How to Cover a Broken Car Window

by Shelley Burton
broken car glass image by Cristiano Visigalli from

The one time you forget and leave something valuable sitting on the seat of your car---you return to find a broken window and your possessions stolen. Broken car windows are irritating, but leaving your car open to the elements and vulnerable to further thievery is dangerous. Cover broken car windows with a plastic garbage bag until you can take your car to the repair shop and get the glass replaced.

Step 1

Position yourself inside the car and place the plastic garbage bag over the hole in your window.

Step 2

Hold the plastic very tight and begin duct taping it to the window frame on each side, checking to make certain there are no gaps in the tape. Gaps can collect moisture if it rains or snows, causing water to leak into your car.

Step 3

Add a second layer of duct tape around the window frame, to make certain the tape will hold.

Test the hold by exiting the car and tapping on the plastic-covered window. If the plastic sags inward, you will need to re-do your window covering and ensure that the plastic bag is taut.


  • Consider wearing gloves to protect your hands from damage by broken glass.
  • For an extra-strong hold, tape over the middle of the plastic bag until the entire window is covered by duct tape. You can also tape on the outside of your car window, but be aware that doing so attracts greater attention to your broken window and may also damage your car's finish.
  • Be certain to cover your car window as soon as possible after you notice it's broken. Covering your window makes your car less vulnerable to weather damage, and it is also a deterrent to thieves.


  • Check with your local police department to determine whether you can legally cover your broken window with plastic and still drive your car while you find a repair shop.
  • Broken car windows need to be dealt with urgently. Covering a car window with plastic and duct tape is a short-term solution that will protect your car from the elements and you from broken glass while you find a repair shop.
  • Never compromise your safety by covering a window that is essential to your ability to see while driving.

Items you will need

  • Plastic garbage bag
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors

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