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What is an OEM Windshield?

If you’re looking into replacing your vehicle’s windshield, you’ve likely come across the term “OEM”. OEM, “Original Equipment Manufacturer”, is a label for auto glass that tells you a lot about its specifications and quality standards. It’s important to fully understand how OEM windshields are different from other types of windshields so that if you were ever to need a windshield replacement, you would know the right type of auto glass for your needs. 


Let’s learn more about what OEM means and how this term impacts the quality of car windshields. With the right choice of auto glass, you can ensure that your windshield stays in excellent condition for years to come. 

Defining “OEM”

An OEM windshield is made by auto glass manufacturers that are contracted by car manufacturers. Typically, once a manufacturer wraps up a new vehicle design, they’ll gather bids from glass manufacturers. The manufacturer who makes the lowest bid will be contracted to construct the windshields for the car model. This glass manufacturer will have the licensing rights to print the car manufacturer’s logo on the windshield. The manufacturer logo is one surefire way to differentiate OEM windshields. 

What Other Windshield Types Are Available?

An OEM windshield isn’t the only option available to Colorado car owners in need of a windshield repair or replacement. Aftermarket glass and dealer glass are the other two main types of auto glass available to car owners. 

Aftermarket (OEE) Glass

Aftermarket glass may also be called OEE (Original Equipment Equivalent) glass. This type of auto glass is commonly made by the exact manufacturers who create OEM glass. But, the two types of glass have distinct differences. 


When manufacturers create OEE glass, they’re not under contract with the original car manufacturer. So, they’re not subject to the manufacturer’s quality standards. This also means that OEE windshields can’t legally be stamped with the original car manufacturer’s logo. This is how you can tell the difference between an OEM and an OEE windshield by sight. 


An aftermarket windshield may have slight differences in thickness, weight, color, shape, and other similar features when compared to the windshield that your car came with. While auto glass providers don’t generally have major complaints about aftermarket glass, it can provide a less-than-perfect fit, which isn’t ideal. 


With that said, aftermarket glass has one major advantage over OEM glass: affordability. Aftermarket windshields are far less expensive than OEM windshields. So, if you have to get your windshield replaced and are on a tight budget, an aftermarket windshield could save you a good chunk of money. 

Dealer Glass

Dealer glass is purchased straight from a car dealer. The dealer must have direct authorization from the original car manufacturer to sell this type of glass, and it’s identical to the product offered by OEM glass providers. The main benefit of dealer glass is that it can be found at special deals from some car dealers. However, most car owners who need a windshield replacement will choose between OEM glass or OEE glass – dealer glass is less common. 

What’s The Benefit of OEM Windshields?

One main benefit of an OEM windshield is that it’s a carbon copy of the originally manufactured windshield for your vehicle. It’s exactly the same in thickness, shape, finish, and color. Additionally, it will fit your car just as well as the original windshield did.


The perfect fit that OEM windshields provide makes them the safest choice in comparison to aftermarket glass and dealer glass. Since this type of windshield meets the quality guidelines put in place by the car manufacturer itself, it provides unmatched reliability.

Are There Drawbacks to OEM Windshields?

The main drawback of OEM windshields is the price. This type of auto glass is typically the most costly option when compared to aftermarket glass and dealer glass. Due to this higher price point, some auto insurance policies won’t cover the full price of an OEM windshield. 


While undoubtedly harder on the budget, OEM windshields provide a higher level of quality than other types of windshield glass. This makes OEM glass a desirable option for many car owners. 


Consult with your Colorado auto glass repair provider for more advice on whether OEM glass is right for you.