When you notice a crack in your windshield—whether from road debris or another incident—it will soon be apparent that any change in temperature is not your friend.

In fact, when temperatures change rapidly, especially across an already weakened area like a crack in your windshield, it can cause it to expand or fluctuate enough that the crack becomes more pronounced. This phenomenon is known as Thermal Shock, where a more profound defect occurs in an already vulnerable area of your vehicle due to a rapid temperature change.

What Is Thermal Shock?

Take this scenario, for instance. You have a small crack in your windshield, then take your vehicle for a spin through the car wash. Given the change in temperature from the wash, the windshield crack could potentially expand due to Thermal Shock. Just like you may see in a cracked road or sidewalk during the winter months, the effects of temperature on a windshield crack can be quite similar.

How to Take Precautions

So what can you do to prevent Thermal Shock? Take precautions immediately! If you notice a crack or chip in your windshield, we recommend you get them filled as soon as possible. The Thermal Shock, or stress, of a warm vehicle interior and cold exterior (or vice versa) can turn a small chip into a much larger, expensive crack.

If you can’t make it to a repair technician quickly, below are a few tips for boosting your chances of saving your windshield:

  1. Try to keep the temperatures of the interior and exterior of your vehicle balanced. IE. Turn off your A/C or heat and crack windows slightly. If you have a sun roof, open it.
  2. Leave your windows cracked and park the vehicle in the shade. Do not place a sun shade in your window as this can throw off the temperature balance.
  3. Avoid washing the vehicle, cleaning the area, and using washer fluid until the windshield can be properly repaired.
  4. Apply clear tape (packing tape, even scotch tape!) over the crack as soon as it appears.

The Bottom Line

Thermal Shock is almost always to blame for a small ding in your windshield turning into a sprawling crack. Follow the tips above and be sure to visit your nearest windshield repair as quickly as possible to keep your Alaskan vehicle looking its best!

See you at the wash!

Sudzy Salmon Car Wash
13120 Old Glenn Highway
Eagle River, Alaska
Ph: 907-622-SUDZ (7839)
[email protected]

First Class Experience with an Alaskan Touch