Things to Know About Broken Vehicle Windows - Subaru Service Questions in Olympia, WA

A broken window or windshield in your car is never fun. Whether it's due to theft, an act of nature, or something else, finding a broken window can be stressful and upsetting. In addition, it's always something that needs to be taken care of immediately. At Hanson Subaru, we want to help you learn more about vital service issues like broken auto glass. Below, you'll find five important things to consider as you deal with a broken window or windshield.

Broken quarter glass

5. Different Windows May Have Different Replacement Costs

We sincerely hope that you're never in an emergency situation where you need to break a window. However, sometimes the unexpected happens, and it's best to be prepared. If a child or animal accidentally gets locked inside a hot car, you may need to act right away and break some glass. If this happens, it's a good idea to know which window is the best to break.

The front windshield is out of the question. It's made of laminated glass, where a layer of resin, vinyl, or polymer is sandwiched between two layers of glass. This makes windshields incredibly difficult to break, and you're likely to crack the outer glass layer without breaking through the inner layer. The rear windshield and the side windows are usually made of tempered glass, which is much easier to break. We wouldn't recommend breaking the rear windshield, since it often contains components like a defogger grid. This leaves the side windows and the quarter glass--those small, usually unmovable triangles of glass next to a window. If you need to break glass, avoid the quarter glass and go for a side window. Because it's not mass-produced like side windows are, quarter glass can often be more expensive to replace.

Of course, if you have to break a window in your car, it's important to have it repaired right away.

Multiple cracks radiating from an impact point on a windshield

4. It's Possible To Repair Chipped and Cracked Windshields . . . Sometimes

You're driving down the road, when suddenly a piece of gravel flies out of a dump truck ahead of you, putting a chip in your windshield. Frustrating though this is, there's a possibility that you won't need a windshield replacement. If a chip or crack in your windshield is small enough, it may be able to be repaired. This is a less expensive choice than replacement, but there are some caveats. Some chips and cracks will require a replacement--like if it's in your line of sight, or if the windshield has more than three chips and cracks. Moreover, you should have small cracks and chips repaired as soon as possible. If you continue to drive, especially in rainy Washington weather, the cracks may end up spreading, making a replacement necessary.

3. Failure To Replace Windows Can Cause Unexpected Consequences

You may have seen people driving down the road with masking tape, a trash bag, or even the side of a cardboard box covering up a broken side window. This is not a good idea, except as a very temporary fix to keep the elements out as you drive to the dealership. The immediate consequences are serious enough: you'll lose vital visibility, making it less safe to drive. But there are long-term consequences that can manifest, as well. When a side power window is broken, the regulator and other components will often remain undamaged, meaning that the window glass is the only thing you'll have to replace. But if you drive for long without window glass, rain may get into the electrical components and damage them, driving up the price of replacement. The water may even seep into the interior of the door, causing rust that can go undetected until it's bad enough that the whole door needs to be replaced.

Two technicians carry a windshield to a waiting car

2. Choosing OEM Parts Is Best

No matter which piece of auto glass you're replacing, OEM glass is the way to go. While you may find aftermarket parts that are cheaper, the windshields and windows are vital for your safety--and safety is one thing where it's never a good idea to cheap out. While aftermarket glass most likely meets the minimum DOT standards, OEM Subaru glass exceeds them. It lives up to the high standards set by Subaru. This means that you'll get the same fit, tint, and thickness with an OEM windshield, which you may not get in the aftermarket. The quality that comes from OEM parts is well worth any extra cost.

1. Find a Reputable Installer

In addition to using OEM glass, it's important to have it installed by people who know what they're doing. An improperly installed windshield may pop out of place during an accident, harming the occupants of the vehicle. Cut-rate glass installation places may make simple mistakes, like installing the new glass without gloves. This can keep the adhesives from bonding as they should. What's more, cheap auto glass replacement places may be using lower-quality adhesives that don't hold as well. And, if a glass replacement place says you can drive off right after installation, steer clear! To complete the bonding process, your vehicle will need to sit for some time.

At Hanson Subaru, we'll be glad to help you find a reputable glass replacement specialist who can make sure that your car is treated right.

Hanson Subaru

2300 Carriage Loop SW
Directions Olympia, WA 98502

  • Call or Text Sales: 360 943 2120
  • Service: (360)943-8531
  • Parts: (360)943-2120