Can You Wash Your Car if Your Windshield is Cracked?


Washing your car with a cracked windshield … although it seems like an initial “no” there are a few things to consider. Yes, technically you can physically wash your vehicle with a crack or chip in your windshield, but it might not be in your best interest. Why? – It’s simple, if too much pressure is applied to the glass it could allow the crack to spread, leaving you with a much bigger problem on your hands. And getting water in a small break could preclude it from being repaired and require a replacement.

Don’t Wait – Act Fast to Replace Your Glass

As always when you notice a problem with your vehicle, especially with its glass, you should act quickly and get it repaired as soon as possible. Glass.com can advise you on local businesses that can repair or replace your windshield if it is damaged.car-windshield-smashed

Know Your Glass

Windshield glass isn’t like most glass you’d find around your home or even on other parts of your vehicle. This is because it’s made differently; windshield glass is actually laminated glass. Laminated glass has a thin layer of plastic that bonds two layers of glass, which allows additional protection if it were to be obstructed by road debris or simply struck by a heavy object. The important thing to note is that this glass requires a higher level of force to break. The chances of injuries are minimized because laminated glass tends to stay bonded to the interlayer. Doors and many windows made from this type typically do not shatter as easily.

Tempered glass is more commonly found in places like your shower. It too is a stronger glass, according to glass professionals. This can be attributed to the way it is manufactured.

The Carwash and Its Risks to Auto Glass

If you want to take a walk on the wild side and go through a carwash with a crack in your windshield chances are you won’t be the first or only person doing so. Many people decide to do so and do not notice any additional damages to their vehicle’s windshield upon completion, but note the risk of applying additional pressure to a crack.windshield-chip

According to some carwash employees, when you get a crack on your windshield, the chances are that the crack is only on one layer of glass. So, when your car goes through the carwash the water and soap would most likely not get through the inner layer of glass.

Risks of Washing Your Car with a Cracked Windshield

If your windshield has a crack – small or large – you run the risk of it making it larger by going through a car wash. It is also important to note that hundreds of vehicles can go through automated carwashes daily, meaning there is a high possibility of coming in contact with small rocks that hide between the brushes and bristles used to clean the exterior of your vehicle. Think about it – if your windshield already has a crack in it would you really want to run the risk of having small rocks run across it? Of course not.

If the crack is large enough to run across a large area of your windshield it may impact your visibility and your car would no longer be safe to drive. In this event you should not risk going to a carwash. Instead you should reach out to Glass.com to work with a local auto glass repair and replacement shop so you can drive safely.

If you decide to wash your car with your windshield cracked, although it is not recommended, it is best you do it by hand to avoid putting too much added pressure against the windshield.

Time to Decide

Now that you’ve finished this article, hopefully you’ve learned some of the risks associated with washing your car if your windshield is cracked. Most experts would advise you to have your windshield repaired or replaced before your vehicle’s next soapy encounter.

If you decide to wash your vehicle, it is better if you wash it by hand versus going to your local carwash. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Glass.com if you have additional questions before you start washing your car.

Glass.com attempts to provide accurate information but cannot be held liable for any information provided or omitted.  You should always work with a licensed, insured and reputable glass shop that can assess your specific needs and local building codes and offer professional services. Never attempt to cut, install, or otherwise work with glass yourself. All content is provided on an informational basis only.

© 2020 Glass.com Inc. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without expressed written permission. Questions? Contact info@glass.com.


Emmariah Holcomb

By Emmariah Holcomb

Emm Holcomb serves as assistant editor to AGRR™ (Automotive Glass Repair and Replacement) Magazine and has a background news, as she was a journalist for Time Warner Cable News. Emm received her Bachelor’s Degree from St. Bonaventure University in New York where she studied journalism and mass communication.

In her free time, Emm loves to cook and is passionate about trying new recipes and using food to bring people together. When not in the kitchen, she can be found in the gym working out and fostering her love/hate relationship with weight training.


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