Spontaneous Window Crack, 17 Corolla, no prior chips or nicks. Anyone else?

Discussion in '2014 + Toyota Corolla' started by CodyL, May 27, 2018.

  1. CodyL

    CodyL New Member

    So, I have had my car for just over a year now and I have loved it. I make sure to regularly take care of it, clean it, and get it serviced.

    This morning I went out to my car to grab something and I didn't notice anything odd at the time. But, when I went to get in my car an hour or so later there was suddenly an 18" crack that started in the bottom corner on the drivers side and proceeds upwards at an angle crossing just under the rearview.

    Like I said, I take a lot of pride in my car, I always owned cars that were old beaters so being able to buy a brand new car was a huge deal for me. So, i'm very familiar with any minor damages that might have existed on the car. For it to crack out of the blue was just astonishing

    I have a really high deductible so filing through my insurance was out of the plan. And my tire and wheel warranty only covers repairs, not replacements. Also, with as new as it is there are now after-market ones available. Plus, the safety sense stuff will have to be recalibrated. Overall, big bill I can't really afford.

    So, I started doing some research and I noticed there is currently a Class Action Lawsuit in Texas over the 2016-17 Prius windshields cracking under normal operating condition. Also, I have came across a slew of complaints on other Toyota models having similar glass issues. I contacted my dealership but since it is a holiday weekend I have to wait until Tuesday to talk to anyone who might be able to help me get this replaced by Toyota.
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  3. euriel

    euriel New Member

    Ok this is wierd, I had the exact same thing happen on my 2017. At first I thought a pine needle was stuck on the bottom driver side of the windshield but it was a crack. It was about 900 to fix (lane assist recalibrate make it crazy expensive) even the windshield guy said it was very odd because there was no apparent impact or chip.
    CodyL likes this.
  4. Chris Denton

    Chris Denton New Member

    There was someone on a Facebook group last week that was doing some suspension work and had this happen to them too.
    I’ve jacked my 14 up a hundred times and have never had a problem. But, one of my first mods was to add a strut tower brace. Maybe that brace has helped more than I know? Definitely does it’s job for handling.
    Just a side note, when I installed the STB, I was so impressed that I looked for one to put on my Highlander. Come to find out that the Highlander already had one from the factory. I wonder if this has anything to do with the rigidity of toyota’s?
    euriel and CodyL like this.
  5. euriel

    euriel New Member

    Welp, mystery solved!
  6. swat_c99

    swat_c99 New Member

    When a large rock hit our Corolla, the largest window installer place was under $500 for me. It did not require recalibration.
  7. euriel

    euriel New Member

    So if you’re replacing the windshield- as long as you DONT unplug the camera from it’s wire harness aka let it dangle while you replace the windshield, it doesn’t trigger the recalibration error, saving you a good 400 to 500 dollars
  8. swat_c99

    swat_c99 New Member

    As I remember, the tech did not unplug the sensors. Since there are metal brackets mounted on the glass, I was worried about the sensor reading being off and needing a trip to dealer for a calibration.
    If this was the case I was able to ask for a refund or apply the difference for factory windshield.
  9. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    I sure don't want this happening to me.

    I just got a 2018 Corolla LE. I'm not seeing front strut tower braces for it when I search a couple of places that come up in google. Toyota itself has a rear sway bar, that's it for suspension.

    Are the "universal" ones OK? Would 2017 fit?
  10. swat_c99

    swat_c99 New Member

    My understanding is that it is the same glass as 2013+ Corollas but 2017 & 2018 have the camera bracket in the top center. The front windshield from 2017 &18 should be the same but check with the glass companies. When our front windshield had a crack, I call about 10 places including the dealer and Safelite was the cheapest. Check their website and get an estimate. They do have a great warranty so if you are not satisfied you can apply the original cost to an OEM glass and they will install.
  11. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    Thanks for the information on Safelite.

    However, I was asking about the "Universal" front tower strut braces.
  12. Chris Denton

    Chris Denton New Member

    TRD makes a front strut tower brace. I would recommend this one over the universal ones. TRD is a one piece design. These aftermarket STB’s are usually 3 piece with pivot points. Just doesn’t seem effective IMO.
  13. euriel

    euriel New Member

    I feel like I may have scared you, let me explain..
    The crack ulimatley occurred because when I put on the sway bar, the car was not perfectly level, I also may have screwed the bolts on the windshield wiper too tight. The TRD tower bar is probably the best out there for the Corolla, anything that isn't a solid one piece bar, won't to do much of anything. I can say since then, I've had no issues and to be honest, I'm very glad I added the tower bar in addition with the TRD sway bar, the more you MOD the car, the more important and useful the TRD tower/strut bars become.
    Chris Denton likes this.
  14. euriel

    euriel New Member

    I just didn't realize my mystery crack was caused by user error, until the corolla demi-god himself Chris Denton graced this post ;)
  15. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    When I search, I'm having problems finding the current TRD front tower brace.

    Also, is this worth doing prior to expiration of the bumper-to-bumber warranty?
  16. Chris Denton

    Chris Denton New Member

    I’ll find you a link.
    Toyota offers the TRD parts as dealer add ons. You could have had them installed upon delivery and they would be covered under the warranty. With that said, it will not effect your factory warranty. And if you are to install it yourself, I have a video on YouTube that you should watch. Removing the upper cowl. I may have posted it above.
  17. Chris Denton

    Chris Denton New Member

    george.stark likes this.
  18. Chris Denton

    Chris Denton New Member

  19. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    Ordering that will be fun. That page shows 3 pictures. The left-hand picture really looks like what's shown in your video. The other 2 are different from the left-hand one, and from each other, too!

    Amazon,and Sparks Parts, show the right one.

    Other sites are also confused.

    trdparts4u.toyotaofdallas.com, toyotapartsdeal.com, and monkeywrenchracing.com show wrong parts.

  20. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    Were you over 36,000 miles? I thought the factory warranty would cover something like this.
  21. Chris Denton

    Chris Denton New Member

    I had the same problem when ordering mine. It’s just a picture that’s inaccurate. As long as you order the correct part number, you’ll get the right part.
    george.stark likes this.
  22. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    Well, I should have searched harder and gone ahead and had the STB installed! I have a hairline crack - it may be thinner than a hair - that looks to start some where in front of, to the left and above the driver, then curves over right in the direction of the bottom of the camera bracket. And when I say hairline or thinner I mean it. I only caught the thing because I was driving south at 3:30 in the afternoon and the sun hit it just right. (By 4:30, it was no longer visible with the car pointed south.) At first I hoped it might be a fragment of spiderweb, when I only saw a few inches of it. But I kept moving my head around and finally caught where it headed over to the camera mount.

    In the garage, at night, I can shine a flashlight on it and just make out part of it.

    So now I have a couple questions:

    1. Everybody here is talking about very recent cars. Why isn't the factory warranty ("Basic Warranty") covering these? I thought it was bumper to bumper for 3 years / 36,000 miles. I don't even have 700 miles on the damn thing yet!

    2. Does anybody know of anything more advanced for showing this to somebody? It's really hard to see. I can imagine some service people just playing dumb. I guess I should try for a picture, but that is going to be a bitch.
  23. euriel

    euriel New Member

    Remember some places will rip you off with a lane assist recalibration fee of 500 bucks ontop the windshield. A simple work around is not disconnecting your lane assist unit and let it dangle as the windshield is replaced. There’s outlines on replacement windshields for the lane assist camera, and lane assist unit.
  24. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    Thanks for the reminder. I do remember reading that from earlier in the thread, but I can;t be told too many times.

    Once again, though: SHOULDN'T THESE BE COVERED BY THE "Basic Warranty"? At least mine, I bought it new 35 days ago!
  25. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    So I asked one of the local Toyota dealers (the one closest to me) for a quote. It was $200 for the part (TRD Front Strut Brace (PTR02-12080)) and $130 for installation.

    They have now come back to me, saying this:

    "My parts department is telling me that this part number is only offered for the SE/XSE Corolla only…will not fit the LE do you have the VIN so we can make sure??"​

    Does anybody have any input? I got them over the model year by referring to "knowledgeable people on an Internet Forum" - but this is a new wrinkle.

    ETA: Found this, of yours, Chris, but it didn;t mention the trim level:

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  26. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    And googling brings me right back to this forum: https://www.toyotanation.com/forum/...9457-corolla-hatchback-tips.html#post11728601

    Which won't necessarily help me convince the parts guy.....
  27. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    Latest for service guy - they will *not* install the TRD Front Strut Brace (PTR02-12080 on my 2018 LE.

    I'm not a DIY sort of guy. There is a local independent mechanic I trust a lot, I guess I'll run it by him.

    One other concern - if I have this done, this will it affect warranty support later on?
  28. Chris Denton

    Chris Denton New Member

    No, aftermarket parts will not effect your warranty unless they are the cause of an issue.
    If I were you, I would buy the part online and have your mechanic install it.
    Trim levels don’t matter, it fits all.
    What the dealership is reading is where that part has been officially tested tested for by TRD.
    Can’t fault them for doing their job. But they are also just parts counter people, reading from a computer screen.
    george.stark likes this.
  29. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    Thanks. I'll probably do this.
    Chris Denton likes this.
  30. SuperchargedMR2

    SuperchargedMR2 New Member

    The front strut brace is very simple to install. Even taking off the wiper cowl would take someone 30 minutes the first time. Once you do it you could have it off in 10 minutes. Basic tools are all you need. I've had my TRD FSB installed since 2009 with zero issues. I installed not long after I bought my Corolla. It's one of many suspension upgrades I've done on my 2009 Corolla S.

    1. TRD Front Strut Brace
    2. TRD Rear Sway Bar
    3. Ultra Racing 3-point lower front chassis brace
    4. UR 2-point lower rear chassis brace
    5. UR 19mm rear sway bar
    6. UR rear upper strut brace
    7. UR lower side chassis braces

    The stiffer you can make the chassis the better the suspension will work. I'm not sure if all of these will fit the 11th Gen but many might since the cars are so similar suspension wise.
    TRD Front Strut Brace

    UR rear upper strut brace

    TRD RSB, UR 19mm RSB, UR 2-point lower rear chassis brace, UR lower side chassis braces

    UR lower front 3-point chassis brace
    george.stark and Chris Denton like this.
  31. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    @SuperchargedMR2, I appreciate the input. However, my back can't handle any bending and reaching, and I'm very clumsy and spacey. My mechanic gave me a low estimate.

    QUESTION: Is having this installed going to cause me any grief if I need stuff fixed under warranty? I know this was previously answered in the negative, but that was before I had a Toyota service guy flat out refuse to do it.

    (2nd question: why isn't the chassis stiff as delivered off the factory line? Are these types of add-ons made for other manufacturers' cars?)
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
  32. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    So, have you done other add-ons that would also stiffen the chassis? Do you still think this one is the one to do for this particular issue? Or am I just clutching at straws here?
  33. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    Just as a follow-up: is doing just this mod in any way bad for the car without doing the other mods as well?
  34. Chris Denton

    Chris Denton New Member

    I have all the bars made for 11th gen Corolla’s. (That I’m aware of)
    Front and rear strut tower braces
    Front H brace
    2 rear sway bars, one TRD, one Ultra Racing.
    I bought and installed each bar separately and notice increase in stiffness and handling with each bar. The exception would be the H brace, I’m not sure it does anything. But it is what scrapes the ground when I bottom out.
    I’m also lowered on kSport coilovers with 18x8.5” wheels, 225/45/18 tires.
    My car is so stiff that it takes 2 people to push it down.
    george.stark likes this.
  35. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    nevermind, see next post.
  36. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    So does the TRD Strut Tower Brace interfere with access to the brake reservoir cap? It sort of looks to me like you'd have to pull the STB or the cowl to get at it.

    Also, would the STB make the ride rougher? Right now my back can't tolerate much bumpiness at all.
  37. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    So for the front, you think only the STB had any effect, do I understand this right?
    Chris Denton likes this.
  38. Chris Denton

    Chris Denton New Member

    I’m with you on the back pain! I’m currently dealing with sciatica and my Corolla is kicking my ass!
    The front STB is not going to make the car so stiff that you’ll be uncomfortable. It will stiffen up the suspension but you’ll really appreciate the decrease in body roll and improved steering response. It’s a great upgrade.
    And no, it will not interfere with anything under the hood.
    If your looking at pictures of it online, they might not be the exact part. I had this problem when I was shopping for mine, could not find an exact picture. As long as you order the correct part number, it will fit like a glove.

    I was so impressed with this mod that I was going to purchase one for my Highlander. Turns out, the Highlander already had one from the factory.
    george.stark likes this.
  39. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    Precisely what I've got - except it's not the sciatic nerve, so the pain runs down the side and front of my leg, rather than the back of the leg. But it's the same deal, something (in my case a herniated disk) impinging on a nerve.

    I'm improvising with some foam, a sort of wedge to make the seat less tilted to the back, and some more foam rolled up behind my lumbar region to prevent that part rounding (as opposed to being straight or arching).

    What's helped me the most is Physical Therapists teaching me how to stand, sit, walk, pick stuff up, etc. while still preventing that rounding of the back. (Bending over the engine to work on stuff would be almost impossible - *all* the bending has to be from the waist, not the low back.) In late April and early May I could barely walk - getting out of the Uber to pick up prescriptions at the drug store was major pain. Now I can walk a mile and a half, and I'm looking to increase that.

    Thanks for all the great information! I've got one waiting for me to pick it up at the dealer now - I think. I was supposed to go get it Tuesday, but started having second thoughts. I hope they didn't send it back to the warehouse, though I guess they can just get it back.
  40. Chris Denton

    Chris Denton New Member

    Let me know how it goes. Post some pics when you’re finished (if you can)

    My pain runs from my waist to my ankle, all in the back. Like a straight line. Hurts like hell, takes 5 minutes to put my socks on in the mornings!
    Movement helps me. It’s the sitting or laying that keeps it hurting.
    Doc wants me to do PT and prescribed me some crappy drugs. Does Naproxen work for anybody?
    I’ll stick with Advil.

    We’re working towards approval from health insurance for an MRI. X-rays were great, but don’t show what’s causing this.
  41. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    The pain down the back and the back of the leg is classic sciatica symptom.

    My doctor initially put me on meloxicam, which is another NSAID like naproxen or Advil. That shit was a joke. I went back to Advil.

    Nothing really touched the pain until I went back to the doctor and told him the meloxicam was a joke and he gave me Vicodin. Unfortunately everybody acts like such a retard about opiates these days. And it really isn't a good long-term solution, but it let me get around well enough to pursue other solutions and keep my life from completely falling apart.

    Physical therapy is good though you have to get the right physical therapists. If you have a Body Gears place in your area it's worth a try. They helped me a lot by showing me how to do different things without aggravating my back. For me it was all about not bending the lower back forward. Keeping the lower back straight or arched and bending from the waist and the knees as needed.

    I'll be having the mechanic install the brace on the car this week (I hope) and I will post pictures.
    Chris Denton likes this.
  42. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    OK, here it is:

    DSC01161..5.JPG DSC01161..5.JPG

    The mechanic said it took an hour what with disassembling and reassembling the cowl/windshield washers etc..

    I'll probably never notice the difference, I drive pretty conservatively, usually.

    Sitting gets to my back/legs, too. So does standing, especially standing to use the computer, which my Physical Therapists strongly recommended. Standing to use the computer was also a bust for 2 other people I know.
    ZeCorolla likes this.
  43. Chris Denton

    Chris Denton New Member

    Awesome! Welcome to the club!!
    Looks like you have a decent mechanic that knows how to read too!
    george.stark likes this.
  44. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    Yep, local place, I've had great dealings with them. When my warranties expire, I hope to continue with them - if the computerization/specialzation of the new cars is not too much to exclude that.

    Thanks for the advice and help. I hope your back is improving. I still have to be careful how I sit and stand, but my arrangements with the Corolla seat are working well. Looks cheesy, but does the job.
    Chris Denton likes this.
  45. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    OK, I found another angle of sunlight to car that makes this visible. Sun high i the sky, but west, mid to late afternoon, with the car pointing west.

    Again, I can only see a little bit of this thing at a time - I have to move my head sideways to to trace it when it is visible at all.

    It starts somewhere in the left of the glass, apparently a few inches away from the edge, angles down and passes under the camera bracket, keeps going got the right until it ends somewhere before the right edge.

    But wait, there's more: I found another one running more or less horizontal several inches below this one! As near as I can tell, this one doesn't reach either edge, either.

    This crap is driving me crazy. Which was a very short drive for me.

    I am going to have to put some real time into documenting this somehow. I feel this is a manufacturing defect and Toyota should replace this.

    Or maybe not: I could take the attitude that my comprehensive insurance has a $100 deductible, so if the glass breaks, it breaks.
  46. Chris Denton

    Chris Denton New Member

    This seems to be isolated to 17-18 models.
    george.stark likes this.
  47. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    [emphasis added]

    If both of these quotes are true, it looks like we have a winning diagnosis.

    I bought this thing partially because I thought there were no significant changes in design between 2014 and 2018, (and the 2014 through 2017s had great reliability stats per Consumers Reports). :(

    On the other hand, this may be a fairly rare problem. The other forum I follow for this generation of Corollas doesn't seem to have a thread that corresponds to this one.

    For whatever it's worth, (may not be much), carcomplaints.com has only one windshield complaint on the 2017 and it's not about this.

    Searching for windshield crack on carcompaints does bring up other models and brands with complaints, including lawsuits for the Prius, and for Subaru Legacy and Outback models.


    I started googling and reading a while back on this, and there are lots of complaints about windshields chipping/cracking easily form minor impacts. There are Fords where it cracked during driving with no reported impacts. I don't remember a lot of ones where it cracked while parked, except a few Fords.

    See complaint #2 here.

    And complaint 10 here.

    And complaint 4 here.

    One other interesting thing on carcomplaints:

    Purchased a new 2014 Ford Escape on April the 4th. On June the 11th a rock hit my windshield. Generally a windshield should hold up to a small rock. It may chip or sometimes cause a small spider web crack which if taken care of in a timely manner can be fixed without windshield replacement. Like I said this is generally the case EXCEPT when it hits the black part of a Ford Windshield. When any object hits the black part of a FORD windshield it immediately starts to crack. It is my belief that the integrity of the windshield is compromised by those little black dots.

    [emphasis added]
    My car has little black dots at the top, too. Does anybody know what those are about?

    (Neither of my almost always invisible flaws is in the area with the black dots, however.)
  48. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    Does this protect the oil pan - or anything else down there that would cause a catastrophic issues? F'ing Chicago streets have some giant potholes - even going slow I've bottomed out. I'd rather bottom out on some < $200 bar than the oil pan.
  49. Chris Denton

    Chris Denton New Member

    A little late to respond, sorry bout that.
    The H brace would be the lowest point on your car. So if you bottom out, that’s what will be hitting the pavement.
    As it sits, your oil pan and exhaust are set higher than your front cross member, so I doubt you’ll even hit these.
    george.stark likes this.
  50. Larry531

    Larry531 New Member

    Just curious, what year corolla did you install this on
    I have 2017 LE and would like to install the front strut bar on even though it doesn't officially list 2017 year
  51. george.stark

    george.stark New Member

    I had it installed on my 2018 Corolla LE. All seems well.

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