When you need auto glass replacement, selecting the right type of glass is critical, both for your safety and for your vehicle’s overall value. However, many vehicle owners aren’t up to speed on the distinctions between OEM glass and aftermarket glass, which can make the selection process rather confounding. To help you make the right decision for your needs, our team at Only 1 Auto Glass is breaking down those differences below.


OEM Auto Glass: What Is It?

OEM auto glass, also referred to as original equipment manufacturer glass, is fashioned according to the auto manufacturer's exact specifications; however, it may not come directly from the company that built your vehicle. So who makes it?


Auto manufacturers allow outside companies to construct their windshields according to their exact design specifications, and in some cases, using identical equipment. But not just any outside company gets the green light to do this; rather, the original auto manufacturer bids out contracts for the work. The company that wins the bid is then allowed to use the original auto manufacturer’s name and logo on the final product.


When you request OEM glass for your windshield replacement, you’re getting glass that comes directly from your vehicle’s original manufacturer, or an identical windshield constructed by another company.


Aftermarket Auto Glass: What Is It?

Aftermarket glass — also known as original equipment equivalent, or OEE glass — is reverse-engineered auto glass. Such products are designed to fit any vehicle; however, they don’t contain the original manufacturer’s name or logo. In some cases, the same outside company that constructs OEM glass also constructs OEE glass, and they use the same equipment and design specifications to do so. If that happens to be the case with your particular windshield, you can usually trust you’re getting a solid product.


In other cases, however, outside companies attempt to reverse engineer the glass, but since they do not have access to the same equipment from the original auto manufacturer, there may be slight variations in the design and quality of the final product.


Choosing the Right Product for Your Auto Glass Replacement

So here’s the big question: Is there really a difference between the two? Glass is glass, right? Wrong. Aftermarket glass, when poorly manufactured, can contain small variations that are all but undetectable to the naked eye. But even tiny variations in the quality of aftermarket auto glass can spell catastrophe under the right circumstances.


Because your windshield functions to provide structure and stability for your vehicle in the event of a collision, it’s critical that the glass be as high quality and consistent as possible. At Only 1 Auto Glass, we’re extremely thorough in our selection of windshield replacement materials because we know how essential they are for your safety. So how do we help you decide which type of glass is right for your vehicle? Here are our criteria:


●        Quality standards. Does the product meet or exceed both industry and government standards?

●        Value. If both windshield replacement options are equal in design and quality, which one is the more cost-effective option?

●        Owner preference. Which type of glass do you prefer? Many vehicle owners choose OEM glass to maintain the authenticity of their vehicles.

●        Product availability. Is the OEM windshield replacement still available? If not, aftermarket glass is our only option.

●        Insurance coverage. Is your insurance paying for the windshield replacement? In many cases insurance companies will only cover OEM replacement glass.


When it comes to selecting the glass for your windshield replacement, ultimately, the decision is yours to make. That said, we’re more than happy to offer guidance on the best products to meet your needs, so don’t hesitate to reach out and ask!


Need a Windshield Replacement? Contact Only 1 Auto Glass Today

If you’re facing a windshield replacement, let our team at Only 1 Auto Glass help. With 15 convenient locations throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro, we’re just a short distance from wherever you are, so stop by! Our number one goal is your complete satisfaction, and our combined 200+ years of auto glass experience ensures the highest quality workmanship and products in the business. To schedule your appointment or get a free service estimate, give our team a call at 651-789-1111 or send us a message on our contact page, and we’ll be in touch promptly.