Windshield Replacement: OEM or Aftermarket?
If your windshield gets damaged, then the first thing you need to decide is whether it can be repaired or replaced. As there are no clearly defined rules regarding auto glass repair, it is best left to certified repair specialists to decide whether your windshield may be repaired. If they find that your windshield needs to be replaced, you then have a choice to select an OEM windshield or an aftermarket windshield.
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) spare parts are made by the company that originally manufactured the product. As a practical example, imagine that you own a Lexus. The OEM windshields on your Lexus will be those that are made by Lexus. Alternatively, Lexus may source the windshields used in your car from a third party, in which case that third party would be the OEM.
You can get OEM windshields from approved automobile dealerships or from an OEM distributor. OEM windshields from a manufacturer-approved automobile dealership are produced by the company that makes the windshields that are factory fitted into a car. These are made in accordance with the specifications set by the car manufacturer. The latter are also made to meet the specifications of the car manufacturer but by another windshield maker.
Aftermarket spare parts, on the other hand, are not manufactured by OEM. They are often cheaper than OEM products and may be of a better or worse quality since they are not made tomeet the specifications set by the car manufacturer
Car owners therefore face the dilemma of choosing between a significantly cheaper aftermarket windshield and an OEM windshield for their cars. Unfortunately, there are no guidelines a user to follow as the quality varies significantly between aftermarket manufacturers and car models. A lot depends on your financial standing and the insurance you have signed up for.
If you are having a leased vehicle repaired, you should opt for OEM windshields because dealers do not accept aftermarket glass. This is because aftermarket glass does not carry the same guarantee as an OEM windshield does.