Car windows are an important part of safety and comfort for your vehicle. What many people don’t realize is that there are different types of auto glass in Houston that vehicle manufacturers use for side windows. In this blog, we’ll explain the differences between tempered and laminated car windows, why you should know what type of windows you have, as well as some pros and cons of each.
Know What Type of Auto Glass in Houston Your Side Windows are Made Of
Car windows are made of either tempered or laminated auto glass. Tempered glass is quickly heated and cooled to make it stronger than annealed (normal) glass. In fact, tempered glass is about five times stronger than annealed glass. It also breaks into small, round pieces instead of shards to reduce the risk of injury in case the glass breaks. As of right now, most car windows are made of tempered glass.
However, more and more cars use laminated glass on some or all of the side windows. Laminated glass features two layers of glass joined together by a strong plastic known as PVB. This adds extra strength and also helps keep the glass in place even after it breaks. The law requires all windshields to be laminated glass because of the extra strength this type of glass affords.
It’s essential to know which type of glass you have for your car windows for several reasons. First, it helps you know whether you need repair or replacement when one becomes damaged. Tempered glass typically isn’t repairable and requires replacement when chipped or cracked. However, laminated car windows may be repairable using the same steps as windshield repair in Houston. If the damage isn’t too large or complicated, then our team can simply fill in the damaged area with ultra-strong resins to seal and strengthen the glass. Also, it’s important to know what type of glass your car uses for the side windows in case of an accident. We’ll explain this in more detail in a later section, but knowing the type of glass you have could just save your life.
How to Tell What Kind of Glass Your Car Windows are Made Of
There are several ways to determine what kind of auto glass your car windows are made of. One way to tell is to simply look for the label in the glass. Many car windows have a permanent label, also known as a bug, on the glass itself. This will tell you the type of glass. You’ll usually find it in a lower corner of the glass.
If your glass doesn’t have this label, then another option is to look it up by your car’s year, make, and model. For instance, AAA has a list of cars with laminated non-windshield glass that you can look through to see if your car is on it. You can also often do a quick Google search to find out.
Another option is to roll down the window so that you can look at the top edge of the glass. Since laminated auto glass in Houston features several layers, you can often see those layers when looking straight at the edge of the glass. If you don’t see any layers in the glass, then it is likely tempered.
Pros and Cons of Laminated Auto Glass in Houston for Car Windows
There are several advantages and disadvantages of having laminated car windows. These are becoming more and more popular in modern cars, especially luxury brand vehicles. If you’re in the market for a new car, consider whether you want laminated or tempered side windows. Here are some pros and cons of laminated car windows:
Lower Risk of Car Ejection with Laminated Auto Glass in Houston
Laminated auto glass in Houston is much stronger than tempered options because of the plastic layer that holds the two glass layers together. Because of this, laminated glass is harder to break because it bends and flexes more than normal glass. Also, once broken, the plastic layer helps keep the glass intact. This is why windshields must use laminated glass. It helps reduce the risk of passenger ejection in case of an accident.
Laminated car windows are also an ejection mitigation strategy. This is one reason why more and more manufacturers use laminated glass for their vehicles’ side windows. Ejection from a vehicle significantly increases your risk of serious injury or death, so making the glass harder to break through can help reduce these risks.
Protection from Smash and Grab Crimes
Also, because laminated glass is much tougher to break through, it can actually protect you from crimes like smash and grab thefts. While tempered glass will break with a well-aimed hit from something like a baseball bat, tire iron, or crowbar, laminated glass may not. This makes it more difficult for criminals to break the glass and steal your car or valuables.
Heavier and More Expensive
Of course, there are some drawbacks of choosing a car with laminated side windows as well. For instance, this type of auto glass in Houston is typically heavier and more expensive. The heavier the glass, the more weight on the vehicle, which can lower fuel efficiency slightly. Also, while repair may be an option for some types of damage, if you need to replace the laminated car window, it will often be more expensive than replacing tempered windows.
Pros and Cons of Tempered Car Windows
Like with laminated car windows, there are also some pros and cons associated with tempered glass side windows. Here are some of the positives and negatives to consider:
Easier to Break the Auto Glass in Houston for Escapes
As we mentioned, laminated glass is pretty hard to break through. This offers many advantages, but also one important disadvantage. In the event you need to escape your car through the window, you’ll often have an easier time doing so with tempered car windows. Most glass break tools only work on tempered glass to help you escape in case your car becomes submerged under water or engulfed in a fire. While these types of accidents are pretty rare, with only half of a percent of all accidents involving the car going under water, it’s still something to think about. Tempered glass may be safer in these types of accidents because they break more easily to let you get out.
Lower Cost Option for Auto Glass in Houston
Another benefit of tempered auto glass in Houston is that it costs less. Tempered glass usually is easier to manufacture and also requires fewer materials than laminated glass, which makes it a much more economical option for side windows. Replacement tempered car windows usually cost less than laminated windows.
More Likely to Break During an Accident or Crime
One of the major disadvantages of tempered glass windows in your car is that they are easier to break. As we mentioned, this can be a good thing during rare accidents where you need to exit the car through the window. However, much more common situations like thefts or accidents on the highway may end with a shattered window. While tempered glass is strong, it will shatter with enough force.
Car Window and Windshield Repair in Houston at Apple Glass
When you need top quality auto glass in Houston, choose our experts at Apple Glass. We are a full-service glass company delivering superior solutions for your car, home, and business. Our team offers a wide range of services, from windshield replacement in Houston to storefront glass installation to help you with all your glass needs. Our glass technicians offer years of experience to provide you with the services you need. Get in touch now to get a free quote from our team!