Tharazero1

My dads 2002 window exploded

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Hi guys, just recently my dads 2002 was at the mechanics because his horn on his steering wheel wasn't working. Whilst at the mechanics the passenger side window just exploded. He said it has happened before on the drivers side window and he now wants to know why it exploded. If you could help it would be greatly apriciated

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Never heard of any Windows just exploding.  Bet it gave the mechanic a nasty surprise

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The same thing happened to the driver's window on my '73--parked in my driveway, in the shade on a sunny day, not facing the street or any other source of a randomly flung stone from a passing vehicle or lawn mower.  Most of the glass fragments ended up in the driveway, not in the car, so it blew outward, not inward.  And it happened in the 2 or so minutes it took me to walk out to our on-street mailbox.  Outbound, the window was intact, and rolled up most of the way.  When I returned, there were little crumbs of tempered glass all over the driveway near the driver's door, with a small amount on the driver's seat and footwell.  

 

It's a pretty well known fact that tempered glass is under internal stresses, and sometimes just explodes.  My uncle had a 51 or 52 Buick (back when they were new) that had at least three rear windows blow out while the car was sitting in the shade in the driveway.  Dealer couldn't explain it, neither could the Buick regional service rep.  "They just do that sometimes."  

 

mike

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32 minutes ago, mike said:

The same thing happened to the driver's window on my '73--parked in my driveway, in the shade on a sunny day, not facing the street or any other source of a randomly flung stone from a passing vehicle or lawn mower.  Most of the glass fragments ended up in the driveway, not in the car, so it blew outward, not inward.  And it happened in the 2 or so minutes it took me to walk out to our on-street mailbox.  Outbound, the window was intact, and rolled up most of the way.  When I returned, there were little crumbs of tempered glass all over the driveway near the driver's door, with a small amount on the driver's seat and footwell.  

 

It's a pretty well known fact that tempered glass is under internal stresses, and sometimes just explodes.  My uncle had a 51 or 52 Buick (back when they were new) that had at least three rear windows blow out while the car was sitting in the shade in the driveway.  Dealer couldn't explain it, neither could the Buick regional service rep.  "They just do that sometimes."  

 

mike

It was in the garage but it wasn't sunny, right now in Melbourne Australia it is winter and the weather doesn't reach much higher than 13 degrees Celsius so I can't say what happened there

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Hmm,

 

to my experience in the past years most of the busted door windows followed from a wrong window adjustment. Trying to eliminate or minimize the wind noises resulting from the frameless construction, people tend to adjust the door windows pressing too taut to the rubber gasket (especially once the gasket has gotten a little tired already). Sometimes it also happens when the height limiters or the complete angle of the window doesn´t sit correctly and the window might slightly touch part of the chrome trim around it - although then the window mostly blows up right when you´re closing the door.

 

I´m keeping several sets of tinted windows in my personal storage, some of them for more than 25 years now. Not a single one of those ever blew up just standing around there, which to my personal view doesn´t really support Mike´s theory with too much stress already on the window itself.

 

Best regards, Lars.

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Lars, I should have added that I hadn't adjusted the driver's window in many years (like 20)...and the car was just sitting in the driveway, where it hadn't moved in an hour or so.  My local glass guy said he had seen the same thing happen--and make and model of car didn't seem to matter--happen more than a few times.  And it was always tempered glass, never the laminated glass as used in windshields.  

 

Here's a link to a written and video story about how/why tempered glass breaks "out of the blue."   Towards the end of the video the point is made that a tiny defect in the manufacturing process may take 20 years before it causes the glass to break...

 

http://www.abc2news.com/homepage-showcase/experts-explain-when-why-tempered-glass-can-randomly-explode

 

mike

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it may have been a mechanic who used a regular u-joint socket on an impact driver

 

"...really Boss, it just blew up -- out of the blue!"

 

(joking, of course)

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Mike,

 

it´s not always that easy to transfer one´s thoughts into understandable written text. With me here on the FAQ another problem just to add on top is that I have to switch languages in between from my german thoughts to my english written text.

 

Therefor: I didn´t want to doubt your experiences in general. Tempered glass might of course be under internal stress and might want to blow up without any external influences. Just wanted to express that to my experiences for a BMW 02 it´s more likely to me that someone might have re-adjusted the window wrongly, as currently there are so many "Oh, I´ve already already worked on these cars in the 70s"-experts/mechanics around (at least in Germany) that really don´t know a shit and have their eyes focussed only on the money they possibly might earn with those "Oh, that small, old BMW seems like a nice little investment" new BMW 02 owners.

 

Ya know what I mean?

 

Best regards, Lars.

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So the obvious question is, do they ever explode when the cars in motion?

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Had my driver side window shatter due to incorrect adjustment by a previous owner. Luckily it happened after we'd driven Vern 3100 miles when I was at my local mechanic's. The window hit the B pillar trim just right and I was cleaning up glass for weeks. Replaced the window the next day. Found one of the trim clips for the outer rubber was contacting the window. So the one that shattered had hit the clip and B pillar just right.

IMG_0663.JPG

 

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For what it's worth:

 

I had one shatter when I closed a door.  Mind you I didn't have a door card, and as such the piece at the top on the inside, or the outer trim.

 

I believe it moved and hit a piece of metal (top/rear/inside) on the door.  Until I go the door card and outer trim piece back on, I put a piece of rubber fuel line over that...  Fortunately I had a spare window....

 

 

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There's also that rivet that holds the end of the wound spring, that will let go, then the spring blows open. Possibly that could break the glass?

 

Scott

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I wondered about that too.

My pin is gone on my driver's door mechanism.

The spring makes a bonging sound when the door is slammed.

It is on the list of things to fix.

Your 'theory' would be fairly easy to investigate.

Especially since they will be inside the door, while replacing the glass.

A missing pin would not prove it caused it, but an intact pin would prove it did not... :)

Tom

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