If your car's windshield is damaged and needs to be replaced, you may have to decide between original equipment manufacturer (OEM) glass or an aftermarket glass. If you aren't sure which one to go for, you'll want to weigh the pros and cons. Read on to learn more.

What are OEM Windshields? 

Original equipment manufacturer windshields are made by the same companies that manufactured your car's original windshield. In other words, your new windshield should have the same fit, thickness, color, and shape as the previous windshield.

You don't need to assess different brands when choosing OEM windshields and they often come with a warranty. Some people like OEM windshields because they are reliable and certified by the Department of Transportation.  

The biggest downside of OEM windshields is the cost. OEM windshields can be quite pricey, and many insurance companies may only cover the cost of aftermarket parts. You may also need to wait for an OEM part to be available since you'll need to take your car to a dealership rather than a third-party repair shop.

What are Aftermarket Windshields?

Aftermarket windshields are produced by glass companies that don't necessarily have a relationship with a car maker. Aftermarket parts may have some differences in their tint, thickness, and durability compared to OEM parts, but they can fit nicely in many cars.

Aftermarket windshields are more readily available and more cost-effective than OEM windshields. If you are relying on insurance to help pay for the new windshield, then aftermarket windshields are a great option since many companies will help cover a portion of the cost. Check your state's laws; even though you may not be able to get an OEM part, your insurance provider may still need to provide an aftermarket windshield of the same quality as the original windshield.

Although some car owners may assume that all OEM parts trump aftermarket ones, that's not the case. If you do your due diligence, you can find a windshield that is just as good as your original one. In fact, some aftermarket glass may actually be better than the OEM glass since these companies can reverse-engineer a part and iron any weaknesses out. If you weren't happy with the look of the old windshield, then you can make some changes to the aftermarket windshield. You will need to do homework before committing to a brand, as aftermarket quality can vary greatly. And unlike OEM glass, it may not come with a warranty.

Reach out to a shop like Low Price Auto Glass to learn more about both options and which one would work best for your needs.