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Is an Aftermarket Windshield Replacement Worth It?

Cracked Windshield
If your windshield is damaged, your first choice will be to repair it. However, extensive damage may require a complete windshield replacement. When replacement is necessary, you can install either an aftermarket or an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) windshield. Each option has its pros and cons.
Read on to learn more about replacing your windshield with an aftermarket or an OEM auto glass.
OEM Replacement Windshield
The company that created the original windshield your car came with is the same one that manufactures original equipment manufacturer (OEM) windshields for your car.
OEM replacement windshields feature identifiable branding and are built to similar standards and specifications as your original windshield.
OEM replacement windshields have several benefits and downsides.
Safety
Your vehicle's windshield plays an important role in ensuring your safety and maintaining the vehicle's structural integrity. In particular, the windshield protects you from flying debris and in a collision, prevents the vehicle's roof from caving in and injuring you.
With OEM windshields, you can have peace of mind knowing that the auto glass conforms to the high safety and quality standards set by your vehicle's manufacturer.
Fit
In addition to safety, OEM auto glass matches the color, size, and shape of the original windshield. The thickness, longevity, and technological features should also be similar.
As such, OEM replacement windshields are less likely to develop common problems such as leaks, breakage, and improper fit.
Cost
OEM parts, including auto glass, are generally more expensive. Unless you have adequate insurance coverage, you may have to pay out of pocket to install an OEM windshield.
Aftermarket Windshield Replacement
An aftermarket windshield is one that another company, other than the original maker of your vehicle's windshield, manufactures. Depending on the reputation of the glass company, aftermarket windshields may be manufactured to the same standards as OEM windshields.
Industry players have not come to a consensus over whether OEM parts are safer or better than aftermarket parts. Nonetheless, some aftermarket windshields do work very well.
Some industry experts argue that some aftermarket windshields do not abide by quality and safety standards and that consumers should take precaution when purchasing non-OEM auto glass.
Some concerns pertaining to aftermarket windshields include:
  • Brittleness that increases the risk of breakage
  • Improper installation by unqualified technicians
  • Lack of industry certification by bodies such as the Auto Glass Safety Council
However, aftermarket windshields have an upper hand where cost is concerned. Non-OEM windshields tend to be comparably cheaper.
OEM Vs. Aftermarket Windshield Replacement
If you have a luxury car or your car is new, an OEM replacement windshield may be the way to go. Newer car models feature advanced technology such as lane keeping assist system, forward collision warning, blind spot detection, and ocular clarity, among others.
Many car manufacturers recommend using OEM windshields, as these are compatible with the new technologies. However, be prepared for possible out-of-pocket expenses, as insurance companies prefer to pay for less expensive aftermarket parts.
Consider an aftermarket windshield if yours is an older vehicle with few technological features. A highquality aftermarket windshield from a reputable auto glass shop may be a suitable option if you are seeking value for money.
Before purchasing a replacement windshield, speak with a trustworthy auto glass professional who can advise you on the available options. You should also find out from your insurance provider about windshield replacement coverage.
If you are in the market for a replacement windshield, get in touch with the experts at Affiliated Auto Glass. We can help you choose the most suitable auto glass for your vehicle, so give us a call today to speak with a member of our team.