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What Quality Auto Glass Looks Like

A car’s windshield acts as one of its most important safety features during an accident, rollover or collision. In a collision, a properly installed windshield keeps you in the vehicle and acts as a backboard for the passenger-side airbag. In a rollover accident, the windshield supports the roof of your vehicle and prevents it from collapsing and injuring the vehicle’s occupants.

As an automobile owner with a shattered windshield or side window, you already know the glass will require a replacement, but how much do you know about the quality of glass that will be used to replace it? Unless you are in the business of auto glass or you have an affinity for cars and trucks, you are probably like the millions of other automobile owners who have minimal knowledge about what makes auto glass quality.

The key thing to be aware of is that there are two types of auto glass: OEM glass (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and OEE auto glass (Original Equipment Equivalent) which is made to the same standards, but by a different manufacturer than the original glass.

What exactly is Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) auto glass?

Original Equipment Manufacturer, or simply OEM, is auto glass created by the same manufacturer that made the original glass for your vehicle. For instance, if you own a GMC truck with GMC manufactured auto-glass, your OEM replacement glass would be from the same manufacturer.

An OEM windshield will be identical to the original, factory installed windshield that came with your car when it was brand new. These windshields may not necessarily be manufactured by the company who made the windshield originally installed on your car, but they are nearly identical in almost every way. This glass is manufactured according to your car maker’s very specific regulations, and should match your original in size, shape, and color. The thickness and durability should be identical as well. It’s important to note that these windshields are also certified by the Department of Transportation, so you can be assured of their safety.

What exactly is Original Equipment Equivalent (OEE) auto glass?

OEE auto glass, while created by a different manufacturer than the original, is made with the same safety standards as OEM Auto glass. It's considered safely comparable and acceptable as a replacement glass.

It is manufactured by the same companies that make OEM but the logo on the glass is that of the glass manufacturer not the automaker. These windshields are made to the same quality standards as the OEM glass and often in the same factories.

So you might be wondering, is there a difference between OEM and OEE auto glass besides price? Although there may be some slight variations, the broad answer is there are no major differences.

Choosing auto glass with top-safety ratings is key, not whether it's OEMor OEE. High ticket price doesn’t necessarily mean better quality. The safety standards are the same and this is because both are regulated by the AGRSS, which stands for Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards. These are the national guidelines for producing and installing auto glass, and they are very specific.

The glass should always have a smooth, crystal-clear appearance. If your newly installed windshield or windows appear blurry, wavy, or bumpy there is a problem and is of poor quality. As you can probably imagine the quality standards of the glass and installation are equally important. While we don’t expect you to be experts, you can rest assured that the auto glass techs at Smiley’s Glass are trusted experts. We are well known and trusted in central Virginia. Call today for a free quote for the best quality auto glass available.

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