Windshield replacements can be a real hassle, and sometimes, it can be hard to know where to turn for the best service.
You’ve probably heard of Safelite, the national auto glass repair and replacement chain, but how does it compare to going to your dealer for a windshield replacement? Let’s dive into the details and find out which option is best for your needs.
A Brief Comparison Table
|OEM & OEE options
|Mobile service available
|Must go to dealership
|Limited to specific dealerships
|Often fast (within an hour)
|Varies by dealership
|Varies by service center
|Usually offered by dealerships
|Auto glass specialists
|Brand-specific vehicle training
|Can be higher
|Can be higher
|Insurance Coverage Compatibility
Safelite: The Auto Glass Specialist
Safelite is a well-known name in the auto glass industry and has been around for over 70 years. They offer both repair and replacement services for windshields, side windows, and rear windows.
With their extensive network of technicians and mobile services, Safelite is often seen as a convenient and reliable option for many vehicle owners.
Also Read: Is Jeep Gorilla Glass Worth It?
Pros of Safelite Windshield Replacement
- Convenience: Safelite’s mobile services allow them to come to you, whether you’re at home or work. This can save you time and effort, as you won’t have to take your car to a shop and wait for the work to be done.
- Nationwide Service: Safelite has a vast network of service centers and technicians across the United States. This means that you can find a Safelite service center or technician almost anywhere you go.
- Quick Turnaround: Safelite typically offers a fast turnaround time for windshield replacements, often completing the job in as little as an hour.
Cons of Safelite Windshield Replacement
- Quality Concerns: Some users have reported concerns about the quality of the windshields used by Safelite, particularly when it comes to their Original Equipment Equivalent (OEE) options.
- Higher Costs: Safelite’s prices can sometimes be higher than those of dealer windshield replacements, particularly for those with insurance coverage that includes glass repair and replacement.
Dealer Windshield Replacement: The OEM Option
Going to your car’s dealer for a windshield replacement might seem like the more traditional route, but is it always the best choice? Dealer windshield replacements usually involve using Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts, which are made to the exact specifications of your vehicle.
Pros of Dealer Windshield Replacement
- Quality Assurance: When you choose a dealer windshield replacement, you can be confident that you’re getting an OEM windshield. This means that the quality and fit of the glass will be as close to the original as possible.
- Warranty Coverage: Many dealers offer a warranty on their windshield replacements, giving you peace of mind and protecting you against any potential issues down the road.
- Professional Installation: Dealer technicians are specifically trained to work on your make and model of vehicle, so you can trust that they know how to properly install your new windshield.
Cons of Dealer Windshield Replacement
- Limited Convenience: Unlike Safelite, dealerships don’t typically offer mobile windshield replacement services. This means that you’ll have to take your vehicle to the dealership and potentially wait for the work to be completed.
- Higher Costs: Dealer windshield replacements can be more expensive than those offered by Safelite, particularly if you don’t have insurance coverage for glass repairs and replacements.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Yes, Safelite does use quality windshields. However, they offer both OEM and OEE options, with the latter sometimes raising concerns about quality. Always ask for an OEM windshield if you want the highest quality glass.
No, not all replacement windshields are the same quality. OEM windshields are generally considered the highest quality, while aftermarket and OEE windshields may vary in quality and fit.
An OEM windshield is generally worth the investment, as it offers a perfect fit and the highest quality materials. OEM windshields are designed to meet your vehicle’s specific requirements, ensuring optimal performance and safety. However, if cost is a concern, an OEE windshield from a reputable provider like Safelite can be a suitable alternative.
Safelite’s OEE (Original Equipment Equivalent) windshields are made by third-party manufacturers and designed to meet the same specifications as OEM windshields. However, they may not be made with the exact same materials or processes. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) windshields are made by the same manufacturer that produced your vehicle’s original windshield, ensuring the highest quality and fit.
Telling the difference between an OEM and aftermarket windshield can be challenging, as they often look quite similar. However, there are a few key indicators you can look for:
1. Branding: OEM windshields will typically have the automaker’s logo or branding, while aftermarket windshields will not.
2. Labeling: OEM windshields may have a label or markings indicating their compliance with safety standards or other certifications.
3. Quality and Fit: OEM windshields should fit your vehicle perfectly and have a high-quality appearance, while aftermarket windshields may show minor imperfections or have slight variations in fit.
When it comes to choosing between Safelite and dealer windshield replacement, it ultimately depends on your personal preferences and priorities. Safelite offers convenience and fast service with their mobile replacement options, while dealerships provide the assurance of OEM quality and professional installation.
If you value convenience and speed, Safelite may be the best choice for you. However, if you’re willing to invest in an OEM windshield and don’t mind going to a dealership, a dealer windshield replacement might be the better option.
Regardless of which route you choose, always be sure to ask about the type of windshield being used (OEM or OEE), and inquire about warranty coverage to ensure you’re getting the best possible service for your vehicle.