The Ghosts of Quarter Glass past

March 17, 2016

What is this triangle thing and why do I need it?

1967 Plymouth Barracuda fastback

Bermuda Triangle of Purpose

Do you ever notice that current car ads always show the driver in isolated comfort, shielded from the outside world by the side windows and glass? Too cold? Turns on the heater, and the heated seats, and the heated steering wheel, and the heated cup holders. Too hot? Turns on the cooled seats, the cooled cup holders, and the cooled steering wheel, and the air conditioning...

Have you ever turned on your AC and wondered why there’s those funny little fixed quarter glass windows are even there? It’s small, it’s a triangle, it’s...useless? It doesn’t even open! The answer is right there in your air conditioning, or rather, was. As times have moved on, air conditioning has become more affordable and is even standard equipment on some of the most basic vehicles, but it wasn’t always so.

Go With the [outside air] Flow

In the earlier days of the automobile, air conditioning was a considerably luxurious option, standard on virtually no cars and costing thousands extra when you did check the box. Rather, primary ventilation was designed into the vehicle windows from the factory. When you needed some relief from the outside heat, you would open the windows, and crack this little quarter lite in front of the door glass to direct air into the cabin. As opposed to overpowering the outside elements, you would turn the highway breeze in your favor and cruise along in, well, relative comfort at least.

Nowadays, you’d leave the windows up and crank the AC, and even if you wanted to you couldn’t open that little triangle piece of glass. The styling cue lives on however, and can even aid in visibility in the case of cars where the quarter glass is well forward of the door glass for larger vehicles.

Vented Frustrations...

Of course, being small can make them targets for would be thieves, or at least boredom addled teens out to smash a few car windows. The same goes for the door glass on your car. While we tend to leave them up more and more as heating and ventilation systems become more robust, leaving them up will do little against an unscrupulous passer-by out for a thrill.

Replacing door glass, or especially quater glass is another specialized job that requires a properly trained technician. While they seem simple enough, door glass requires specific setting to ensure it will function in the door correctly, as well as preventing wind noise.

Need it Fixed?

If you’re in need of car or auto glass work, check out our estimates for repair and replacement, or talk to our friends at Safelite today!

Schedule an Appointment or Call Now: (877) 303-3376



Photo Credit: Tap Tapzz via Flickr

About the Author

Robert Lindsey is an automotive expert at RepairPal, the leading online source of auto repair resources and estimates. With many ASE Master certified mechanics on staff who have decades of experience, RepairPal knows all the fine points of car repair.

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