A Quick, Temporary Repair to a Broken Car Window

Over the holiday break, Kenny and my parents took in The Penguins of Madagascar at the theatre in Waterloo.

You can imagine my concern when I realized that although the movie had ended about an hour earlier, they still weren’t home.
This was compounded when their home phone rang, and upon answering, I was informed by the local police that there had been a 911 call placed by my Mom’s cellphone and they were following up on it.
As it turns out, when they left the theatre, they discovered that their passenger window had been broken and a pair of $10 binoculars and some small change had been stolen.  I found it interesting that their GPS was left unmolested.  I suppose the advent of cellphone GPS applications has made single purpose GPS units rather less attractive.
Mom had called 911 first, before being directed to call a more local, non-emergency number.  I suppose they still follow up regardless.  It was a relief to know that they were safe.
I think at first that made Kenny a bit subdued.  It was likely a cold, windy drive back from the theatre, and he was quiet when he first returned.  It wasn’t until a little later that he opened up a bit more about the movie.
In the meantime, it was New Year’s Eve, and Nana and Papa needed a solution until a glass place opened up to do the repair.
Papa found a sheet of plastic that would fit the bill, and had his roll of duct tape in hand ready to enact a typical repair.  I wanted to see if there was some way that we could improve on the standard fix for this situation.  I didn’t think that duct tape would be the nicest to his paint and interior trim, at the very least, leaving an icky mess to clean up after the window was repaired.
My solution was to take a length of nylon hose that he could spare, and insert it like a spline all the way around the window opening.

This actually worked a charm, although eventually the pressure of the wind on the plastic did lift the bottom edge and required it to be reset or reinforced with a small piece of tape.

He was able to hold on until Saturday, when Star Auto Glass opened and was able to do the repair for them.
It was a hassle though, cancelling our plans to go out to the family activities on New Year’s Eve.  It has gotten me into the frame of mind that perhaps I will not bother locking my vehicles unless there is something of value in them – the thought being that theft of the entire vehicle is very unlikely, while the odds of a broken window in the search for something of value is small, but significant (I have had my vehicles broken into on three occasions in the past fifteen years or so).
Feel free to use the hose as a spline idea – I haven’t patented it yet!

1 thought on “A Quick, Temporary Repair to a Broken Car Window”

  1. I read a short while ago that WD-40 effectively removes tape scum from surfaces. I would hope it would be the same for duct tape scum. If you find yourself with nothing to do and a bit of duct tape I guess it's a test you could try out for yourself.


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