A Comprehensive Guide and Frequently Asked Questions About Car Rear Windows

Looking for more information about your rear windows and problems you might be having with them?

A rear window has a different material composition to the other windows in your vehicle. Besides having heating stripes, and shatterproof qualities, the window is also more angled than the others in your car. To be clear, your rear window is not a windshield, and replacing this window can be much more complex and costly than your vehicle’s front and side windows.

So, what exactly is the rear window, what are the stipe functions, and how can you replace it?  Is this a task you can complete at home, or is it better to consult the experts? Furthermore, what components do the car’s windshield and rear window have in common?

You can use this guide to answer all rear car window-related questions.

A Comprehensive Guide and Frequently Asked Questions About Car Rear Windows

How is a Rear Window Made?

Rear windows are not made with the same material as the front windows. Instead, they are made using the same technique used for vent windows and side windows. This also includes quarter glass panes and tempered glass.

 The rear window is also then strengthened with thermal or chemical treatments. These are essential so that the rear window can withstand all kinds of blunt force. If it’s not reinforced, you might experience easy cracking and shattering, which can be dangerous for you and cause damage to your car. 

This reinforcement is often referred to as tempered glass or safety glass because of the support added to keep you safe while driving or if you are in an accident or head-on collision.

Rear Car Window With Wiper

What are the Lines on the Rear Car Window?

Rear Car Window With Stripes

This is one of the most asked questions when it comes to car rear windows. You have probably noticed the lines on the rear car window but are unsure what they are used for. The lines are not just decorative, but they serve a specific purpose. They are used as rear windshield defrosters, which you use on your car daily during the winter or on very humid days.

The defrosting system feature is essential since you want to ensure you have clear visibility out of your car all the time. You might be tempted to start driving before your vehicle is completely defrosted, but always wait to ensure your safety.

The lines also reinforce the tempered and safety glass to ensure it doesn’t shatter or bust easily. This means it can survive blunt force and won’t cave in if hit by rocks or other sharp objects.

Rear Window vs. Rear Windshield

Rear window and rear windshields are used interchangeably. Depending on where you grew up or the county you currently live in, you might call it one or the other. Usually, those in the car service industry call it a rear window or rear windshield. Both are correct.

Whether you call it a rear window or rear windshield, people will know what part of the vehicle you are referring to if you include the word “rear.

Keep in mind all these things are different from a rear mirror. The rear mirror is the center of the front windshield that allows you to see who or what is behind you as you drive.

Can you Replace/Repair a Rear Window?

Broken Rear Window of car

In some cases, windshield repair is not possible. However, a damaged rear window should be replaced as it blinds your vision. A car repair worker or a service shop should be able to advise you on which solution will work best for you. A repair should be cheaper than a complete replacement, though looking at the long-term solution would be wise, and you should ensure the repair won’t end up doing more harm than good.

Minor scratches and cracks can usually be repaired instead of a full replacement glass. However, no matter the damage, you want to make sure you get it replaced right away. Leaving the damage will leave more room for extensive damage since cracks can spread quickly.

If you have damage touching or going across any lines in your rear window, you will need a replacement on the rear window. These lines are part of an electrical system, so your whole rear window will need to be replaced to ensure the electrical current works correctly.

What Features are Available in a Rear Window?

Rear windows will come in different shapes and sizes depending on the car you are driving. The rear window should be made especially for the type and model of the car you own. Most cars will have a rear window that is bonded to the rear frame of the vehicle. This locks it in place and makes sure it can’t shatter or detach easily.

In certain types of trucks, you might see that your rear window is a truck slider or sliding panes. These open outward on a hinge, allowing air to circulate in the vehicle. It can also add extra space to the car if you need to load big items.

Most vehicles will also have rear windshield glass wipers so that you can easily wipe dirt and water off. This allows you to keep driving even during rain with clear visibility in the rearview mirror.


A rear window open view is essential in arriving safely at your destination. However, your vehicle’s rear window is more than mere decoration or an unnecessary accessory. Always ensure that your windows are crack or shatter-free, and head to the car repair service as soon as you notice any damage.