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What are Windscreen Pillars?

Written by Victor

Feb 12, 2024

Join me on a journey through the world of car design, where we’ll uncover how windscreen pillars and the glass house shape our driving experience, blending safety with beauty.

Front view of a windscreen pillar

Have you ever heard about the term “glass house” in the context of automotive design? The glass house refers to all the glass elements of a car’s design, encompassing the windscreen, rear window, side windows, and sometimes the sunroof, if there is one.

This term highlights the parts of the vehicle made of glass and is a crucial aspect of a car’s design for several reasons, including visibility, aesthetics, and structural integrity.

Transitioning from the glass house, an equally vital aspect of automotive design that deserves our attention is the structure known as car pillars.

Introduction to Car and Windscreen Pillars


Car pillars, often overlooked components of a vehicle’s structure, play a pivotal role in your car’s safety and aesthetic appeal.

The A, B, C, and potentially D pillars are the vertical supports of a car’s glass house, framing the windscreen, doors, side windows, and rear window.

These pillars play a crucial role in the car’s overall structure and safety, especially in the event of a rollover accident, where they help maintain the integrity of the cabin space. 

Integrating these pillars with the glass house components is a delicate balance between form and function. Designers aim to maximise visibility and light inside the cabin, enhancing the driving experience and safety while ensuring the vehicle’s structural integrity, aerodynamics and efficiency.

Types of Car Pillars



Frame the front windscreen and stretch from the car’s hood up to the roof. They are critical for supporting the roof and play a significant role in front visibility. Designers work to make A-pillars as slim as possible to minimise blind spots yet strong enough to support the vehicle’s structure.


In designs where the glass house emphasises openness and visibility, B-pillars may be minimised or hidden, which presents challenges in maintaining structural integrity and safety. These pillars provide structural support and are integral to the safety framework, especially side-impact protection.


Situated at the rear of the vehicle, framing the sides of the rear window. The design of the C-pillar affects rear visibility and the vehicle’s aerodynamics. In some designs, especially in hatchbacks and SUVs, the C-pillar can be quite broad, which may impact rearward visibility but provides structural support and can contribute to a distinctive silhouette.

These pillars support the back of the roof and influence the design and aerodynamics of the vehicle.


Found in larger vehicles like SUVs or Estate models, D-pillars are the last vertical supports at the rear, framing the backside windows or the back window. They play a role in the overall stability and safety of these larger vehicles, contributing to the rigidity of the rear part of the vehicle.

Material and Design

Manufacturers use a combination of high-strength steel and aluminum materials to construct windscreen pillars, balancing strength, weight, and cost. The design and thickness of these pillars have evolved, with modern vehicles often featuring thinner pillars for improved visibility without compromising safety.

Windscreen Pillars and Vehicle Safety

The pillars of your vehicle are crucial in maintaining the structural integrity and enhancing the safety features of modern automobiles. These components do much more than merely support the roof.

Impact on Visibility

While essential for safety, thick pillars can create blind spots for drivers, impacting visibility. Automakers continuously seek ways to design pillars that provide structural support while minimizing these blind spots.


Role in Crash Protection

In a collision, windscreen pillars absorb and distribute impact forces, protecting the cabin from intrusions and helping to prevent the roof from collapsing in a rollover.


Technological Integration in Pillars

Today’s windscreen pillars are not just passive structural elements but are increasingly integrated with advanced technologies. They may house sensors for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), such as blind-spot detection, and airbags designed to deploy from the pillars in certain collisions.

Maintenance and Inspection


Regular inspection of windscreen pillars is essential to identify signs of rust or damage early on.

A stone chip is not limited to the windscreen; your pillars are exposed to the same risks. Any compromise to their integrity can significantly impact the vehicle’s safety performance.

Common Issues and Solutions


Common issues with windscreen pillars include corrosion, particularly in older vehicles or those frequently exposed to harsh weather conditions. Solutions involve prompt rust treatment, or in severe cases a thorough inspection is necessary to assess structural damage.

When left untreated, corrosion spreads to areas covered by the windscreen, making it hard to spot from the outside. For these reasons, our 2-year warranty gets voided when a significant amount of rust is in the windscreen frame. The best way to address this issue is to have your replacement carried out in two phases.

First, have the windscreen removed, then get a car body specialist to remove the corrosion, followed by an expert car glass technician returning to install the new glass.

This approach will make the replacement more costly, but in this way, you extend the longevity of your car and avoid leaks down the road.

    Rust in the windscreen frame, particularly at the corner of the rain channel, is a condition where the metal part of the car's body around the windscreen begins to corrode.

    Using the Right Replacement Glass


    When replacing your windscreen, the new glass must conform to the manufacturer’s specifications, ensuring it fits perfectly with the pillars and maintains the vehicle’s structural integrity and safety features.

    This is why we at UK Car Glass always conduct a parts check on your vehicle’s VIN number to ensure the correct auto window is fitted to your car.




    Victor is a car technician boasting a decade of experience within the auto repair industry. He's an avid blogger and relishes nothing more than dedicating his weekends to tinkering with his car. Always ready to embrace a new challenge, Victor thrives on expanding his knowledge and improving his skills.

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