Are You More Likely To Replace Your Windshield In The Winter?

Posted on

Long, cold winter months can be hard on just about everyone and everything. Cold weather can be especially harsh on your car, and it's common to notice more problems as the temperatures plummet. While many people expect to face difficulties with their batteries in the winter, there's another issue you may worry about: your car's windshield.

But is it true that you're more likely to replace your windshield over the winter? The answer isn't straightforward, but it's important to understand how the cold weather may impact your glass and why necessary windshield replacements aren't something you should ignore.

How Winter Affects Your Windshield

Glass is an everyday material, but it's much more complex than most people realize. While it may appear completely solid at first, glass technically falls into a category known as amorphous solids. In other words, glass is chemically less rigid than other solids, allowing it to change shape more easily, especially when exposed to different temperatures.

Like many materials, glass expands when heated and contracts when it cools. During the winter, these temperature swings can be more pronounced, causing the glass to change shape in relatively imperceptible but very real ways. While this behavior doesn't cause problems with undamaged glass, it can cause small chips and cracks to expand.

Cold glass also becomes somewhat more brittle, making it more vulnerable to cracks and chips. While this effect isn't typically a major issue for automotive glass, it can sometimes mean that impacts in the winter are more likely to cause severe cracks instead of relatively minor chips. This damage may be severe enough to make a typical repair impossible.

Why You May Need to Replace Your Windshield in the Winter

Winter is unlikely to have any particularly adverse effects on glass in relatively good condition. In other words, it's not always true that you're more likely to need a windshield replacement when temperatures drop. However, just as with car batteries, cold temperatures may cause problems with glass that already has existing issues.

Winter can be difficult for your car if your glass is old or contains numerous unrepaired cracks and chips. The sudden temperature changes can and likely will cause these blemishes to expand suddenly and without warning, resulting in much larger damage that may make it difficult to see or even affect your vehicle's structural integrity in an accident.

If you know your windshield is in poor condition, it's worth considering a replacement before the cold winter temperatures set in. A professional automotive glass repair technician can evaluate your windshield and suggest the best course of action, ensuring that you eliminate the potential for an inconvenient, costly, and potentially dangerous winter windshield failure.