When you need to replace your car`s windshield, you can choose between an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or an aftermarket product. Sometimes the decision may depend on the insurer’s specifications, but most of the time it is you who has to make that decision. To be able to determine the best for you, you must know the difference between these two types of windshields.
OEM or Aftermarket: what should you choose?
An OEM windshield is designed to be identical to the original one, with which the car came out of the factory gate. These products may not be made by the same company that produced the initial windscreen, but any sub-contractor hired by the manufacturer will create the products in accordance with its strict specifications, therefore your windshield will be a perfect match in terms of size, shape, tint, thickness and durability.
Aftermarket types of windshields are made by window manufacturers that do not have a contract with the car manufacturer. As long as these companies do not produce OEM windows under contract with the manufacturer, they are not obliged to follow its specific instructions. In fact, because of copyright laws, these manufacturers are not allowed to produce windows that are identical to those fitted in the factory. It is obvious that the size and shape must be identical, or else the windshield could not be physically installed on the car. But other features such as the thickness and durability may differ, as well as the window tint.
Some customers complain that aftermarket windshields are not as good as original windshields because they do not seal tightly and/ or produce excess noise. Other people complain about the surface of the windshield which is supposed to be perfect but it is not, or about the tint, which seems annoying to them. Although, usually, the differences between OEM and Aftermarket windshields are very small, the pickiest customers may not be happy with an aftermarket windshield, even if others do not notice any difference, or at least they do not mind the small differences between the original windshield and the newly installed aftermarket version.
Like in many other cases, the decisions people make are often based on price. Besides, some insurance companies may only cover the price of an aftermarket windshield, because it is cheaper. This way, it will be the decision of the car owner whether to pay or not for an OEM windshield. Many aftermarket windshields do their job very well, but there are some customers who do not want to take any risk by installing a lower quality product than the original and thus choose to invest in an OEM windshield. The best thing you can do is talk to windshield replacement Byers professionals to see what will work best with your car and budget.
As a final note: if the car is purchased in leasing, the contract typically specifies that the windshield will have to be replaced only by an OEM product. So, if you ever need to do this operation, make sure to carefully check details about it in the contract. Otherwise, you may have to pay extra money at the end of the contract.