Why You Should Stay Away From Dealership Windshields

For dealer-loyal car owners, the impulse to take your vehicle to the dealership for maintenance and repairs like a new windshield is irresistible. And why not? Because they specialize in a certain vehicle make, dealership technicians are very knowledgeable about the needs of your car and have access to all the right replacement parts. Their expertise makes them feel reliable and reputable. When your windshield is beyond repair and needs to be completely replaced, should you visit your dealer?  Unbelievably, there comes a time when it is better to avoid your dealership and visit an automotive glass shop like Hartwell's Glass & Mirror Co Ltd instead.

  •     Dealership windshields are overpriced!

Dealerships charge around three times more for a windshield than most professional glass shops for several reasons. First, they must be able to cover costs associated with the wide range of vehicle services they provide such as engine work, bodywork, and tires. Glass shops can charge less because they specialize in one area only:  vehicle glass. Secondly, dealerships have to pay for those yummy donuts and coffee that are always available in the service lobby. Finally, that little VW or Toyota logo in the corner of the new windshield is expensive, much like the logo on your favorite pair of designer jeans. You will pay for it.

  •  Dealer windshield glass is the same as OEM glass.

So, you want that brand name logo on your windshield, certifying it is a true VW or Toyota part. Surprisingly, OEM, or original equipment manufacturer, windshields are made from the same template as dealer glass. The only difference is the little logo stamp in the corner giving the manufacturer's name that increases the price you pay at the dealer.

OEM glass is manufactured at the same places dealership windshields come from like PGW, Carlite, Mopar, and Pilkington. The auto glass meets all federal safety standards whether it is has the special stamp or not. Many auto glass shops use this superior OEM glass instead of cheap aftermarket alternatives.

  • Some insurance companies will not pay for dealer windshields.

Unless your car is pretty new when it needs a new windshield, or aftermarket parts are not available, your insurance company will not authorize and pay for dealer glass and labor. Check the fine print in your insurance policy or talk to your agent first so you are informed for future inquiries.

Whether you plan to let your auto insurance pay for the new windshield, or you wish to pay for it yourself, it helps to know when to avoid your dealership and visit the glass shop instead. You will save money and still receive a safe, new windshield just like one your dealer would give you. Your car will probably not think you are being disloyal!