Q: What is the difference between Original Equipment vs Aftermarket Glass?
A: Original Equipment or OE, is often manufactured by the same companies who manufacture Aftermarket, or non-original glass. In most cases the manufacturer's name and logo will be printed on the bottom of the glass, along with the marketing or labeling company, or the make of the vehicle. Glass and vehicle manufacturers' distributors often make agreements to lower production and distribution costs, which makes this topic complex and impossible to generalize.
Q: Is all auto glass the same?
A: No. There are many brands of auto glass, and while all glass legally sold and installed in the US is regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT), this is only in terms of their safety standards. However, there are differences in the way they look and their width. Some glass in the market may have wavy appearances when seen from certain angles. Some even have spots or blemishes that occur during the tempering process. Of course, the better the aesthetic quality, the higher the cost of the product.
Q: Is it unsafe to drive with a broken windshield?
A: This answer depends on the severity of the damage and where it is located. Windshields are made of two panes of glass, held together by a sheet of plastic between them. This keeps the glass from collapsing in the event of breakage. However, if the damage extends to the inner layer, small fragments could break off and fall into the passengers' eyes. Obstruction of vision can also be a safety issue, as breakage may get in the way of the driver's view.
Q: Can I get a traffic citation for a broken windshield?
A: Laws governing windshield damage violations are state regulated. This means that depending on where the vehicle is registered and/or the jurisdiction when the vehicle is being driven, a broken windshield may or may not constitute a violation. For further assistance with this question, visit online the department of public safety of your vehicle's state, and that of the state where you are driving.
Q: Will my vehicle pass inspection with a broken windshield?
A: The answer to this question is the same as that of the previous question.
Q: Does replacement glass come with tint?
A: Yes. Where the glass is positioned on the vehicle, will determine the tint degree. Some come with a light green tint, while others come with a darker gray tint. It's also important to consider that some automotive glass has aftermarket film, which is installed by a professional tinter. Keep in mind that the degree of tint allowed is dependent on the state the vehicle is registered in, and that in which it's being driven. For more information on tint laws, visit your state's Department of Motor Vehicles.