Any vehicle owner that is faced with the need to replace the windshield needs to make a decision on the type of windshield they will need for their vehicle. Typically, the auto glass replacement company will offer two different options. These include original equipment manufacturer (OEM) products, and those that are crafted in the aftermarket.
Often times, the decision may be made by the insurance coverage specifications. However, the choice is often left up to the vehicle owner. In an effort to make the best-informed decision, it is important to understand the varying factors of each product.
More than likely, the car manufacturer does not produce their own windshields. Often times, windshield production will be subcontracted to other outside companies that specialize in the process. The windshield will be crafted to exact strict specifications put out by the auto manufacturer. Once the product is crafted, it is typically shipped to the assembly line during manufacturing, and out to glass companies to be used as replacements.
The OEM product that is provided by the auto glass replacement company will be exact to the factory original. It will be the exact dimensions identical to the vehicle when it came off the assembly line. However, the windshield that is provided by the auto glass replacement company might not be manufactured by the same company that produced it originally. However, it will meet the same exact specifications in every way. This would include the perfect dimensions including the color, shape and size. Additionally, it would refer to the exact thickness, along with its strength and durability. These windshields are certified by the US Department of Transportation to ensure windshield safety.
The auto glass company might provide an aftermarket alternative that was not contracted by the automaker. Although the shape and size will need to be identical to fit in the space around the existing window frame of the windshield, there may be other components that are different. These might include the color of the glass, the depth of the tint, its strength and durability, and especially its thickness.
Many times, vehicle owners will complain after purchasing the aftermarket windshield because it produces excessive, annoying noise, or that it leaks. Some make note that aftermarket glass tends to have a wavy quality or that the tint might be displeasing or annoying.
In the end though, it is typically left up to the vehicle owner to make a decision on which type of windshield they require as a replacement for their car or truck.