by Bob Beranek

Since the introduction of Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS), the need for aftermarket glass replacement companies to use OEM glass has increased substantially. Of course, auto dealers have claimed for years that OEM glass was necessary for the proper operation of the many electronic systems that utilize the glass for mounting or delivery. Is this true?

I got an email recently from a glass shop that installed a top quality windshield in a Cadillac Escalade with the Cadillac Intelligent Collision Avoidance System. It was installed more than six months ago with absolutely no problems with any of the ADAS system components. As a matter of fact, the customer used all of the system components during several road trips. However, recently the cruise control stopped working. None of the other systems malfunctioned but the cruise control didn’t work at all. The customer took the vehicle to the dealer, where another glass company came in and claimed that the malfunction was caused because the original aftermarket replacement shop didn’t use an OEM windshield.

This troubled me. In my experience, the cruise control malfunction could not possibly be caused by the glass if everything worked for six months prior. The features on the Cadillac glass are interconnected to the other components of the system and if one does not work, the others will not work either. Most concerning is that the statement, “the glass wasn’t OEM glass.” It came from another glass company and not from the dealer who may have had an incentive to sell his own glass.

So, what are we to believe?

I hope our readers can help me find out. I have had reports of ADAS that could not be calibrated unless an OEM glass was used. I have heard that aftermarket Chinese parts worked well with some systems and not others. I have heard that curvature, color intensity and thickness all play a part in proper operation. I have always depended on information I glean from my friends in the glass manufacturing industry, coupled with reports I get from trusted technicians and colleagues from the field. I then test things out with personal experience. However, the questions of ADAS and aftermarket glass replacement are too numerous (and growing) for this method of research.

There are many different ADAS systems out there and all are systems that work well. However, some are more sophisticated than others and some require more exact specifications from other supporting equipment. If you have read my past postings then you know that there has been a wide range of reports and facts. Honda requires OEM glass for proper ADAS operation. All ADAS equipped vehicles require re-calibration. And ADAS in Cadillacs and other GM vehicles require no re-calibration. All these past postings are correct in their content but none of them have given us a definitive answer to all our questions.

So, I am sending out a request to technicians, manufacturers of glass and vehicles, technology gurus of all types to give us answers. I don’t want to hear the politically correct response. I want to hear the truth. Does the glass make a difference in how the ADAS systems work? If so, how? If a system is so delicate and precise that a slight difference in the glass would cause it to malfunction, what about rain, snow, ice, fog, condensation, bug guts, sand pits, rock chips or anything else that affects driver vision? Do these factors affect operation as well? I will be updating you in future blogs with the information I discover.

Comments (19)

  1. […] TODAY’S BLOG: Let’s Talk about OEM Glass and Calibration […]

  2. John R. Allen said on 28-09-2015

    Interesting! I would love to now the answer!

  3. Chelsea said on 29-09-2015

    I can’t wait to hear the answer to this post. I had no idea that glass could be a huge factor in ADAS systems. It seems like a tricky area.

  4. D.Phillips said on 01-10-2015

    In our experience it has not made a difference using a quality replacement glass. The one time we had an issue was when a bracket came loose, a manufacturer issue. Once it was fixed, the system continued to operate perfectly.

  5. William said on 30-10-2015

    I am glad this topic is finally being addressed.
    When it comes right down to it, the vehicle has no clue that the glass has been replaced, so there should technicly be no reason for the system to not operate correctly.
    I service quite a few high end vehicles in our area. To date, I have not had any issues. I also do not buy certain brands of glass.
    I replaced a windshield in a 15 Audi a8. Dealer told the customer the system needed to be recalibrated, which would take several hours at a cost of $475.00.
    Insurance co. already beat us up on prices, how are we gonna get these things through.
    I look forward to other installers responses

    • Mark Linebarger said on 02-11-2015

      Insurance cannot deny the glass shop on the re calibration. Yes you have to go and get prior authorization, but since it is necessary for safe operation after the windshield has been done per manufacture they cannot refuse!

  6. William said on 30-10-2015

    yes i now realize i mis spelled Technically .

  7. Ernesto said on 01-11-2015

    I purchase OEM glass from Cadillac and it’s made in China, and so are many other manufacturers of automotive glass. There are very few that are not made in China. You can tell by the DOT stamp on the glass where it’s made.

  8. Mark Linebarger said on 02-11-2015

    I too would like to know the answer for we had that exact problem with the new Ford F150.
    There was no other problem except the temp gauge reading 50 degrees. Told the customer we had to take it to the dealer to re-calibrate and the customer refused and said it worked before you changed the windshield. When we explained ourselves they took it upon themselves to write negative reviews on how we wronged them. I’m trying diligently to operate a reliable glass shop, but find with all this new tech going into the windshield there’s no protection being offered to the glass shops that must work on them. Any incite that might make relaying this to the customer better I would appreciate!

  9. Teran Marsell said on 06-11-2015

    We have been noticing problems. The vehicle that seems to be the most prone to these problems are the Audi’s. The loaded option cars require a full vehicle alignment. This includes wheel, bumper camera, windshield camera, mirror camera, and I think sonar or something. After after market install we have had vehicles that will not realign. Put a factory part back in, and everything works perfectly. These vehicles we do not give options on anymore, factory only option. The cost to reward is not worth the possible problems, especially when the alignments run 600.00 and up.

  10. Adren Savitch said on 16-01-2017

    I replaced a windshield in a 12 MB C300. The customer claimed the rain sensor stopped working. He took it to the dealer and they claimed that the aftermarket glass was the cause. They charged him $160 to re calibrate and now it works fine. This is the first time I have dealt with this problem on a rain sensor. I can understand with a forward facing camera, but a common rain sensor seems odd. After reading Mercedes stance on this, it seems I need to come up with a disclaimer and a new sale pitch. Any info that would help in the future would be greatly appreciated.

  11. kenneth sanders said on 03-07-2019

    I believe the issues we have had with windshields is more so the quality of camera and sensors that are manufactured in the windshield, when purchased and installed cameras have to be calibrated, im on a 2015 crv now and had windshield replaced, lane departure isn’t working correctly, boy! Not sure where im headed on this except to dealer!

  12. Dan Schanock said on 23-09-2019

    I have a 2015 Cadillac Escalade which have the windshield replaced with a non-Oem Windshield. None of my sensors worked brought it back to the dealership they told me to go back to the glass company and get an I am GM windshield put in with the front camera would not work. I brought it to the glass company they put a GM windshield in and saw said they calibrated the camera six months later now my cruise control does not work my auto dim headlights do not work so I brought it back to the dealer windshield. None of my sensors worked brought it back to the dealership they told me to go back to the glass company and get in all I am GM windshield put in where the front camera would not work. Hi brother to the glass company they put AGM windshield down and saw said they calibrated the camera six months later now my cruise control does not work my auto them have lights do not work so I brought it back to the dealer who tried to calibrate it. They told me they couldn’t re-calibrate it to bring it back to the glass place which I did and they also told me they cannot calibrate it because the dealership run the camera by trying to re-calibrate. Don’t know where to go from here has anyone else had this problem.

  13. Dan Schanock said on 23-09-2019

    I have a 2015 Cadillac Escalade I won’t show it was replaced with a generic windshield and the company said they calibrated the camera it never seem to work right so I brought it back it was a non-GM windshield they installed a GMOEM windshield and still never seem to work I brought it to the dealership they tried to calibrate it and said the camera was fried because the wrong windshield was put in I don’t know if this is true or not but now they want $700, For a new camera, I don’t feel this is my fault any ideas??

  14. Denise Krafft said on 01-10-2019

    Yes, I also have a 2015 Cadillac Escalade and I am having the same issue after replacing cracked windshield with OME windshield.. dealership said they were unable to recalibrate because camera was ruined when glass was replaced.. 750 dollars for new camera and still unable to recalibrate! Not sure what to do! So frustrating!

  15. Michael said on 07-01-2020

    At our shop we do not touch 2015 Cadillac Escalade’s with cameras. There is a service bulletin out for these. It has nothing to do with OEM glass. Basically what Pilkington glass is saying is that if it takes longer than 15 minutes to calibrate than the camera is cooked. Nothing to do with glass quality and glass position. Its an engineering oversight in the programming of the camera itself.

  16. MICHAEL TREVINO said on 07-01-2020

    We do not offer re-calibration for 2015 Escalades at our shop. Pilkington (Opti-aim) and GM have service bulletins regarding this. If the camera takes more than 20 minutes to calibrate then it is basically ruined. It has nothing to do with glass quality. Decking and positioning could always be a problem but even if those aspects are correct the re-calibration process can still fail. Its an engineering oversight… a flaw within the camera programming itself. That’s why the problem doesn’t exist in 16 and up Escalades… it was corrected. A lot of 2015 owners and glass shops will be bucking up for cameras unfortunately.

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