All of your windows provide a safety feature along with looking aesthetically pleasing. Whether it is to look back at your blind spot or just let you look ahead and drive safely, car owners know to treat these windows with care. But is there that much of a difference between your windows and windshields?
Windshields are made from a lamination process. This is designed to give the driver the highest level of safety just in case of an accident. Created by applying heat and pressure in a particular autoclave, this glass is made up of two pieces of glass and in between a layer of vinyl to hold it in place. When a small object hits a portion of the safety glass, usually only the outer layer of the windshield breaks. However, sometimes the driver is not so lucky and in more extensive impact situations the glass shatter s but does not come apart. This is all thanks to that layer of the vinyl inner lining.
Your car’s side and rear windows are made of tempered glass, This is created by heating the glass to higher than an astonishing 1,100°F and then rapidly cooling it. This process is what makes the glass much stronger than those that don’t even if they are the same size in thickness. If broken this glass is designed to disintegrate into small pieces about the size of rock salt. So nothing like the movies when you see large pieces of glass lying around for the protagonist to use in case of emergencies.
So now let’s think, you have a cracked windshield. Although this is a problem there is always a solution. You could use the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) windshield or an aftermarket windshield. Don’t worry, we are here to help you understand the difference.
OEM Windshields are identical to the windshield your car had when it was first manufactured. Usually designed by the same company and will match it perfectly from color, ti, shape, and even thickness. This does, however, lead it to be a more expensive option. It also means that some insurance companies will not pay for these windshields and others will pay for it only if the vehicle is no more than a one or two-year-old model.
Aftermarket windshields are made by different glass companies that do not have an OEM relationship with carmakers. Instead, they create copies of the original windshields without any consultation from the car manufacturers. This adds to the issue of copyright laws as well. The creators of aftermarket windshields are not allowed to create a replica of the original windshield that was in your car. Don’t worry, this does not mean that your windshield is going to fall out right when you drive away. This just means that although the shape and fit will be the same it may vary in thickness, durability or even tint color and UV protection. That being said this is the least expensive option available.
The specific type of replacement that is best for you will depend heavily on your personal preferences and your budget. If you’re still unsure about the replacement of your windshield, give us a call at (305) 908-5545 and we’ll walk you through the process!