How to Handle a Broken Car Window

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Car Window
Car Window

It can be scary and annoying to deal with a broken car window. It not only exposes your vehicle to harm, but the costs of repairing or replacing the glass can quickly increase. It’s important to stay cool and take the right steps to protect your car, stop further damage, and get the window glass fixed when you’re worried about how to handle a broken car window.

Steps to Handle a Broken Car Window Safely?

Assess the Situation

The first thing you’ll want to do upon discovering your broken car window is assess the situation. Check the window from inside and outside the car to see where and how badly it’s broken. Look to see if the window is cracked or fully broken. Also, check whether pieces of broken glass may have ended up either inside or outside the car that will need cleaning up.

Protect Against Theft

Protect Against
Protect Against

If you leave your car window open, thieves can get into your car and take your things. Act quickly to keep your car safe. If your window is broken but mostly whole, carefully cover the crack with duct tape from the inside and the outside. This can help keep the glass in place and hide the hole until you can get to a shop that can fix it.

If the window is completely broken, don’t leave any cash or bags that can be seen in your car. Also, think about how to keep people from getting into the inside of your car through the open window gap. Putting a rigid piece of cardboard, plywood, or some other solid barrier in the window spot is one way to do this. Tape it from the inside to keep curious eyes and hands out for now.

Prevent the Elements and Bugs From Getting In

You should protect your car’s interior from weather and animals as well as theft. Broken windows can be temporarily covered using duct tape. If your window is completely broken, fill the hole it leaves with a lot of plastic sheets, cardboard, cloth towels, or something else that works.

It needs to be packed tightly enough to keep out light and people who want to get inside. Use duct tape around the edges to keep the fillers in place. Every so often, make sure that rain or melting isn’t getting inside, because that could lead to mold damage over time.

Clean Up Broken Glass

Clean Up Broken Glass
Clean Up Broken Glass

Dealing with broken window glass, both inside and outside your car, should be done carefully while wearing thick gloves to protect your hands. Shake out floor mats in case glass pieces are stuck underneath. Use a small handheld vacuum for hard-to-reach crevices around car seats to lift out specks.

For larger shards, carefully pick up and dispose of them properly. To ensure you remove all stray slivers of glass, wipe down interior upholstery and frames using sticky tape wrapped around your fingers. Check thoroughly under seats as well.

Get Your Window Professionally Fixed

While you can take temporary measures to cover and protect a broken car window, permanent repairs should be done by a professional auto glass technician. They have the necessary tools and materials to safely and properly remove any remaining shards and prep the window frame and seals to install new replacement glass.

Prices can vary depending on your vehicle’s make and model, as well as what kind of specialty work is required. But protecting your investment is important, as improper Do-It-Yourself fixes may leak or fail to keep out wind noise. Auto body shops have access to factory original or aftermarket custom-cut glass to restore your windows.

Filing a Claim with Insurance or Paying Out-of-Pocket

Depending on your car insurance coverage, you may or may not need to pay your car window replacement cost out-of-pocket versus filing a claim. Comprehensive policies typically cover glass repairs, minus your deductible. Liability-only policies generally exclude it.

Check with your agent about your deductible costs compared to local repair quotes. Often paying for a simple windshield chip repair or side window replacement yourself without filing a claim can make sense. But in cases of expensive glass, or additional body damage incurred together with the broken window, putting it through insurance may be financially wise after accounting for subsequent rate increases.

Useful Tips To Help Prevent Future Car Window Breakage

Park Smart

  • Choose well-lit, busy areas to park in rather than dark, isolated spots. This can deter would-be thieves.
  • Park in garages when possible to keep your car out of the elements.
  • Face the front of your car towards the street rather than parallel park. Side windows are more vulnerable.

Keep it Clean

  • Frequently wash your windows inside and out to have maximum visibility. Dirt buildup can lead to scratches.
  • Clear off stickers, decals, or residues on windows that can cause strain over time.
  • Clean debris frequently from door and window seals so they shut tightly.

Mind the Temperature

  • On hot days, use sunshades and crack windows slightly to allow for the expansion and contraction of glass.
  • In winter, fully scrape ice off windows and use defrosters cautiously. Sudden temperature changes risk cracks.

Drive Carefully

  • Avoid striking curbs when parking or aggressive maneuvers that jar the chassis.
  • Stop before driving over debris; don’t let it fly up to strike glass.
  • Secure cargo properly so loose items don’t crash into windows.

Do Routine Checks

  • When washing the car, inspect windows for any minor dings or scratches. Use touch-up paint on the nicks to prevent further damage.
  • Check that window seals are intact with no gaps that could lead to leaks or wind noise.

Address Problems Fast

  • Have minor chips in windshield glass repaired quickly before they spread into major cracks?
  • Replace aging window seals that become dried or cracked to prevent the glass from rattling loose.


This guide was all about how to handle a broken car window. It happens too often because of rocks, minor collisions, automobile break-ins, weather factors, and more. By staying calm, protecting your vehicle, cleaning up hazardous glass fragments safely, getting professional window glass repairs, and taking preventative measures – you can get your car looking as good as new. With some basic preparation for handling this emergency, you’ll keep your investment and belongings secured despite the hassle.