What Cold Weather Can Do To Your Windshield

What Cold Weather Can Do To Your Windshield

Aug 04, 2023

Windshields are created to withstand and endure all kinds of elements.  But they are not immune to stress and damage from freezing temperatures. The more stress that is put on your windshield, the likelier it is for a crack to develop.  These cracks spread more quickly with extreme temperatures that rapidly change.  According to a study performed by the Motor Industry Research Association, windshield damage is 60% more likely to spread once temperatures drop to 32 degrees and 80% more likely to spread once temperatures reach 14 degrees.  

Windshield glass expands and contracts as temperatures go up and down.  This weakens the glass and puts added stress on areas with damage.  If your vehicle’s windshield is already cracked or chipped, be on the lookout for increased horizontal spreading in these areas as temperatures drop.  You may think the cold temp is to blame for the crack, but it’s likely that it was already there and went unnoticed.  The freezing weather just made it worse!  

The cold winter months will be here before we know it.  Here are some tips to protect the integrity of your vehicle’s windshield:

  • Be careful when heating up your car. If your frozen windshield is blasted with hot air, the sudden change in temperature can cause it to crack - go SLOWLY.
  • Use proper tools to remove ice. Never use a knife or a shovel, use ice scrapers designed for ice removal.  Be sure to scrape horizontally across the glass of your windshield. Vertical stabbing or chopping motions can chip the glass under the ice.
  • Make sure to have your car stocked with washer fluid. A clean windshield is easier to see out of, especially when visibility is already bad due to the weather.
  • Make sure your wiper blades are working properly to brush away snow and ice.  Wipers specifically designed for winter weather for optimal performance are also available.
  • Keep your vehicle in a garage or covered with a weatherproof tarp to add extra protection to the windshield. 
    Address a cracked windshield immediately.  In cold weather, chips and cracks will only get worse.  A secure windshield is crucial to your safety and should be repaired soon after you notice any signs of damage. 

Putting repairs off, especially when the weather is freezing, means the damage will grow and the entire windshield may need to be replaced. Glass America offers mobile service and will come to the car's site at no extra charge.  Windshield checks and servicing should be a part of routine cold-weather maintenance of any vehicle. 


Call Glass America today at