Types of Replacement Auto GlassWhen you need replacement automotive glass you have three choices — dealer parts, OEM parts from the manufacturer either as original or aftermarket, and generic glass, which may also include custom made glass. The question for many people is which type of glass is best for my car. In this blog, we explore the answers to that question. Let’s get started.
Dealer Parts – Manufacturer Produced Replacement GlassDealer replacement glass is glass produced by or for the manufacturer. The glass parts are constructed to exact specifications and they follow the manufacturers highest quality. Their design is specific for your vehicle so the fit is the best. In addition, dealer glass usually comes with set pins for exact placement. This is a boon to those of you who are DIY types. In addition dealer glass often includes attachments on the glass for the mirror bracket, camera mount, heating grid, and rain sensor bracket. These are placed accordingly to the specifications of the dealer. What this means is that existing accessories pair up perfectly with dealer glass. At Anthony Volk Glass, we see the advantage of using dealer replacement glass. Doing so is necessary for a precise fit for the cameras/sensors and other accessories to work properly. The glass in your vehicle may require one or more of these options. From our perspective, 20 years of working with replacement glass, we see dealer glass is the best glass for your vehicle. However, there are less expensive alternatives.
OEM — After Market Glass from the Original Equipment Manufacturer.Don’t get the word manufacturer confused with automotive manufacturers. Many parts are made to the standards of a vehicle manufacturer but are not produced by that company. They are, instead, produced by other companies and then “supplied” to the big car companies. This means that leading glass suppliers such as Pilkington and PGW make glass for the dealers. These are the OEM or original equipment manufacturer. This glass is essentially the same without the trademark. This also means that it fits your vehicle with exact standards. It likely will also include all of the pins and mounting needs. At Anthony Volk Glass we only purchase glass from suppliers that make OEM glass. There is a variety of reasons why we are so specific about where we order the replacement glass for your vehicle. First, the color or tint matches the rest of the glass on your vehicle. The border markings match. For example, black border (frit) and dot border will be exactly the same. The differences that occur between original parts and OEM glass parts usually involves the attachment hardware. The attachments for OEM may or may not be dealer parts. Even with this difference, it is not usually a problem because the replacement parts undergo very strict quality control process. Anthony Volk Glass recommends using OEM replacement glass as a great alternative to dealer glass.
Generic Glass — Replacement Glass and Custom Glass Replacement PartsThe generic glass is the lowest cost glass you can purchase. Generic glass also has the lowest quality standards. Remember that you get what you pay for and what you get might be a big problem. At Anthony Volk Glass, we will not purchase generic glass products. We focus on providing our customers with top-quality service and life-long guarantees. We would not put generic glass in our own vehicles, so we won’t put it in yours either. In our 20-years of doing business, we have seen a long list of defects with generic glass. Many customers have glass installed elsewhere and then have problems. These problems include:
DistortionsOne of the points of having glass in your automobile is so that you can see clearly. Distortions affect your field if vision and can cause safety issues.
Inconsistent ColorationCars are a thing of pride. There is not much pride in a beautiful vehicle that has mismatched window glass. Even if you bought two side windows, the color or tint between the two may not match. It is also difficult to match generic glass color and tint to existing windows. The results of generic glass and its inconsistent coloration fall way below our high standards.
Poor Handling that Leads to ScratchesIt is not uncommon for a brand new piece of generic glass to arrive already damaged. Scratches are common because the process for manufacturing, factory handling, and shipping, does not consider scratches to be a quality issue.
Chipped EdgesChipped edges are also common. Again, it is the low standard of quality control that most generic glass companies have. That is not to say that every company that produces generic glass is bad. Chipped glass, however, is bad. It leads to leaks, weaker glass, and an assortment of other problems, such as increased road noise, vibration, and safety concerns.
Broken AttachmentsAnother reason that Anthony Volk Glass does not buy generic glass parts is that the attachments arrive broken, missing, or not complete. You have already had to wait for the glass to ship and it is not our style to make your wait longer for replacement attachments to arrive too. We value your time and we understand that you need your vehicle. Overall, there are many issues that cause poor customer satisfaction with generic glass. It is not uncommon for a generic glass part to have a poor shape or to be completely shaped wrong. Poor shape leads to poor fitment which then can lead to leaks, stress cracking, wind noises, and an unsightly installation. Some of the defects we’ve seen over the years are unsafe. Anthony Volk Glass does not recommend generic glass products. Customers have many choices when it comes to auto glass replacement parts. Choosing the right auto glass manufacturer for your car is important. Safety being the most important not the price. At Anthony Volk Glass we focus on safety, quality parts, and quality workmanship. We also offer guarantees for as long as you own your vehicle. Visit us online for more information or call us directly for a more detailed quote. You can reach our professional team by dialing (610) 436-9727 or request a free quote here!
Anthony Volk is a third generation auto glass installer born and raised in West Chester, PA. With over 20 years of personal auto glass experience he and his team will bring that experience to you.