Can Tesla Windshield Crack From Heat? All You Need to Know

A cracked windshield of a car is like a cracked screen of a smartphone: it does not look good, it affects usability, and it needs money to be fixed. The worst part: a car is most likely to suffer cracks in its windshield, just like the scratches on the body paint. Tesla cars are, regretfully, no different than the rest of the cars. Their windshields can suffer damage even from extreme temperatures. You have read it right—they do get cracked in extreme temperatures.

Yes, the Tesla windshield can crack from fluctuations between hot and cold temperatures. The layered glass structure of the windshields can expand or contract at different rates, adding pressure to the structure and resulting in fractures.

Tesla Windshield Crack From Heat: Explained


The sweltering heat of the summer is not the only cause that can lead to a cracked windshield in Tesla cars—it can even happen in freezing cold temperatures. Heat is not the sole culprit. The rapid fluctuations in ambient temperature end up forming cracks in the glass.

Such fractures are also called “stress” or “thermal” crack. A little science here: glass, like metals, expands when heated. Since windshields are made of different layers of glass, fluctuating temperatures expand or shrink these layers at contrasting rates. When the difference is too great, one layer adds significant pressure on another, causing it to crack.

Hence, heat itself is not an issue. If you turn the AC on when the temperature outside is above 100 degrees, you risk cracking the windshield if cold air flows through the front vents (defrosters). Several Tesla owners have also reported cracks appearing on their windshields when they preheat their cars covered in snow at full blast. The ‘unnatural’ combination of hot and cold makes a glass vulnerable.

Why Do Windshields Crack From Heat More Often Than Windows?

The large area of the windshield and the presence of the air vents right behind it are to be blamed. On the other hand, Windows are smaller and have no direct air vent along the edges.

Let us explain. The windshield is the largest glass in a car. Any stress is more likely to crack larger objects than smaller ones. Add the direct flow of air with contrasting temperatures over it, and it becomes further prone to having fractures. The rear window is also very large, but it does not have any air vent along its edges. The air that vents throw from the dashboard takes a long way before it reaches the rear end, losing its temperature considerably. Side windows, similarly, are small and have no vents along their edges.

Can Heat Crack in the Windshield Grow Further?

Yes. Unfortunately, even if you turn the AC or precondition as soon as stress cracks begin appearing on the windshield, there are fair chances that they might grow if not dealt with. Mainly, vibrations coming from the road can contribute to such instances.

Several rough patches, curbs, and potholes can induce significant vibrations when a car moves. They can eventually transmit to the windscreen and add pressure on the already present fractures. When such pressures exceed the bearing capacity of the glass, cracks spread. Not to mention, suspension problems may exacerbate vibrations in a car. Also, note that suspension issues do exist in Tesla cars. However, fixed cracks do not spread.

How to Fix a Crack in a Tesla Windshield?

You can fix the cracks using fillers. Nevertheless, note that not all cracks can be removed: if a fracture is too large, you would not be left with many options other than replacing the windshield.


Fillers are specially designed glues meant to fill small cracks inside a glass. They can be applied to any crack and are well-known for being very handy. You can easily find a variety of fillers titled “windshield repair kits” in the market. Grab one, and the rest is simple, summarized in the steps below.

  1. Clean the cracked area using a neat cloth and glass cleaner.
  2. Follow the guidelines mentioned by the filler manufacturers. If the kit has special requirements, such as creating a vacuum inside the glass, you will need additional supplies, such as a suction pump.
  3. Put the filler syringe over the crack and gently inject it.
  4. The crack should saturate with the filler. Just let it set in for some time. Do not wash your car or drive it while the filler does its job.

Note that by adhering to the above steps, you may get rid of the cracks in your car’s windshield. However, stress cracks are usually very large. Similarly, such cracks mostly originate in the edges, and edges cracks cannot be repaired. Hence, it is unlikely that you will not need a replacement of the windshield.

How to Prevent Tesla Windshield From Cracking in Heat?


  • Avoid Blasting the Air Conditioner: If you need to use the windshield vents, never turn them on at full speed. Similarly, do not opt for extreme temperatures. If you want to defrost, select the warm air at only a desirable temperature. Likewise, if you want to maintain a cool atmosphere in your car, keep the air mild and jump to the colder side only gradually.
  • Park in Shade: Never leave your car under direct sunlight or snow. Otherwise, the windshield will get too hot or cold and can easily crack when you ramp up the AC. Opt for a suitable shade with a mild climate underneath.
  • Be Careful When Washing: Do not wash your car with cold water when it is hot outside. Similarly, never pour hot water on your car when the temperatures are freezing. Moderation is the key: go for mildly hot or cold water only.
  • Seal the Crack: Regardless of whichever type of crack appears on the windshield, fix it immediately. As explained earlier, it does not take long before seemingly small fractures cover the whole glass.
  • Remove the Ice: If your car is covered in snow, do not precondition it. Remove the snow with your hands or any special type of brush. The windscreen will get very cold if the snow stays, hence increasing the chances of stress cracks appearing when preconditioning.

How Much Does Tesla Windshield Repair and Replacement Cost?


On average, crack repair in Tesla windshields can cost up to $120. Replacement, on the other hand, can cost you up to a whopping $2,000. The rule of thumb is measuring the crack size to determine if you need a replacement or repair. If it exceeds 6 inches, you will need a replacement. Similarly, if too many cracks in the windshield, you will have to opt for a replacement.

Read: Can Tesla Windshield Be Repaired?

The Windshield of Which Tesla Is Most Likely to Suffer Heat Crack?

All Tesla cars will likely suffer windshield damage if temperature fluctuations are strong enough; however, since the Model X windscreen has the largest area, it might be more vulnerable. Tesla has made the Model X the largest of all in terms of windshield size. The total of 31 square feet of glass provides an unobstructed view of the road to the driver and passengers. However, the large area means less power to bear stress.

Concluding Remarks: Can Tesla Windshield Crack From Heat?

Yes, unfortunately, Tesla windshields can crack when the ambient temperatures flicker between hot and cold very rapidly. The windshield glass is composed of layers that add pressure to one another in such circumstances. Though this general principle is associated not just with windshields but windows, the former is more prone to getting fractured because of the size and the presence of AC vents right on the bottom edges. 

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