Glas Tek only uses high quality replacement auto glass and materials that meet or exceed all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). All of our replacement auto glass is thoroughly inspected and backed by a nationwide lifetime guarantee against manufacturers’ defects, stress fractures, leakage, and workmanship. Specific brand requests will be honored and factory glass is available upon request.
Replacement Auto Glass-Original Equipment Manufactured (OEM)
In the replacement auto glass industry, it is common for insurance companies, auto glass companies, and the general public to misinterpret OEM glass requests. Most people inner mix OEM and Dealer/Factory requests as being the same. However, there are some differences.
- What is OEM (Original Equipment Manufactured) replacement auto glass? Glass that is manufactured by an OEM Manufacturer who produces the glass for auto makers. Some of these OEM manufacturers include Pilkington (Formerly LOF or Libby Nippon), Guardian (out of business), and PGW (Formerly PPG). These replacement auto glass manufacturers are typically kept to higher quality standards by the auto makers.
- What is factory/dealer replacement auto glass? Replacement auto glass that is manufactured with the dealer insignia (logo) on the glass such as Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Dodge, and Lexus by an OEM manufacturer including Pilkington (Formerly LOF or Libby Nippon), Guardian, Mopar, PGW (Formerly PPG), and Carlite.
Carlite manufactures glass exclusively for Ford. Mopar manufactures glass exclusively for Dodge and Chrysler. Only Carlite and Mopar parts are available locally through OEM and Aftermarket Suppliers. If you want the dealer insignia on all other glass it must be purchased through the dealer.
What is aftermarket replacement auto glass? Glass that is manufactured to the same specifications as OEM/Factory Glass and is federally regulated to meet all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). However, aftermarket manufacturers get the part template through the means of reverse engineering and may or may not be kept to the same quality standards as OEM manufacturers. Furthermore, replacement auto glass is manufactured to the exact same thickness and specifications as an OEM or Factory/Dealer part.
How do I know who manufactured my windshield or auto glass part? All glass is federally regulated and must be manufactured with the
manufacturer’s plant information on the glass. Most parts will have the manufacturers name on it such as Pilkington (Formerly LOF or Libby Nippon), Mopar, PGW (Formerly PPG), or Carlite. It will be located in the monogram at the bottom of the glass. If you cannot identify the part by name or would like further information about who and where the part was manufactured there will also be a Department of Transportation (DOT) number on the glass. You can go to this DOT Database and enter that number to know who and where your glass was manufactured.
I own a 2007 GMC 2500HD Pickup and the windshield has the GMC logo on it but says Pilkington underneath it. What does this mean? This means, that Pilkington (OEM) manufactured the windshield for GMC (Dealer/Factory). So, if you want another windshield that says GMC on it, it must be purchased from the dealer. However, if you are just looking a Pilkington (OEM) windshield and do not care about the GMC logo than you can buy a Pilkington brand glass. Yes, same glass, same template, without the GMC logo and at a fraction of the cost. Pilkington cannot resale the windshield to the public with the GMC logo on it. They only manufacture the glass with the GMC logo on it and send it back to the Dealer/Factory.
I want the exact replacement auto glass that is in my vehicle now? First, what do you mean by exact? Are you looking for a windshield with the dealer (logo) insignia on it? If so, most windshields with the dealer insignia with the exception of Ford and Dodge/Chrysler must be purchased through the dealer. In most cases, the cost to you or your insurance company will be much greater and it may take several days to get it.
If you are looking for the same replacement auto glass “OEM/Brand Name” without the dealer logo you can most likely get that at a much lower cost and it will more likely be readily available.
I don’t care about the dealer logo or OEM brand name. I just want it to look identical. All replacement auto glass parts and windshields whether manufactured by OEM, Dealer/Factory, or Aftermarket will be identical. So, it will be manufactured to the same thickness, same color, same black dot matrix pattern, same black frit around the perimeter regardless of brand.
Do (OEM) Original Equipment Manufacturers produce aftermarket replacement auto glass? Yes. If they do not hold the exclusive rights to the template they will produce the glass through the same means of reverse engineering as aftermarket suppliers.
If I ask for an OEM windshield or replacement auto glass parts will I get one that was manufactured by the same original OEM supplier? Not always. Auto glass shops do not always know who the original manufacturer of your glass was. Therefore, they will get you replacement auto glass from an OEM supplier, which may or may not be the original.
If I want a dealer/factory windshield or replacement auto glass part put in my vehicle will it cost more? Yes. Often times, we have to get the replacement auto glass part directly from the dealer in order to get the dealer insignia on the glass. Therefore, the cost to us from the dealer is greater, and must be passed on to our customers. Exception: If it is a Ford (Carlite) or Dodge/Chrysler (Mopar) part we can order from our local supplier; however, these parts are typically still higher in cost.
Will my insurance pay for factory/dealer replacement auto glass requests? Most insurance companies try to deter you from requesting Factory/Dealer glass. However, most insurance companies will cover this request for newer vehicles, current year minus one or two years. So, for the year 2011, your insurance would typically cover Factory/Dealer requests for the years 2011, 2010, and 2009. Some insurance companies now have OEM endorsement clauses on their insurance policies.
Are windshields for the same glass part produced at different thicknesses? No. All windshields are regulated to meet the same specifications within a variance of .005. Therefore, it does not matter whether it is an OEM, Factory/Dealer, or Aftermarket part they all have to meet the same standards for the same part.
Are all windshields on diffident makes and models produced to the same thickness? Yes and No. A part for a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu may have different thickness requirements than a windshield for a 2005 Ford Focus. However, the same windshield part number by two different manufacturers will be the same thickness within a permissible and regulated deviation set by the Society of Automotive Engineers under standard SAE673.
I had an aftermarket windshield installed once and it had a distortion in it. The truth is all windshields have a slight distortion in them. However, sometimes the distortion is more visible in some windshields than others. This can happen regardless of the manufacturer. Therefore, it can happen to OEM Glass, Dealer/Factory Glass, or Aftermarket Glass. If there is a distortion issue with any of our installed windshields it is covered under your nationwide lifetime warranty. Therefore, there will be no cost to you for replacement.
Will my windshield leak if I use an aftermarket glass? A leaking windshield is typically due to a poor installation and very rarely the glass itself. Furthermore, the windshield has a nationwide lifetime guarantee not to leak, so if it does, be sure to call, so the issue can be corrected as soon as possible.
I don’t want a glass that is manufactured out of the USA. Ok. However, your original windshield even though it is an American brand vehicle name may be having an OEM manufacturer produce the glass that now has a plant in China or Mexico. So, if you looking for the “original” it may be made in a foreign country. However, there are still a few plants that manufacture in the USA. One of the OEM Manufactures that market this quality is Guardian Glass which may be aftermarket for your vehicle part.
I believe that windshields break much easier than before? True. Since the gas crisis in the 70’s, auto makers have made many design changes to make vehicles lighter in weight. These changes included; using more plastics and less steel, lighter glass, and more aerodynamic designs.
I was hit by a rock and I believe that it broke much easier with an aftermarket windshield? Unfortunately, glass is glass and will break for many factors including; the size, shape, and speed of the object; the speed of the vehicle, and the location of the break (If hit on the perimeter of the glass it is more likely to spread much quicker). Per SAE J673, all glass is manufactured to the same thickness, curvature, flatness, and size regardless of the brand within a reasonable and regulated variance. Until, they make an unbreakable glass we will still be in business.
In your opinion, as a replacement auto glass specialist, which glass is best? Since all replacement auto glass parts and windshields are manufactured to the same specifications and we offer a nationwide lifetime warranty against leakage, manufacturer defects, and workmanship. There is really no risk for you as a customer. Our pricing structure is based off of the lowest priced part available which may or may not be an OEM part. Furthermore, we will be happy to assist with any special replacement auto glass part requests. We do not have a preference among different manufacturers we just try to keep the cost as affordable as possible for our customers.
I am so confused on the differences in the quality of glass. You are not alone. With today’s economy and everyone trying to stay competitive with the aftermarket suppliers; OEM suppliers have been forced to move their plants to foreign countries and stock aftermarket auto glass replacement parts in essence becoming intertwined with the aftermarket market.
The Truth about OEM Glass and Windshields:
First, you will need to know a little about how a windshield is manufactured. A windshield is assembled by two sheets of glass with a polyvinyl butryl placed in between. This vinyl sheet is the strength and support of the windshield and adds the color and solar protection to the glass. Once this process is complete it becomes a laminated safety glass. If something was to hit your windshield; this vinyl sheet would keep the object from penetrating through the glass placing your life in danger. In addition, it is a one of the vehicle’s restraint system that keeps you inside of the vehicle in case of an accident.
Windshields must meet or exceed all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). All windshields are required to be manufactured to specific specifications that can withhold vigorous test requirements. This means that the glass and vinyl sheet of a windshield must be manufactured to a thickness that is federally regulated specific to that model. Furthermore, all manufacturers must place their plant information on the windshield. This is federally regulated to keep you and your family safe in case of an automotive accident. Therefore, all windshields are produced to the same original manufacturer specifications regardless of the manufacturer. In fact, most manufacturers get the raw materials to produce windshields from the same sources.
So, if you own a 2000 Ford F150 Truck the original manufacturer would have been Carlite with a NAGS (National Auto Glass Specifications) part number of DW1099. So, if you had to replace your windshield later with a Non-OEM, Non- Carlite part, regardless of the brand, it must be manufactured to the same thickness, flatness, curvature, and size within a regulated and permissible deviation. The difference is the brand name that is etched on the glass, template used for manufacturing, and the manufacturer quality standards.
What is the difference between OEM (Original Equipment Manufactured), Dealer/Factory glass, and Aftermarket glass? OEM manufacturers such as Pilkington (LOF, LN, Libby Nippon), Guardian, Mopar, PGW (PPG), and Carlite, and many others, produce the replacement auto glass for automobile makers such as Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Dodge, and Lexus. Each individual auto glass part can be manufactured by different manufacturers. For instance, a windshield for Chevrolet may be manufactured by Pilkington but the door glass, quarter glasses, and back glass on the same vehicle by PGW. Furthermore, Pilkington could have been the manufacturer for Chevrolet pickups between the years 1995-1999 and now PPG is their preferred manufacturer.
What does it mean to be an OEM Manufacturer? This means that the OEM manufacturer was given the exclusive rights to produce the replacement auto glass for a particular part by the auto maker for a certain time period. The OEM Manufacturer was given the original template with the exact specifications for manufacturing. Meaning, OEM manufacturers hold the original template of the shell (width, length, curvature) of the specific product. The glass and vinyl thickness of the windshield is public information. Furthermore, OEM manufacturers may be held to higher quality standards by auto makers.
With exclusive rights, OEM replacement auto glass manufacturers are able to produce the glass with the “dealer insignia” and send them back to the car maker’s manufacturing plants and dealerships worldwide. Car makers such as Lexus will install the windshields at the factory or resell them to the public through dealerships with their logo on it. This would be considered Dealer or Factory Glass. OEM Manufacturers are not allowed to resale the windshield back to the public with the dealers’ insignia with the exception of Ford and Dodge/Chrysler. However, they are able to use the exact same template and resale it with there own logo on it. So, essentially it is the identical piece of glass without the dealer logo. For instance, Pilkington is the primary manufacturer for Lexus windshields. So, one can purchase a windshield directly from Lexus with the “Lexus” insignia that has been manufactured by Pilkington. Or, they can purchase the identical windshield manufactured by Pilkington from the same original template with the “Pilkington” insignia on it. The cost difference is about $1000 dollars.
Ford (Carlite Manufactured) and Dodge/Chrysler (Mopar Manufactured) parts are manufactured and delivered to local OEM Manufacturers therefore they are always available but at a higher cost. Therefore, we can get the Dealer/Factory part with the same dealer insignia but at a higher cost.
Now an aftermarket piece of glass is a windshield that is manufactured to the exact manufacturer guidelines (same color, thickness) without the “original” factory form template. The template specifications are recreated using a factory windshield through the means of reverse engineering. This means that the template is recreated by the measurements of the windshield and not by the original template that the auto maker supplied. With today’s technology, this method has very accurate results and the strength and thickness of the glass (most important factor) is regulated by FMVSS.
To add to the confusion, most OEM Manufacturers also produce aftermarket glass to stay competitive in today’s market. Therefore, Pilkington may hold the template for one part and also sell a part that they do not hold the rights too. Therefore, they are an OEM Manufacturer selling aftermarket glass. Furthermore, OEM manufacturers are moving their plants out of the country to stay competitive with the aftermarket market. So, an OEM or Dealer/Factory part can be produced in Mexico or China.
How can I tell who manufactured my auto glass part? If it is the original part, you can look at the windshield and find the Department of Transportation (DOT) Number. All windshields must contain a DOT number on it by regulation. In most cases, if you have the original windshield in your vehicle it will still have the dealer insignia on it. Example; it will have the Lexus, GMC, or Honda logo etched into the glass. The DOT number will be located at the bottom of the windshield in the monogram. Once you find the number go to this DOT Database for the manufacturer details.
So, if you are a customer and you want OEM glass for your 2000 Chevrolet Pickup and you no longer have your original windshield; it will be difficult to know who the manufacturer was for that specific year. Unfortunately, most OEM manufacturers do not make this information public. Furthermore, after a certain time period the original OEM manufacturer no longer has exclusive rights. The only automobile manufacturers that have remained consistent are Ford with Carlite, Dodge and Chrysler with Mopar, and currently Lexus and Toyota with Pilkington. PGW, Pilkington and Guardian have been the leading manufacturers for the GM Product line including; Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, GMC,
In conclusion, OEM Manufacturers such as Pilkington ,Guardian, Mopar, PPG, and Carlite produce the glass for the Dealer or Factory with the dealer insignia (Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Dodge, and Lexus). If they hold the exclusive rights on a template they cannot resale it to the public with the dealer insignia however they can resale it to the public with their own insignia. Therefore, it’s the same piece of glass from the same template without the dealer insignia. However, if the OEM Manufacturer does not hold the rights to a specific template they are still able to recreate a template to manufacturer guidelines through reverse engineering. They are then able to resell it back to the public with their own insignia as an aftermarket piece of glass. So, you have an OEM manufacturer selling aftermarket glass.