What Makes Auto Glass Different from Normal Glass?

On the first glance, an auto glass may look just the same as an ordinary glass. But do not think that they are the same. In fact, an auto glass is entirely different from the normal glass you use in your everyday life.

If you are a car owner, you should definitely understand the difference between an auto window glass and an ordinary glass. While you may think that an automotive glass is installed just to make the vehicle look nice, the main purpose of the glass is to function as a safety component. That is exactly why car window glasses or windshield glasses are also termed as safety glasses. In a car or SUV, all window glasses are not the same either. The windshield is made of one type of glass whereas the side windows and the rear window glass are made of another. These window glasses need proper care and attention on a regular basis. Any kind of damage on the front windshield, back window glass and other glasses needs immediate fix.

For any kind of auto glass repair and car window glass installation, you should always seek highly trained experts such as those from Sir Auto Glass, which operates in the greater Austin area, TX.

Key Features of Car Window Glass

Given below are some of the key features of an automotive glass installed in a car, SUV, truck or minivan. Understanding these characteristics will help you differentiate an auto glass from a normal glass easily.

Clear Vision:

The windshield and other glasses of a car or SUV are designed and installed to provide you clear vision of the road. When you are driving, you need to be able to get an unobstructed vision of what is in the front, what is in the back and what is to your right and left.

The automotive glasses provide you a 360 degree, clear vision so that you can drive and be safe on the road.


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The main purpose of car window glasses is the safety of the driver and other occupants. While the windshield protects against a wide range of external elements, it also provides strength to the vehicular frame. This is exactly why a cracked auto glass or a poorly installed glass puts your life in jeopardy. If the windshield is weaker, the roof of the car or the SUV can easily collapse due to heavy pressure during a road accident, collision, crash or rollover.

While you are on the road, automotive glasses give you protection against the harmful UV sunlight. The glasses are made in a way that keeps most of the ultraviolet rays out. Whether it is UV rays or infrared rays, the automotive glasses of your car prevent the rays from entering into the cabin.

No Unwanted Sound:

While on the road, you do not want to hear the distracting or buzzing sound of the surroundings. Windscreens, as a result, keep the unwanted sound out and keep you in a state of peace.


Among other features, one of the most important is that the automotive glass is shatter-proof. The front windshield of a car or SUV is manufactured using advanced technology. An extra PVB or TPU layer in between two layers of glasses makes the windshield shatter-proof. This means the glass will not break into small pieces on impact during a crash.

The rear window glass is made from a different type of glass. On impact from a crash, this glass breaks into harmless glass pieces. The blunt pieces eliminate the risk of getting fatal injuries during a crash.

All these prime features of an auto glass make it entirely different from an ordinary glass used in everyday life. Broadly speaking, all the window glasses of a vehicle fall into two categories: laminated glass and tempered glass. Each of these glasses has its own unique safety features.

Different Types of Auto Glasses

Small chips or cracks can be fixed without a windshield change. But if the damage is large and there is no way it can be repaired, the glass technician will need to take the auto glass replacement route.

When it comes to windshield glass replacement, you should know your options as well which among them is the most ideal. You can either head over to a glass shop for the job or avail yourself of mobile auto glass repair and new windshield installation service. At Sir Auto Glass, we offer mobile services for fixing your front windshield or rear window glass problem at no extra cost.

Laminated Glass:

The front windshield of a vehicle is made from a special type of glass known as laminated glass. The product gets its name from the technology that is used to manufacture it.

Laminated glass has its application in several industries where human safety remains a crucial concern. One of its main uses is for the automotive industry. All front windscreens or windshields are made from laminated glass. One main design feature of this glass is that it has an extra layer of vinyl between the two glass layers. It is due to this middle layer that makes laminated glass very strong as well as shatter-proof, turning it into a safety glass. Unlike normal or ordinary glass, laminated glass does not break into tiny pieces on high impact.

Based on the process through which the glass is manufactured, it is also referred to as sandwich auto glass. A synthetic polymer of plastic is inserted between the two glass layers like a sandwich.

Tempered Glass:

The glass that is used in the side windows and rear windscreens of a car or SUV is known as tempered glass. The product is manufactured through a process of tampering, hence the name.

Tempered auto glass is manufactured through a combination of heating first and then cooling. After the glass has been cut into shape and found to have no defects at all, it is passed through a heating oven. Next, the heated glass is cooled, resulting in a special type of glass called tempered glass. One of the key characteristics of this auto glass is that when it breaks, it breaks into thousands of small pieces, all of which have blunt edges. Blunt glass pieces cause no fatal injuries as a result. This is exactly why the auto industry uses this specific type of glass.

Compared to standard glass, tempered glass is a great deal stronger. According to manufacturers and auto glass technicians, this glass is 5 times stronger than normal or ordinary glass. Plus, tempered glass has the capacity to tolerate extreme temperature fluctuations between 90°C–150° C.

Quality of Auto Glass for Installation

If the windshield of your car sustains damage beyond repair, the technician will need to remove it and install a new windshield in its place. For new installations, two things that matter are

a) the procedure and

b) quality of glass.

In the market, you will come across three main qualities of glass, which include dealer auto glass, OEM auto glass and aftermarket auto glass.

Dealer Auto Glass:

This auto glass is original and branded. You will find these auto glasses only at a dealership shop, authorized by glass manufacturers themselves. But these products are expensive.

This is the same type of glass that came installed when you bought the vehicle. If you want to replace your broken windshield with dealer auto glass, you will need to visit a dealership in or near your area. Like many other windshield repair and replacement services, dealerships do not provide mobile services. This means getting a new glass installation will take a long time in this case. Windshield replacement companies such as SIR Auto Glass provide mobile auto glass repair and change services in areas such as Portland, Gresham, Lake Oswego, Tualatin and Wilsonville in the great Austin area, Texas, at no additional cost.

OEM Glass:

The abbreviation OEM is for Original Equipment Manufacturer. This type of glass is produced by the same manufacturer that produces the original auto glass for cars and SUVs.

Manufacturers produce OEM auto glass according to the specifications provided by car manufacturers. These specifications include thickness, durability, quality standard, color etc. These automotive glasses are exactly the same as those your car or SUV came with at the time of purchase. Sometimes, glass manufacturers subcontract their work and that is exactly how the products reach windshield repair and replacement experts in different areas. The best thing about these glass products is that you get original glass quality at a price that is less expensive.

OEM glasses are authentic products, known for their safety features and performance in different types of conditions and situations. If your car, SUV or truck needs an auto windshield replacement, this product is ideal.

Aftermarket Glass:

You will easily find different types of aftermarket accessories in the market out there. Just like that, aftermarket glasses are also available for windshield change in a vehicle. These products are manufactured by companies that do not have the necessary affiliation. As a result, aftermarket automotive glasses are sold at a much lower price than that of OEM glass.

Though these glasses also meet all the key safety requirements, their specifications may vary compared to dealership and OEM auto glasses. If you look for a cheaper option, you can opt for aftermarket glass.

Which Car Window Glass You Should Choose

When it comes to your safety on the road, you should always go for the best and the most ideal option. Though you can get aftermarket glass installed in your vehicle at a cheaper cost, it is not your best bet. If you plan to avoid any kind of unlicensed copy of a product, you should go for OEM glass. Original Equipment Manufacturer Glass (OEM) auto glass is manufactured after doing a comprehensive amount of research and development by companies.

Read More:

Different Types of Automotive Glasses

OEM glasses are ideal because they fulfill the entire criteria for standards as the original windshield of your car or SUV.

Still Have a Question?

By now, you must have understood that auto glass and normal glass are not the same things. In fact, car windshield glass, side window glass and back windshield glass are specially designed to have a set of unique safety features. If you still have any confusion in this regard, you should reach out to one of our windshield technicians at SIR Auto Glass in Austin, TX. Our auto glass company specializes in auto window repair and windshield replacement.

For your free consultation and your windshield replacement quote, you can call our phone number or write us an email.