Auto Glass is not "just glass" . . . Know the difference.
On a new car, every part comes from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) including the windshield. For windshield replacement, you have the option to select a replacement made by a company that manufactures OEM windshields, such as PPG, Ford Carlite, Pilkington, or glass made from non-OEM manufacturers ("aftermarket glass"). Both OEM and aftermarket glass must comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, but — there are two important OEM benefits:
- An OEM replacement windshield is produced from original equipment-style tooling. This type of windshield will have the appearance of your car's original windshield and will fit properly in the window frame making noise and leakage problems much less likely.
- OEM auto glass manufacturers partner with automobile producers to enhance overall functionality and improved performance. Because of their close work with carmakers, OEM manufacturers have a greater knowledge of the engineering demands a car can place on the windshield and their replacement windshields are made using the same quality assurance systems as for new vehicles. This means if you windshield has value-added features such as a rain sensor, then an OEM replacement windshield will also have these value-added features that perform correctly after replacement.
Safety glass is used in all auto glass. It is manufactured to reduce the likelihood of injury, if it breaks. There are two different types: laminated glass and tempered glass.
Windshields are made from a lamination process. A windshield actually consists of two pieces of glass, bonded together by a vinyl inter-layer. This vinyl layer cushions your head during impact. If a windshield breaks during impact, the broken pieces will generally adhere to the plastic lining.
Side and rear windows are usually made of tempered glass. Glass is tempered by heating glass to more than 1,100°F, then rapidly cooling it. As a result, the outside surfaces of the glass become harder than the center of glass making tempered glass stronger than regular glass of the same thickness. If broken, tempered glass will explode into tiny pieces.