Do you have a crack or chip on your car side windows that needs fixing? Many customers come for auto glass replacements and repairs, but most don’t know that there are several types of auto glass in Houston. Understanding the different types of auto glass used for car side windows is essential because your car windows are a crucial part of your vehicle’s safety and comfort. In this blog, we’ll explore when you might need auto glass, the types of auto glass and their differences, and how to choose the right replacement.
Signs You Need Auto Glass in Houston for Your Side Windows
Usually, car side windows use tempered glass rather than laminated glass. Tempered glass isn’t repairable in most cases. This means that you’ll need auto glass replacement for any signs of damage like chips and cracks. Choosing quality auto glass in Houston will make your ride quieter and make your car more comfortable and safer.
Tempered glass is designed to be tougher than regular glass. When it does break, it crumbles into small, round pieces, which helps reduce the risk of cuts or injuries. That said, you’ll need to replace your auto glass anytime you have shattered window glass or any visible damage to the window.
Houston glass repair might be an option in an instance where your damaged car window is laminated. In such a case, you can often repair your laminated car side glass windows like you would a windshield – by injecting a special resin into the crack or chip to seal the damaged area. Some cars do use laminated side windows, so check for your specific car model.
Types of Auto Glass in Houston Used for Windows
Auto glass for car windows has dramatically evolved over the years for safety and comfort reasons. The two primary choices of auto glass in Houston are tempered glass and laminated glass. Here are the differences between tempered glass and laminated glass.
Tempered glass (also called toughened glass) is today’s most commonly used type of auto glass for side windows. This auto glass is up to four times stronger than the standard glass and is often used for rear and side car windows.
To make tempered glass, glaziers heat it to extremely high temperatures over 600 degrees and rapidly cool it. This results in much stronger, durable tempered glass.
Tempered glass is also safe because when it shatters, it does so with a powerful impact and disintegrates into tiny, round, and dull-edged pieces to protect passengers from cuts and injuries. However, that also means that tempered glass completely shatters when an accident occurs, requiring a replacement, not a repair. In rare cases, there may be a visible chip or crack before the glass shatters, but this means that the glass is weak and will most likely shatter before too long.
Laminated glass is another common type of auto glass in Houston. This is an incredibly strong glass that can withstand more impacts than standard glass. It’s the same type of glass used in windshields.
Some manufacturers are now using laminated glass for extra strength and to reduce the risk of break-ins and ejection through car side windows. However, the fact that laminated glass is tougher to break is a concern because laminated glass makes it harder to break the window in an emergency.
Laminated glass doesn’t shatter when it breaks. Even though the glass can break, the PVB layer in the glass keeps it intact to prevent the sharp shards of the glass from flying everywhere and causing injuries.
Laminated glass can also help reduce the severity of injuries sustained in a car crash. It acts as a barrier. So, if someone gets thrown into the glass, it prevents ejection. For that reason, windshields must be laminated glass. Laminated auto glass is repairable, so you don’t always need a replacement.
Choosing the Right Replacement Auto Glass in Houston
Not all glass is the same. It’s important to know this so you can choose the right options for your needs. So, how do you choose the right replacement for your auto glass in Houston?
You’ll need to enlighten yourself about the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) auto glass and aftermarket (OEE) auto glass so you can make an informed decision. It’s worth noting that the “OEE” in aftermarket auto glass means Original Equipment Equivalent.
Here’s a detailed comparison based on different aspects to help you understand the difference between OEM auto glass vs. aftermarket auto glass.
Here are some other things to consider when it comes to replacing your auto glass in Houston:
Car manufacturers seek out reputable companies that can offer auto glass for their vehicles and provide them with a license to fabricate the auto glass following their exact specifications, hence the name “Original Equipment Manufacturers.” OEM auto glass is essentially identical to the original car glass, and its fabrication follows the exact standards that the car manufacturers have set for their products.
On the other hand, aftermarket auto glass products might not adhere to the same car manufacturer standards, but will meet or exceed the minimum safety requirements required by the Department of Transportation.
If you’re going through insurance to pay for your auto glass in Houston, check with them about whether you need OEM or aftermarket glass. Sometimes, they may prefer one over the other. For example, if your vehicle is less than two years old and you need a car window replacement, your insurance company might authorize OEM auto glass replacement.
However, most standard insurance policies don’t cover the full costs of an OEM auto glass replacement. That means you’ll be responsible for the partial coverage of the cost. Whatever your choice is, choose an auto glass replacement that fits your needs and preferences.
Price and Availability
Naturally, OEM auto glass products are more expensive than aftermarket because OEM products have the car manufacturer’s stamp of approval. That said, the availability of aftermarket auto glass outnumbers that of OEM auto glass. Sometimes, car manufacturers restrict the manufacturing of OEM auto glass.
Top Quality Glass Services From Apple Glass
Do you need new auto glass in Houston? If you need top-quality but affordable auto glass and windshield repair in Houston, our experts at Apple Glass are here to help. We’re a highly rated full-service glass company serving Greater Houston. Find our locations in Houston and The Woodlands. So, whether you need new auto glass or repair for your car side windows, we have solutions for you. Contact us today to get your free quote!