My rear window shattered

This afternoon, I was trying to get a sticker off of my wife’s rear window (2009 Saturn). I put some goo gone
on a paper towel and put it over the sticker and went inside. The car was in the garage, and I closed the door
and went into the house.

About an hour later, I went to check on the progress. What I found was the entire rear window was shattered.
Could it have possibly gotten too hot in such a short time frame to cause that? I will add that about a month
ago, the car was in an accident and hit just behind the passenger side rear tire (it pulled the whole rear bumper

I had never seen such a thing before, and my being speechless was a rare sight!

Thanks in advance for any insight on this.

Just chalk it up to stuff happens, it may be covered under your comprehensive insurance.

My guess is the glass was stressed and the temp change caused it to shatter. This kind of thing is not that rare and has happened to a Subaru I once owned.

Thanks Barky/OK.
. It just blew my mind and I was wondering if it was a rare occurence or not.

Back when K-Cars were popular a local body shop owner told me he replaced a great many rear windows in those cars due to temperature changes and the thin glass. He said the glass was so fragile that the local supplier would replace glass that broke as it was being installed with no questions asked. And anyone attempting to use a bumper jack to raise the car would likely shatter the back glass due to the unit body flexing and twisting the glass. Maybe the Saturns suffer from a similar design and possibly when the bumper was damaged the unit body distorted enough to put the glass in stress.

I’m not familiar w/this product you used, “Goo Gone”. Does it heat up noticeably when you apply it to a paper towel? I would have guessed if anything a volatile solvent might cool off rather than heat up, due to quick evaporation.

In any event, there’s been other posts here about car windows shattering for no apparent reason. They actually are designed to shatter, rather than break into sections, for safety reasons. And glass is very brittle, so it doesn’t take much to start it happening. Usually, according to the posts I’ve seen here, it seems to happen mostly while driving down the road, rather than parked. You might search for “shattered windows” in the search bar above, might provide some clues.

I think you’ve learned from this experience it’s not a good idea to soak a sticker off like that. I wouldn’t have expected the shattering thing, but I’d worry about the solvent dripping down the window and damaging the window seal material. Or the car paint. Suggest next time to use a combination of scraping with something not so hard that it would scratch the glass, like a plastic scraper used to remove ice, combined with wiping the sticker with a solvent.

Here in San Jose sometimes the police, if they think your car has been parked too long in one spot, they’ll put a big red or green sticker on the window telling you to move it or else it will be towed. I’ve been the subject of that “move your car police stickering” myself a few times, and those stickers are nearly impossible to remove with garden variety solvents. Now I’m not saying this is a good idea, neither am I recommending it. In fact it is very unsafe unless proper precautions are followed; but when I get one of those stickers I squirt a little gasoline on a paper towel. A very small amount is all you need. That method seems to work the fastest of all the solvents I’ve tried.

GooGone does not heat up, nor is it any kind of solvent. It’s a citrus-based cleaner is all.

My guess is that a alight change in the unibody from the accident left the rear window glass under strain and the timing of when it chose to fail is simply coincidence.

I don’t suppose bumper jacks are in common use for cars anymore . . . ?

There are two kinds of GooGone. The citrus type and a stronger version that uses xylene. If the window was pretty hot and you put a towel full of xylene on it, this solvent would have evaporated quickly, which might have cooled the window enough in one spot to shatter it if it was already stressed. Just guessing…

My wife and I lost the rear window of our Olds Cutlass when I slammed the door on a very hot day in Arizona. The glass installer said that he had been working non-stop since noon and advised us to roll down a window before slamming a door shut. He also told us that spraying a very hot car window with a water hose was the quickest way to shatter the glass.

Some years ago, I had a big, old V-8 Pontiac station wagon. I put a number of cardboard boxes in it preparing to take to the dump. It shattered the back window. I found out later that plain, simple cardboard is one of the most efficient converters of sunlight to heat there is. Back to nature hippies used to use it for solar heaters.