June 25, 2024
Car Maintenance

Dealing with a Broken Car Side Window: Steps to Take

Having a damaged side window can be one of the most inconvenient issues with your car. Unlike windshields that are designed not to shatter, side windows are more prone to shattering upon impact. Common causes of broken side windows include attempted theft, vandalism, and damage from storms. Whether you require a replacement for your side window, a repair for your car side mirror, or a windshield replacement in Calgary, it is crucial not to delay these repairs as the glass on your vehicle plays a significant role in ensuring safety.

If you discover that your side window is broken or the glass is shattered, here are the steps to follow.

Document the Damage

Take photos of the damage, including the location where it occurred if you are not at home. If you suspect attempted theft or vandalism, these photos can be helpful for the police and your insurance company. Assess your vehicle for any additional damage, note the time you discovered the damage, the location address, and any other relevant details for your case.

Contact Your Insurance Company and Report to the Authorities

If you believe a crime has occurred, report the incident to the police as soon as possible. With online reporting services available, the process has become more convenient. Avoid driving your vehicle with a broken or shattered side window if possible. If you need to drive to an auto glass repair shop in Calgary or back home, choose routes with lower traffic volume and speed limits.

Safely Store Your Vehicle

Park your car in a secure location until you can have it repaired. Leaving your vehicle unattended in a public area with a broken window increases the risk of theft. If you do not have a garage, consider asking a friend or family member if you can temporarily store your car in their garage or rent a storage unit. While this may incur additional costs, it is a small price to pay compared to the complications of a stolen vehicle.

Avoid Using the Vehicle for Transportation

Some individuals may try to cover the broken side window with a tarp or plastic, but this poses a serious safety hazard. Driving with a broken or shattered side window is extremely dangerous and increases the risk of injury in a collision.

Additionally, a makeshift cover can come loose while driving and obstruct the vision of other drivers, potentially causing an accident. Operating a vehicle with a broken or shattered side window is a traffic violation and may result in a fine.

During a Side Window Replacement, the Technician Will:

  • Thoroughly assess the damage
  • Remove the door panel to access the remaining glass
  • Clean up any debris and glass from the vehicle
  • Install a new side window
  • Test the regulator to ensure proper functionality
  • Reattach the door panel
  • Remove all glass particles from the vehicle


Q: Can I drive with a broken side window?

A: It is not recommended to drive with a broken side window due to safety concerns and potential hazards.


Dealing with a broken side window can be stressful, but following the proper steps for documentation, reporting, and safe storage can help mitigate further issues. Remember to prioritize your safety and the security of your vehicle by seeking prompt repairs for your damaged side window.

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