Having a broken side window is one of the most inconvenient damages to a car. Unlike windshields that are designed not to shatter, side windows will typically shatter upon impact. We often see broken side windows due to attempted theft, vandalism, and damage from storms. Whether you need a side window replacement, a car side mirror repair, or windshield replacement in Calgary, repairs and replacements shouldn’t be delayed as the glass on your vehicle is highly important for anyone’s safety.

If you’ve gone into your car only to realize that the side window is broken or the glass has been shattered, here’s what to do next.

Take pictures

Take pictures of the damage, including where it happened if you’re away from home. If this is a possible attempted theft or vandalism, pictures are an asset for the police and your insurance company. Be sure to assess your vehicle for any other damage, write down what time you found the damage, the address of the location, and any other pieces of information that may be useful in your case.

Call your insurance and report to the police

If you suspect this is a crime, report the incident to the police as soon as possible. This process has evolved since the pandemic with online reporting services now available. If you can, it’s best to avoid driving your vehicle with a broken or shattered side window. If you must drive your car to an auto glass repair shop in Calgary or home in the meantime, we recommend avoiding busy highways and roads. Try to find an alternative route through quiet residential communities and streets with low speed limits.

Store your vehicle in a safe place

Store the car in a safe place until you can get it fixed. Leaving your car parked on the side of the road or somewhere public with no protection is an invitation for car thieves to easily break in. If you don’t have a garage, ask a friend or family member if you could temporarily store your vehicle in their garage or seek a temporary storage unit. While it may be an extra expense, it’s worth it as a stolen car is much more of a headache to deal with than a temporary cost.

Don’t use the vehicle to commute

Some car owners will attempt to cover the broken side window with a tarp or plastic covering, but this is a serious safety concern. Driving with a broken or shattered side mirror is extremely dangerous and leaves you vulnerable to serious injury in a collision.

Furthermore, a tarp or other cover can fly off while you’re driving and land on another vehicle’s windshield, impairing their vision of the road and risking an accident. Driving with a broken or shattered side window is a traffic violation and can result in a fine.

When you go for a side window replacement, the technician will:

  • Carefully inspect the damage
  • Remove the door panel to access the remaining glass
  • Vacuum any debris and glass from the vehicle
  • Insert a brand new side window
  • Test the regulator to ensure the window functions properly
  • Replace the door panel
  • Vacuum all of the glass out of your vehicle