Which Should You Choose: OEM or Aftermarket Auto Glass

Shattered Glass From Heavy Accident

Chipped, cracked, shattered—auto glass issues don’t just sound awful. They look bad and can even cause safety issues. You need to get it replaced ASAP, but how do you know what to believe about auto glass replacement quality?

Most people will say that you should only replace your auto glass with an OEM product, meaning replacement glass is designed and approved by your carmaker to fit and work right. Others will tell you that aftermarket glass—which is an unauthorized copy of the original—can be less expensive, but just as good as OEM glass.

It turns out to be more complicated than it looks at first glance.

Our Go-To Glass is OEM

Most of the glass we install in cars is OEM glass. Why? Because it was built to fit your car or truck. There is no concern about whether the product is produced to the high standards the car manufacturer demands. We’ve had great success installing OEM glass in thousands of cars.

So, end of story, right?

The truth is that manufacturers bid out contracts for their glass, and there are only a limited number of glassmakers out there. Though these glassmakers are licensed to stamp the manufacturer’s name and logo on that piece of glass, they also make aftermarket glass. In fact, they might make the aftermarket glass that could replace yours.

OEM manufacturers also know that consumers fixate on OEM parts, so they slow production on OEM window glass and only distribute through “approved” partners. This elevates prices. Vehicle manufacturers also make it difficult for aftermarket companies to produce specialized glass with rain sensors and antennas, which also drives up cost and their profit margins.

Is your Conception of Aftermarket Glass Half-full?

First off, not all replacement glass is equal.

Some replacement glass is cheap and just not as good. It may barely meet government standards and fail to meet manufacturer standards. These are the products that give aftermarket glass a terrible reputation. We avoid it, and you should, too.

Other replacement glass, though, exceeds both what the manufacturer and government demand. It may even be as good as OEM glass and costs less too.

Here is where experience and trust come in. If the right OEM part isn’t available, or maybe you want something less expensive, we can find you the best aftermarket option.

Dealing with Insurers

Unless your car is less than two years old, most insurers push aftermarket glass because it costs them less. You can pay for an OEM endorsement on your policy, which ensures OEM replacement parts—but, otherwise, if you choose OEM glass, you may have to pay the difference in cost between that and the “approved” glass.

You can, though, choose who you want to work with to replace your windshield. Insurers will push you toward their partners. You can take your chances there, or you can opt for a local company that is your advocate and will make sure you optimize your policy, get the best glass possible, and pay as little out of pocket as possible.

Who’s the lucky dog, now?

For a free estimate and straight talk, call the pros at Lucky Dog Auto Glass at 253-569-9403 today!

What’s the Difference Between an OEM Windshield and an Aftermarket Windshield?

If you need a windshield replacement, you’ll have to make an important decision: an OEM windshield, OEE windshield, or aftermarket? This can be a difficult decision, but here’s a quick run-down on the difference between them.

An OEM windshield is essentially identical to the windshield that was installed in your car when it was manufactured. They’re made by the same company that manufactured your original windshield, so it’s a perfect match for the original. The color will be the same, as will the fit, the thickness, and the shape. It will even have the same logos. Even more importantly, all the ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) features that connected to your original windshield will work perfectly.

Technicians Installing New Windshield

So, why wouldn’t you choose an OEM windshield? The price of the OEM glass can be 40 – 60% higher than a comparable aftermarket windshield. Some insurance companies won’t pay for OEM glass because of the higher costs. Other insurance companies may only pay for OEM glass if the vehicle is a new model – for example, a year or two old.

Other Options

There are also OEE (Original Equipment Equivalent) windshields. These are manufactured by the same companies that make OEM windshields. They’re made to the same standards as an OEM but they don’t come with the manufacturer’s logo – or the price.

Aftermarket windshields are made by companies that have no affiliation with the auto manufacturers. Believe it or not, copyright laws affect even windshield manufacturers, so aftermarket glass companies are prohibited from creating replicas of OEM windshields. They also don’t consult with the original windshield company or automaker.

Aftermarket windshields will have the same shape and fit, but there can be many differences compared to your original windshield. The tint or UV protection may be different, or the windshield may not be as thick. The original windshield ADAS features may not work properly – or at all. While aftermarket windshields are the least expensive option, they often sacrifice the quality you would find in an OEM or OEE windshield.

The type of replacement windshield that you choose will depend on your personal preferences as well as your budget. Our team at Lucky Dog Auto Glass is happy to offer recommendations and help you choose one that works best for you. Contact us at 253-569-9403 for a free estimate or send us a message through our online form.

Contact us today at 253-569-9403 to schedule your appointment.

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windshield

What You Should Know Before Hiring An Auto Glass Company

You were driving down the highway when a rock flew up and smacked your windshield. Oh, no! Immediately a large crack appears, and you just know that it will fan out across the glass. Cracks are dangerous because they impede your vision while driving, can spider to become bigger, and reduce the structural integrity of your windshield. You can also be liable for a fix-it ticket if you are pulled over by law enforcement. That’s why it’s important to get the glass replaced as soon as possible. If it’s a small chip or crack that can be repaired, it’s just as important to take your vehicle to a professional for auto glass repair before the damage gets too extensive and can’t be fixed.

When it’s time to hire an auto glass company, here are some things to keep in mind.

Research the company

Have you looked into the auto glass company online? Look at their website to get a feel for their business and get basic information, but also check out reviews on Google, Facebook, Angie’s List, or Yelp? These websites will give you information from real customers on how they were treated and the quality of the installation.

Verify insurance

Will the auto glass company accept your insurance? What do you need to do to make sure your windshield is covered? Be sure to verify coverage before getting your glass fixed or repaired, or you might be stuck with a bill you didn’t expect.

Take it to the repair shop

The best place to have your windshield replaced is at the repair shop. Although that’s not always possible for everyone because of logistics, professional technicians prefer to do repairs inside their shop, and you should too! Instead of worrying about rain, sun, wind, or other environmental factors, the tech can focus on your windshield. They have all the tools and comfort of working within a professional facility instead of in a parking lot somewhere.

Don’t rush it

It can be tempting to go with an auto glass repair company that says they can replace your windshield in under an hour. However, experts would caution you against a hasty replacement. The urethane that bonds the windshield to your car frame takes at an hour to dry before the vehicle is safe to drive. If you move the vehicle too soon, it can be disruptive to the stability of your windshield.

If you need auto glass repair in Kent, WA or the surrounding areas, be sure to call Lucky Dog Auto Glass for professional service!

Contact us today at 253-569-9403 to schedule your appointment.

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