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Anyone experienced New non OEM windscreen with National Windscreens???????

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by OVRA3, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. OVRA3
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    OVRA3 Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    Hi all,

    Just a question for anyone who has had a new windscreen fitted.....

    Couple of weeks ago I picked up a crack and a chip on the passengers side of the front screen. Called Elephant and there approved supplier is National Windscreens, guy came out repaired the chip but its still quite visable and the crack is still the albeit it smaller..

    Anyway was on my way to Cambs the other day and bang another chip in the screen. The guy who repaired the chip said if I wasnt happy they could fit a new screen and deduct the £25 excess paid for the repair.. So my thoughts are with the second chip I am going for a new screen. Insurance however wont authorise an OEM screen unless I pay the extra..

    My worry is that I have seen a few horror stories about creaking screens and shody work.. Has anyone had a non Audi screen fitted and whats its like... I dont have the auto wipers and lights so its just a bog standard screen.

    Should I try and have the second chip repiared and stick with my Audi screen or go with the non OEM screen and cross my fingers????

    Cheers any help appreciated.....
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  3. Brodster
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    Brodster Shark Performance In Scotland Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    On my last S3 I got the screen replaced by them and when I drove to the Audi garage to trade it in for my new S3 the smallest of stones took about a 10pence sized chunk out of the screen at about 40mph. I was raging but traded it in nonetheless. So the quality of it was well under par compared to OEM screens.
    #2
  4. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    I had Autoglass one in my last Leon and in the end I had it removed and an OEM one put in (about £255).

    Ironically I had an OEM one fitted by Audi in my last S3 and they managed to scratch the roof doing it. The respray they then did to patch it up was (and I quote), one of the worst respray patch jobs I've ever seen (from a guy who has worked at a decent sprayers for 20 years).

    If you have tint top I'd definitely go with OEM, and if you plan to keep the car for any length of time. Just check round the screen afterwards to make sure they haven't done the same to yours as they did to mine!
    #3
  5. MrLapou
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    MrLapou Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    Yeah stone chips are a bain in my life to. A merc I had for 5 yrs had 4 screens!

    Original owner of my current Audi never had a stone chip over the 40k miles they had car. 4k miles in my ownership and "bang" chip unable to repair.

    Not the same company, my insurer use AA Auto Windscreens. I was perhaps lucky as they fitted a genuine Audi Acoustic screen with no additional payment asked by insurance company. Guy was spot on and spent 75mins doing it.

    If the crack is noticeable, then perhaps 'contamination' got into the crack before it was repaired.
    Always try to seal over crack with a bit of tape.

    imho I'd go for another repair. having said that it's perhaps only a matter of time before you may need to replace the screen due to picking up another chip.
    #4
  6. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics Supporter

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    I got two big chips in my screen and it needs replacing.
    I'm paranoid about non-OEM screens as well.
    #5
  7. OVRA3
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    OVRA3 Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    This is kind of what I expected, I knew the answer would be to go with the OEM as with all these things but unless the car is less than 3 years old my insurance company wont, even though mine is the orginal screen..

    Thing is the screen has so many scratches and now have three repairs one not noticable and one that is, and this one I can see being very noticiable because of where it is. So a replacement is on the cards, I will be watching like a hawk as its being done on the drive on Saturday morning.

    Just got a horible feeling I wont be happy with it as I am fussy to say the least and it does have a tint on the top... but they want a good few hundred quid to fit with an OEM screen which I just cant justify at the moment.
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  8. moag
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    moag she's no d-turbo

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    OEM screens are made by pilkington. I've had two replacement screens through my insurance who use auto glass for their glass, they provided pilkington without me asking. National windscreens on the other hand seem to use cheap glass. Ring your insurance co and tell them your not happy with the quality of the replacement screen, they can't argue with that
    #7
  9. tedward
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    tedward Member

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    I used to work for a large Windscreen fitting company as a fitter. So let me clear a couple of things up.

    Glass is glass just because it has an Audi badge or a pilkington badge or anyone else, it's just a piece of laminated glass.

    The biggest problem and unfortunately the part of the process you have no control over is the fitter. Some are very good and some don't give a toss and are shocking, it's pure luck of the draw who you get. The company you use doesn't matter they all use the same training and have a range from 17 yr old newbies to 50 year old seasoned pros.

    The main thing to be aware of is potential bodywork damage, it's very very easy to scratch a car removing a screen. And of course the actual bonding in process, get this bit wrong and it's wind noise and leak time.

    If I could offer you any advice would say go with auto glass as they use a removal method which totally ( in theory) eliminates any chance of body or paint damage. Also they use all the latest equipment and methods.

    Hth.
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  10. OVRA3
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    OVRA3 Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    Thanks for that response, I have spoken to National Windscreens (I can only use them as these are the approved one for my insurer) and they have said they have ordered Pilkington glass so now I guess its just pot luck with the fitter... I will be watching closely with my cup of coffee in hand so we shall have to wait and see I suppose....
    #9
  11. OCD-A3
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    OCD-A3 Member

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    I've got to disagree here, not all glass is created equal. Maybe Audi just has a stricter quality control process and rejects glass that's less than perfect, but my experience is that most insurance replacement wind screens are less than perfect. Mine was replaced with Pilkington glass, and it has a band along the bottom that's distorted (as in lines on the road appear curved through the bottom portion of the glass.) It also seems to pick up rock chips easier than the OEM glass, but admittedly that could just be bad luck. The distortion is definitely there though, and was not present on the Audi glass (or any other stock car I've driven.)
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  12. OVRA3
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    OVRA3 Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    Just spoke to the depot manager who advised they never have any come back on the A3's but assured me that any problems, scratches anything at all to give him a call, seemed like a decent chap and I have his mobile number ;-) so we shall have to see
    #11
  13. tedward
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    tedward Member

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    Sounds like you lucked out and it was a screen from a bad batch....it can and does happen, something to watch out for but unlikely to happen.

    I remember a job i did on a then new mercedes e class where I was fitting a genuine mercedes screen at a main dealer and when I dry fitted it to check fittment It was bowed like crazy in the middle and that was a genuine mercedes stamped screen....it happens.

    Not many like to dry fit to check them before final bonding because I takes an extra 2 minutes but it's worth watching for....it's a sign of a conscious Windscreen fitter.

    Ta.
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  14. Geraldy212
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    Geraldy212 Sportback owner

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    As has been said. All screens are not equal. There are literally hundreds of ways to specify a windscreen, from simple thickness to its behaviour in a crash. Audi specify their screens well, and the screen makers, (in my case Pilkington) go to great lengths to have their screens accepted. However, some replacement screens may well fit the Audi A3 physically, but will not be made or checked to the same spec. In fact nowhere near. So do not be at all surprised if the non-Audi screen is very different from the one fitted as-new. My advice for what it's worth is to fit the genuine Audi screen. Yes it's more expensive, but it is the real-deal, and the car will be better for it.
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  15. tedward
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    tedward Member

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    What "spec" is that? It's a piece of laminated glass they are uniform in thickness and one is no less susceptible to damage than another.

    People love to see the four Audi rings on their Windscreen it makes them believe it's some how better....it's not.

    When a stone hits a screen at 60 mph it chips, be it a £100 one or a £1000 one.

    The Windscreen is also a vital part of the cars rigidity and strength. I would rather have a spurious screen fitted 100% correctly than a badly fitted Audi branded screen.
    #14
  16. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics Supporter

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    Has any one had and luck requesting a OEM windscreen during a claim?
    #15
  17. moag
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    moag she's no d-turbo

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    Gotta disagree with that man. Surely there are different specifications of glass the same way there is with steel production. i.e. manufacturing techniques, strength and hardness are variable from one manufacturer to the next and also between batches.
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  18. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    I bet there are very few factories making this kind of laminated glass. Could possibly be that the mint stuff goes to OEM and anything that's above tolerance upto A1 goes to aftermarket so they can make some margin.
    #17
  19. tedward
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    tedward Member

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    We are talking about windscreens, a sheet of laminated glass, about 2 feet away from your nose at best.....they have to be made to a certain level of quality, you can't just start up acme glass manufacturers and start knocking out cheap sub standard windscreens and then expect to sell them to Windscreen companies to then be tested on the general public!

    In find it quite humorous when people say one screen stood up to stone chips worse than The oem Windscreen or cracked more easily....really, how's that then? All tried and tested in the science lab called the third lane of the M6.
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  20. moag
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    moag she's no d-turbo

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    All manufactured screens have to meet the required standard obviously, but there will be a difference between screens made by different manufacturers!
    #19
  21. veeeight
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    veeeight I am a very pretty girl

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    OE = Original Equipment

    OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer

    OEM = Pilkington = (one of) OE Glass Supplier to Audi in Europe. Others include Saint-Gobain, and Xuchang Yongshun Safety Glass (if your Audi was assembled in Asia).
    #20
  22. Soot1
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    Soot1 Member

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    If you want a decent job done don't forget to offer a cuppa to the fitter, always helps.
    #21
  23. RallyX
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    RallyX Flat Out VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 5, 2012]
    I am in the glazing industry and whole heartadly agree with every post (tedward) has written. He is or was obviously an experienced fitter.
    Just a short story to tell as well.
    9 months ago I had 2 screens fitted by National Windscreens on the same day to my A3 and Touareg. Both cars were damaged by the fitter. Scuttle panel on Audi, A post and rear view auto dimming mirror on Touareg. All were repaired/replaced and A post re-sprayed after regional manager inspected them, the fitter was apparently sacked and they refunded both excess' that I had paid. Last week I had new screen fitted to my Renault Master by Autoglass with this new method that Tedward mentions and hey presto no damage.All down to the fitter I say, oh and has already been mentioned the glass these days does have to meet strict guide lines. The fact of the matter is your 4 ringed screen is made at the same foundery as the one stamped with Pilkington or St Gobain or Guardian or Glaverbel. Rant over.
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  24. max69vk
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    max69vk Active Member

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    [Sep 6, 2012]
    Having previously worked for AG I'd have to agree with all of the above, at the end of the day all windscreens have to meet & exceed the same set of European safety laws & tests do the difference in quality (if there was to be one) would be so negligable that no one but would be able to measure it.

    If you want something to worry about when it comes to a new windscreen always check the corners of your dash haven't been knifed while removing the old screen & make sure the bodywork & screen primers have even given enough time to dry before the screen is fitted, if they haven't no amount of glue will hold it in properly!
    #23
  25. OVRA3
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    OVRA3 Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 15, 2012]
    Just to finish this thread... Guy came out did a great job no scratches or dodgy workmanship.. Screen looks like the old one minus this 4 rings.. I would say though I insisted on a pilkington or I would have had a Chinese screen so that's my tip if you cant get oem make sure it's a pilko...

    Happy days!
    #24
  26. Glassman
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    Glassman Seasoned Noob

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    [Oct 28, 2012]
    /thread resurrection - only just seen this one.

    Some interesting points (as well as statements) being made.

    First and foremost, the OP's journey has ended and he appears to be a happy chappie.

    I think 'tedward', like most of the automotive glazing trade, has been misinformed about the difference between OEM and aftermarket windscreens. Yes, in layman's terms he would be correct in saying it's a piece of glass and is susceptible to breakage. But a definitive distinction must be made between the two types of glass.

    Owing to logistics as well as cost, the OEM brands for Audi are varied. Early A3 models were fitted with windscreens made by Guardian and some of the later versions were supplied by Fu Yao. In my (professional) opinion, in terms of overall quality (across all product lines) I would say Sekurit (Saint Gobain) is the better manufacturer; Pilkington is not far behind them, but a lot of their manufacturing has been moved to China.

    I note that the Pilkington brand is also being championed here (and deservedly so) but for example, 'Sigla' is a brand acquired by Pilkington (who are now part of the NSG Group in Japan). Sigla held the OEM status for many marques including the Porsche 993 (they're now branded as Pilkington with the OEM crest, or just Pilkington for the aftermarket version). For a period they also produced an aftermarket screen for the Porsche 996 (Sekurit were OEM). It gave the consumer an option. There was very little between these screens (if any at all) but recently, due to relocation and cost savings, the Pilkington 996 screens are far from what I would describe as good (or an acceptable alternative).

    To suggest that the only difference between an OEM screen and an aftermarket version is just "four rings" is incorrect. There are some screens which do come from the same production runs, but generally, the OEM screens are manufactured at a different plant to where the aftermarket versions are.

    As a slight aside, there are a handful of cheap brands on the market and while they may have passed the 'drop test' and met relevant criteria, but in terms of quality, they provide some of the most shocking examples of windscreens I have seen in 22 years of being in the industry. Fu Yao is one of those brands, IMHO (but TBF, they have improved seeing that Audi, BMW, Subaru, Jaguar and Land Rover fit them at source).
    #25
  27. OVRA3
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    OVRA3 Well-Known Member

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    [Oct 28, 2012]
    Good write up and helpful as its hard as a consumer to know the differnce between what the insurance companies insist you get! Pretty happy with the pilko can't grumble it's been good to date and looks like the original... I did have to ask for it though!

    My glass is a mix of pilko st gobain and one other which I find strange as it all looks like it was fitted to the car originally...
    #26
  28. profidriver
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    profidriver Member

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    [Oct 28, 2012]
    Hi mate, what year is your car? mine is 61 plate and would say OEM windscreen is GUARDIAN, as i tooked picture before replaced.

    #27
  29. veeeight
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    veeeight I am a very pretty girl

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    [Oct 28, 2012]
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  30. Glassman
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    Glassman Seasoned Noob

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    [Sep 17, 2013]
    #29

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