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OEM versus Aftermarket windshields: A BIG difference

If you’re in the market for replacement windshields and are stuck choosing between factory glass and aftermarket glass material, then...

What you’re about to read just may SAVE your life.

Most glass customers are often lured to aftermarket glass as a low-cost, quick-turnaround alternative. On average, aftermarket windshields take 30 minutes less time to install and cost roughly $100 less than Original Equipment Manufactured (OEM) glass.

Most customers think nothing of it. Hey, it’s just a windshield. Does it really matter if it's aftermarket or from the original factory?

Actually, it makes a huge difference. On the road, at 70 mph, tiny variations can mean the difference between life and death. Here's the untold truth about windshields: they're integral to the structural integrity of the vehicle and your best ally in a driving catastrophe. In the event of a vehicle rollover, windshields work to keep the vehicle roof from caving in. In a collision, windshields function as a "backstop" when the airbags are deployed.

As a result, windshields that loosen or pop out completely are signs of either poor workmanship, poor materials or both, and become a liability both to the driver and to the shop that installed the windshield unit.

Aftermarket windshields tend to compromise safety in the following ways:

  • Thinner material than OEM Glass
  • Improper fit that doesn’t contour when mounted.
  • Untested for safety
  • Lack of Quality Assurance
  • Not AGRSS Certified

To save time and turn a quick buck, shops that install aftermarket glass tend to cut corners by doing the following:

  • Using substandard adhesives and sealants
  • Not allowing enough time for adhesives to cure and harden
  • Not budgeting for your safe drive-away time

Picture of specialist repairing a windshield

Be careful of shops offering rush jobs at discount prices. Windshield replacements usually take between 45 minutes to 1 hour (2 hours including safe drive-away time) and costs anywhere from $250 to $375 for mid-level cars and trucks and up to $750 for luxury autos. Anything less is discounting the safety of you and your occupants.

Also, windshield replacement shops should be conscientious enough to budget time in for your safe drive-away. This is the extra hour or so needed for all sealants and adhesives to cure and harden properly before the car is safely drivable. Safe drive-away time is critical in preserving the effectiveness of primers, sealants and adhesives used in windshield replacement work. Safe drive-away time will add an additional hour to your wait.

When in the market for replacement windshields, opt for auto glass repair shops such as Glass Doctor of Jacksonville that use OEM windshields, AGRSS-certified windshields parts & sealants, and involve AGRSS-certified technicians. Do so, and enjoy that confident, peace-of-mind feeling knowing you did your best to protect that which matters most.