What do you do?!
By this point, you might be thinking that OEM is the best glass to have installed and why would anyone purchase anything else. Very valid points, OEM is made better and will fit better, but we should not completely discredit after-market glass.
The best type of glass to have replaced on your car all depends on the situation you may happen to be in. You might have a brand new car, you might have an older car, or you could be leasing a car. The year, make, and model also are deciding factors in which type of windshield is best. A 2010 Ford Explorer is going to have a fairly different windshield than a 2011 Ford Explorer. It may only be a difference of one year, however, some years the models change much more dramatically than from other years.
There is also the factor of how the after-market glass company makes each vehicles replacement windshield. Sometimes the aftermarket glass company can recreate the windshields really well and they will fit fantastically. Other models, the after-market companies struggle to make a windshield that even fits. After-market glass just really depends on a lot of different factors.
I know, right now it seems as though getting good after-market glass that actually fits is like winning the lottery. But fear not! If you go to your local auto glass shop, such as Adventure Auto Glass, then your installer should be able to tell you if the more expensive OEM glass is the best choice or if the cheaper after-market glass will work fine. However, this is really only true of smaller “mom & pop” auto glass shops as the chain shops, such as Safelight, only use after-market glass their company manufactures; at such chain stores, you really don’t have a choice in windshield type.
Author: B. Delamater