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Can I Get a Car Wash With a Cracked Windshield?

Can I Get a Car Wash With a Cracked Windshield?

Like the legendary Achilles and his vulnerable heel, your car too has a weak spot - the windshield. While a crack in it might seem like a minor inconvenience, you should think twice before sending your car for a wash with that crack unattended. 

Can the high-pressure water jets worsen the crack, or potentially allow water to seep in and warp the glass? The answers to these questions might not be as straightforward as you think. So, stick around as we explore the potential risks and the best course of action for this situation.

Key Takeaways:

  • Getting a car wash with a cracked windshield is risky due to high-pressure water jets potentially worsening the damage.
  • The heat and pressure from the car wash can cause the crack to spread, compromising the windshield's structural integrity.
  • Water from the car wash may seep into the crack, causing glass warping and further damage.
  • Instead of a car wash, clean the cracked windshield by hand with a mild cleaner and cover the crack with tape to prevent water seepage.
  • It is recommended to have the windshield professionally inspected and repaired as soon as possible to ensure safety.

The Importance of Your Car Windshield

Your car's windshield does more than just offer a clear view of the road ahead - it's an essential component of your vehicle's structural integrity and safety. It contributes to the overall sturdiness of your vehicle, helping to support the roof and ensuring the airbags deploy correctly in the event of an accident.

Windshield maintenance isn't simply about keeping your view unobstructed; it's about guaranteeing your safety on the road. Ignoring small chips or cracks can lead to larger issues down the line, compromising your vehicle's structural stability. Glass safety is paramount and should never be overlooked.

Cracks in your windshield can indeed distort your view, making it harder for you to spot potential hazards. But more importantly, they can weaken the windshield's resistance to impact, making it less effective in protecting you during collisions.

car windshield

How to Prevent Your Windshield From Cracking?

Shielding your windshield from potential damage is important to maintain its integrity, and it starts with some simple preventative measures. Crack prevention is vital to ensure the safety of your vehicle's glass.

First, always park your car in a shaded area or garage whenever possible. Direct sunlight and drastic temperature changes can cause the glass to expand and contract, leading to potential cracks. Additionally, use protective sunshades when the car is parked under the sun to minimize heat buildup inside your car.

When it comes to glass maintenance, regular, mindful cleaning is key. Always use a microfiber cloth and a specialized auto glass cleaner to wipe your windshield. This will not only keep it clean but also prevent any abrasive particles from scratching the glass.

While driving, maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, especially large trucks. They can kick up debris or small stones that might hit and crack your windshield.

washing a car

Can You Use a Car Wash?

While taking care of your windshield to prevent cracks is important, you might wonder what to do if your windshield is already cracked - specifically, can you still use a car wash? 

The answer isn't essential because it depends on the size and location of the crack. Generally, it's risky. High-pressure water jets used in car washes can cause a crack to expand or even shatter your windshield.

Car wash precautions are vital. If the crack is small and not directly in your line of sight, you could potentially go through a car wash, but it's not recommended. The pressure and heat from the water could cause the crack to spread. Plus, water seeping into the crack might lead to glass warping.

Glass maintenance is key when dealing with a cracked windshield. Instead of a car wash, consider cleaning your car by hand, paying special attention to the cracked area. Use a mild, non-abrasive cleaner to prevent further damage. 

Don't forget to cover the crack with clear tape to prevent dirt and moisture from entering, which could worsen the crack. Ultimately, a cracked windshield should be professionally inspected and repaired as soon as possible.

How to Replace the Car Windshield?

Getting through the process of windshield replacement can seem overwhelming, but it's simpler than you might think. Your first step is to determine if you need a repair or a complete windshield replacement. If your car windshield has a crack larger than a dollar bill, it's likely time for a replacement.

Here's the process:

  • Start by purchasing a car windshield replacement from a reputable provider. Make sure it's the right fit for your vehicle's make and model.
  • Next, remove the old windshield carefully. You don't want to cause additional damage to your car.
  • Clean and prepare the frame for the new windshield. Any rust or debris could interfere with the installation.
  • Install the new windshield, ensuring the seal is secure. This is essential to prevent leaks.
  • Finally, let the adhesive dry completely before driving your car.

If the damage is minor, consider using windshield repair kits. They're effective for small chips and cracks. But remember, safety comes first. If you're unsure about the severity of the damage, consult a professional. Don't let a cracked windshield put you at risk.


So, tempting as it may be, taking your car with a cracked windshield through a car wash is like dancing on thin ice. It's a gamble that could leave you with a spider web of damage. Instead, treat it with kid gloves - hand clean gently and tape up the crack. 

Remember, a professional once-over is your safest bet. Your windshield isn't just a window to the world - it's a shield, a protector, a guardian on the road.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • What Are the Risks of Driving With a Cracked Windshield?

  • Driving with a cracked windshield risks your safety. The crack can reduce visibility, especially in harsh weather. Plus, the structural integrity of the windshield is compromised, increasing the chance of it shattering during an accident.
  • Can a Small Windshield Crack Spread During a Car Wash?

  • Yes, a small windshield crack can spread during a car wash. To prevent this, cover the crack before washing. Check your insurance coverage as it might cover windshield repair, preventing further damage from a car wash.
  • How Does Water Worsen Windshield Cracks During a Car Wash?

  • Imagine water pressure as a relentless hammer, pounding on your windshield's crack. It deepens the flaw, causing crack progression. Water sneaks inside, warping the glass. It's like pouring gasoline on a fire, escalating the damage.

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