When you are in need of replacement glass for your vehicle, you will be given a variety of options. “OEM” and “Aftermarket” are two terms you can expect to hear throughout the process. They describe two different types of auto glass.

What Is OEM Glass?

Auto glass parts are divided into two groups; OEM and Aftermarket (premium and generic). What is the difference between these and which should you choose? First, you must understand that windshields and auto glass aren’t just a simple pane of glass these days. With heads-up displays, heating, rain sensors, antennas, blue-tooth, and more, glass is often an intricate mechanical component. The highest quality part available for your vehicle is the Original Equipment Manufacturer.

OEM Glass or Original Equipment Manufacturer

The Original Equipment Manufacturer, or OEM, is the company who provide a part or parts for a particular vehicle model line during, and often after, production. In the auto glass industry this would be OGM or Original Glass Manufacturer, but it is still commonly referred to as OEM Glass. Government standards and manufacturer quality controls are stringent for every part of a newly produced vehicle. This may not be the case for aftermarket parts produced by other companies used on your vehicle. This is why OEM replacement glass is guaranteed to be of the highest quality available. The first difference you may notice between aftermarket and OEM glass is the price. Often the OEM part can be triple the price of the aftermarket version. If you have a newer or luxury vehicle we recommended using an OEM part. However, finding an OEM replacement part can often be difficult. Not all auto glass suppliers provide OEM parts, and not all OEM replacements are available outside a dealer.

Aftermarket Premium vs Generic

If you can’t find, afford, or don’t want OEM glass for your vehicle then aftermarket glass will work. Not all aftermarket parts are of equal quality. Aftermarket glass is split into two groups; premium and generic.

Premium Aftermarket Glass

Premium aftermarket auto glass manufacturers produce a part near the same level of quality as the OEM. Premium aftermarket parts are often produced in the US, Canada, or Europe and held to a higher standard than their Asian competitors. If a premium aftermarket part is available and you’re looking to save money, this is a logical choice. Regardless of your circumstances we recommend not choosing a generic part for your vehicle.

Generic Aftermarket Glass

It is important to know that even with generic parts there are some manufacturers that are better quality than others. If possible find out the country of origin for your part. Generic parts that are often produced in the US, Mexico, and China. Many Chinese parts are of a noticeably lower standard. They aren’t as heavy or durable, the materials don’t appear to be similar, and the craftsmanship is often sub-standard. If there’s good quality control from the supplier and retailer, a faulty aftermarket part shouldn’t make it to your vehicle. Look for waves in the part, or incorrect curvature of the glass. If its a door glass replacement ensure the motor moves the glass smoothly throughout the entire range of motion and doesn’t seem strained. This is evidence thatof improper curvature that will damage your power window motor in time.

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