Different Types of Automotive Glasses

Types of Auto Glass

Have you ever closely examined the glass used in car windows? The quality of these glasses is quite different from those you have in the windows of your home. The technology used in manufacturing glasses varies from one type of glass to another. The type of glass depends on the purpose it is going to serve. One major difference between automotive or windshield glass and other glasses is that the former is shatter-proof. This means that the glass will not sharp pieces, if the vehicle crashes or collides with another vehicle in a road accident.

There is a lot more to windshield or auto window glasses than meets the eye. Let us find out about different types of auto glasses, how they are manufactured and why they are designed in a specialized way.

A Car Has Different Types of Glasses Throughout

It is interesting to note that the glasses used in car or SUV windows are designed to serve different purposes.

Front Windshield Glass:

At the first glance, you may think that the windshield glass is fitted into a car, SUV or van for visual appeal. But that is not the case. In fact, the front auto glass or the windshield is a crucial safety component, which is designed to support the structural integrity of the vehicle.

While a car is on the road, the driver needs protection from a wide range of external elements such as wind, dust, dirt and debris which can impact the visibility of the driver on the road, putting the lives of the driver as well as the passengers in grave danger. The front windshield is designed using advanced technology and serves as a component of safety during an accident. The windshield of a car can also be UV coated and tinted to provide safety and enhance visibility.

Rear Windshield Glass:

Although both the auto glasses are designed to serve almost similar purposes, they are not the same. The back windshield glass is different from the front one in terms of construction, features and repair and replacement methods. In many cars and SUVs, the rear windshield has horizontal lines on it. These grid lines are there to defrost ice during winters.

Sunroof Glass:

Luxury SUVs are fitted with sunroof glass. The sunroof is designed in a way that it can be operated and opened to let fresh air or light into the compartment. You will see this type of glass in many modern cars. This auto glass also allows those seated in the rear portion of the car to stand up and see out. Most sunroofs have tinting on them to prevent heating.

auto window replacement

Vent Window Glass:

These auto glasses are fitted in the car next to the retractable windows. In many vehicles, the vent glass is present both in rear as well as front windows. When it comes to visibility on the road, the role of the vent glass can never be undermined. In fact, these auto glasses play a much crucial role, as they enable the driver to get a swift glimpse of the road so that the driver can accelerate, change lanes or take turns with accuracy. However, the main role of this window glass is to prevent heating of seats and offer comfort.

Whichever auto glass it is, it is there to perform a specific function. While the glasses do have an aesthetic appeal, their main function is to make the occupants of the car feel comfortable and be safe. Of all the different types of car glasses, the front windshield is both the largest and the most expensive.

Types of Glasses in Car Windows

The glasses in car windows fall into two major categories. The auto glass you see is either tempered or laminated. Let us have a quick look at how these are designed and how they are different from each other.


Most of the rear windows and door windows have tempered glass. These windows too can be fitted with laminated glasses. But tempered glass is designed to have a unique feature: shatter-proof.

You must have seen window glasses in your home break. When these glasses break, there are dangerous sharp glass pieces all around. Tempered glass is different. When a piece of tempered glass breaks, it does not shatter into deadly shards. Instead, it breaks into pebble-like pieces, which does not pose danger. That is exactly why you have tempered glass in the rear windows and door windows of cars, SUVs, trucks, vans etc. A special technology is used to design this type of glass, which involves heating and then swift cooling. The use of tempered glass is not limited to the automotive industry alone. There are multiple daily use items and accessories which use tempered glass for the obvious benefits stated above.


Due to its safety properties, laminated glass is used in the windshields of a car, SUV and other vehicles. Unlike tempered glass, the main feature of this type of auto glass is that it is designed to tolerate heavy impact during a crash or collision. Also, this auto glass is shatter-proof.

This type of car window glass has a special design. Two sheets of tempered glass are joined with a layer of PVB (polyvinyl butyral) in between. This is the reason the two portions of glass remain attached even after sustaining a crack or fracture. Even in the event of a collision or crash, the laminated glass of the windshield provides maximum resistance against the impact. The unique design of this auto glass makes it a highly crucial component of the vehicle.

How to Tell If You Have Tempered or Laminated Glass

By now, you must have understood that tempered glass is used inside or passenger windows whereas laminated glass is used in the front and rear windshields. As you know, these are different glasses.

If you are not sure whether a piece of auto glass is tempered or laminated, you should simply read the manufacturer label. At the time of purchasing, you can directly ask the manufacturer or the supplier about the type of auto glass you have. Apart from these, you can also use some identification signs to differentiate between a tempered and a laminated automotive glass. One quick tip is to check out the edges of the auto glass. If the edges are smooth, it is tempered auto glass. Rough and layered edges mean what you have is laminated auto glass.

Repair and Replacement

The repair and replacement techniques vary from one type of auto glass to another. That is not all. The ideal solution for a glass damage depends on how small or large the damage is and whether it is a chip or a crack. It is for the technicians to properly inspect a specific type of damage and then repair it or replace it with a new one altogether. At Sir Auto Glass, we specialize in the repair as well as installation of windshields and other window glasses of a car or SUV.

If the laminated glass of your vehicle is damaged, it can be either repaired or replaced. But the only solution to fix a broken tempered auto glass is to replace it with a new one, as it cannot be repaired.

At our shop, you will come across some of the most skilled and experienced auto glass technicians who carry comprehensive experience in repairing and installing a wide range of automotive glasses. We use only OEM-quality auto glass for new installations and back it up with a lifetime warranty. Most of all, we never rush through a job, whether it is a minor repair or a replacement.

Talk to an Auto Glass Specialist

If you have additional questions in regard to various types of automotive glasses or their repair and replacement, you should head straight to Sir Auto Glass in Portland, OR. Our experts like to educate and inform because it helps customers make a well-informed decision and know what to expect.

You can also contact our office via a phone call given on our website.