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New Windshield - Oem Vs Aftermarket ?


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I have a 2010 LX570 that took a rock a couple of weeks ago (several 15 - 20 inch spiders now). Insurance will only cover aftermarket glass so OEM will be $600 more. I'm cheap (especially after the past few days markets) so not spending the $600 is appealing. Realistically, how risky would the aftermarket be? According to the glass place it is 'identical' and is same tint, heater, etc. Concerns:

- greater wind noise?

- rattles or other noise?

- wavyness?

- pitt easier (though my wife's RX OEM looks terrible)

- wipers work as well?

- slightly different tint?

- rain sensing work as well?

Other issues I should be concerned about?

Given the way my wife's RX has pitted, could after-market actually be better (or has Lexus corrected this)?


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I had to have my old Rx300 windshield replaced after it got cracked. They put in an aftermarket windshield under the name Pilkington. Indeed the aftermarket windshield is VERY different. Some people try to argue this, but it wasn't even close to the OEM windshield in terms of quality.

The aftermarket one had a LOT of waviness. The first replacement aftermarket windshield had waviness on the right side, so i made them replace it with the same type. This replacement was OK on the right side but was wavy on the left side maybe 4" in from the side, so whenever i turned left i was in the twilight zone. I had them replace it again but it was wavy all over. Apparently no two are the same! Also of notable difference is the "tint". The OEM glass had somewhat of a green tint, whereas the aftermarket windshield had NO tint. It didn't match the side glass any longer. And the aftermarket windshield squeaked whenever the wipers were used, and i tried several types of wipers. I didn't end up keeping the car long enough to test its pitting resistance, so i can't give input here. And i didn't notice any extra wind noise after the aftermarket windshield was replaced.

I also noticed that the rear view mirror "base" was misaligned on the aftermarket windshield. So i had a 1/4 inch gap between the headliner and the bezel around the rear view mirror on the glass. It wasn't movable; it was glued on with some special glass glue i guess...

I don't even want to know how the auto wipers would handle... quite frankly i don't WANNA know!

How long are you planning on keeping the car for? How picky are you about the above things? If you're planning on keeping it for a long time i would get an OEM windshield. However if it's leased or if you're planning on ditching the car soon, just throw an aftermarket one in. They're about $200-$300 whereas an OEM windshield is in the $1500 range.

In my state, if the car is within 3 years of age i believe it's the LAW that insurance must replace the glass with OEM if the owner requests it. Look into this, maybe it's the same for your state!

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There have been many past threads discussing the merits of OEM vs. non-OEM and experiences vary widely. Here is a pretty good article about the types/grades of windshields:

I doubt if many insurance companies would balk much at you requiring a DOT certified replacement windshield instead of a lower grade aftermarket windshield.

Getting a real Toyota/Lexus original equipment windshield is not a guarantee that all will go well. I found out on Monday that the Toyota/Lexus logo windshield on the 2000 LS400 I bought in 2003 was a replacement that had been hilariously badly installed. There was never a sign of problems (e.g. wind noise or water leaks) during the last eight years but it is costing $700+ not including a rental car to fix the damage before the new windshield goes in.

I've been a proponent of high quality replacement windshields from OEM suppliers like PPG. The PPG windshield I had installed on a previous Lexus LS over 10 years ago was just fine. But this time I'm having a Toyota/Lexus logo windshield installed - one exactly like the one installed when the car was manufactured. My car is just over 11 years old and my insurance company is paying for the windshield - well over $1,000 under my zero deductible comprehensive coverage.

A friend has a 99 LS400 same color as mine and his insurance company also paid for an original Toyota/Lexus windshield in either 2007 or 2008. I watched the installation.

If your insurance company is trying to make you accept a low grade windshield consider escalating the issue through your agent. You don't have to accept junk.

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