Can a Cracked Windshield Collapse?

Can a cracked windshield collapse? Knowing how to take care of your windshield is one of the most important aspects of car maintenance. A windshield obviously protects you from debris, but it also aids in holding your car together in times of impact. Cracks and chips in the windshield can cause the car to collapse without this support. Here are 6 tips to help keep yourself safe and properly maintain your windshield.

Can a Cracked Windshield Collapse

  1. Maintain wipers: Windshield wipers are actually one the biggest contributors to windshield damage if not maintained properly. Good quality wipers are a necessity. Also, it helps to occasionally clean the actual blades with a rag dipped in wiper fluid. Low windshield wiper fluid, poor wipers, or even dirty wipers can easily contribute to scratches and damage to the surface of your windshield.
  2. Avoid the sun: Parking in direct sunlight is going to shorten the lifespan of your windshield. When possible, try to park in shaded cool places. If this isn’t an option, put up a windshield sun shade to protect your windows.
  3. Snow and ice:It is important to remove frost, snow, and ice as soon as possible. These elements greatly damage and weaken your windshield. Turn on your cars defroster and use a snow brush or ice scraper. Be gentle with the ice scraper as it too can damage the windshield.
  4. Slamming doors: It’s a bad habit that a lot of us do. When you a slam door, it sends intense vibrations through your windshields. Any small cracks or dings will slowly grow each time this happens.
  5. Repair chips or cracks immediately: Debris, rocks, or even pebbles can cause small dings or cracks in your windshield. Though they don’t seem like much now, it is imperative to get these fixed. If the problem is caught in time, these can be a simple inexpensive fix and a windshield replacement is not needed. If not these cracks and dings will grow, greatly weakening the strength of your windshield and putting you in a dangerous and expensive situation. It is advised to get regularly check ups for your windshield at any auto shop.
  6. Avoid glass cleaners with ammonia: This step is especially important if you have tinted windows. The ammonia can eat away at it. Ammonia based cleaners are also very dangerous to inhale. Occasionally wiping your windows down with vinegar or alcohol is sufficient. Use a cotton or micro-fiber towel for the wipe them down. They are very absorbent and aren’t going to leave streaks or dust particles to clean up after.

Additionally, the windshield serves as support for the roof. This is especially important the event of a rollover. If the windshield is improperly installed, the roof may collapse during a rollover. This could lead to further injuries for the passengers in the car, as they may get crushed by the force on the roof.

When your windshield is installed improperly, you may have a difficult time figuring out who is responsible, especially if you bought your car used. An incorrect installation could be a manufacturing defect, placing the blame on your automobile’s manufacturer. If your windshield was replaced at any time while you or someone else had the car, whoever installed it may be liable for the incorrect installation. Therefore, it is important to know about the history of your car so that you can pinpoint where the source of certain problems are coming from.

In Conclusion

So, can a cracked windshield collapse? Yes, a cracked windshield can ultimately get worn down and collapse if you ever are in an accident. That’s why it’s imperative to maintain your windshield properly and ensure that you’re taking all of the preventive measures to not have this happen. This article went over 6 tips that will help keep you safe and maintain your windshield.

Ever Wonder What Windshields Are Made Of?

You might love your car and appreciate its purpose, but there is a big chance you never stopped and looked at your windshield. If somebody would ask you “what is a windshield made of?” you’d say simply “it’s made of glass”. The see-through object in front of you car is not just a piece of glass. It is a safety object that protects you from wind, rain, dust, rocks, debris. If there was no windshield, particles of dust (especially where we live in Phoenix, Arizona) would get into your eyes and make you weep why no one ever invented the windshield. Beside this, if there was no windshield, you would be severely hurt in even minor accidents. Now that we made sure you understand the practical importance, let’s see how windshields became what they are today.

Windshield

History of the Windshields

As we have said, it is not “just glass”. Although glass has been used for over 7000 years, glass alone is not the best protection. First windshield was invented in 1904. First windshields were made of plain glass and this hasn’t shown to be good choice. Glass windshields were easy to shatter and therefore were not safe. Tempered glass was harder than regular and this was second choice of manufacturer. It was a better choice, but jet, not the best. Over the years numerous accidents have shown that this still is quite fragile and that windshield production needs improvement. This improvement came in shape of laminated glass. Windshields before laminated glass were fragile and this extra layer in between gives windshield the flexibility and is crucial for safety of the passengers.

Laminated Glass

Laminated safety glass is the best car industry could give us so far. Two layers of glass and one plastic layer of poly-vinyl butyral in between them are maximum of safety provided from where we stand. Maybe in ten years they will invent something more resistant, but for our century, this is the best we can get.

Why is three-layer constitution of windshield important? Not because of flexibility, but because of the fact that the windshield is literary holding the roof of the car. Stronger the windshield, less chances that roof will end up on the passenger seats. Having a stronger windshield also limits the amount of windshield chips that you will get throughout the vehicles life. Chad Alexander who owns Dealer Auto Glass AZ in Phoenix, Arizona, has said they have seen a huge decrease in windshield replacements in Phoenix because of these stronger windshield.

Glass Production

What is glass made of? Glass consists of soda ash (Na2 CO3), dolomite ((CaMg)(CO3)2), cullet, silica sand (SiO2) and limestone (CaCO3). Small quantities of potassium oxide and aluminum oxide are often added. This is an interesting process which includes “Float method” of making the windshield. Glass is made of water and the elements we mentioned before – silica sand, soda ash, dolomite, limestone and cullet. These are melted at extremely high temperatures and mixed with water. After the “float chamber” with molten layer, it is transported on rollers. Glass cools down gradually and is later cut using diamond tools, since diamond is the hardest rock mankind knows and edges of these cutters are very precise.

In later process, windshields are made of this glass and the special plastic layer we have mentioned above. They are shaped and come in many different sizes. They can be tinted and with special sensors. To find out more about the process of windshield making, visit Youtube.com and watch some of the great industrial videos on “ how its made” topics.