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Front Windshield vs Rear Windshield

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By  AIS Windshield Experts

Category:  Car Windshield

Front Vs Rear Windshield

As a car owner, the windshields are an integral part of your vehicle almost like its eyes and backbone. The front windshield allows clear visibility for safe driving, while the rear windshield provides structural support and protection. Though serving different purposes, both windshields are made of specialised glass to withstand impact and shattering. When a windshield gets damaged, most car owners scramble to get it fixed or replaced quickly. But do we really understand the differences between the front and rear windshields?

This article covers the key contrasts so you can make informed decisions about your car's all-important glasses.

The All-Important Front Windshield

The front windshield is the eyes of your car. Sitting right behind the steering wheel, it gives you a sweeping 180-degree view of the road ahead. This unobstructed vision is critical for safe driving as it allows you to spot potential hazards, read road signs, and monitor other vehicles.

All front windshields are made of laminated glass, which has a plastic interlayer sandwiched between two or more sheets of glass. The laminated layers make the glass more impact-resistant and provide crucial passenger safety. When hit by an object, the glass is held together by the plastic layer to prevent it from shattering into sharp pieces. This prevents injuries to drivers and passengers.

Front windshields need to withstand the assault of gravel, debris, weather elements, and even bird strikes at high speeds. Hence manufacturers adhere to strict safety standards like the American National Standards Institute regulations. Features like airbags and crumple zones also rely heavily on the integrity of the front windshield.

Besides safety, functionality is also built into front windshields. Special coatings repel water for effective wiper performance, while embedded heating grids quickly clear frost in winter. The latest windshield technology even incorporates heads-up displays to project key data like vehicle speed right into the driver's line of sight.

When your front windshield gets chipped or cracked, quick repairs by experts are crucial to retain visibility and safety. Severe damage will require replacing the entire windshield with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) glass to adhere to safety standards. Though expensive, this ensures the quality and performance you need in your car's all-seeing eyes.

The Dependable Rear Windshield 

Though often overlooked, your car's rear windshield quietly plays a few indispensable roles. Unlike the front, visibility is not its main function. Instead, rear windshields lend structural integrity, temperature control, and protection from the elements to your vehicle.

The rear windshield forms an integral part of your car's unibody chassis giving it rigidity and strength, almost like the backbone. It works with the roof, pillars, and frame to provide structural support for gathering zones and allows the chassis to absorb impact energy in collisions safely. Cargo vans even rely on the rear windshield to secure transported goods in place. Removing the rear windshield can negatively impact the car's structural stability.

Rear car windshields are made of tempered glass that shatters into small granular pieces. It's strong and impact-resistant, despite lacking laminated front windshields' plastic safety layer. Equipped with demister grids, they clear frost and reflect sunlight. They play a vital role in a car's design and function.

Cracks and chips are less risky on rear windshields than on front ones. However, visible damage can still worsen over time and requires early repair. For severe damage, car glass replacements may be needed to maintain the car's structural integrity, heating, and UV-ray protection. Though generic aftermarket glass is cheaper, OEM rear windshields are best to adhere to original specifications.

Difference Between Front and Rear Windshield

Understanding how front and rear windshields differ in terms of design, function, damage risks, and repairs helps you make better decisions to keep them in good shape. Here are 5 key differences:

    1. Visibility

    The front windshield offers 180 degree visibility for safe driving, while the rear windshield's main role isn't visibility.

    2. Material 

    Front windshields have specialised laminated glass; rear ones use single-layer tempered glass.

    3. Passenger Protection

    The plastic safety core in laminated front windshields prevents injuries from shards in case of breakage.

    4. Structural Integrity

    The rear windshield lends more structural stability and integrity as part of the chassis.

    5. Replacement Complexity & Cost

    Front windshield repairs and replacement are very complex and costly due to integrated features and strict safety standards.

    Conclusion

    While your car relies on both front and rear windshields, they are optimised for distinct purposes. From visibility to safety and beyond, understanding these key differences helps inform appropriate repair, replacement, and maintenance decisions. Consult a professional auto glass specialist like AIS Windshield Experts to restore and protect your view of the road ahead fully.

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