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Aftermarket Glass & Recalibration

I'd like to get a thread started concerning recalibration for informational purposes that could be useful to everybody here.

For this particular thread let's stay on task and leave out things like "I don't participate with the TPA's..." or misinformation like "GM doesn't require recal...", or anything else that would detract from the aforementioned purpose. Thanks ahead of time!

Now to get on with this: As I mentioned in a previous thread I recently replaced a DW2024GTY (PGW, Dot 563) in a 2014 Chev Impala that the dealer could not recal after two attempts. Yesterday I had to re-replace the windshield with a dealer glass (GM Logo in the bug, Pilkington Dot 15) and the bottom line is I lost money even with State Farm partially reimbursing me for the re-replace. Obviously this type of situation is gonna get more and more common and like me, I'm sure other shops would rather not get caught up in these money losing situations. But how? Let's share good info that might help each other out.

I'm wondering what other shops have experienced and learned from similar jobs. Are there certain brands or DOTs that give this problem? I can't help but wonder if I had ordered a Pilkington glass to begin with instead of PGW if the windshield would have recaled for the dealer. Or are manufacturers making different grades of glass for the OEM market than for the aftermarket?

Good, accurate information on this subject doesn't seem to be readily available to small shop owners like myself. I'd like to see this change for the better!

Re: Aftermarket Glass & Recalibration

The GM bug goes ONLY to the GM factory. GM OWNS their bug! When they want, they put it in the dealer only pipeline. WHEN THEY WANT!

It is against federal law for a windshield manufacturer to sell "seconds". However, it is a name game, and "specials" etc. leave the factory--- but NOT with a GM bug! Perfectly good ones cannot go into the aftermarket either because again, GM does not permit it. The OE manufacturer can send whatever drek he can get away with into the aftermarket with only his DOT.

Veterans of the auto glass trade often don't understand. A DOT # is a federal license that is supposed to guarantee that a glass can withstand certain hazards--- drop test and gross distortion for lam and curved lam, dice pattern for tempered, etc. It has nothing whatsoever to do with fit, bend, discoloration, or viability of attachments INCLUDING cameras, etc.

I will cut to the chase:

OE is what goes to the assembly plant and MAYBE to the dealer

The same DOT # [not the BRAND, the DOT NUMBER!] that had the manufacturer's bug is a good bet, but don't kid yourself into thinking it is a guarantee!

Lastly, Nifty 10, you don't want to hear about it, but if State Farm or any other company isn't paying you correctly, you are a fool if you put up with it!

Re: Aftermarket Glass & Recalibration

Come on guys, I can't be the only one trying to work thru these problems! Please share HELPFUL info!

Re: Aftermarket Glass & Recalibration

I have had similar problems with GM. One occasion we put three 2024's in. third one calibrated. Other occasion on another 2024, would not re-calibrate. On a test drive I stopped unplugged the camera, waited 30 seconds and everything worked correctly. No problems with other makes and models using PGW or Pilkington, even some FYG and XYG numbers.

Re: Aftermarket Glass & Recalibration

I have written several blog posts on this issue in the past and urge you to take a look at those. However, this subject is one that I think I will write another blog about in the coming weeks.

But for now, there is no definitive answer to your question. The issue is twofold.

One, is the glass manufactured to accept the recalibration. Meaning, are the brackets mounted precisely, is the frit painted perfectly, is the glass mounting hardware compatible with the OEM? Is the installation of the glass into the opening too low or too high, is it too far left or too far right for the recalibration? The only answer to the glass question is OE only. Then the dealer cannot blame the glass. He can only blame the installation.

Secondly, are you being taken advantage of. Does the calibrating technician know how to recalibrate or was he given a hour long instruction and expected to be an expert. Does he want to calibrate the ARG glass or does he not want to waste his time trying to recalibrate. Wouldn't a dealer want to sell you a part and calibration rather than just a recalibration that may be difficult to accomplish?

Your answer is somewhere in there.

Re: Aftermarket Glass & Recalibration


I'm glad to see you chimed in on this issue!

Yes, please!, let's do an update on this subject as there seems to be quite limited accurate information, and even more disturbing, much misinformation out there concerning recalibration.

I also would like to see regular updates as more experience and better information becomes available. You wouldn't believe the variety of misinformation some service managers and techs at dealerships are telling both customers and glass shops.

Re: Aftermarket Glass & Recalibration

Exotic Windscreens with ADAS should be replaced with OE/Genuine Glass and calibrated at the dealer if you want any support, or to preserve a new car warranty.

This is not a new idea. If you take your new iPhone to have the screen replaced to a bloke you found in the Yellow Pages you can't expect Apple to back it up with support when it fails.

Bob raised an interesting point about the possibility of dealer technicians not being qualified to perform calibrations correctly and most are probably reading from the manual for the first time when performing them. So there could be a problem here too, but this is out of our control.

Bottom line is if a calibration fails, or a vehicles tech will not function as it should, then the generic part in the loop will always be blamed. And rightly so in my opinion. It's not that I believe that generic glass is not up to standard, but you can't expect a dealer to inherit any problems a generic part may have caused. If its OE then there can be not complaints.

I personally installed a late model VW Golf with Rain/light/cruise/lane assist last week and we insisted the glass had to be OE to prevent liability problems should any arise. Even though the install went well and all systems were running as they should, we still insisted the owner should take the vehicle back for calibration. Much to the customers distaste, as the dealer wanted $170 per hour and said it could take 1 to 4 hours. Ridicules I know...

Perhaps when these vehicles are on their second/third owners out of warranty and the value has dropped. Motorists will be ok taking a chance with the generic glass being installed and disabling the ADAS. However, even in these circumstances I would only offer a warranty on the tech if the windscreen was genuine.

Belron may be performing their own calibrations and using generic glass, but this voids the dealer warranty. No exceptions. I guess its a numbers game here and its more profitable to take a chance Vs the possible problems that may occur. That said, it could be a different story if someone has a collision.

We are all still trying to find our feet here. It's interesting none the less and im happy for the most part. Happy because it means network contractors are having to perform tricky exotic installs for flat rates of pay. What ever makes life more difficult for the businesses that are dragging the industry price/quality down is fine by me.

Michael Smedley
Service 8® Auto Glass

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