What You Should Know About OEM & Aftermarket Windshields

Your car is a substantial investment. Even if you aren’t cruising around in the flashiest vehicle on the block, you want to make sure that you’re choosing the best products for your automobile within your price range. Therefore, one should know the difference between OEM and aftermarket windshield options. Read on to learn more!

Aftermarket Auto Glass

 

An aftermarket windshield, otherwise known as original equipment equivalent or OEE, is designed to fit any vehicle. These types of windshields are reverse engineered, and while they are built like regular glass and look like regular glass, the auto manufacturer’s name cannot be stamped on the windshield. When asked if you want an aftermarket product when you go in for windshield repair, you should be aware that the aftermarket product, if chosen, is not from the original auto manufacturer.

 

OEM Auto Glass

 

OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer. What you need to know is that auto manufacturers will allow other companies to construct windshields using their exact design specifications, sometimes even with the same equipment. Not everyone is allowed to do this, however, so the auto manufacturers bid out contracts to auto glass manufacturers. Those who win the bids are allowed to manufacture the windshields and use the auto company’s name and logo on them. In order to generate revenue from their own products, though, the auto manufacturer will limit contracts to auto glass manufacturers. When asked if you want OEM glass, know that the windshield you’re choosing is either from the auto manufacturer or from another company who built it exactly how the auto manufacturer would.

 

There aren’t many differences between OEM and aftermarket windshields, but some owners like to go with OEM replacement parts in order to keep their vehicles authentic. Also, if both windshields are equal in quality and design, you can always choose based off of which one is the most cost-effective option. Rest assured that we offer products for any budget here at AllStar Windshield Centers, and all of our auto glass is of the highest quality.

The Dangers of Not Getting Your Windshield Fixed

Taking a mere glance at the title of this blog post likely reminds you that you’re guilty of leaving your windshield hanging at least once or twice…maybe even three times. If you’re in a state where windshield repair is covered with comprehensive insurance coverage then you’re putting off free repairs for no reason. If you have to pay for your auto glass repairs, we understand the hesitation, but it’s in your best interest to get your windshield tended to if it’s damaged. Things can go quite wrong if you let damage linger for too long, so perhaps the following list of potential consequences will spur you into action.

1.) Small Damage Only Gets Worse

Glass damage only gets worse as time goes on. It can be easy to brush off a small chip or scratch, but brushing it off soon turns into avoiding it all together. Allowing a chip to hang out for too long can allow it to turn into a bigger problem, which only makes it more expensive to fix. If you get ahead of the ball, you can repair the chip while it’s small and drastically reduce the amount you pay for the repair job.

 

2.) A Damaged Windshield Simply Isn’t Safe

Any time there is structural damage to a windshield, its ability to protect you in an extreme situation is compromised. If your windshield glass is cracked or chipped prior to getting into an accident, it stands a far less chance of remaining intact. Echoing the point above, you should stay on top of repairing damage as it comes so that the integrity of your windshield can remain intact.

 

3.) Insurance May Not Cover Everything

While it’s true that insurance companies are required by law to waive their deductibles when paying for windshield damage, they can set a cap on how much they pay for the entire repair or replacement. Having to fork over money when you technically shouldn’t have to is always a bummer, so do your best to keep your windshield healthy.

 

4.) It Makes You a Liability

Even if you consider the damage to your windshield to only be a minor inconvenience, someone else could see it as a major problem. For example, existing windshield damage of a certain degree is not going to win you any favors with a police officer who pulls you over for unrelated offenses. Also, a damaged windshield likely isn’t going to make your passengers feel completely safe either. Keep all rides and interactions copacetic and stay on top of your windshield repairs.

 

If the point wasn’t yet clear, please stay on the ball with your auto glass. All of us behind the wheel benefit from auto glass that is in top shape. Damaged auto glass can compromise not only your safety, but the safety of your passengers and loved ones. Let AllStar Windshield Centers help you keep your glass strong! Call us, or fill out an online contact form.

Why is My Windshield Damage Visible After Being Filled

Getting any damage to your windshield, whether it be a simple crack or chip, quickly repaired is key to preventing further problems. So after you make the appointment and do the responsible thing, you might be a bit disheartened to see that the damage is still visible following the repair job. You might begin to ask yourself what the point of getting the crack mended was when you can still see it, so we’re here to provide answers to some common questions we hear from customers.

1.) Why Should I Repair My Windshield if the Damage is Still Visible?

When you repair a chip or crack in your windshield, you help prevent that damage from growing in size. However, repairing damage like this does not remove the damage from the glass. Tending to the damage keeps it from getting worse, whereas if you didn’t opt to get it fixed the crack would grow as the glass expands and contracts with outdoor temperatures. Playing music loudly and hitting pot holes does not do much for your damaged auto glass either. So, even though the repaired damage can still be visible, it’s important to get small damage filled in order to prevent an even bigger problem from happening. Repairing a crack simply requires filling the damage with material that prevents it from cracking further. It is not intended to hide the damage completely.

2.) Can I Hide a Crack?

The only way to truly do away with any subtle windshield damage is to replace the windshield entirely. It should be made known that some repairs help mask flaws better than others. A filled in chip is always likely to be less visible than a repaired star. If you take a look at your windshield, can you handle having to see visible damage that has been repaired? This is an important question to consider when deciding whether or not you should repair or replace your auto glass. If the damage is out of your general view and does not impact your ability to drive, then repair is your best bet. If you’re the kind of sort who wants there to be no flaws present on their windshield, then replacement is the way to go.

Keep an eye out for window damage when it happens. Being proactive about addressing your windshield issues only saves you money and a bigger headache. We’re here to handle all of your other auto glass concerns. We are the experts after all, so come to us with your questions!

Repairing Your Windshield Without Using Insurance

Dealing with your insurance company is always a toss-up. Either the interaction goes really well, or it ends in complete frustration. This is especially true when contacting them for windshield problems. Your damaged windshield is likely covered by your car insurance, but you might want to pay out of pocket to avoid having your monthly insurance payment go up as a result of filing a claim. Besides, paying out of pocket can help keep the price reasonable, and will likely save you money in the long term. Insurance companies tend to charge additional fees for replacing windshields. Here are some tips for replacing your windshield without having to use your insurance specifically for your windshield problem.

Vandalism

While you might not enjoy ruining someone else’s property, there a plenty of folks who do. While it can be incredibly aggravating to emerge from your home to find your car has been vandalized and your auto glass destroyed, it’s sometimes better to pay for the auto glass damage on your own than inform your insurance company of the incident. This way, they won’t fall under the impression that you live in an area where this type of activity is frequent.

Wear and Tear

Over time, everything tends to break down, and this certainly applies to windshields. Seeing as it protects you from road hazards while you travel speeds upwards of 70 miles per hour, your windshield will sustain its fair share of cracks and dings as time goes on. Minor damage like that can usually be repaired, and prevents you from having to pay more money for a full windshield replacement if you remedy the situation in time. Remember, that small damage on your windshield is never going to fix itself. Be proactive and get it squared away before the damage gets out of hand.

General Mishaps

Sometimes, small vehicular incidents take place. They aren’t enough to cause major damage, but the impact of such run ins can put a crack or two in your windshield. In situations like this, you’ll want to discuss repair options with a company willing to not only work with your insurance, but offer a price that fits into your maintenance budget.

If you require help with your windshield, look no further than AllStar Windshield Centers! Call us at (630) 268-9337, or fill out our online contact form!

After You Replace Your Windshield, Recycle It!

It might not be something you think about, or even consider, but windshields can be recycled. Not only that, but the process is fairly simple too. If you’re getting a windshield replacement, ask the company performing the job if they have a recycling program. If they do, recycling the glass is as simple as handing it off to the company. If they don’t, you will have to ask for the glass after your new windshield is installed. In order to make it uncomplicated to travel with, see if your auto glass company can make it easier for you to transport the windshield. After that, you have two options. You can either take it to the recycling center of a nearby landfill, or you can utilize your local recycling bin.

Since windshields are comprised of two layers of glass, it is important to utilize recycling services so the glass doesn’t completely go to waste. Surprisingly enough, there are many uses for recycled auto glass! Fiberglass manufacturing companies utilize recycled glass from windshields very frequently. Other uses for recycled auto glass include using it to make ornate flooring, countertops, shower doors, greenhouses, and even reflective yellow paint for roadways. Auto glass companies have begun forming their own recycling programs to take advantage of the benefits of recycled auto glass. After all, the glass can be used to make more windshields!

Since glass has a variety of uses and functions, it is important for drivers to do their part and partake in recycling. Just because your old windshield was damaged does not mean it no longer has a purpose. Even if your auto glass provider doesn’t mention a recycling program, you should still ask. It is better to have your old glass utilized for some other purpose rather than have it thrown into a landfill. Recycling auto glass was incredibly difficult 20 years ago, so do your best to partake. Who knows, the next time you replace your counters they may contain bits of your old windshield!

What is the Difference between Laminated and Tempered Auto Glass?

Laminated glass and tempered glass are two of the most important and crucial types of glass for your automobile. But what is the difference between these two life-saving types of glass?

Laminated glass is made up of two plate glass sheets, which are stacked on top of each other, with an inner layer made of plastic called polyvinyl butryal, or PVB. When broken, laminated glass stays in one piece, so it is perfect for your windshield because it prevents shards of glass hitting the driver and passengers in accidents. This is why you see the spider web effect in broken windshields. This is because the glass breaks without actually shattering.

Tempered glass is used elsewhere on the car, including the back windshield and side window glass. Tempered glass is made by heating and cooling a sheet of glass in a tempering furnace. This process is referred to as “air quenching”, which makes the glass four to five times stronger than a standard sheet of glass. Tempered glass doesn’t have to be quite as strong as laminated glass because the windshield is key for the structural integrity of the car. Tempered glass will still, however, break into small shards that are not as painful as typical broken glass.

Don’t delay when it comes to windshield damage. Book an appointment with AllStar Windshield Centers today or call us at 800-900-1505.

5 Tips for Keeping Your Headlights Crystal Clear

Over time, your car’s headlights will be exposed to a number of things like, dirt, grime, insects, and the elements. These things work together to tarnish the plastic headlight covers, and heavily reduce your visibility while driving. Keep yourself safe, and your headlights shining with these tips!

  1. When is the last time you changed your lightbulbs? Depending on the type of lightbulb your car uses, they usually need to be changed every year or so.
  2. Give your headlights a wash with soap and warm water. This will remove any surface dirt and grime, and give you a look at any deeper abrasion.
  3. If you notice your headlights are still hazy you can try some DIY restoring with toothpaste, an old rag, and some water. Rub the headlights in a small circular motion with the rag and toothpaste, then rinse with warm water. This will clear any minimal scuffing.
  4. Still hazy? It might be time to head to your local auto store to pick up some cleaning and polishing compounds. For really bad scuffing, there are kits available which come with a cleaning solution and various grit sandpaper.
  5. After getting your headlights bright and shiny again, keep them clean with a UV sealant. Apply the sealant a few times a year to keep your headlights protected.

Auto Glass Repair Services in the Greater Chicago Area

We offer mobile windshield repair and replacement services from our two Chicago area auto glass shops. AllStar Windshield Centers has locations in Naperville and Addison, IL. Our mobile auto glass technicians provide on-location windshield repairs and replacements up to 50 miles away from each location.

Our AllStar Windshield Centers in Naperville is located on W. Ogden Ave, Rt. 34, in the northernmost part of the city. We are just south of Warrenville and Wheaton, IL. Our mobile repair technicians travel throughout the Chicagoland area.

Our Addison, IL Allstar Windshield Centers is located on Capital Drive, a few minutes off Route 20, to the southwestern area of town. Our mobile service technicians travel as far north as Waukegan, and as far south as Wilmington, IL.

AllStar Windshield Centers performs high quality windshield repair and replacement services throughout the greater Chicago, IL area and beyond.

The Development of Auto Glass

Modern windshields can be traced back to a fortunate accident made by French chemist Edouard Benedictus, in 1903. One day in his lab, the chemist dropped a flask filled with collodion. He observed that while the flask broke, it did not shatter. Benedictus would later realize he had discovered shatter proof glass. This would lay the groundwork for shatter-proof safety auto glass. Laminated glass would be used for windshields in the 1920s.

In the early 1900s, however, windshields weren’t being used in any automobiles. Windshields were luxury accessories that were typically considered an option for your car. Even though windshields at this time cost more for the driver, they were not very safe or helpful for drivers. They kept dirt and dust out of the driver’s eyes, but they would easily shatter if damaged. This would cause more harm than good if driver and passenger were covered in glass after contact with a projectile.

Over time, auto manufacturers began to realize the necessity for stronger windshields and other forms of auto glass, like side windows and back windshields. Henry Ford began producing his own auto glass at his factories, and eventually utilized laminated auto glass for his windshields. While the laminated windshield solved the problem of glass shattering in the driver’s face, it still was not strong enough to protect against heavy projectiles or offer protection in collisions. Manufacturers invested in the development of safety glass and innovations like using a thin layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) between sheets of glass helped strengthen windshields.

Around this time, auto manufacturers also began using tempered glass for side windows and back windshields. Tempered glass helped strengthen the overall structural integrity of the automobile.

Eventually, the NHTSA would make windshields and auto glass a legal requirement for all automobiles. They would also define the standards for windshield mounting, transparency, and strength.

Other Vehicles Serviced by AllStar Windshield Centers

AllStar Windshield Centers services more than just automobiles. The windshield is an important safety feature for more than just autos. Also, auto glass is important for the security of larger vehicles like mobile homes and buses. We provide windshield repairs and replacements to tractor trailers, buses, and mobile homes.

Mobile homes are often used for long trips. This makes it more likely that they will suffer some auto glass damage over time. Our windshield repair and replacement specialists are trained to repair this type of auto glass so that the mobile home is returned to its original structural integrity.

Tractor trailers use high quality windshields, but they are also on the road more than almost any other vehicle. This makes it almost inevitable that they will suffer windshield damage at some point in their lifespan. We provide auto glass replacements and repairs for tractor trailers, as they wear out significantly over time.

We also provide windshield and auto glass repairs and replacements for buses. Buses take frequent auto glass damage because they are on the road so often and have many sections of glass that can get damaged.

Contact AllStar Windshield Centers today at (800) 900-1505 to find out if we can service your specialty vehicle.