Auto glass seems to crack more often in the winter months. This is largely due to the ice, rock salt, and other types of debris that can get kicked up by tires when driving on snowy or icy roads. The weather itself can also help contribute to windshield damage. Understanding how winter’s colder temperatures affect auto glass can help you take better care of your vehicle’s windows throughout the season. 

How Does Cold Weather Affect Auto Glass?

While auto glass is treated to be more durable, it isn’t indestructible. As the temperature drops, windshield glass will contract and become more concave, putting more stress on the glass. While this process isn’t detectable to the eye, it makes the glass more easily damaged by a stray stone or sharp piece of ice.

Auto GlassCold weather’s effects on your vehicle’s windshield are more pronounced if the glass is already cracked. As the shape of the windshield changes, the stress placed on the glass will cause the crack to spread and worsen. This is especially likely when the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Can You Avoid Getting a Cracked Windshield in Wintry Weather? 

Once your windshield cracks, the only lasting solution is to get it serviced by an auto glass repair technician. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the chances that your windshield will crack in the harsh winter weather.

  • Avoid drastic temperature changes: While some may recommend dumping hot water on your windshield to eliminate the effects of freezing weather, the drastic temperature change is more likely to weaken your windshield. It’s better to run the vehicle’s defroster and heat the windshield more gradually.
  • Avoid using metal products to chip away at the ice: Some people use knives and metal spatulas to get rid of ice, but this can cause you to chip the glass. A high-quality plastic scraper and a liquid de-icer can work just as well.
  • Clear debris from the windshield: If you’re feeling lazy, you might be tempted to use your windshield wipers to clear clumps of snow from the windshield. However, if a pebble or other bit of debris is hidden in the snow, the wiper blade may drag that debris across the glass. This can cause scratches, chips, or cracks to develop. Instead, remove the snow and debris by hand first.



If your auto glass is damaged, take your vehicle to Hilltop Auto Glass. They have stores in Apollo, Kittanning, and Natrona Heights, PA to service your vehicles and help you keep your glass in good condition. Regardless of whether your auto glass needs to be replaced or simply repaired, they can fix whatever issue you’re facing. To learn more about the services they provide, visit their website or call (724) 567-7441, or toll free at 800-544.1713.