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Newer Audi windshields seem to be too fragile.

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Old 07-28-2014, 10:11 AM   #1
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Default Newer Audi windshields seem to be too fragile.

On the highway over the weekend and a small rock decides to fling itself into my windshield. I didn't think much of it because it seemed too small to do any real damage and I didn't see any marks in the area I thought it hit.

I make a couple of stops and when I get back on the highway I notice a crack coming from the edge of the windshield on the driver's side. Over the next few hours the crack continues growing to where it's about 1 foot long now. The rock hit about 1/2 inch from the edge.

I've driven countless cars over the years and have taken windshield hits from all sorts of debris. This is the first time I've ever had a windshield actually crack. Not only that, but it just so happens that the windshield on my husband's 2013 A8L has also cracked in a similar fashion. The crack starts at the bottom corner of the windshield on the driver's side about 1 1/2 inches from the edge.

I've only had my 2014 SQ5 for 1 1/2 months and can't believe I'm going to have to replace the windshield! Should I contact Audi? I honestly don't think that tiny little rock should've been enough to crack the windshield.
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:02 AM   #2
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I also have suffered the same injury. A stray rock it our 2014 Q5 in February about 1 inch from bottom, 8 inches from left edge. Not too long after it began the crack from the bottom up about halfway up the windshield.

Was just at Safelite for a replacement today. I wanted to see the new windshield before installation. My original Audi windshield is Guardian with Audi logo. The one that Safelite had located was Saint-Gobain Sekurit. The manager said it before me that if you want OEM, he will reorder. I will wait for the OEM windshield.

After spending $55,000 on a new vehicle I don't want an aftermarket windshield. But I hope we both have fluke accidental rock hits that resulting in this cracking.
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:12 AM   #3
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I got mine cracked as well. Replaces for another OEM one. The installer actually said all new windshields were thin and rather fragile. He even showed me other pieces in his truck. They did look thin.
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisMitchell View Post
I also have suffered the same injury. A stray rock it our 2014 Q5 in February about 1 inch from bottom, 8 inches from left edge. Not to long after it began the crack from the bottom up about halfway up the windshield.

Was just at Safelite for a replacement today. I wanted to see the new windshield before installation. My original Audi windshield is Guardian with Audi logo. The one that Safelite had located was Saint-Gobain Sekurit. The manager said it before me that if you want OEM, he will reorder. That is where is left it.

After spending $55,000 on a new vehicle I don't want an aftermarket windshield. But I hope we both have fluke accidental rock hits that resulting in this cracking.
Did you take pictures? I'm definitely going to go with OEM. However, I think I'm going to contact Audi with our details first. It just seems too odd to have 2 new Audis with cracked windshields in the same household.
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Old 07-28-2014, 12:02 PM   #5
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I had a crack show up overnight on my 2013 RS 5. Started at left edge and was about 18" long. I did notice a small chip where it started, but took awhile to crack I guess. So replaced with an OEM windshield on July 11. That afternoon while driving home, a kid on a skateboard ran a downhill stop sign and broadsided me. Said he couldn't stop. His elbow went through the windshield and he also totaled the right front fender. Kid needed stiches in elbow but no broken bones. Woe is me. Parts on order.
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Old 07-28-2014, 01:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAMOHT View Post
I got mine cracked as well. Replaces for another OEM one. The installer actually said all new windshields were thin and rather fragile. He even showed me other pieces in his truck. They did look thin.
I think this is the answer. My Q5 windshield also says "acoustic" on the label. So there is tech at play here for noise and weight reduction. Here is a description from the Saint Goblain Sekurit website:

FUNCTIONAL GLAZING


Product advantages

For end-users:

Comfort:

A quiet car interior allows passengers to take full advantage of the entertainment equipment in their car, for example, a CD player or radio receiver. Moreover, a quieter interior will encourage use of a hands-free phone system or future voice controlled devices.

Safety:

An uncomfortable sound environment has negative effects on the driver (and passengers) who may feel tired and drowsy, thus jeopardizing safety.

For car makers:

To reduce noise inside the car without increasing weight:

Acoustic glazing is one of the technical sound insulation solutions that will not increase the total weight of the car. For instance assuming that the glass thickness is maintained, an acoustic windshield will have exactly the same weight as a conventional glazing.

A significant opportunity for weight reduction:

The use of acoustic windshields allows carmakers to lighten their cars by using thinner glazing without sacrificing acoustic comfort. Indeed, for the same total thickness of glass, acoustic glazing can also reduce the weight of the glazing and enhance acoustic comfort inside the passenger compartment.

Best cost/efficiency ratio:

Using SGS dBCONTROL® acoustic glazing is an efficient, easy to implement and cost effective solution to fight against noise inside cars.

Competitive differentiation and Improvement of brand image:

When all vehicles feature more or less the same specifications and differentiating them becomes a difficult task, acoustic comfort can be one of the few main choice criteria. Therefore, acoustic comfort is a powerful argument for differentiation. Last but not least, it will contribute to improving a car maker's brand image.

A fully compatible product:

Acoustic PVB can be used in conjunction with any other functions added to glass such as heatable glazing (SGS ICECONTROL® Coating or Wires), heat reflective or absorbing glazing (SGS THERMOCONTROL® Reflecting or Absorbing).
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Old 07-29-2014, 04:23 AM   #7
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Definitely work with the local repair shop suggested by the dealer. I had a chip/crack (saw the rock coming and ducked!) that grew over a couple of days to a full length crack, the local dealer suggested a shop--they actually did the repair in one of the dealer repair bays. They also suggested I work with the insurance company to "force" the use of OEM glass, there are appx 5 different windshields for 2014 Q5's depending on installed options, so you need the dealer to look up the correct part by VIN.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:03 AM   #8
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Here are some pictures. Not easy to see, but this is the best I could do with smartphone.


Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.

The rock hit was about 1/3 way up from bottom of windshield and that NYS inspection sticker (square one).

FWIW.
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:39 PM   #9
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If you don't mind take a pic of the Windsheild logo information. I know glass, in particular automotive laminated safety glass. The thickness doesn't have much to do with its resistance to stone impacts. The internal stress and tension/compression profile is most important. The thickness actually is more geared towards sound dampening, acoustic vinyl does a better job damping but can't attenuate all frequencies, hence thicker glass. But thick glass is expensive and heavy! Thin glass with acoustic vinyl is best setup IMO.

Typically the perimeter of laminated glass is the weakest part of the windshield. The region 8-15mm from edge of glass. Stress can also be high up to 400mm inboard from edge depending on their annealing and tooling setup. The cermaic area is usually weaker too due to the emissity of the surface, ceramic area heats and cools quicker compared to the clear area. The center of glass, in the normal viewing window typically has no stress and can withstand impacts much better.. You can see stress with polarized glasses. It looks like this. Cool huh?


Click the image to open in full size.


I can tell you there is no gaurantee a WS can withstand stone impact, especially where the rock hit your windhsield, in the ceramic print area near the edge. I see a big dig mark, glass chip.

I would try the Saint Gobain (france) if others report the same issue with Gaurdian. Staint Gobain may make a better windshield.

How does distortion look? Do you see waviness around the border dots or mirror/rain sensor area? Feel free to ask away.

Last edited by burns375; 07-29-2014 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:30 PM   #10
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Thank you for your comments and insight. I will get photos of the label on both the old and new windshield (still at Safelite). Perhaps the Saint Gobain would be better.

What is your background that you have this knowledge?
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burns375 View Post
I can tell you there is no gaurantee a WS can withstand stone impact, especially where the rock hit your windhsield, in the ceramic print area near the edge. I see a big dig mark, glass chip.
Thanks for the info!

Something interesting to note: Our windshields (A8 and the SQ5) are cracked similar to DennisMitchell's in that they were from stone hits to the ceramic print area of the driver's side.

I have a question, would damage from a stone be different from a center punch tool?

Also, you can see the point of impact, but the surface of the glass at that point is still smooth. No chip.
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Old 07-30-2014, 03:24 AM   #12
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Default logo and crack info

[QUOTE=burns375;24591353]If you don't mind take a pic of the Windsheild logo information.

If you look closely, you can see that the crack went to the right as well, along the hood line and then back up into the main part of the windshield.
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Old 07-30-2014, 04:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhblaw View Post
I had a crack show up overnight on my 2013 RS 5. Started at left edge and was about 18" long. I did notice a small chip where it started, but took awhile to crack I guess. So replaced with an OEM windshield on July 11.
Here is a tip - as soon as you see even a small chip get it repaired.
99% not noticible, free with most comprehensive insurance, takes only about a half hour too.
Best is that you keep a factory installed windshield
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:49 AM   #14
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Saint Gobain Sekurit is also OEM for Audi. Here's the label from my 13 S4 (also cracked on a rock chip near the edge). I insisted on a replacement from Audi and got the very same windshield when the repair crew showed up. Interestingly, my wife's 11 Avant has the very same windshield on it. She's also got a chip in hers but it's in the middle of the windshield and even after two years hasn't even grown 1 mm.
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:57 AM   #15
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Ugh...I have experienced the same thing.

2 weeks after delivery of our brand new Q5 a rock hit the windshield and cracked right through. Had it replaced with OEM. I have replacement insurance so had OEM straight from dealer and my deductible reimbursed.

Then, 3 days after the windshield was replaced got hit with another rock. F. Fortunately this time it was just a surface chip...just a minor blemish.

Interestingly, this is the first car I've had out of 7 that has experienced any sort of crack from a rock. My first thought was, "Man, this windshield must be really weak."
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:26 PM   #16
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Since I have been driving since the 60s I have seen my share of chips and cracks - it is not uncommon and I suspect that last winter was unusually harsh throughout the country and hence much more gravel was on the road than in the past.
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Old 07-30-2014, 01:36 PM   #17
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You could always apply Clearplex to your windshield once you get it replaced. I haven't personally used it, but it's another layer to prevent this from happening again in the future.
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamigrrl [midori] View Post
Thanks for the info!

Something interesting to note: Our windshields (A8 and the SQ5) are cracked similar to DennisMitchell's in that they were from stone hits to the ceramic print area of the driver's side.

I have a question, would damage from a stone be different from a center punch tool?

Also, you can see the point of impact, but the surface of the glass at that point is still smooth. No chip.
As far as stone impact vs punch. There are many factors related to what can impact a windshield and how. Impact energy, hardness of material, contact area. Each equally important. A diamond ring on glass needs very little force to cause a problem or if you have heard of the spark plug trick. Iridium is very hard. The key characteristic on the glass side is the thickness of the compression layer and the internal tension of glass. Usually compression layer is very thin, say 0.1mm. Once the compression layer is comprimised the glass is very weak and vulnerable to leading. The residual tension in glass typically determines how easily, how quickly and to what extent the crack will form.

Remember, the front windshield and laminated glass in general is inherently weak by design. To keep you safe in the event of a car collison/accident. Laminated glass is designed to break, to keep you inside the vehicle and to keep your head from mashing into pulp. Prior to 1952 windhshields in the us were tempered. Can you image hitting a glass wall at 70 mph, and if the tempered glass broke, can you image being showered with glass at 70mph or being ejected out of the front like a rocket.

Hard to say who is at fault Audi, Environment or Supplier. Rock impacts are tricky and impossible to totally prevent while maintaining cost. The key word is totally, there is a point where the stone is too big, too fast, too hard. That limit is important and difficult to interrupt and understand without conducting controlled lab testing/stress measurement and understanding audi's agreed specs with supplier. Unless there are ALOT of claims for stone impacts causing leads in a particular area then its unlikely Audi or Supplier is at fault due to design and construction.... bc stones will break glass, this is an unfortunate reality.

Like others have mentioned always repair stone impacts asap. Thermal cycling in summer and winter, road force/vibration, body force, will accelerate lead from impact site.

Last edited by burns375; 07-30-2014 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieG View Post
Saint Gobain Sekurit is also OEM for Audi. Here's the label from my 13 S4 (also cracked on a rock chip near the edge). I insisted on a replacement from Audi and got the very same windshield when the repair crew showed up. Interestingly, my wife's 11 Avant has the very same windshield on it. She's also got a chip in hers but it's in the middle of the windshield and even after two years hasn't even grown 1 mm.
I didn't take a picture of the Saint Gobain Sekurit that the Safelite dealer had received, but it did not have the Audi symbol on it, and the manager did not try to tell me it was OEM. He felt it was aftermarket. I will try to visit with him tomorrow.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:01 PM   #20
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Today my windshield was replaced with OEM glass. First picture was original, second is replaced. Safelite secured the glass from my Audi dealer and installed it.

Original:

Click the image to open in full size.

Replacement:


Click the image to open in full size.

Best of luck to all.
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