Can a rear car window shatter in the cold?

14
Found 23rd FebEdited by:"artnada"
Went out to the car this morning, [the car is parked rear end toward a wall]. I found the rear window shattered. It's been real cold overnight, (-4). Can the cold cause the glass to spontaniously shatter?

There's absolutly NO disturbance of the innards of the car. i.e. Glove box, console box, or anything to point to a burglary. There is no brick, stone or any other implement to suggest someone broke it to break in. Anyway, it would be easier to break a side window, rather than the rear parked against a wall.

None of the other cars nearby were damaged.
Any car window experts here?

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14 Comments
Original Poster
Richard_Richard10 m ago

Worth a read, I would've said vandalism but it seems it's not …Worth a read, I would've said vandalism but it seems it's not uncommon.https://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/can-the-cold-cause-car-windows-to-shatter/


But if it were vandalism, they have to go to the rear of the car which was directly in front of a 6 ft wall with less than a foot gap between to car and wall. No other cars damaged, (fully exposed), even though they would have been much easier to do. There was even a car with it's rear window facing outward, 2 steps from mine.

I'm thinking spontanious shattering.
Is it possible that the window had a chip anywhere? I would imagine any defect would make the windscreen liable to shattering in extreme weather. The frost would also show if anyone had tried to get in.
Private hire plate....... due you take someone on a long 'shortcut'?

You say against a wall? Is it possible that someone conned on your car to jump the wall?
Original Poster
mrty14 m ago

Private hire plate....... due you take someone on a long 'shortcut'?You …Private hire plate....... due you take someone on a long 'shortcut'?You say against a wall? Is it possible that someone conned on your car to jump the wall?


You don't understand Private Hire rules, do you? No, I never.

It's against someone's garden, which is kind of protected. Red is where I usually park, rear end to the wall.

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Edited by: "artnada" 23rd Feb
There must be millions of cars in Alaska, parts of Canada, Scandinavia, Russia etc etc where the temperatures are regulary well below freezing. In fact they would probably consider -4° a mini heatwave, but I don't think that there is a branch of Autoglass on every corner in those areas.
artnada52 m ago

You don't understand Private Hire rules, do you? No, I never. It's …You don't understand Private Hire rules, do you? No, I never. It's against someone's garden, which is kind of protected. Red is where I usually park, rear end to the wall.[Image]


I do understand private hire rules - I was taxi driver befits I prised to bus then coach driving. Twas but a joke.. Looking at your parking it is unlikely that it had been climbed on then.
Pandamansays1 h, 48 m ago

There must be millions of cars in Alaska, parts of Canada, Scandinavia, …There must be millions of cars in Alaska, parts of Canada, Scandinavia, Russia etc etc where the temperatures are regulary well below freezing. In fact they would probably consider -4° a mini heatwave, but I don't think that there is a branch of Autoglass on every corner in those areas.


It's often the rate of temperature change that causes these sorts of issues rather than the absolute temperature.
Not sure if the temperature can cause it or not.

My back windscreen did the same in a sainsburys car park once but it wasn't particularly cold. Someone reported it to CS and they put a tannoy announcement for me to come to CS desk so i spoke to the lady who witnessed it, she said no one was near the car and no damage. It just started clicking then a big hole appeared in the middle and they rest of the glass slowly fell away.
Original Poster
paul100520 m ago

Not sure if the temperature can cause it or not. My back windscreen did …Not sure if the temperature can cause it or not. My back windscreen did the same in a sainsburys car park once but it wasn't particularly cold. Someone reported it to CS and they put a tannoy announcement for me to come to CS desk so i spoke to the lady who witnessed it, she said no one was near the car and no damage. It just started clicking then a big hole appeared in the middle and they rest of the glass slowly fell away.


Yeah it can happen in the Sun too. It happens to glass coffee tables and even Sun roofs on cars. It's due to exteme temperatures changes contracting and expanding the glass.

Edit: A collegue has suggested that maybe a car flung up a stone yesterday.

As I thought about it, it occured to me that indeed yesterday, I remember hearing a loud "stone" type sound from the rear of the car, as I was driving.

So, maybe, it caused a small chip in the widnow and the extreme overnight frost caused it to explode.
Edited by: "artnada" 23rd Feb
artnada1 h, 54 m ago

Yeah it can happen in the Sun too. It happens to glass coffee tables and …Yeah it can happen in the Sun too. It happens to glass coffee tables and even Sun roofs on cars. It's due to exteme temperatures changes contracting and expanding the glass.Edit: A collegue has suggested that maybe a car flung up a stone yesterday. As I thought about it, it occured to me that indeed yesterday, I remember hearing a loud "stone" type sound from the rear of the car, as I was driving. So, maybe, it caused a small chip in the widnow and the extreme overnight frost caused it to explode.


Sounds logical, Minor stress and cold temp etc. Might have had unnoticeable micro crack/s. Maybe even manufacturer defect etc..
Edited by: ".MUFC." 23rd Feb
EndlessWaves3 h, 37 m ago

It's often the rate of temperature change that causes these sorts of …It's often the rate of temperature change that causes these sorts of issues rather than the absolute temperature.


Yes, that would make sense.

I guess the OP's screen had some sort of defect which made it susceptible.
It is likely due to the rear windscreen wiper. The hole for it builds an inherent weakness into the glass. Then years of opening and closing the hatch twists the glass.
Finally when all the wrong things happen, the cold makes it pop.
Parking it back to the wall probably kept that but if the car a few degrees warmer. Then as the heat dropped, probably suddenly, it caused a shrinkage faster than it could tolerate.
If anything stops the glass expanding or contracting it will break, Also if half the glass is a lot colder then the other it will also break.

I would say that being against the wall was the issue.
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