One of the most important safety features of any car is the windshield. A windshield helps to protect passengers from the elements and can even help to prevent serious injuries in the event of an accident. When it comes to choosing a windshield, many drivers face a choice between aftermarket options and those offered by car manufacturers. While aftermarket windscreens may be less expensive, there are several reasons why opting for a manufacturer-installed windshield is a wise choice. First of all, car manufacturers have extensive experience in designing and installing windscreens that meet the specific needs of their vehicles.
In addition, they often offer warranties on their products, which can provide peace of mind in the event that something goes wrong. Finally, dealing with a car manufacturer is often simpler and more convenient than working with an aftermarket supplier. For all these reasons, it makes sense to choose a manufacturer-installed windshield whenever possible.
Aftermarket Windscreens vs. Car Manufacturer
Breaking your windscreen is pretty devastating. It’s an integral part of the safety and aesthetic of your car. However, they can be easily replaced by a skilled technician.
If you are looking to replace your old windshield, you will most likely be looking at a range of windscreen manufacturers. All kinds of windscreen manufacturers make all types of windscreens for the same vehicle. The main two manufacturers are aftermarket and car, or OEM, Original Equipment Manufacturer.
You should always know the facts before you buy, which is why we have compiled a few useful facts about the two types of manufacturers and what windscreens they can contribute to your car.
The Facts about Car Manufacturing Windscreens
Car manufacturers usually do not make their own windscreens. Companies that specialize in the auto glass create the windshields and windows according to the carmaker that subcontracted them. They ship the glass to the facility where the cars are made and the glass is installed in each new car.
The car manufacturer will frequently accept windscreens from different glassmakers due to lower bids received. Therefore, sometimes two identical cars will have two different types of glass, manufactured by different companies.
Car, or Original Manufacture, Windscreen
These windscreens are meant to be identical to the original, factory-installed windscreen that was installed in your car when it was made. Since the job of making the glass is rarely done in-house and is most likely subcontracted, there may end up being a different manufacturer making the glass in your new windscreen. The car manufacturer might have accepted a lower bid on a glassmaker’s windscreen. This would mean that the glass could be made by a different manufacturer, but that shouldn’t affect its quality or size of it. The carmaker gives the glassmaker very specific regulations, so the new windscreen should match your original in color, shape, size, thickness, and durability.
Companies that are not affiliated with your dealer and do not carry car manufacturer windscreens sell aftermarket windscreens, meaning they won’t come with the dealer logo on the glass.
This also means that they may not be made to the same standards and specifications as OEM manufacturers. They aren’t required to abide by specific manufacturer guidelines and actually cannot produce windscreens that are identical to their factory-installed counterparts due to copyright laws.
The size and shape will remain the same, else it wouldn’t fit the borders, but things like thickness, durability, and potentially color or tint may vary.
Which Should You Choose?
Aftermarket windscreens are far cheaper, but as stated, they are lower in quality. It is possible that the aftermarket windscreen will leak or cause excess noise, or you might notice that you don’t care for the difference in the tint, or that there is a wavy quality in the glass. The difference will likely be small, but discerning car owners may begin to nit-pick.
However, insurance companies may only cover aftermarket windscreens because they are cheaper, leaving you with the decision of whether or not you want to pay for a car manufacturer windscreen out of your own pocket or not.