Are you trying to get your windshield replaced without breaking the bank? One of the first choices you'll usually need to make is whether you want to get an OEM replacement or an OEE replacement. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) windshields are produced by the original manufacturer of your vehicle, while Original Equipment Equivalent (OEE) parts are aftermarket parts sold by a third-party. Which is right for you will depend on how you want to balance cost and quality.
Original Equipment Manufacturer Windshields
OEM windshields are exactly the same windshield that came with the vehicle -- no better and no worse. That's important to note, because it also means that if the vehicle already had relatively cheap glass in its windshields, it will still maintain that same level of quality. OEM windshields tend to be substantially more expensive than OEE windshields. If you take your vehicle to be fixed under warranty or you take it to the dealership, it's likely that you will be receiving an OEM replacement. OEM windshields are often confused for OEE windshields because both of them have "Original Equipment" in their wording. The advantage to using an OEM windshield isn't necessarily quality; it's more that the purchaser knows exactly what they are getting and are restoring their vehicle to factory condition. Working with a reliable and trustworthy repair shop is critical when repairing windshields; some less than scrupulous shops will emphasize "Original Equipment" and remove any relevant logos, to imply that the customer is receiving an OEM part.
Original Equipment Equivalent Windshields
The biggest confusion regarding OEE windshields is the assumption that they are all the same. There are many aftermarket manufacturers that create windshields to "equivalent" standards, which doesn't mean that they are all the same quality. Some aftermarket brands are quite high quality -- in fact, some of them may actually create better and more expensive glass. But other aftermarket brands may meet the barest minimum of equivalency standards, and thus will be much cheaper than OEM but not nearly as safe or durable. All OEE windshields have basic safety protection, but you may need a professional to determine which brand creates the best blend of quality and value. In general, a solid OEE windshield can generally be found that meets the quality of an OEM windshield but is significantly less expensive because it doesn't have the manufacturer's branding.
Though Original Equipment Equivalent parts are a good budget decision, they aren't always the best long-term solution. If you need to get your windshield replaced and aren't sure whether OEM or OEE is right for you, contact Only 1 Auto Glass today. Only 1 Auto Glass serves Minneapolis, St Paul, Twin Cities, and surrounding regions, and can offer you a timely consultation on your windshield repair.