What’s the Difference Between OEM and Aftermarket Windshields?

What’s the Difference Between OEM and Aftermarket Windshields?

Windshield replacement can be costly and inconvenient. This is especially true if you don’t find a reputable windshield replacement firm or if the wrong windshield is selected for purchase. Connect Auto Glass provides emergency windshield replacement wherever you are.  But have you ever thought about the quality of your newly installed windshield? We’re here to explain the difference between original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and aftermarket windshields.

Door  glasses, vent glasses, and back glasses are important, but when a windshield is replaced there is a certain level of skill involved. The same could be said about the manufacturing process of the windshield. If certain criteria is not strictly adhered to, an inferior product will be the result.

A leaky windshield is not fun. Use care in selecting a windshield replacement firm and follow their recommendations for purchasing the best available replacement windshield.

Of course, your insurance company and insurance coverage will play a role in your windshield purchase. Most policies only state that the part must be of like manner and able to perform the task. While most insurance adjusters are knowledgeable in their own right, windshield companies employ expert installers and sales people who genuinely want to provide the best value for your money. If they recommend that you use only an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) part (or a certain aftermarket part – such as LOF or PPG); assume that they have experience with vehicles of a similar make and model and trust them to have your best interest at heart. If you are asked to pay a little more than insurance provides, chances are that you will profit from it. The likely result will be a job done correctly the first time with no leaks.

Having said that, you may be asking what the big difference is between OEM and aftermarket windshields? I could answer, “Not very much” and it would be correct but it doesn’t take very much for a windshield to leak. Manufacturing tolerances are so minute, as they pertain to automotive glass and particularly with windshields, that being off by a fraction of a millimeter can render the unit useless. Then there’s warpage and thickness and a long list of specifications that seem to never end. It is a very complicated process that is best left to professionals.

What Type Do Professionals Use?

Odds are that the professionals will choose to go with a manufacturer specific OEM windshield. This is not to say that the glass will be stamped with BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, or Chrysler (although in some cases, it will) but that the windshield installer cared enough to select the same glass that was used when the vehicle was originally manufactured. Because this is the original equipment glass, it will fit better, look better, and function better than an unproven aftermarket part. OEM quality windshields are also stronger and safer than other windshields. An OEM certified windshield will usually be able to withstand up to three-vehicle-rollovers before breaking completely.

Glass companies are often contracted by automakers to produce original equipment windshields and other glass. They are provided strict specifications and every piece of glass must adhere to these tolerances before it may be used in a production vehicle. Once the glass meets automaker specifications, the glass manufacturer is assigned a particular symbol or group of characters signifying that is of OEM quality.  This label is then applied to each glass which meets these specifications. After that, the glass may be installed at the factory or sold as a replacement part. Replacement windshields which are manufactured exclusively by the automaker (dealer windshields) are typically of excellent quality but also more expensive.

In summary, aftermarket glasses that are certified OEM quality are less likely to leak, safer, stronger, and better looking than aftermarket glasses that have not been certified OEM quality. OEM certified windshields may be more expensive, but the difference is typically negligible. Dealer windshields are virtually the same quality as OEM certified but typically cost a good deal more.

If you need speedy and reliable windshield replacement, please contact us today. We will work with you to determine your best payment plan and communicate with your insurance companies. Our services are all mobile, so matter where you are, we can be there too.

For a quote, call 844-449-4407.

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