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Cracked Windshield

What can cause a windshield to mysteriously crack? I have a 1992 Buick Century. Last September, I noticed a 6- inch horizontal crack on the passenger side of my windshield. I don’t know how it got there. After driving home in a winter storm, I immediately parked the car in my garage. About four hours later, I noticed the crack had grown to about 18 inches. It wasn’t there during my afternoon commute. Could this be a temperature-related problem? Is replacing a windshield difficult or costly?

I had that happen in an old old escort I had once. Came out after a really cold night and found a crack growing out from the side. When the guy replaced it he said there was a small bump left from a weld on the frame - probably made a pressure point and it eventually contracted in just the right way and started a stress crack - that was his guess anyway. Once they start they just keep going.

I’ve gotten new windshields for as little as $150 and as much as $300. Its painless - lots of companies will show up at your home or work and take care of it while you go about your normal business. Just spend a few minutes with the yellow pages and try to have it done on a relatively warm day or in a relatively warm place like a garage.

Thank you very much for your reply. Have a happy holiday season.

The EDGE of ANY piece of glass is critical…Any flaws in the original glass or a tiny rock chip at the edge will start a crack and that’s that…Cars are a fairly flexible structure. The windshield is floating on a rubber bed. But as the rubber ages, it gets harder and harder, transmitting more stress to the glass…

Just an added clarification for readers:

While I’m sure Caddyman is right about the '92 Buick, newer cars have the glass bonded to the body structure and part of the integrity of the body rather than isolated from the body by a rubber bed.

you should call your insurance company. in most states windshield replacement is covered free. in progressive states it is preferred to have clear vision, over a hassle for a deductible.

make a phone call. yuo may be pleasantly surprised.

as to why… probably a small stone got thrown up and started a crack which the change in temperature finished off with a big crack.

just a normal cost of doign business driving a car!

and merry christmas too!!

In a car this age you will have numerous road rock contacts that you don’t even notice. Because of expansion and contraction form hot and cold over time, even a surface blemish can become a crack.
It’s not mysterious at all.

Probably started as a barely noticed rock chip. Temp and flexing of the body can make a crack grow. I had one in my 98 Ford and I watched it grow from 1" to 2 feet in a couple of hours.