Breaking News
More () »

VERIFY: Can heat cause your windshield to crack?

The summer heat isn't over yet! But with hot temperatures, do you have to worry about heat causing some serious damage to your windshield?


Can heat cause your windshield to crack?


Yes, it could but only if the glass is already chipped or cracked.


AAA Mid-Atlantic 

Motor Industry Research Association

Cynthia Roy: Automotive technician at Roy’s Automotive


The heat and humidity this summer has been no joke!  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this past July was the hottest month worldwide on record.

Here in Washington D.C., it was the ninth warmest July ever, with the average temperature 82.1 degrees. So far this year, we've hit 90 degrees or higher a total of 49 days (as of Tuesday) and are slated to easily surpass 50 this week.

RELATED: DC has hit 90 degrees almost 50 times this year

As sweltering continues to roll on, we're verifying: Can heat cause your windshield to crack?

Verify researcher spokes to to a couple of automotive experts from AAA, Motor Industry Research Association and the owner of an automotive shop.

A spokesperson from AAA-Mid Atlantic, told Verify researchers heat can put stress on laminated windshields, but heat won't crack the windshield unless it's already been compromised with a chip.

Automotive glass is produced in two main varieties - tempered and laminated, with laminated glass more commonly used for windshields. It is formed by two layers of tempered glass adhered to an inner plastic layer. This inner layer increases the strength of the glass, holding it together and preventing it from shattering, even when it is cracked or chipped, AAA said. 

RELATED: Scientists confirm July set new global heat record

Although heat can put stress on laminated windshields, they will not crack or chip unless it has been hit by flying debris or a stone hurled at high speed

Experts with the Motor Industry Research Association said warmer weather causes chips to spread into vertical cracks. 

Our experts recommend repairing chips or cracks as soon as possible especially during long heat waves. 

And you really want to resist cranking up the A/C on sweltering hot days. 

"If it’s more than 100 degrees outside and your windshield is extremely hot, that rapid oscillation between hot and can make it crack probably more than anything else can", Cynthia Roy, automotive technician at Roy's Automotive explains. 

So, we verified yes, if your windshield is chipped or crack, heat can cause more damage. However hot temperatures alone will not cause a windshield to crack.

RELATED: How to customize the stories and alerts you get from WUSA9

Download the brand new WUSA9 app here.

Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.

Before You Leave, Check This Out