So, you’re driving along on the road, and all of a sudden you see it: a crack or chip right on your vehicle’s front windshield. How did that get there? Sometimes the cause of a cracked windshield is obvious. For example, maybe you saw a large pebble fly up and hit the windshield while pushing 80 on the highway. Other times, your windshield may seem like it cracked for no apparent reason. To get to the bottom of what caused your mysterious windshield damage, take a look at these common causes of cracked car windshields.
Extreme Temperature Fluctuations
Substantial changes in temperature are some of the most common invisible causes of cracked car windshields. In hot temperatures, glass expands, while in cold temperatures, glass contracts. On a windshield, the glass around the edges generally heats up faster than the center, which will cause expansions and extractions to occur at different rates.
When a windshield is exposed to sudden and significant temperature changes, the differing expansion and contraction rates of the glass may cause it to crack. Even using a car’s defroster or heater when outdoor temperatures are extremely low may cause a crack in the windshield to form.
Changes in Pressure
Changes in pressure may also cause a windshield to crack. When the pressure placed on a windshield gets too great, stress cracks can start to form in the glass. Pressure changes may be brought on by strong winds, driving at extremely high speeds, or placing heavy objects on or against the windshield.
Another common cause of cracked car windshields is improper installation. While installation standards for vehicle windshields are extremely high, there are some cases where a mistake may have occurred, and a windshield wasn’t installed correctly. In such a case, the windshield may become loose, which will cause it to vibrate in the frame when driving at high speeds. Such vibration may put excess stress on the glass and cause cracks to form over time.
Regardless of the cause, driving with a cracked windshield is extremely dangerous, as the crack will reduce your car’s structural support and may impede visibility. Because a cracked car windshield can pose a serious safety threat, make sure to hire a qualified auto glass replacement company to fix the damage as soon as possible.