When you call an auto glass company to get your windshield glass replaced you will no doubt be asked about other features that may be part of your windshield. For example, do you have a rain sensor or a heads up display? If you don’t know the answers about these factory windshield options, don’t worry.
If your vehicle’s windshield wipers have ever turned on automatically when it has rained that is an easy way to determine if you have a rain sensor. You can also check the windshield by looking for a black area on the glass along the bottom or top.
Heads up Display (HUD)
These are less common and are mainly found in newer models from Audi, Jaguar, Hyundai, Land Rover, etc. If you have one of these you know it, but if you aren’t sure check your owner’s manual. The HUD is the digital image that is projected onto the windshield of a car, displaying the same information you would typically get from the dashboard. Heated Windshield There should be an indicator on the dashboard or console if your car has a heated windshield. If not, consult your vehicle manual.
If you have noticed less noise in your vehicle cabin than with previous vehicles then you may have an acoustic interlayer. There may also be an A on your windshield as another way to make this designation. See our blog on decoding your windshield “bug.”
Some vehicles also come with factory tint strips or “dark dots” on the windshield. If you look at the top of your windshield you may see a dark strip. That is to block the sun’s direct rays and act as a visor.
“I Still Can’t Tell”
If you still aren’t sure what options your windshield glass may have, don’t worry. Simply have your vehicle identification number (VIN) handy as that should allow the auto glass company to find the right glass to match your vehicle.
Now what if you don’t have a heads up display but your windshield has to be replaced? Can you order replacement glass equipped with HUD or one of the above options? It depends on your car model, so simply ask your auto glass professional if this is a possibility. To save on costs removing options may also be a possibility.
What Types of Auto Glass Are Available?
When you are searching for a company to replace your windshield, it is helpful to first know the differences in the types of glass available.
OE Auto Glass
OE windshields are those that are placed in the vehicle by the car manufacturer during the manufacturing process—thus the name original equipment. Ford used to make its own auto glass, but no more. Now, just about all car manufacturers in North America buy their auto glass from an auto glass maker. OE windshield companies include names like AGC, Fuyao Glass America, Guardian Industries, Pilkington North America/NSG and more.
Most of the auto glass manufacturers that supply glass to the car makers also make glass for the aftermarket. Generally, the glass is known as OE glass if the glass manufacturer also makes the same glass for the carmakers. If the glass manufacturer does not make glass for the carmaker, it’s usually called “aftermarket” glass.Get an Estimate
Which is Better?
That question is very difficult to answer. In fact, there is no right answer. OE glass often has been made to tighter tolerances than aftermarket glass and may have some proprietary markings that can’t be found on aftermarket glass. It is also usually more expensive. Some people liken OE glass to a name brand prescription medicine and aftermarket glass to the generic, although even this isn’t a perfect analogy. When someone asks which is a better medicine, brand name or generic, the answer usually is “it depends on the manufacturer.” The same is true with auto glass.
Some insurance policies will reimburse you for an auto glass installation of exactly the same type of glass you had before it broke; other policies will only reimburse for like kind and quality. Your auto glass professional will brief you on all your options regarding insurance reimbursement and different types of glass available.
Safety Above All
Just remember that proper automotive glass replacement is important to maintain the structural integrity and safety features of the vehicle.