When it comes to windshield replacement and installation, the quality of the parts used is as crucial as the expertise of the installer. But have you ever wondered where these auto glass installers source their windshield parts from? The answer is multi-faceted and depends on various factors, including the type of vehicle, customer preferences, and even regulatory standards. Here’s an authoritative look at the common sources:
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)
Many auto glass installers source their windshields directly from Original Equipment Manufacturers. These are the same companies that supply windshields to automakers. OEM windshields are designed to meet the exact specifications of your vehicle, including size, shape, and thickness, as well as any special features like rain sensors or heating elements.
Another common source is aftermarket suppliers. These windshields are often less expensive than their OEM counterparts but are designed to be similar in quality and specifications. However, they may not always have the special features that come with an OEM windshield, such as branded logos or specialized coatings.
For classic or custom vehicles, auto glass installers often turn to specialty manufacturers who produce windshields to custom specifications. These manufacturers can replicate the unique shapes and features of vintage or customized vehicles, ensuring a perfect fit.
In some cases, especially for older models where new parts may be hard to come by, installers may source windshields from salvage yards. These are used parts that have been reclaimed from scrapped vehicles. While not ideal, they are inspected rigorously for quality and integrity before being installed.
Direct from Automakers
Some high-end or specialized auto glass installers have direct relationships with automakers. This is especially common for luxury vehicles or cars with highly specialized windshields that include advanced features like heads-up displays.
Many auto glass installers source their parts from authorized distributors who act as middlemen between the manufacturers and the installers. These distributors often offer a wide range of options, from OEM to aftermarket, providing installers with the flexibility to meet customer needs and budget considerations.
The source of a windshield can significantly impact the quality of the installation. Whether it’s an OEM part designed to the exact specifications of your vehicle or an aftermarket option that offers a balance between quality and cost, knowing where your installer sources their windshields can provide valuable insight into the quality of the work you can expect.