You’re on the road this summer and a rock bounces up and puts a big crack in your windshield. No big deal, you can you wait until winter to fix it, right? No.
A car’s windshield acts as one of its most important safety features during an accident, rollover or collision. In a collision, a properly installed windshield keeps you in the vehicle and acts as a backboard for the passenger side airbag. In a rollover accident the windshield supports the roof of your vehicle and prevents it from collapsing and injuring the vehicle’s occupants.
Okay, so it’s time to replace the windshield, but what are the choices and how important is this really? There are two types of auto glass: OEM glass (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and non-OEM glass, or what many people refer to as aftermarket glass.
OEM suppliers are trusted by auto manufacturers like GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Ford, etc. to provide quality controlled windshields that are a perfect match and fit for their vehicles.
OEM glass suppliers spend hundreds of millions of dollars in research and development, using computer-assisted engineering and design programs (CAE and CAD) to ensure quality windshields for their vehicles.
Each OEM windshield goes through rigorous and thorough surface contour and optical quality checks as it moves down the assembly line.
Auto glass parts produced by OEM Manufacturers consistently fit better and adhere to the same standards for fit and finish as the glass that is originally installed when the car is built.
There are significant quality differences between original equipment manufactured windshields and aftermarket auto glass. So why then, would anyone go to a shop that uses aftermarket glass when you need to replace your windshield?
The after market shops will tell you that their product is the same quality as an OEM windshield. Wrong. Non-OEM auto glass manufacturers make copies of OEM auto glass parts. These copies have to vary slightly from the OEM part due to the fact that OEM parts are patented and the designs are protected and trademarked.
Non-OEM suppliers must make significant differences in their product so that they do not exactly copy the glass used by GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Ford, etc. to avoid being sued for copyright fraud.
Many auto glass shops use non-OEM parts because they are significantly cheaper to buy. These savings are not always passed along to the consumer, nor is the consumer told the parts being installed are of a lesser quality.
Aftermarket glass parts also are not accepted by new car manufacturers for warranty claims and violate the repair requirements of many leasing contracts. It is common after installation for non-OEM or aftermarket parts to have fit and finish problems like air leaks, water leaks and stress cracks.
“Almost 70% of the automotive windshields that we see (that have been previously replaced) were improperly installed,” says Nik Frye, Vice President of Sales for Glass America. “This is important to note, because in a front-end collision, the windshield can provide up to 45% of the structural integrity of the cabin of the vehicle.
In a rollover, that number can be up to 60%. If customers use OEM glass, a high quality polyurethane adhesive system with a one hour cure time, and a trained, certified technician – then this will greatly improve their chances of getting a safe windshield installation.”
Glass America, a national automobile glass replacement and repair company, only uses OEM manufactured glass and approved installation procedures and urethane sealants. The result? The auto glass fits better, looks better and most importantly, provides drivers with the highest level of safety.
About Glass America
Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Glass America is one of the largest independently-owned automobile glass replacement and repair companies in the country. Glass America has 94 service centers conducting business under the names Glass America and Auto Glass Service which are conveniently located in the states of Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Glass America offers a complete line of auto glass repair and replacement services for all years, makes and models, foreign and domestic, commercial or passenger vehicles. In contrast to many of the glass companies in the country, Glass America only uses OEM (original equipment manufactured) windshields, meaning that it is the proper windshield with the perfect fit, as specified by the original manufacturer for each vehicle.
As a leader in the Auto-Glass Replacement industry, Glass America upholds the highest levels of quality craftsmanship, and consistently maintains a proven track record for excellent customer service. All technicians are certified by Sika Adhesive Systems and LYNX Services. All auto glass installations and workmanship will meet or exceed the AGRSS Standards, and have a national lifetime warranty. Glass America’s direct billing procedures and pricing structures meet or exceed the requirements of all insurance companies and glass networks. All of the company’s national service areas offer both drive-in and mobile services, and always strive to make business as quick and as convenient as possible for their patrons. For more information on Glass America, or to place an order, please call 1-800-634-5623 to connect to the nearest location. You may also visit www.glassusa.com for more information.