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Why Should You Never Ignore Rear Window Damage?

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Why Should You Never Ignore Rear Window Damage?

Most people know that repairing damage to their windshield is important. You need a clean and clear windshield to maintain good visibility, making this simple piece of glass a critical safety component. However, your car's other windows may not seem as important, which can potentially lead to leaving significant damage unaddressed for far too long.

If your car's rear window has cracks, deep scratches, or chips, it may be time to consider hiring a professional auto glass repair company to take a look. Although this glass may not be as important as your windshield, here are three good reasons you shouldn't ignore the damage for too long.

1. Accident Safety

Your car's windshield is an essential part of its overall structure. A cracked or damaged windshield may impact your vehicle's ability to withstand collisions, resulting in increased body deformation or more severe forces acting on the passenger cabin. The same isn't true for the rear glass on most cars, but it's still a potentially important element in a collision.

A rear window with existing damage will be more likely to break or shatter if you're hit from behind, increasing the likelihood of dangerous glass entering the car. You may also lose rearward visibility if a crack or chip suddenly worsens, causing the glass to shatter or break. For these reasons, fixing damaged rear auto glass should always be considered a major safety issue.

2. Heating and Cooling Stress

If there's one thing most people take for granted on their vehicles, it's probably the rear-window defoggers. These simple luxuries use a series of integrated resistive heating wires to increase the temperature of the glass, removing fog and melting ice. While convenient, your defoggers can potentially create a hazard for damaged glass.

Since glass expands and contracts during heating and cooling cycles, seemingly insignificant bits of damage can worsen rapidly. As your rear glass expands imperceptibly while heating, it will stress any small chips or cracks that are present. Repairing this damage sooner rather than later will help prevent additional damage caused by this heating and cooling stress.

3. Tempered Glass vs. Laminated Glass

Your front windshield uses a technology known as laminated glass. Laminated glass creates a "sandwich" of resin between two glass layers, creating more strength and helping to protect vehicle occupants from dangerous shards. On the other hand, your rear window uses tempered glass instead of laminated. While still strong, tempered glass has very different qualities.

Instead of remaining relatively intact when broken, tempered glass can shatter suddenly. Accidents and impacts are one potential reason for this to occur, but even normal road vibrations can be a threat. Because your rear window is more likely to suffer a sudden and catastrophic failure, it's generally a good idea to repair any damage you spot as soon as possible.