Many car owners want to keep their car in the best condition, and it’s not hard to see why. Everyone wants to be driving a cool vehicle they can be proud of, but the upkeep is more than tiresome sometimes. If you’re a first-time car owner, some of the decisions you’ll need to make in certain conditions might leave your head spinning.
One of those situations is where, for one reason or another, you need your auto-glass replaced. The most important thing we can tell you is to always choose the right person to trust with your car. There’s no need to be going to the first workshop you can spot, especially when the internet is right there, full of advice and reviews. In case you have some place in mind you need to at least go online and check their reviews. You can even visit glass.net and see what car repair shops near you fit your budget and needs.
Then comes the matter of choosing the right kind of auto-glass to go over your windshield. Do you want used auto-glass that comes cheaper, or do you want to invest in a brand new one? And if you want brand new windows or windshields, then what kind? OEM, or aftermarket? Let’s talk about our options, and why one might be better for you than the other.
Used or Old Auto Glass?
The first question you’ll likely face when you take your car for glass replacement is whether you want used or new glass. They both have their own pros and cons, and the recommendations aren’t the same for different kinds of cars. In many cases, your auto-expert is going to recommend you to go for the cheaper option, but for certain car models your best bet is new, OEM glass (we’ll get to what that is in a bit).
Old glass is a great idea if you want the windows on the back of your car replaced, or even the windows on the sides. They’re salvaged from cars that are no longer in use and are inspected for any damages or chips and cracks before they’re sold to you. Windshields are tricker. They protect you from the elements while you drive, and they’re also a barrier between you and the outside of your car in case of an accident. Old windshields might have minor chips on the corners that you can’t detect – these chips are formed when the windshield is removed and reinstalled, and they can progress to proper cracks with time. These cracks may cause you to need your windshield replaced way sooner than you’d hoped.
New Auto Glass
While new glass can be a bit more expensive, it’s obviously the best option, but you might need to check with your insurance provider to make sure what kind of cover they provide and if they can foot the bill. Even in this case, there are more options to choose from.
- OEM auto glass
- Aftermarket auto glass
OEM Auto Glass
OEM stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer”, and it means that the auto glass you’re buying for your car will be the exact same kind made by the original makers of your car. In many cases, the car manufacturers end up manufacturing more car windows than they need while the production line is still set up for it. The extra pieces they manufacture then end up being called OEM car parts, and they’re usually the exact same kind of glass your car originally came with.
Even if you buy glass that’s made by the same manufacturer but they made it under different circumstances, or even with the same settings on a different assembly line, the glass won’t be considered OEM glass.
Aftermarket Auto Glass
To put it simply, any glass that hasn’t been made by the original manufacturers is called aftermarket glass, and they come in all different shapes and sizes. Many manufacturers claim to produce glass that’s the same quality – if not better. But the fact that there is little to no regulation on the quality of most auto glass being made by many manufacturers, coupled with all the auto glass horror stories there are out there has people skeptical and a bit hesitant to fully embrace it.
Choosing the Right Option
Now that you know a bit more about your options, it’s time to choose the right one. We recommend talking to your insurance providers and a representative from your auto-workshop to figure out what option is best for your car specifically, but here are some pros and cons for both options, just to make sure you’re not going into that meeting uninformed.
Used Auto Glass
- It’s cheaper.
- Not hard to find.
- It might not last that long.
There might be some chips that escaped your initial inspection, or you might later discover that the glass isn’t as good as it seemed.
If you install a used windshield, you might be putting yourself at risk. Invisible chips on the corners might cause the windshield to break in the slightest of accidents, causing you major harm.
New Auto Glass
- It will be of high quality.
- It’ll be durable.
- It’s more expensive.
Aftermarket auto glass might not be as good as you expect, and OEM glass might be hard – and costly – to come by.
The Right Approach
Whatever you choose to go with, make sure you have the right priorities. It won’t do you any good to go the cheapest route and end up with a bigger medical bill a few months later, not to mention the physical harm a bad windshield might cause. When choosing what to do, here are the things to ask yourself
- Is this the best deal I can get in my budget?
- What option would be safer, and would suit my needs better?
- Do I need something that lasts just until I buy myself another car, or do I need auto glass that would last longer?
- What coverage does my insurance provide, and can I afford to spend some money of my own for better quality auto glass?
Don’t hesitate to ask these questions and many more when you sit down to have a chat with all the people who would be involved in your car repair, and educate yourself on your own so you can advocate for yourself, too!