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.
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.
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.