If you own a Ford and your auto body repair involves installing a new windshield, you only have one approved option- use an OEM Ford windshield, and here is why.
Ford and just about every other manufacturer put out “OEM Position Statements” to instruct repair shops on how their engineers want their cars repaired. This is based on many factors, including the construction of the vehicle, the specific requirements that each type of steel or aluminum needs and also factors that affect their safety and electronics systems.
Why this matters to you, the Ford owner
The problem is, as a consumer, You probably don’t know this, and it is easy to get steered in the wrong direction by a repair shop looking to cut corners and costs on repairs. But it could cost you.
Ford recently advised repair shops to use OEM windshield and side glass, warning that aftermarket glass could affect vehicle safety first of all, and it could compromise the built-in comfort technology by introducing wind noise, rattles, or leaks in the cabin. This is why you need to be sure that your repair shop is using OEM windshields in your repair.
“Ford Motor Company vehicles contain many state-of-the-art features that provide occupant safety and enhance the driving experience. Windshield and side glass play an integral role in the performance and functionality of these features.”
“During repairs that involve glass removal and replacement, it is critical that the vehicle is restored to proper operating condition.”
How aftermarket windshields affect the structural integrity of your Ford
Ford points out that the original glass used in manufacturing the car is designed for the maximum function, general safety, and structural integrity of your vehicle – the windshield is effectively part of the car’s frame. So the use of an aftermarket windshield could alter or even lessen the structural integrity of the vehicle.
According to Ford, “The quality, performance and safety of aftermarket replacement windshield and side glass may not meet Ford Motor Company’s exacting specifications and can result in key safety features not functioning properly and reduced customer satisfaction in the performance of their vehicle.” Safety problems will definitely result in reduced customer satisfaction with the car.
The automaker also told collision repairers that you cannot reuse windshields in certain circumstances. “HUD windshields, windshield glass equipped with a camera bracket and windshield glass equipped with adhesive moldings must be replaced anytime the original glass is removed from the vehicle.”
How aftermarket glass affects your ADAS systems
The major and most critical concerns raised in the Ford position statement involve structural integrity and advanced driver assistance systems because using an aftermarket windshield might affect the performance of the camera mounted to it.
The camera needs to be precisely attached to the windshield. Ford certified windshields have camera brackets so the camera can be aimed properly. Cameras are designed with optical quality compatible with the camera.
Aftermarket windshields will not duplicate the precise location of the camera attachment brackets. They often will distort the image viewed by the camera. This hurts camera operations and hurts the proper operations of the ADAS system parts.
Why you need ADAS calibrations after a replacement
“Calibrations associated with windshield replacements must be completed in order for the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems to function correctly.” Some Ford vehicles are factory equipped with a “Heads Up Display,” and if your Ford is equipped with one, aftermarket glass might throw off the HUD. Certified replacement parts will provide the customer with the safest and most convenient operation of their car.
How aftermarket glass affects your financially
If your vehicle is still under factory warranty and one of your safety systems malfunctions due to OEM glass, you may be shocked to find that your warranty is voided with the use of aftermarket windshields. What might have been a repair covered under your factory warranty, you may have to pay out of pocket for the repair (and, possibly, a new OEM windshield) to fix the ADAS component.