Customers understand that having a windshield is important, but it is often overlooked that it is actually part of the vehicle’s overall structural integrity. Windshields are laminated glass, where generally a polyvinyl butyral (PVB) film is compressed between two pieces of tempered glass. The windshield usually only seems to get attention when it is in need of a chip repair, crack repair or full replacement. In recent years windshields have become even more important, as many modern day electronics and safety features are now integrated into the glass.
One of the most common questions that people ask when having their automobile fitted for windows or windshields, is if home window glass and glass used on automobiles is the same. If you look at auto glass and ordinary glass, it is easy enough to see that there is no visual difference. In reality, there are actually many differences between these two types of glass.
The glass that is used for vehicles is called safety glass and this is because it does not break in the way regular glass breaks. If you take a closer look at images comparing ordinary glass breaking and auto glass breaking, you will see that regular glass can break in large pieces that have sharp edges while auto glass, when it breaks, either stays in one piece or shatters into thousands of tiny, pebble-like pieces.
The reason why auto glass is made to break like this is to help keep people from being injured during collisions and car accidents. The glass used on automobiles is made specifically this way so that people are kept safe from glass injuries during accidents. You should still be careful when handling broken auto glass though since some of these small shards can still cut you if you do handle them the wrong way.
Aside from the differences between ordinary glass and auto glass, you should also be aware that auto glass comes in two different types. The glass that is used on your front windshield and the ones used on your windows and rear windshield are different, with your front windshield glass being laminated and your window glass as well as your rear windshield glass being tempered. What exactly is the difference between these two and why are these made different in the first place?
Laminated glass, which is used for front windshields, as mentioned above is actually two sheets of glass that are fused together with a thin, clear vinyl layer in the middle forming a very strong piece of glass. This vinyl layer is added to ensure that the windshield stays intact even when it is broken. This is an added precaution to prevent shards and pieces of glass from injuring people should an accident occur. This is also why you can see broken windshields still retain their shape even when it is shattered.
Tempered glass, which is used for car windows and rear windshields, is a heat treated glass that is harder than ordinary glass. This means it is more difficult to break, and when broken, shatters into thousands of dull-edged pieces. The reason why this auto glass is manufactured this way is the same reason why front windshields are laminated, and that is to prevent serious glass injuries from occurring should accidents occur.
If you want to know more about auto glass and how these are fixed, installed or replaced, you might want to contact Kayak Autoglass and speak to an expert.
When it comes to vehicles, choosing the right products for your car is a big deal. Therefore, it is important that you understand the difference between OEM (original equipment manufacturer) windshields and aftermarket windshields. Let’s take a look.
What is OEM Auto Glass?
When we install OEM auto glass, what we are referring to is the original equipment manufacturer. What does this mean? Auto manufacturers allow other companies to build their windshields using the exact design specifications (and, in some cases, the exact same equipment). They, however, do not allow everyone to do this. Therefore, they bid contracts out to auto glass manufacturers.
Whoever wins the bid is allowed to both manufacturer the windshield and use the auto company’s name and logo on the product. Although multiple companies may be allowed to do this, the auto manufacturer will limit the contracts, so that they can generate their own revenue from their own products. So when you bring your car into our service center for a windshield replacement, and we ask you if you want OEM parts, you’ll know that the windshield is either directly from the auto manufacturer, or the exact same product built from another company.
What is Aftermarket Auto Glass?
OEE (original equipment equivalent), A.K.A., aftermarket glass, is often produced by the same companies that make OEM windshields. What is the difference in the product? Aftermarket windshields are created to fit onto any vehicle, but are reverse-engineered. They look like and are built like the original glass, but they cannot stamp the auto manufacturer’s name on the product. Therefore, when you bring your car into our service center, and we ask you if you want an aftermarket product, then you’ll know that the part did not come from the original auto manufacturer.
Is There Really a Difference Between OEM and OEE?
Yes and no. Our Kayak Autoglass technicians carefully choose between the two based on these six criteria:
- Does the product meet or exceed government and industry standards?
- If they are both equal in quality and design, then which one is more cost-effective?
- Which one do you prefer? Some car owners insist on OEM replacement parts to keep their vehicle authentic.
- If an OEM part is no longer available, then we have to go with aftermarket.
- Will your insurance company cover an aftermarket windshield?
Beyond these essential questions, the differences between OEM and OEE auto parts is minimal. At Kayak Autoglass, we choose products based on quality, price, and availability. Ultimately, it’s your choice as the owner of the car. The next time you need your windshield replaced, then we recommend coming to our service center, talking to us about pros and cons of OEM and aftermarket, and then allowing us to replace the windshield with the best product for you. Call us today at 343 996 6901 and schedule a windshield replacement. We service both personal and commercial vehicles in the Ottawa / Gatineau Are area.