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Imagine driving along a highway or a long stretch of road when a rock or some other road debris hits your windshield, causing a chip or – even worse – a long crack. Or maybe your vehicle has been damaged by a runaway baseball, falling branch, or thieves.

No matter the cause, windshield replacement is essential to keeping you and your car safe on the road.

Two Kinds of Windshield Replacement

When your windshield cracks and you need to replace it, there are two kinds of auto glass available out there: aftermarket and OEM glass. To know which of these options is the best for you, check out the information below:

Aftermarket Auto Glass

Aftermarket auto parts are manufactured by a third-party glass manufacturer not related to the automaker who built your vehicle. These parts may also be made by the same OEM company but on a different production line. While some of these parts have a similar quality to OEM parts, some others do not.

If you will be the one who will pay for your windshield replacement and not the insurance company, aftermarket auto glass is the less expensive option.

But take note that the cheap price doesn’t always mean it’s the best choice. These third-party manufacturers, unfortunately, do not follow the same guidelines and standards as OEM windshield replacement makers. This makes purchasing their items a bit of a gamble.

OEM Auto Glass

OEM means Original Equipment Manufacturer. When you get an OEM windshield replacement, the auto glass is fabricated by the same manufacturer who made the original glass in your vehicle. In essence, you are getting a windshield that is almost identical to what your car came with after it rolled out of the assembly line. This kind of glass also has a special automaker branding label on it.

You may be able to repair a minor crack or ding in your windshield with a DIY repair kit. Those kits come with instructions, tools, resin and curing film. However, because the windshield is an important safety feature for a vehicle, it is crucial to do the job correctly, or you may cause further damage to the glass.

Process

In most cases, windshield installation jobs only take roughly an hour and can be done at your office or home. Once the installer is done with the windshield replacement, be sure to check for signs that the job was finished without any issues.

Examine the molding to see if it is straight and no sign of adhesives inside the car is visible. Additionally, the car should be clean inside–dirt and debris left inside the car could be a sign of poor workmanship.

Here’s a detailed guide on how to inspect your car after an auto body repair job is completed

Price

The price of a windshield replacement varies, and it’s difficult to tell without knowing all the important details. However, there are some major factors that you should focus on:

  1. the size of the windshield that will be replaced – the bigger the size, the more it will cost to buy a new one
  2. the option you will choose (OEM or aftermarket)
  3. fittings and complexity including special coatings, rain or heat sensors, mirror attachments, and so on
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