Shatter A Car Window With A Sparkplug In An Emergency

If you're stuck in a sinking car, or outside your car and desperately need to get inside, you have plenty of ways to break that window, but one of the best might be right there in your car anyway — a simple sparkplug will do the trick with ease. This video from National Geographic shows you how it works.

Brian Brushwood explains in this video that if you break off a chunk of ceramic from around the sparkplug and use it against the car window safety glass, it will shatter magnificently. The direct force on a small area applied by the sparkplug ceramic is enough to punch through the safety glass, which is designed to absorb great force over a large surface area without breaking (which is why a hammer, for example, doesn't work very well.)

I've seen people do this with the sparkplug ceramic, and others do it with the point of the sparkplug itself, but throwing the ceramic at the window is probably safer from the outside (since the glass is designed to shatter outwards if it breaks). We still think keeping a safety hammer and seatbelt cutter on your keychain or in your car is a better long-term idea, but this definitely works in an emergency. If you don't have either handy, you can always use your car headrest .

Shattering the Shatterproof [National Geographic (YouTube) via Boing Boing]


    "but this definitely works in an emergency."

    So, I am going to;

    1. Have the forethought to carry a spark plug in my pocket, because... well... you know... all good lifehackers do this.
    2. Grab the tools, pop the bonnet, find suitable socket, undo plug, crack with hammer, chuck at window... all in an emergency.

    Yeah, no. Don't think so.

    Interesting and stupid at the same time.

    Oh and if you do have a hammer, smack the window with the corner of the head rather than the flat. Or, don't use a rubber mallet.

    Or if you don't happen to be carrying a spark plug, another option may be a nearby rock from next to the road. FYI: if you are not high on crystal meth, wrapping your fist in a shirt and punching the windscreen is going to hurt like hell and probably not work.

      Why would you punch the windscreen anyway, they're laminated glass designed not to shatter like a side passenger window is or the rear window.

        Some windows are so strong you'll break your hand before the glass.

    I'd be so interested to see how this works when you're stuck in a sinking car.

    or, you can make sure you have a in the glovebox. $10 on ebay.

      ... with which you bash out the rear of the glovebox to gain access to the engine where you can grab a sparkplug with your dying breaths.

    I've got this cunning plan to take my metal multi-tool (fake leatherman) that lives in the console and bash the window with the blunt end.

    I suggest that a metal hammer would work much better than a rubber mallet.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now