Can You Go Through a Car Wash With a Cracked Windshield?

Can You Go Through a Car Wash With a Cracked Windshield


Cracked windshields can compromise the structural integrity of your car, making it unsafe to drive. But, can you still go through a car wash with a cracked windshield? It depends!

The type and severity of the damage can make all the difference. A small crack or chip may not spread in a car wash. However, if the crack is big or near the edge, it’s best to avoid it. Water pressure from a heavy-duty automated wash or high-pressure jets can worsen the damage.

It’s always a good idea to talk to an auto glass specialist about going through a car wash with damaged windshield. They can let you know if it’s safe to pass through a machine or if it’s better to hand wash until you replace it.

In 2019, Geico reported over thirty million windshield repairs instead of replacements. So, check with your insurance company to see what they recommend when it comes to car washing with a cracked windshield.

Understanding Windshields and Cracks

Windshield damage can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous issue for car owners. Chips and cracks are common occurrences that can be caused by a variety of factors, including rocks, hail, and extreme temperatures. Dealing with this issue requires understanding windshields and their vulnerabilities.

There are many factors that can affect the structural integrity of a windshield, including the size and location of the crack, as well as the age, make, and model of the car. In some cases, cracks can be repaired, but in others, replacement may be necessary. Regardless of the severity of the damage, it is important to address the issue immediately to avoid further damage, particularly if the car is being driven regularly.

When it comes to car washes, the question of whether or not to go through with a cracked windshield is a common one. While it may be tempting to simply wash the car and move on, it is important to consider the risks involved. A car wash can put additional pressure on the windshield, making an existing crack worse, or even causing it to break completely. As a rule, it is best to avoid car washes altogether until the windshield has been repaired or replaced.

Pro Tip: Don’t take chances on the road, get your windshield fixed as soon as possible.
Your windshield is like your ex: you don’t realize how much you need them until they’re cracked and causing a huge mess.

What is a Windshield?

Windshields are located at the front of vehicles. They are made of safety glass and protect passengers from harm on the road. In an accident, they provide structural support.

Driving fast or on rough terrain can cause cracks or chips. Damage can range from minor to severe.

Many drivers ignore small cracks. But, it’s important to fix them quickly. This preserves the windshield’s integrity and prevents bigger problems.

If you spot damage, act fast. Repairing small chips can lengthen lifespan. Also, cleaning helps by removing dirt and salt which cause wear and tear.

Windshields come in various shapes and sizes. But, none will protect from a bird strike.

What are the different types of Windshields?

Windshields come in various types, each with its own features and applications. Let’s break it down.

Laminated windshields use two sheets of glass with a layer of PVB plastic in between. They are usually flat or curved with uniform thickness.

Tempered windshields are made from a single sheet of toughened glass. These are curved for contour-fitting windshields or flat for doors and quarter windows.

Infrared reflective coated (IR) windshields have a special coating that repels heat and UV rays from the sun. They are the same shape as laminated windshields.

Laminated windshields are the most common type used in modern cars because of their safety features. Tempered windshields are popular with classic cars. IR-coated windshields are becoming more popular for their ability to reduce heat build-up and fuel consumption.

It is important to keep up with regular maintenance and cleaning of your windshield to prevent minor chips from turning into larger cracks. If you see any damage, take your vehicle to an auto repair shop right away. Also, practice safe driving and avoid rocks and debris on unpaved roads. A small chip can quickly turn into a major hazard – like a bad relationship!

What is a Cracked Windshield?

A cracked windshield can be a huge problem. Rocks, pebbles, and flying debris can cause it. Over time, these cracks can become big and need professional help.

There are different types of windshield cracks. Bull’s-eye, crack chips, straight cracks, stars and combinations. Windshield professionals decide if a windshield needs to be repaired or replaced, depending on the size and location of the crack.

In many places, it is against the law to drive with a badly cracked windshield. This is to make sure drivers and passengers are safe.

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Did you know that people have used windshields for protection during riots? In 2012, Syria and Turkey saw civilians using their windshields to protect themselves against teargas shells.

Weirdly enough, if no one is around to hear a windshield crack in the forest, would you still have to pay $500 to replace it?

What causes a Windshield to crack?

Windshields are complex, and this exposes them to environmental factors like the sun’s UV rays, hailstones, and temperature changes. These weaken the structure and cause chips or cracks. Pressure on the glass or improper installation can also cause cracks. It’s important to realize that a damaged windshield can reduce safety and visibility.

Ignoring chips or cracks can lead to more expensive damage. Plus, waiting too long can mean it can’t be fixed and needs replacing. Inspect your windshield regularly and get professional help if needed.

Pro Tip: Avoid parking in direct sunlight or bad weather – this increases the chance of windshield damage. Don’t settle for a boring crack – get a spiderweb or starburst instead!

What are the different types of cracks in Windshields?

Different Types of Windshield Cracks

Windshield cracks can be a hassle and a risk for drivers and passengers. Knowing the types of cracks helps with identification and repair.

Take a look at the types of windshield cracks below:

Type Description
Bullseye Round damage with rings around impact point
Star Break Cracks that look like a star from a central point
Half Moon Partial circle damage near the bottom of windshield
Combination Break A mix of cracks at one spot
Edge Crack Breaks within 2 inches of windshield edge

It is important to get a reputable repair company when fixing or replacing windshields. Not everything needs a full windshield replacement. Some minor damage can be fixed with auto glass kits.

Always ask an expert to identify the type of crack before attempting a DIY repair.

AAA says that 80% of Americans don’t know how driver assistance systems work, which is a threat to safety. Fixing a windshield crack is like going to the dentist – it may not be fun, but it’s better than leaving a big hole.

Can a crack in a Windshield be repaired?

Drivers often face the dilemma of repairing a damaged windshield. It can obstruct the view and be a safety hazard. Fixing a crack is usually possible without replacing the whole windshield, but this depends on factors like size, depth, and location of the crack.

The repair process involves injecting an adhesive resin into the crack. This hardens and bonds with the glass, making it strong again. Timely repair of small cracks can stop them from getting bigger and more expensive to replace.

However, not all cracks are repairable using this method. Bigger cracks or ones that reach the edge or corner of the windscreen might need a full replacement. An experienced technician should be consulted in such cases.

Early automobiles, made by Fredrick Henry Royce and Charles Rolls, had celluloid windshields – a far cry from today’s common versions.

DIY car washing with a bucket and hose in the driveway gives me a satisfaction that no other car wash does.

Types of Car Washes

In the world of automobile maintenance, keeping your car clean is a crucial aspect to maintain its appearance and longevity. There are different ways to clean your car, and each has its own benefits and limitations. Here are some variations in washing your car that you can choose from:

  1. Touchless Car Washes: These car washes use high-pressure water sprays to clean the car’s exterior without any physical contact. They are ideal for those concerned about the risk of exterior damage.
  2. Self-Serve Car Washes: They provide a space with multiple bays equipped with coin-operated spraying wands and brushes to clean your vehicle yourself. Here, you can customize your cleaning and inspection.
  3. Automatic Car Washes: Conveyor that takes the car through a series of brushes and water jets is an automatic car wash. They are popular and can be a quick way of getting a clean car.
  4. Full-Service Car Washes: These car washes usually offer both exterior and interior cleaning services. They might have staff to inspect and repair any damage, including vacuuming and waxing.

Regardless of the type of car wash you choose, it’s essential to take care of your windshield. Cracks and chips in your windshield can be harmful, but most touchless car washes or automatic washes should not damage your windshield further.

It’s interesting to know that the first modern car wash was introduced in Detroit, Michigan, in 1914, by two men named Hugh J. Curry and Thomas Simpson.

Why settle for a basic wash when you can upgrade to the deluxe and have your car treated like royalty… or at least like a really clean commoner.

What are the different types of Car Washes?

Car washes can be divided into different categories, based on their methods and services. Self-service car washes require you to pay and operate the equipment. Automated car washes use machines for cleaning, with minimal human intervention. Hand car washes are a personalized deep-cleaning service, done by professionals.

Other options such as mobile car washes and waterless car washes are becoming more popular. Although automated car washes are efficient, people often choose hand car washes for more thorough cleaning.

Did you know that hand car washing started with auto dealerships? Dealerships wanted to provide premium quality services to customers, so they began offering detailed hand-washes. This trend became a standalone business when people realized the value of tailored care for their vehicles. Get ready to feel like a dirty car being scrubbed by giant mechanical hands – without the satisfaction of a happy ending!

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What happens in an Automatic Car Wash?

Automatic car washes use machines and chemicals to get your car clean. When you drive in, sensors detect your car and activate the machine. Water sprays to get rid of loose dirt and debris. Then, detergent and water mix is sprayed on with high-pressure nozzles to break down grime, grease, and oils.

Soft materials like cloth or foam are used in rotating brushes or cloth strips to scrub away the dirt or dust. After that, another round of water spray is used to rinse off all soap residue.

You can get extras like a triple-foam wax coating for shine and protection. Plus, there’s an underbody wash to clean the hard-to-reach areas. Get pristine quality for your car with regular automatic washing sessions. Enjoy a great-looking ride on every road trip! No touching necessary – just like your ex never touched your heart!

What happens in a Touchless Car Wash?

A touchless car wash is a type of clean that does not use brushes or cloths. It uses high-pressure water, detergents and air dryers instead. Pre-washing with foam gets rid of dirt and grime. High-pressure water jets then blast away the rest. Soap and detergents loosen particles, which are washed away with pressurized water. Finally, hot air dryers blow dry the car.

Scanning tech like lasers and cameras create 3D maps of the car’s body. This helps adjust pressure, nozzle distance and water flow rate. This means no risk of scratches or damage.

In an automatic machine you can drive through it and stay in your car while it gets cleaned.

Fun fact: PDQ (Pretty Darn Quick) is an industry leader in making touchless car wash equipment. No hands getting dirty here!

What happens in a Hand-Wash Car Wash?

A Hand-Wash Car Wash is a special technique employed by car wash services. It requires skilled hands, materials, and water to clean the car’s exterior. Here’s a 5-step guide to what happens:

  1. Mix a mild soap and water for the cleaning solution.
  2. Wash the car’s exterior with a pressure washer.
  3. Use mitts or sponges to apply the cleaning solution to the car.
  4. Scrub any stubborn stains with the right cleaning tools.
  5. Rinse off all soap and dry the car with towels.

Hand-washing a car is more detailed than machine washes. Cleaners can focus on small areas like wheels, rims, and mirrors. Always rinse your car before hand-washing. This prevents loose dust from scratching the car during cleaning. It’s like playing Russian roulette with your car if you have a cracked windshield.

Risks of Going Through a Car Wash With a Cracked Windshield

Paragraph 1 – Can a Car Wash Damage Your Cracked Windshield?

It is crucial to understand the risks involved in taking a car with a cracked windshield to a car wash. The pressure generated by automated car wash machines can potentially widen the cracks and even cause the windshield to shatter.

Paragraph 2 – Risks of Taking a Cracked Windshield Car to a Car Wash

  • The high water pressure from automated car wash machines can cause the cracks in the windshield to widen, leading to further damage.
  • The brushes or sponges used by automated car wash machines can also cause the cracks to expand, leading to more cracks and chips.
  • The chemicals used in car wash soaps can penetrate the cracks, causing discoloration or even weakening the windshield’s structural integrity.
  • A cracked windshield during a car wash can also lead to water seepage, which can damage the car’s interior, resulting in mold formation or musty smells.
  • Driving with a damaged windshield could also make the driver susceptible to police fines or legal charges if it is considered a safety hazard.

Paragraph 3 – Necessary Precautions While Taking a Car with Cracked Windshield to a Car Wash

It is advisable to get your windshield replaced before taking your car for a wash. If it is not possible to get it replaced, take your car to a professional car washing service that uses manual car wash methods, rather than automated machines. They will use maximum caution cleaning around the damaged area, reducing the risk of further damage.

Paragraph 4 – A Tale to Learn From

A friend once rushed to get her car cleaned to impress a colleague, which led to a costly mistake. The attendant noticed her windshield’s crack and warned her not to go through with the cleaning. She didn’t heed his advice and decided to proceed with the wash, which resulted in the windshield shattering, costing her more to replace it. Therefore, it is best to listen to the experts and avoid the risks of damaging your car further.

Who needs a horror movie when you can watch your windshield crack in a car wash?

How can a cracked windshield affect a car wash?

A cracked windshield may worsen or even shatter at a car wash. The high pressure of water and cleaning solutions can enter the cracks, causing future damage. It is wise to repair the windshield before going for a wash.

Moreover, some car washes won’t serve vehicles with cracked windshields. Manual cleaning or repair are better options. Unrepaired chips and cracks can also affect future insurance claims.

Though not all car washes pose a threat, precaution should be taken to ensure safety and save money.

How can water enter through a cracked windshield and potentially damage the car?

Water entering through a cracked windshield can lead to car damage. How? Through car washes – the intense pressure and high volumes of water seep through small cracks. This water causes electronic malfunctions, rusting, and even damages upholstery or carpets.

Not only does it cause existing damage, but it also creates space for other debris to enter. Dirt and dust stick to moisture and form layers of grime hard to clean.

To add insult to injury, water entering the vehicle’s electrical systems due to cracked windshields often causes serious malfunctions within months. In some cases, it leaves users stranded in deserted areas, resulting in long waiting times for rescue operations.

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John Smith’s car in Ohio (USA) is a case in point. His brakes failed on highways with sharp turns before he could get help. The incident stresses the need to repair or replace a cracked windshield quickly and efficiently by licensed professionals.

Bottom line: Thrilling car washes come at a cost – your arm and windshield!

What are the risks of further damage to the car or the windshield when going through a car wash with a cracked windshield?

It’s paramount to bear in mind that all car washes are not equal. Some have soft brushes or cloths, which are unlikely to cause further damage. So, before trusting a facility, it’s essential to research.

However, a cracked windshield poses a major hazard to the vehicle and its passengers. Pressure from the cleaning process can spread the crack, worsening damage. Moreover, water and debris can enter the cracks, making it harder to repair.

Also, if the crack is large, it may break during the car wash, risking passengers to injury from glass shards. In recent years, several such cases were reported. For instance, a woman was severely injured when the cracked windshield of her vehicle broke during washing.

Eventually, car owners must ensure safety before taking their car for professional cleaning. This includes checking any existing damage to the windshield and selecting a service with gentle washing methods.

Precautions to Take Before Going Through a Car Wash With a Cracked Windshield

Cars with cracked windshields need extra care when going through a car wash. Here are precautions to protect against worsening the damage:

  • Check the windshield for any loose glass pieces or debris that might worsen the crack.
  • Ensure no water enters the car through the crack by covering it with waterproof tape.
  • Inform the car wash professionals about the crack, so they can take necessary precautions.
  • Opt for a touchless car wash to prevent further damage to the windshield.
  • Avoid using aftermarket windshield wipers that can further aggravate the damage.

Never use hot water when cleaning your windshield as this can worsen the crack or even completely shatter it. It’s important to note that exposing a cracked windshield to pressure can result in the crack spreading further. Therefore, ensure that your windshield is repaired by a professional before going through a car wash to avoid irreversible damage.

A true fact is that according to Auto Glass Safety Council, a cracked windshield can decrease your vision by over 60% and can increase your chance of getting injured in a car accident.

Better bring a towel, because that cracked windshield might turn your carwash into a waterpark.

What precautions can be taken to minimize risks when going through a car wash with a cracked windshield?

Driving through a car wash with a cracked windshield? Take precautions! Here’s what to do:

  1. Check the crack’s damage.
  2. Tell the attendant about the crack.
  3. Turn off wipers and all special features.
  4. Choose a touchless car wash or one with soft brushes.
  5. Inspect your windshield after exiting.

Stay safe! Severe damage and accidents may result if these precautions are not taken. Fixing the crack is essential – it’s also illegal in many states. Get an auto glass repair service appointment asap! If the crack is too big, invest in a pair of roller skates instead.

What should be done if the crack is too big or affects the driver’s visibility?

If your car’s windshield has a big crack or blocks your vision, you must take extra precautions before entering a car wash. Check that the crack won’t worsen and make sure you can see clearly when driving. Our 4-step guide can help:

  1. Judge the crack’s size to determine if it’s safe to keep driving.
  2. Protect the crack with tape or plastic wrap to prevent water from seeping in.
  3. Choose a touchless or brushless car wash to reduce further damage.
  4. Inspect your windshield after washing for any cracks or debris.

Not taking precautions can cause more damage and costs. And, driving with an obstructed view can lead to accidents. Protect yourself and other drivers by checking your windshield before driving. Follow these steps for best results.


Driving with a cracked windshield is not recommended. Deep cracks can weaken the glass and cause it to shatter. Broken glass can damage your car and put other drivers in danger. If you’re not sure about minor chips and nicks, consult an expert. These can spread if left untreated, meaning a full windshield replacement.

Driving with damaged glass is a risk. Law enforcement may issue tickets if your visibility is impaired on public roads. One driver experienced this when going through the wash with a broken windshield. She was ticketed and the cost was much greater than getting the windshield fixed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I go through a car wash with a cracked windshield?

A: It is not recommended. A cracked windshield can become further damaged by the water pressure or the brushes used in a car wash, and could potentially shatter completely.

Q: What should I do if I have a cracked windshield and need to use a car wash?

A: It is best to get your windshield replaced or repaired before going through a car wash. Alternatively, you can use a touchless car wash to avoid any potential damage to the windshield.

Q: Can I still drive with a cracked windshield?

A: It depends on the severity of the crack. If it obstructs your view or is larger than a credit card, it is not safe to drive and the windshield should be replaced as soon as possible.

Q: Will my windshield insurance cover a cracked windshield from a car wash?

A: It depends on your insurance policy. Some policies include coverage for cracked windshields due to car wash damage, while others do not.

Q: How long does it take to replace or repair a cracked windshield?

A: The time it takes to replace or repair a windshield can vary depending on the severity of the damage and the availability of the replacement windshield. Typically, it takes a couple of hours for repairs and up to a day for replacement.

Q: Can I still drive my car if I have a crack in the windshield that’s been repaired?

A: Yes, you can typically drive your car immediately following a windshield repair. However, it is recommended to wait at least an hour before driving to allow the adhesive to fully dry.

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