Many moons ago I was cruising (as much as anyone can) down the Tanami Highway in Central Australia with a documentary film crew. We had three four wheel drives and one trailer in the convoy. They were laden down with people, spare parts, film gear and all of the equipment we needed to camp out in the desert for two weeks. One of the dangers of traveling on rocky dirt roads is that a rock may go through a window smashing the pane of glass.
On this occasion the dual cab Toyota Hilux towing the trailer had the back window shatter. While the glass did shatter it didn’t fall apart, although it did threaten to. As I arrived in another car, the occupants of the Hilux were ready to smash out the shattered window and remove the glass altogether. Quickly I leapt into action and stopped them.
While it may seem like a good idea to get rid of the broken glass it is the dumb thing to do. Not only will you be left with countless shards of glass throughout your car, you will also create a vacuum for the dust to suck into your cab. 5 people trapped in a dual cab ute on a remote dry dusty dirt road will hate each other very quickly when they can’t breathe or see through the bull dust. Now if you only read this after you have smashed out the broken glass, I suggest you wind down all of the windows and drive as slowly as possible.
However, if you had the good sense to read my blog before you met with disaster here is how to handle the broken window. If you just leave the shattered glass it will eventually fall apart when you hit a bump. If you spend any time fixing cars you will soon learn that almost all automotive repairs involve zip ties and duct tape. This one will use copious quantities of duct tape.
Without disturbing the glass use the duct tape to cover the window. If you don’t have enough duct tape you can reinforce the procedure with some sheets of cardboard. Strip after strip of duct tape up, down and across will reinforce the glass holding it in place and keeping the dust out. Once you reach civilization and a glazier they can remove the duct tape and shattered glass to replace the window with a new one.