Just as any ordinary day, you go out to your car to head out to work, but something stops you. Scattered across the ground is a pile of shattered remnants of glass that used to be your car’s window. Whether the window was broken from the kid next door practicing their best baseball pitching skills, the wind from a storm blew a tree right into your car’s window, or by a break-in, these unfortunate events will leave you picking up the pieces. What are your next steps? You’ll need to know how to temporarily fix a broken car window while you wait to get it permanently repaired.
A broken car window is something that needs immediate attention. If you wait too long to repair the window, if even just temporarily, in just a few hours a simple problem might grow into something unbearable. Pests or rainwater can enter your vehicle causing hundreds or thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. If it’s apparent that your broken window is a result of theft, follow your insurance’s proper protocol on what to do if your car is broken into, before attempting to clean or repair the area. Then, follow our guide on how to fix a broken car window:
The first thing you’ll need to do is clean up as much of the broken glass as you can. Take extreme caution when cleaning the area, be sure to wear eye protection, thick gloves, and close-toed shoes to protect your eyes, hands, and feet.
How to Clean Up Broken Car Window Glass
- Beginning with any large shards, begin picking up pieces of glass from the seats and floorboards and disposing of them properly.
- Once the larger pieces have been removed, gently break away any remaining glass attached to the car’s window.
- Using a shop vacuum, vacuum up any smaller pieces of glass, especially along the window frame, down into the seal, as well as the seats, floor, and areas in between. Be sure to sweep up any glass that may have fallen on the ground as well.
Temporary Window Glass Repair
- Wipe down the window seals and frame well with a soft, damp cloth, making sure no dirt or dust is left behind. You’ll want this area as clean as possible to create a good seal.
- Using a garbage bag and clear packing tape, seal the window. Begin your placement from inside the vehicle. Hold the garbage bag over the hole in the window and pull tightly. Tape the bag to the window frame on either side, leaving no gaps. For added security, add a second layer of tape around the window frame to make sure it stays on.
- Once you’re sure the bag is on securely and is nice and taut, test the area on the outside of the car by tapping on the plastic. If there is any sign of sagging, you will have to reapply the bag and tape.
Don’t wait too long to have the glass repaired on your vehicle. Not only does it make driving more difficult to see out of, in some states, driving with a broken window is illegal and may earn you a ticket. The average cost for window replacement can range between $250 – $500, however, the cost can vary based on the make and model of your vehicle as well as the severity of the damage.
How Is a Car Window Replaced?
In these circumstances, you’re better off leaving this job to the professionals. You can trust that a certified glass expert will purchase the correct glass for your vehicle and prepare the vehicle properly. The steps taken for repair include:
- Removing any armrests, handles, or any other obstructions on the door.
- Removing the door panel.
- The door panel, once loose, will lift up and away from the door. For electric windows, the plug to the motor and regulator will need to be disconnected.
- Removal of weather stripping.
- The glass will then be lowered through the slit in the doorframe and gently put it into place.
- Hardware for power windows will be reconnected.
- Door panel will be put back on and tightened into place.
- Armrests, handles, or other items will be reattached and screwed back in.
With any luck, you won’t need to replace a window on your car but if a window ever breaks on your vehicle, you’ll have the confidence of knowing what to do.