How to Cover a Broken Car Window?

The essence of knowing what to do in emergencies cannot be overemphasized. For example, various occurrences, from road accidents to a catastrophic wind that blows off heavy objects, can damage a car’s window. Such experiences can be frustrating if you don’t know what to do next.

Since replacing a broken window can be a little bit expensive, knowing how to cover a broken car window can help you leverage a temporal fix. This strategy costs little to nothing as you can get the materials around or from an auto parts shop near you.

Meanwhile, there are several reasons why you should cover your broken car window as soon as possible. So, let’s commence this discussion from there.

Reasons why you should cover your broken car window

A broken car window comes with many challenges; hence, the need for you to find out how to cover a broken window as soon as possible before replacing the component. Some of the major reasons why you should cover your broken car window include the following:

broken car window temporary fix

Car appearance

Although individual priorities differ, driving a presentable car is as important as being a presentable person in public. Not to ignore, the popular maxim reads – “Dress the way you want to be addressed.” Technically, the maxim applies to this case as the type of car you drive says a lot about your status, personality, taste, etc.

Therefore, you don’t want to be seen driving a car with a broken window across the city. Also, covering the window in a zig-zag manner can deface the car and make it look ugly. With little or no cost implication at all, you can cover a broken car window with something nice.


Broken pieces of glass can be a hazard if you don’t get rid of them immediately. If you neglect the broken window and choose to drive your car that way, you will endanger yourself and your passengers.

The wind can blow broken pieces of glass into the car while driving, resulting in a severe injury. So, removing the broken glass and covering the window will help to avert such a challenge.

Protection against the weather

An exposed car window is easy to access for dust, dirt, or debris when the wind blows. At the same time, the entrance of such things can damage your car’s interior. Also, a rainy day can be a bad day because of the damage water will most likely cause to your car’s interior.

Although a temporal window cover may not protect your car completely under certain conditions; however, with some tips on how to cover a broken car window from rain, you can be sure of some level of protection, especially against a rainy day.

Theft prevention

Undoubtedly, covering a broken car window with a garbage bag or plastic sheet may not be able to prevent theft attempts completely. Nevertheless, the covering can divert the attention of dubious folks across the streets from tampering with the broken car window at night.

However, relying on a plastic cover all along can be problematic in the long run. Therefore, ensure to replace the broken window as soon as possible.

Read Also: Can I Drive With a Cracked Windshield: Is It Safe and Legal?

How to Cover a Broken Car Window

Covering a broken car window can be easy once you have all the items you need to do the job perfectly. Some of the materials you need for this job are; a pair of solid hand gloves, a small hammer, microfiber cloth, a vacuum cleaner, a high-density clear garbage bag, automotive masking tape, and a razor blade.

Once you have the materials ready, jump on the process. You should be able to finish up the entire job within a few minutes. Now, let’s delve into the procedure below.

how to cover a broken car window from rain

Step 1: Remove broken glass pieces

Firstly, applying the covering on the broken window while pieces of the glass still stand on the frame is not ideal. So, you have to remove the pieces of glass before anything else.

Meanwhile, some pieces of glass may be hard to remove, so you’ll need to use a small hammer to break them off gradually. Remember to wear your hand gloves before picking out the glass leftover pieces. Ensure to use a pair of strong and thick hand gloves.

Step 2: Clear off tiny pieces of glass

No doubt, removing the broken glass leftover pieces may not be 100 percent complete. Therefore, you need to use a vacuum cleaner to carefully clear off the leftover pieces of glass on the seat, headrest, and other areas of the car’s interior.

Step 3: Clean up debris

Once you remove the pieces of glass to the last bit, get a piece of microfiber cloth to clean up the dirt or debris on the door’s outside frame. This will enable the masking tape to stick when applied properly. You can also wash the surface with water and allow it to dry before moving to the next stage. 

Step 4: Spread the garbage bag and apply the masking tape

Finally, spreading the transparent garbage bag goes simultaneously with applying the masking tape. So, get a clear garbage bag, apply the masking tape on one of the edges, and stick it onto the door close to the window’s rubber seal.

Then, spread the bag across to the top of the door frame and apply the masking tape to hold it in place. You may want to do this on the other side of the window to make sure that the job is perfect.

Then, apply the masking tape on all the edges of the garbage bag onto the frame to ensure that it makes a perfect seal. Don’t forget to cut the tape with the razor blade so it doesn’t appear rough on the surface.

If you’re contemplating how to cover a broken back car window, kindly note that the strategy above is useful for virtually all car windows across various vehicles.

Read Also: How To Stop A Windshield Crack From Spreading?

How to Temporarily Cover a Broken Car Window

Applying a broken car window temporary fix can be a first aid exercise before you eventually replace the component. Basically, using a temporary window repair film or a crash wrap is a straightforward strategy that can be helpful at this point. However, let’s concentrate on using a crash wrap.

You will also need these items; a small hammer, solid hand gloves, vacuum cleaner, microfiber cloth, crash wrap, and a razor blade. And in two simple steps, you’re good to go.

Step 1: Properly prepare the broken window area

This involves steps 1 – 3 above. In other words, ensure to remove the broken standing pieces of glass on the door frame. After that, use a vacuum cleaner to thoroughly clear off the tiny pieces of glass and clean up any debris from the door frame with the microfiber cloth.

Step 2: Apply the crash wrap

You don’t need masking tape to use a crash wrap. Just stretch it out and stick the edge beneath the window’s rubber seal on the door. Then spread it across the top of the frame and take it over to the other side of the window down to the area beneath the rubber seal.

After that, carefully press the crash wrap to the surface in order to make a perfect seal. Then, use the razor blade to cut the wrap carefully as you trace the door’s edges. You may want to press the wrap on once again to make the job very neat.

YouTube how to cover a broken car window


Q: What can I use to cover my broken car window?

A clear packing tape, plastic sheet, or plastic bag are materials that you can use to cover your broken car window. However, there are various alternatives to use as strategies to ensure that your car’s broken window is properly covered from the rain intrusion, especially.

Nevertheless, using transparent plastic to cover broken car windows is best because you don’t need a material that will close the window completely without an opportunity for light to shine brightly into the car.

Therefore, you are good to go if you have a weather-proof material that protects the vehicle’s occupants from rain or direct sunlight. In any case, it would be best to replace the window as soon as possible.

Q: Can I Saran Wrap the broken car window?

Sure! You can saran wrap a broken car window. However, this material is considered to be flimsy because of its fragility (it can be easily damaged). So, instead of using saran wrap to cover your car’s broken window, why not use a garbage bag?

Of course, garbage is more solid than saran wrap. Remember that saran wrap’s primary purpose is to serve as food wrap, which does not subject it to harsh conditions like wind. In contrast, a garbage bag packs wastes and holds them securely until you discard them completely.

In other words, garbage is more durable and presentable when applied to your broken car window than saran wrap. All you need is to know how to cover a broken car window with a trash bag.

Q: How do you cover a window without taking it out?

A transparent masking tape and a clear garbage bag can be helpful in covering a car’s window without taking it out. For instance, if you have a slightly broken window with a large portion of the glass leftover on the window, you may want to hold it together with clear masking tape.

So, first and foremost, wear a pair of hand gloves to protect your hands from any cuts that the edges of the broken glass may cause. Then, apply the masking tape across the window carefully on both sides of the window.

After that, stretch a piece of transparent garbage bag across the window and tape the edges of the bag with the masking tape to hold it firmly to the door frame.

Q: How do you crash wrap a window?

Crash wrapping a damaged car window is pretty straightforward. Simply get the crash wrap across the street from an auto parts or accessories shop. However, before applying the wrap on the broken window, wear a pair of hand gloves and carefully remove the broken pieces of glass from the car door frame.

After that, ensure to clean any dirt or debris on the frame. Then, stick the edge of the crash wrap to the door below the window area and stretch it out to the top of the frame and over to the other side for a proper seal. Then, press the wrap to stick properly.

Once you have a proper seal on both sides of the window, carefully cut out the crash wrap based on the dimensions you desire to cover. Applying the method above is perfect if you’re asking how to cover a broken rear car window.

Q: How do you tape a car window?

If you have a broken window, covering the open space with a clear garbage bag and taping it will help as a temporary fix. The procedure is as follows: Get the clear garbage bag and masking tape ready, as well as your working hand gloves.

Then, clear off the leftover pieces of glass on the window and remove any dirt around the area. After that, apply a piece of masking tape to one of the edges of the garbage bag and stick it under the rubber window seal.

Then, spread the bag over the window from bottom to top and apply some of the tapes on the edge of the bag to hold it onto the top area of the door frame. You may want to do the same on the other side of the window to get a solid covering.

Q: How do you make car window covers?

Car window covers are quite easy to make, especially when the materials are handy. So, if you have a broken window, some of the materials you need for the job are; measurement tape, a pair of scissors, reflectix, and automotive masking tape.

Once you have all the items ready, get the measurement tape to measure the height and width of the window. Then, use the measurement to cut the reflectix into the shape of the window. It doesn’t matter if you cut it to an extra large size. You can trim it later.

After that, place the newly trimmed reflectix on the window and apply the masking tape across it from the top of the door frame to the bottom beneath the window’s rubber seal. Apply the tape as much as you need to get a perfect seal over the window.

Q: Does duct tape hurt car paint?

Not at all! Duct tape does not hurt or cause any form of damage to your car’s paint when you use it to hold a plastic bag to cover a broken car window. However, it may leave some residue when removing the tape afterward.

Nothing to worry about that! You can simply wipe off the residue by using a solvent like Goo Gone to clean it properly. In any case, it would be best to use transparent masking tape when covering a broken window instead of duct tape.

Q: What kind of tape do you use on car windows?

Automotive masking tape is best for car windows because they don’t leave residue on your car’s surface after removal. They are better than duct tapes, which have strong adhesives that leave an ugly sticky residue on your car paint after removal.

In any case, if you have residues from duct tape on your car’s body, you may want to find out how to clean off duct tape residue from a car.

However, avoiding the stress from the onset would be best by using the recommended automotive tape when covering a broken car window.

Final Words

Implementing the strategies on how to cover a broken car window above is very easy, especially if you’re a DIYer. In fact, you can do the job perfectly even if it is your first time fixing a thing on your car personally.

However, getting a friend to assist in the process can help reduce the stress and time the entire exercise would consume. Nevertheless, carefully study various approaches and stick to the one that suits you the best.

If you prefer to apply a crash wrap directly instead of battling how to cover a broken car window with plastic wrap, that is a perfect idea. However, make sure that there are no loopholes where water can easily enter the car during rainy days. Finally, kindly replace the broken window ASAP!

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Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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