How many layers of glass are in your windshield?  Why doesn’t it fall apart when that crack takes off from end to end?  A windshield is NOT as it appears: a single piece of glass that is attached to the front of your car placed there to conveniently prevent the wind from getting on you and to block dirt and debris from taking out your face.

In reality, windshields are actually far more involved than just one piece of glass used as a windbreaker, which is probably a good thing since they are put into many situations where they have been responsible for many saved lives.

1)  Glass

Your windshield is made up of not one, but two identical sheets of glass that are pressed together. Why two pieces you ask?  Good question. Two makes for better insulation – just like your house glass – two panes are better than one right?  They also make for a more stable surface.  When you get that pesky chip on the freeway, the two sheets prevent you from getting hit in the face by it.  Your windshield will also remain air and watertight even when one layer is cracked.

2) Plastic

In between the two sheets of glass is a layer of laminated plastic. The purpose of this plastic is to hold the two sheets of glass together. This plastic keeps objects from breaking through to you while driving.  We like plastic!  This then makes the glass much safer.

3) Glue

The glue used is polyurethane.  This glue helps bond your windshield to your car.  The seal should be water and airtight.  It helps keep you safe in case of a rollover or crash.  The glass keeps the structural integrity of your vehicle.  It helps keep your roof intact in order to help you get out if there is an accident.

4) Added Bonuses

There are many technological features in windshields.  More are sure to come.  Examples include:
Heads Up Display – allows the driver to see the speedometer in the glass
Heated Wiper Park Area – allows the wipers to thaw so the driver can use them more quickly
Third Visor Frit – little black dots around the rear view mirror – disperses sun from driver’s eyes
Electrochromic Mirror – time and direction included in rear view mirror
Antenna – so you can rock out!  😉
There ya have it!  Your Windshield Anatomy!  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to call:  928-775-9898 Prescott    928-282-5788 Sedona  928-634-2776 Cottonwood




  1. Ray Cardone on October 1, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    This is 100% accurate, I am a 20 year veteran of the auto glass industry and I can vouch for this post. Remember to always wear gloves while replacing a windshield.

    Spot on!

  2. Bob Demary on June 19, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    I actually have a question. After going through a car wash the next day I noticed gray streaking completely across the windshield. Thought at first it was the rag the attendant used but I could not get rid of the streaks. From the outside it looks as though it’s on the inside but cleaning inside does not help. Could the windshield have leaked and the streaking be in between the two panes of glass? The vehicle is a 2002 GMC Sierra 1500.

    • adventureautoglass on June 21, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      Great question! The probability of water getting in between the sheets of glass are nil to 0. Without seeing your windshield, it sounds like you have fine scratches. Send us a pic. We are curious!

    • Stephanie on July 9, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      I have the same problem. I just bought a used car and it seems the streaks are between the 2 pieces of glass.

      • adventureautoglass on July 25, 2015 at 2:58 am

        That is odd. Might be a factory issue. Call who replaced your glass and get another one. The shop should warranty it.

  3. Kay Watson on August 29, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    I got into my Jetta and found the rearview mirror had fall off the windshield leaving chards of glass all over the dashboard. A layer of glass was still attached to the mirror mount and a circle about the size of half dollar is missing a layer of glass and appears cracked. I have 2 questions; 1st what would have caused this to happen? 2nd what is the best and safest repair the entire windshield or the crack repaired? Thank you.

    • adventureautoglass on September 12, 2016 at 11:44 pm

      Without seeing your car it is difficult to tell you exactly what happened. What I will tell you is this – you are not alone. This has happened to lots of folks so don’t fret – make an appointment with your local auto glass shop and get it fixed.

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