Most people have had to replace their car’s windshield at some point in time. You may have had an experience of having to replace a side window as well, but much less common is damage to the rear window. Road debris can’t typically strike your rear window while driving and cause the same type of damage as what can happen to your front windshield. However, the rear window is an integral part of the car’s design and is expected to maintain its purpose when you’re driving down the road.
Automotive Rear Window Construction
Unlike the laminated glass used for the windshield, the rear window is made of tempered glass. What this means is the window won’t typically chip or crack like the front windshield may, but will shatter while remaining in place when it receives the type of hard hit that would only slightly damage the laminated front windshield. The tempered glass does fill particular safety functions for the passengers, but simply isn’t designed to endure the stresses which affect the windshield.
The Function and Safety Aspects of a Rear Window
The function of the rear window is to provide a quiet ride without wind noise. In some cases, depending on the overall car design, the rear window may further hold a defrost system inside the glass to assure a clear line of sight behind the car. In the case of an accident, the tempered glass will shatter and usually stay in place, or in a worst case scenario if physically knocked out of place will fall out in tiny pieces that have little chance of causing physical harm to the passengers inside the vehicle.
The Options Available when the Window is Damaged
Because the tempered glass is designed to shatter for safety, it is rare a rear window can be repaired. A further complication is the defrost system which is not repairable under ordinary circumstances once damaged. Any window tint may be an option or part of the car’s design and therefore may also be required to remain intact. Fortunately, for an experienced professional armed with the proper knowledge and tools, a replacement window is not a terribly complicated job. It does however require additional time for adhesive to fully dry and cure before driving is recommended, about two or three days is the typical recommendation.
Rear windows are important to the function of your car and need to be repaired if possible or replaced as needed after suffering damage. Like any other automotive repair, it may seem like a hassle or interruption to your life to have to get it done, but remember the safety of you and your family depends on your car and is worth more than any price or minor inconvenience.