, it is by design basically shatter proof. The windshield can be cracked slightly or appear to be shattered but because of the lamination, it will remain in one piece. This is for driver and occupant safety.

Whether it’s for a windshield or a window, you should never attempt to de-ice or defrost with hot water, as the sudden heat stress can cause window cracking.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Windshield washer nozzles not working

There could be several reasons why they don't work. The most common issue is the nozzles being clogged. The holes in the nozzle are so small that it doesn't take much to clog them. Only using washer fluid or distilled...

Q: Brakes don't work very well when it's cold

You have two different issues here. The slow crank may be that the battery is getting weak. It may need to be replaced or the terminals cleaned. The other issue of the high idle and braking issue is probably due...

Q: Do I Have to Replace a Cracked Window?

A car window’s primary purpose is to allow safe and clear vision of all objects around the vehicle while keeping the element out, and to provide security to the passengers and their personal items. Additionally, they provide structural integrity to...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...