Having a smashed, cracked or broken car window is a worrying experience. The first thing that comes to mind after an auto glass breaks is whether or not you can still drive your car or SUV. It can be frustrating to see a crack or chip in your vehicle’s window glass while you are driving on the road. If you are caught in such a situation, what exactly should you do? Until you are at a shop for an auto glass repair or installation, you will want to use some temporary solutions. Knowing how to temporarily fix a broken car window can be of great help in terms of remaining within the bounds of the law as well as staying safe until a permanent fix.

Before you have reached an auto glass shop, applying a temporary solution will keep your car or SUV functional. So, let us discuss what kind of temporary fixes you can use before an auto window repair is done.

Why You Need a Temporary Solution for Your Chipped or Cracked Car Window

When a car window sustains a crack or chip, it is crucial to get it repaired or replaced as soon as possible. In order to reach a mechanic or an auto window repair shop, you will need to restore some functionality. Once you have covered the damage, you will get some time to get to the shop.

Here are some of the key reasons why you should apply a temporary fix to make your broken automotive glass functional.

Protection from Tiny Glass Pieces

When a car window glass is smashed, tiny pieces of glass shards may spread inside and outside. Therefore, the first thing you need to focus on is keeping yourself safe from any kind of glass injury. Even after you have removed the small pieces of glass, you will need to cover the gap in the cracked glass. Once the crack is temporarily covered, you will remain safe from further loosening glass. Plus, glass pieces will not fall on the floor, thus eliminating the risk of tire damage.

Safety of Belongings

Burglars are always looking for an opportunity to steal stuff. A smashed glass gives them a wonderful opportunity to gain access into a vehicle and steal objects and even damage the interiors of the vehicle. Using temporary solutions will keep your belongings and the interiors safe and secure.


If the window of your car or SUV has broken or moved away from its place, you should not leave the gap open. Harmful rays of the sun can enter your vehicle through the gap of broken glass and cause damage to the interiors. Likewise, you should not let rain, hail or snow enter your vehicle. Temporary solutions will save your car or SUV from many kinds of internal damage.

Without temporary solutions for a broken automotive window, you may need to face a number of issues while you await an auto window repair. Although these are short-term and non-permanent solutions, they prove to be of great help until you reach an auto mechanic or an auto glass repair shop. If you have a broken windshield and look for a car glass repair or windshield replacement service in the Greater Austin area, you should head straight to Magic Glass Repair or use their mobile glass services to get the job done on-site at your office or home.

No Special Tools are Required to Apply a Temporary Solution to a Broken Auto Window Glass

The best thing about short-term broken window solutions is that these techniques are simple and quick. In fact, you are not even going to need any special tools to cover the gaps in your smashed auto window on a temporary basis. Anyone with a cracked window can use these techniques.

Common materials you will need include:

A Polythene Bag: Usually, plastic garbage bags are available in black and transparent colors. Here, you should use the transparent one. Or else, you can use any plastic bag that is transparent and easy to cut.

Parcel Tape: You will need a strong tape to cover the gap. So, using parcel tape is a good idea, as it is strong. Often, some people will suggest you use duct tape. But it is better to avoid duct tape, as its ultra tight grip might cause damage to the vehicle’s bodywork and its protective finish.

Scissors: Have a pair of scissors at hand. If you don’t have them available, you can simply use a blade. You will need this to cut the plastic garbage bag in a particular shape as per specific requirements.

Cardboard Box: When a front windshield, back windshield or any other window glass breaks, tiny glass pieces scattered all around, inside and outside the car. It is very important to remove all these small glass shards, so that you don’t hurt yourself or any other co-passenger doesn’t hurt himself or herself. You will need a cardboard box to gather all the small glass pieces and get rid of them in a safe manner before you start driving the car again to reach an auto windshield repair shop. You can use newspapers, if cardboard boxes aren’t available.

Safety Gloves: When handling tiny glass shards, you need to take some precaution. While you try to dispose of the glass pieces, you may hurt yourself. That is exactly why you will need safety gloves. Once you have the gloves on, you can easily get rid of all the glass pieces around the window.

As you can see, you won’t need any specific set of tools or special devices to perform the temporary windshield fix. All you need is a couple of everyday materials and tools and you are ready to start.

Temporary Ways to Cover a Broken Auto Window Glass

If you have a cracked or chipped window glass, there are multiple ways you can fix the damage on a temporary basis. After you have a damaged car glass, what you need is to prevent the crack or ship from worsening further and keep yourself safe until the car glass repair process starts. Whether it is a windshield glass repair or replacement, the technician needs to carry out the entire procedure with utmost care and attention while focusing on the smallest details.

Remove Glass Shards and Debris

Put on the safety gloves and start removing the small glass shards from inside the vehicle. If tiny pieces of glass remain inside the car or SUV, you may get hurt with the sharp edges. Plus, these glass shards can also damage the fabric or leather of the seats. Just collect all the tiny glass pieces in one place and put it carefully in a cardboard box or newspaper. Close the cardboard box and dispose of the glass pieces and glass debris in a proper manner.

When it comes to repairing a broken automotive glass, the first step technicians follow is to clean up all the glass debris. For a temporary fix too, you will need the site of damage to be clear of all tiny glass pieces.

Clean the Window Frame

After all the tiny pieces of broken glass have been collected and disposed of, it is time to do some cleaning. You don’t have to do much. Simply, wipe down the window frame with a wet cloth. It is normal for cars or SUVs to gather dust particles on the window pane. Unless this dust is removed, it will be hard to properly complete the next step, which is the application of tape.

Apply the Tape

You are not ready to apply the masking tape until the window frame is fully dry. To apply the tape, you will need one more person to assist you. So, ask your friend or family member to lend a hand. While the tape is being applied, the other person needs to hold the plastic wrap tight and stretched out, so that the sealing is proper. Proper sealing will ensure neither air nor moisture gets in. One important tip you should follow is to use long strips of masking tape. Using long strips of tape will help you create a much tighter seal without any kind of snagging.

This process has to be repeated both around the inside and the outside of the window frame. If you worry that this will harm the paintwork, you should first apply a masking tape and then carry out the procedure. It is also a good idea to apply additional strips of taps over the plastic wrap. If you have any doubts or want to ask a question about this procedure, feel free to talk to one of our professionals at Magic Glass Repair, which operates in Austin, TX.

Not All Plastic Trash Bags are the Same

One of the key materials you will need for applying a solution to cracked windows on a short-term basis is plastic bags. If you have not done this before, you may wonder exactly what type of plastic trash bags you should use. Most importantly, you should not use the wrong type of plastic.

The ideal plastic bag should be:

  • Very thin (0.7 mm – 0.9 mm)
  • Low-density
  • Transparent

Remember that the purpose of using this plastic bag is to cover the broken window in such a manner that you don’t remain exposed to safety hazards while you drive or take the car to an auto glass repair shop. The right plastic trash bag will offer protection against external components while you drive at speed. You will easily find such plastic trash bags in your kitchen.

Other Methods to Temporarily Fix a Broken Car Window

You don’t have just one way to cover a cracked or damaged window. The method given above is the simplest and fastest of all. However, you can also use other methods to get the job done. For example, installation of clear duct tape will also cover the window glass on a short-term basis. Before you apply the duct tape, you should apply masking tape for added strength. The best practice is to apply the duct tape in a vertical manner, as this will create a tight seal. Whichever method you use, the process should be carried out around the inside of the window pane first and then outside the window pane for full and proper protection.

One of the newest ways to temporarily cover a broken auto window glass is to use crash wrap. You can use this sticky-back plastic on a roll to cover the window frame in a proper manner.

Legalities of Driving with Temporary Fixes on Car Windows

Whenever you use a short-term fix and take the car or SUV on the road in order to reach a mechanic or a window crack repair shop, you should stay aware of the legalities involved. It is crucial to first know the law and then abide by the law correctly so that you don’t end up paying fines. As per the law, it is prohibited to cover a windshield in any way that obstructs the vision. If the windshield is broken or cracked, the vehicle should be towed to a glass repair shop. For mobile glass services in Travis County and Hays County, you should reach out to Magic Glass Repair for on-site car window repair and auto windshield replacement.

Actually, what kind of legalities there are depends on which state you are in. Different states of the United States have slightly different laws regarding driving with broken windows with short-term fixes.

Talk to a Car Window Repair Specialist

A short-term solution is meant for a short time. This is to enable functionality of the windows so that you can reach an auto glass repair shop without being exposed to safety hazards. Whether you have a small chip or a large crack in your front windshield, back windshield glass or side car window glasses, you should never let it wait. Instead, you should reach out to an auto window repair and auto windshield replacement service or hire a mobile glass service. If you are anywhere in the Greater Austin area, one of the most reliable destinations is Magic Glass Repair. The company specializes in all kinds of windshield glass repair and new windshield installations as well as mobile glass services at no extra cost.

To schedule an inspection of your broken car window glass, you should either call our phone number or write us an email.