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The Difference Between Aftermarket Auto Glass and OEM Glass

September 5, 2018

The Difference Between Aftermarket Auto Glass and OEM Glass

There are meaningful differences between auto glass types. Though you might be tempted to spend less for aftermarket auto glass, you should know it is generally considered inferior to the OEM variety. OEM typically costs more, yet it is more likely to remain intact and protect you while driving. The bottom line is auto glass is not created equal. If your windshield or other auto glass needs to be replaced, do not automatically opt for the cheapest replacement.

OEM Glass

OEM is an acronym meaning original equipment manufacturer. Opt for OEM glass and your windshield will be replaced with auto glass similar to that made by the auto manufacturer. In general, OEM glass is favored over the aftermarket variety as it looks superior, fits better and functions better. Furthermore, OEM quality windshields tend to be stronger and safer than the aftermarket variety.

When an automobile design is perfected and set for production, the automaker requests bids from several auto glass manufacturers. The manufacturer with the lowest bid is provided with the contract to build the windshields. This manufacturer is also licensed to stamp the automakers’ logo and name on the glass to inform buyers they have OEM auto glass. This company is the only one to make glass in accordance with the auto manufacturer’s nuanced specifications.

It is quite intriguing to point out every auto glass manufacturer also builds aftermarket windshields in addition to OEM glass. It is also interesting to learn auto manufacturers intent on increasing dealership profitability often restrict the creation of OEM windshields, selling them in the parts department to everyday people, automobile glass repair shops and automobile replacement shops.

Aftermarket Glass

Two different types of aftermarket glass exist. The primary type is known as original equipment equivalent or OEE for short. The second variety of aftermarket glass is the generic version of a windshield applicable to many different types of automobiles. OEE windshields are built by the OEM along with other trustworthy automobile glass makers.

In order to craft aftermarket OEE windshields, glass manufacturers reverse engineer the windshields of which they were outbid. This reverse engineering process is certainly expensive in terms of research and development costs, yet it pays off in the long run. The exact same raw material providers relied upon to create OEM windshields along with the same engineers and designers are relied upon for this process. Car owners are somewhat fascinated by the fact that there is minimal difference between OEE and OEM windshields as the government’s standards and regulations for auto glass are similar regardless of the type. In most cases, the sole means of identifying the type of auto glass is to see if it has been imprinted with the logo and name of the automaker.

AAA Auto Glass Uses the Industry’s Best Glass

Let our team inspect your compromised windshield or other auto glass and we will provide an honest assessment. If your glass needs to be replaced, you can rest easy knowing we will add high-quality glass that proves durable and visually appealing. Contact us today to schedule an inspection of your auto glass.