Long crack on INSIDE of windshield



I have a 1993 honda civic with about 157,000 miles.

The other day I saw a long crack from the rearview mirror to nearly the bottom of the windshield. On the INSIDE of the windshield!

Two questions:

1. How does the inside of a windshield crack?

2. Do I need to fix it or can I get by with it there? It does not causes any visibility problems so I know it’s legal to drive like this, but could the windshield crack more and collapse or something?


Stress cracks in windshields are very common. When the rubber sealant that holds the windshield in place gets old and hardens, body flexing (those beer cans are not that rigid) can cause the glass to crack. So can temperature extremes. It’s not a problem in no safety inspection states.


It could crack more. That sort of stress crack is indicative of the windshield being under stress. In that car (most modern sedans and hardtop coupes) the windshield is a part of the loadbearing structure, and when a car gets old and things begin to sag that stuff can happen.

I won’t likely collapse. The windshield is made of two sheets of glass with a relatively flexible plastic sheet bonded in between. It sounds like the outer sheet is still intact.

I’d replace it. The windshield is also part of the structural integrity of the body in the event of a crash. A compromised windshield could affect the ability of the car to distrbute stresses properly and protect you from injury.

Likewise.   I will add that if that is the original windscreen, it likely has many micro scratches on the outside surface and you will find it easier to see out, especially in bad weather and night.


Your inside stress crack could also be, as noted above, caused by either getting into a cold car and turning the defroster on, or a hot car (in the sun all day) and turning the A.C. on full blast to cool the car down quickly. Some windshields (or windscreens–same thing) just can’t handle a sudden change in temperatures, thus they crack. Since you describe your situation as cracked on only one side, the inside, it’s O.K. for now until you can afford a new windshield. But if you notice that the crack is expanding from its existing vertical line, get a new windshield as soon as you can. Another note: Though your present condition might not get you a ticket for defective equipment, it does provide the cops with “probable cause” just to check out the crack. And that opens a huge can of worms. There are some very pushy cops around and they’d just LOVE to get into your car and trunk just for a “look-see”. Make absolutely sure that you have your driver’s license, up-to-date registration and certificate of insurance (in States that require a Cert. of Ins.) on your person or in your vehicle. All the police need is ‘probable cause’ to pull you over. If you ain’t got your stuff together, well----. The cost of a new windshield vs. lost time at work to go to Court; just paying the ticket off; increased insurance costs, etc. Every traffic case I’ve ever heard of where the defendant fights the ticket(s) and wants to go to Court takes a minimum of two trips to the Court–one to appear and enter a plea, and the second to actually have a Judge hear the case. What’s it worth to you? You can also have a mobile windshield dealer do the work while you’re at home, work, or elsewhere. That way, you don’t have to stand around a couple of hours at the windshield shop, or miss additional time at work, or whatever.