We often get asked which glass is the best option for replacing a windshield, OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or OEE (Original Equipment Equivalent), AKA, aftermarket glass. We’ll go over the two types of glass and compare them to help you decide which option to choose.

What Are the OEM and OEE Acronyms?

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) means the brand made for your vehicle. When replacing the windshield, it will be an exact model of the windshield that initially came with the car.

Original Equipment Equivalent (OEE), commonly referred to as aftermarket glass, means a manufacturing company outside the vehicle’s brand made the glass. This option is typically more affordable and readily available than the OEM equivalent.

Differences between OEM and OEE

The difference between the two windshields is primarily the branding and cost of each windshield. OEM glass is a brand-specific windshield and is more expensive than the alternative. OEE glass comes from a separate company but has the exact specifications of OEM glass and is the more affordable option. There could be slight differences in OEE glass with tint, colour, and thickness than in OEM glass, but overall, glass manufacturing companies must meet the specifications for safety placed by the DOT (Department of Transportation) when creating windshields.

“Aftermarket glass or what we call OEE (Original Equipment Equivalent) glass is most commonly used for many reasons including price and availability.”

— Pierre Debreuil, Co-owner of ACR Auto Glass

One fact that is not widely mentioned is that OEM and OEE windshields often come from the same glass manufacturing company. Pierre explains that although the OEE glass does not have the branded logo, OEM companies get the glass from the same company as OEE glass is manufactured before adding their logo.

“The manufacturers do not make their own glass, and often the company that produces the glass for the Manufacturer will be the same company where we get the OEE glass. It may not have the OEM logo; however, it must meet all the same specifications.”

Two male auto mechanics holding a windshield to replace in a vehicle

Which One Should You Choose?

This is a popular question we get asked when customers are deciding which windshield to purchase. OEM and OEE glass are both good replacements for your cracked windshield, and which one you choose comes down to preference and availability at the time of replacement.

For more information or to book your windshield replacement, please fill out our contact form.