OEM windshield cost/quality vs. aftermarket - GreenHybrid - Hybrid Cars

HCH II-Specific Discussions Model Years 2006-2011

OEM windshield cost/quality vs. aftermarket

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  #1  
Old 08-19-2010, 06:38 PM
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Arrow OEM windshield cost/quality vs. aftermarket

Driving down the freeway today, I heard what sounded like an explosion. I saw nothing, but something huge hit my windshield and immediately shattered it in four directions from one side to the other. Luckily, there was no other damage.

I got an aftermarket quote of $293 to replace it. Is there any good reason to buy a Honda windshield and have it replace at the dealer? (I haven't had a chance to check the cost via Honda yet.)

Any bad windshield installation stories? Things to watch out for or safeguard against? Anyone know what quality differences exist, if any, when not buying OEM? Comparative costs of OEM vs. aftermarket? Any good aftermarket recommendations in the San Diego area? Other advice?

Thanks! My poor car just turned 10K miles yesterday... now this! I know... it could have been worse.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-19-2010, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: OEM windshield cost/quality vs. aftermarket

Ouch, sorry to hear about your broken windshield, Steven. Thank goodness you weren't injured though.

If you take a look at the online Honda parts websites (like Majestic or Bernardi for example), it seems like an OEM windshield costs a lot more than what you've been quoted for your replacement.

My husband had the windshield replaced on his vehicle about a year ago. A guy came out to the house and did the work right in our driveway, taking the old windshield out and putting in the replacement. It worked out well for him.

About the only other option I can think of is trying to locate an OEM windshield from a car at a junkyard.

Your insurance should cover it though, right?
Good luck to you.
 
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  #3  
Old 08-19-2010, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: OEM windshield cost/quality vs. aftermarket

It's hard to believe you are worried about a factory windshield. But, maybe you don't know what goes into making auto parts, so here goes.

ALL parts that are safety-related have to pass Federal motor vehicle safety standards. Windshields in virtually all new cars also have to be designed, manufactured and installed to work in conjunction with airbags. The windshields in many cars, especially those with the passenger airbag facing up rather than towards the passenger, must be the 'backstop' for the airbag. That means the windshield MUST pass all standards, regardless of the manufacturer, and be installed in such a way that it WON'T pop out when the airbag inflates.

In addition to that, all windshields are made by just a small number of manufacturers in the U.S, such as Libby-Owens-Ford, PPG and AFG. Some car companies, including Ford and Chrysler, make most of their own glass, but I wouldn't be surprised to find they contract out some of their work during peak periods to meet demand.

You can find the DOT number on your existing windshield, and cross-reference that number with this list to see who made your "original" Honda windshield:
http://www.carwindshields.info/DOT_db.htm

If your car was made in Japan, your windshield could have come from China, Korea, Thailand or even a country further away. Even if you go to a Honda dealer, you may find their Honda part was made in Kansas or Illinois, while your original windshield came from China. An OEM part does NOT mean it was made in the same plant as the one that came in your car.

As for installation, you may be surprised to learn the truth about that. Go by almost any brand of dealer, and you are likely to see a truck from Safelight, Harmon or even a local shop next to the service area installing a windshield..or two. Reason is, because of all the factors I mentioned before (airbags) and the fact that lawyers swirl around accident victims looking for a reason to sue someone like sharks hunting swimming tourists in Florida in August, a lot of shops don't want the liability risk of installing a windshield incorrectly. And, virtually all national and reputable local shops warranty a windshield installation for the life of the car.

So, even if you find a dealer that installs his own windshields, you as the owner should ask yourself, do you want a windshield installed by someone that may do 4-5 windshields a month, or someone that does 4-6 windshields a day and that is ALL they do?

Also, ask your insurance company who they recommend. They often have direct-pay set up with the installer, and all you pay is your deductible, if any. And, many companies back up the installer's work if you use a company they recommend.

Finally, there is no diminshed value for a windshield replacement. Broken windshiels are just a way of life, so getting a "non-Honda" windshield doesn't do anything to the book value of your car. Paying extra for a Honda windshield is a waste of money.

Good luck.
 

Last edited by SanAntonio Joe; 08-19-2010 at 07:46 PM.
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  #4  
Old 08-19-2010, 08:12 PM
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Arrow Re: OEM windshield cost/quality vs. aftermarket

Thanks to you both. I got the quote from Safelite, the preferred vendor for Liberty Mutual. Glad to hear the nuts-and-bolts of windshield repair. My deductible is higher than the replacement cost, but I was very relieved at the sub-$300 price. I'll follow your advice, thanks again!
 
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  #5  
Old 08-19-2010, 08:36 PM
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Thumbs up Re: OEM windshield cost/quality vs. aftermarket

Steven,

I recently had a brush with road debris resultin in a cracked windshield on my 2007 HCH II. My insurance carrier, Progressive, recommended that I choose Safelite Auto Glass to replace the broken windshield. I negotiated with the local Safelite shop on the price, a total of $175 for the replacement windshield. The replacement glass for the HCH II is "solar" glass and that differs from the glass instanned on non-hybrid 2006+ Civic sedans. Be sure to get the right solar replacement glass.

My replacement windshield was produced by Pinkerton glass, a well known glass supplier. Although this was not an "OEM" glass brand fir the HCH II, the Safelite rep assured me that this glass will meet all the same specifications for fit, quality, strength and safety as the original glass.

After all was done I am perfectly happy with my replacement windshield. No leaks, gaps, wind noise whatsoever. With a quality glass install your HCH II will be as good as new, except for the dent to your bank balance

Good luck with your glass repair. 
 
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2010, 11:04 PM
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Arrow Re: OEM windshield cost/quality vs. aftermarket

Stu, that is excellent info, as well. I will verify the "solar" glass. Since I received a quote from the same company as did your work, your lower price will be very good information to help me with negotiations. (Do we actually know what distinguishes solar glass from all others? How can I verify that I'll have been sold the right goods do you have any part number, maybe?) Thank you for a helpful addition to comments.
 
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  #7  
Old 08-20-2010, 05:37 AM
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Talking Re: OEM windshield cost/quality vs. aftermarket

Steven,

Look for a Uv or Solar symbol or wording appearing in the small manufacturers label on the new glass. This may vary by the glass manufacturer, but i got some rassurance by noticing the word "Solar" in the small imprinted label on my new Pinkerton windshield If fact you can see a similar marking on every other piece of window glass on the HCH II. It can't hurt to discuss this detail withr the Safelite rep who is working with you inform/remind them of the fact that the HCH II trimline of the Civic has a different version (solar, low Uv) of the glass compared to non-hybrid trimlines. This is one of the least know of the differences in build component that distinguish the HCH from the non-hybrid models in the Civic stable.
 
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  #8  
Old 08-20-2010, 07:03 AM
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Default Re: OEM windshield cost/quality vs. aftermarket

Stu is right about the difference between the glass in the regular civics and the hch glass. my windshield was replaced cause of a big piece of wood that fell from a truck ahead of me and a small hair-line crack appeared - no big deal but still the glass got changed. but here's the surprise..... the replacement glass (non-oem) was total crap.

why? it broke 2 months later from a small stone that hit the glass at 60 mph. the small little pebble hit it almost in the same spot as the piece of 2x4 and a big crack appeared right there and then.

so my vote goes for the original hch glass. it is worth it cause you get what you pay for.

ks
 

Last edited by KevinsTop; 08-20-2010 at 07:05 AM.
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  #9  
Old 08-20-2010, 11:25 AM
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Default Re: OEM windshield cost/quality vs. aftermarket

Kevin,
Glad you weren't hurt when you lost the second windshield. But, there is no way to say that the rock that broke your second windshield would not have broken a "Honda" windshield.

The same rock, moving 1-3 MPH slower, or 1-3 degrees up, down, left or right, might have just bounced off either windshield. There is no guarantee that the aftermarket windshield is worse or better. Saying the Honda part is better is just an emotional statement based upon a perception, not information.

The comments about getting a solar windshield if that is what was originally on the car, however, are very valid and relevant. Your insurance company's legal obligation is to put your car back into pre-accident condition, or pay you the ACV (acutal cash value) of the car if it is totalled. So, if you had a solar windshield before the accident, they are obligated to replace it with one.

Joe
 
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:06 PM
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Arrow Re: OEM windshield cost/quality vs. aftermarket

I contacted Safelite and Honda (Parts Department), and they each indicated that all Civics now use solar/UV windshields, i.e., there is no difference between the Hybrid and other Civic four-door models of the current generation.

Here's a corroborating email from a Honda service advisor:
"Sorry to hear about your windshield. I did a little research and asked around if any one knew if there was any special solar reflection or polarization that is used in the Honda factory windshield versus an aftermarket windshield and from what I'm being told there is not. So the only true benefit on using a Honda factory windshield would be the emblem on the glass. We do not install windshields here on site we use Safelite auto glass a local windshield installer. They quoted me $299.14 which includes labor, the cost of their aftermarket windshield and tax. I also checked on the price of the factory glass. The part alone is $976.23 with a labor charge of $150.00. In my opinion you should be fine with replacing your windshield with an aftermarket windshield because of the high price of the factory glass."
Hmmm... $1,150 with a Honda logo, or $300 without... tough decision...
 

Last edited by stevenvillatoro; 08-20-2010 at 01:25 PM.
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