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Can auto glass spontaneously explode?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Patrick Sun, Nov 9, 2002.

  1. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I ask this because I was planning on running some errands this afternoon and was greeted by my driver side window shattered. The weird thing is that if someone did break the glass, they didn't take anything of "value" from the car, like a cordless power drill and extra battery, or my MP3/CD player. The door wasn't even unlocked. My neighbor thinks the glass just gave up the ghost, but the temperature changes in the past few days have swung from the mid 30's to the mid 70's. So, I'm confused as to how or why.

    It was so much fun cleaning out the driveway and the car for little bits of glass all over the place. I did use this incident as an excuse to finally buy a shop-vac.
     
  2. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Sherlock Holmes hat on: Was there more broken glass *inside* or *outside* of the car? If it was inside, then I'd say that somebody broke it.
     
  3. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Sorry, Patrick, I don't have any insight about the glass....
     
  4. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I guess more of the glass was on the seat than outside, but then I have to ask WHY? Maybe some kids vandalized the car, and got scared by something and ran away without looting my car. It's just a hassle to have to clean up and get the glass replaced. Of course, having this happen on a Saturday is the worst time because no auto-glass/collision shop near me is open on the weekends (I checked 5 placed this afternoon).

    My car was parked on my driveway, so it wasn't a drive-by.
     
  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I bought the same exact Rigid 5 HP 12 gallon shop vac that Vince bought (but mine came with a free hand vac) for $70 at Home Depot.
     
  6. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    Any rocks laying around? Maybe some punk through a rock through it.
     
  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Nope, no rocks (haven't come across a pellet if it were from a pellet gun) were found around the car.
     
  8. Walt N

    Walt N Second Unit

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    Maybe one of your neighbor kids with a baseball?
     
  9. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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  10. Brandon_S

    Brandon_S Second Unit

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    It is certainly not unheard of for glass to break due to changes in temperature. I know of at least a few people who have experienced this with their windows at home and in automobiles. However only a 40 degree swing in temperature is kinda strange. I would think it would take a much larger swing in temperature to break a window, but I am sure stranger things have happened.
     
  11. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    I was at China Lake Naval Airbase with not a person or thing (except rats) for 30 miles around. A guy left his windows up and the car was in the sun for a couple of hours.
    The windshield blew like someone shot it
    It was about 115 F.
     
  12. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Spontaneous glass explosion happenned to me once. It actually happened while I was in the car. I had jusr entered the car, which was sitting in the driveway (in the hot Texas sun), and all I did was pull the car into the garage. As soon as I shut off the engine, the left rear window shattered into a million pieces. When I had it repaired, the glass guy said it happens more often than people think
     
  13. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    It can happen spontaneously, and it probably is temperature related. I've seen it happen to a mini-van and a pickup truck.
     
  14. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    Yep. I was in a car when it happened 12 years ago. It happened when my wife had just fixed her rear window defroster by super-gluing the wire back onto the contact on the window. It was freezing cold outside and a few minutes after turning on the defroster, BOOM.
     
  15. Aaron Copeland

    Aaron Copeland Second Unit

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    LOL...now I'm going to be nervous turning on the rear window defroster on especially cold winter days.
     
  16. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Is this a problem only on US automaker designed cars? Could be a manufacturing "flaw" that saved them a few pennies per window...
     
  17. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    Patrick and I are in Georgia, BrianW is in Texas. It gets damn hot in Georgia and Texas. I don't think the occasional spontaneously shattering window is a manufacturing flaw any more than the inevitable cracked dashboards that I'm sure all three of us have also experienced.
     
  18. Jeremy Allin

    Jeremy Allin Supporting Actor

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    For those interested,
    About 10 years ago our patio door just up and cracked...BIG TIME. It didn't shatter, but for an hour or so (until the glass people came) we watched the cracks go zing, zing in every direction.
    To the best of my knowledge, they had never seen anything like it. This happened in the early evening and the patio door faced to the west. It was chalked up to the conditions (temperature-wise) being just right for this to happen. [​IMG]
     
  19. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    my sister had a rear window shatter on her once, it was kinda cold out, and she drove for about a block when it just broke.
    my roommate had her driver's side window busted out a couple weeks ago, but nothing was stolen. The car next to her's got beat to shit though. I think it was the local auto glass shops trying to stir up business [​IMG]
     
  20. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    My dad got a gun cabinet with a glass door that was etched with pictures of ducks or pheasants or some other game bird, and about a day after he got it the glass just cracked from top to bottom.

    I think for automobiles it can be more than just temperature shifts that contribute to causing a window to shatter. These days the doors are sealed very tightly so there is a surge in air pressure when a door is closed. That puts stress on the windows. Plus, there's the vibration from driving. Someone told me that he was sitting in his pickup truck in a parking lot as a storm approached and the back window shattered from a very close crack of thunder. The quick drop in temperature followed by the concussion wave of the thunder probably caused it.
     

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