Can Your Windshield Crack From Cold?

Here we answer the question “Can Your Windshield Crack From Cold?”

The short answer: Yes, but… Yes your windshield can crack from the cold weather/temperature, but it must already be damaged.

The long answer and the where, what, when, how, why…

Can A Car “Window” Crack From Freezing Cold Weather?

We’re guessing you’re wondering not only “can a car window crack from freezing cold weather,” but also how does the cold cause the glass to break. If you’re referring to tempered glass (door glass, side windows) we’ll cover that in another post, this is specific to windshields breaking from freezing temps. Below we’ll answer that in as many ways and as much detail to be helpful to everyone. If you have any further questions please sign in and comment below to create a conversation.


Cold weather can cause your windshield to crack anywhere in the continental US. If you’re trying to keep your windshield from breaking due to cold weather you can contact your local Mobile Glass office for windshield chip repair below:


Cold=Glass Breaks. Not only will cold weather cause your windshield to break, but any temperature change can affect glass if the glass is cracked, chipped or fractured in any way.

Windshields free of cracks or fractures WILL NOT break from extreme cold weather or even a rapid change in temperature.



1. Winter. Cold weather is (of course) almost always during the winter months; December-February.
2. Fall, Spring and even Summer. Since rapid temperature change is a bigger factor than just extreme cold, surprise cold fronts that cause temps to drop 30+ degrees in less than hour increase the risk of glass breaking due to cold temps.
3. A/C during hot weather. It must be mentioned that cold a/c blowing across a hot windshield can cause it to crack. However, if you are looking for information more specific to cold like the a/c in the summer please read our blog “Can A Windshield Shatter From Heat?” where we cover both hot weather and a/c.


Defroster Cracked Windshield! The biggest culprit of windshield’s cracking from cold is the defroster.


1. Cracks. Windshields will only crack from cold weather if cracked or fractured. You may not have noticed it, but if your windshield glass cracks from the cold it is because there was already a crack in it.
2. Chips. Some damage might be so slight you don’t consider it “cracked.” However, windshield chips can spread from cold weather. Inside tiny chips are the lines of cracks that haven’t yet spread and can be invisible to the naked eye.


1. Science. As the temperature drops our windshield glass contracts or gets smaller. This contraction or shrinking is uniform if the glass is new. However, if there is a crack each side will contract away from the other. This contraction from each side of the glass crack can cause the crack to spread or “grow.” Small chips or tiny cracks that have gone unnoticed may look much more distinct and even spread many inches, feet even, due to the cold weather. (I am also aware of the affect of cold on crystals with regard to rigidity, but I figure let’s not go too far here)
2. The Defroster did it. When you get into your cold car the first thing you do is turn on the heat. If the windshield is covered in ice we set the heater to “defrost” which blows hot air across the glass and thus defrosts the ice. Maybe you don’t turn on your heat and think you’re avoiding a potential windshield crack from spreading -not so fast!

Many windshields today are fully heated or have heated wiper park which will automatically turn on tiny wires built into the windshield glass itself.
This causes rapid temperature increase which will cause the windshield glass to expand. As each side expands toward the other the alignment and pressure can cause the crack to expand, spread or grow.
You might have already been unlucky enough to witness a windshield crack from the cold firsthand as it can happen in seconds.


How To Prevent A Windshield From Cracking In The Winter

So how can you prevent a windshield from cracking in the winter?

To keep your windshield from cracking in cold weather you should have your windshield crack repaired.


Windshield repair will keep a windshield from cracking. By filling the damaged area with extremely strong resin -liquid glass if you will- your crack will not grow with extreme cold weather. The winter weather is no match for a windshield chip that has already been repaired.

Mobile Glass offers windshield repair in most areas.


Find out more by following the links on this page and again please sign in and comment and we’ll answer any and all question related to auto glass.


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