Verify: Can Hot Weather Crack Windshields?

Verify: Can Hot Weather Crack Windshields?

GREENSBORO, N.C. - You might have heard that extreme heat or cold can make your windshield crack.

What better way than a blow torch to see what extreme heat can do to your windshield? But before we test it out, who 2 Wants To Know talked with to verify this myth: Scott Harkey with Windshield Glass who has more than 20 years experience and Pat McCain with McCain Auto Glass – also with 20 years in the biz. Both of whom say business picks up when the temperatures change.

“very hot, very cold are glass shops friends,” Harkey said.

“Sometimes we’ll have customers call and say their car has been parked out in the parking lot and they come out from work and go: ‘It wasn’t cracked when I went in this morning.’ Typically that’s the heat,” McCain said.

Within 15 seconds of putting the blow torch on the glass, it cracks. Extreme. But summer heat could do the same thing.

“Correct! Excessive temperatures and glass don’t like each other,” Harkey said.

To understand why, you have to go down to the molecular level. Atoms heated up move faster than cool ones. So when one side of the glass gets hotter than the other, those atoms move faster ripping away from the cold ones causing the crack.

“It’s just part of nature,” Harkey said,

But it’s not all glass half empty, there are things you can do to protect your car. Make sure you get any small chips in your windshield filled in – because they can make the problem worse. And you want to keep the two sides of the glass about the same temperature – so for example – don’t pick the middle of a hot sunny day to go through a car wash with cold water.

“And that cold water hits it, it will cause it to pop in a heartbeat,” McCain said.

So sorry folks, we can’t shield you from this truth any longer: it’s verified, extreme temperatures can crack your windshield. 

To see more like this follow 2 Wants To Know's Ben Briscoe on social media:

Facebook: Ben Briscoe WFMY

Twitter: @WatchDogBen

Instagram: WatchDogBenBriscoe

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