Are Factory Windshields Really Better?

thornton area windshield repairIn case the windshield on your vehicle gets damaged to the extent that it no longer can be repaired and the only solution is replacement, there are two possible choices in front of you: you can either buy a windshield manufactured by the auto maker that made your car or you can get an aftermarket windshield. While some vehicle owners consider the windshields provided by their Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to be a much better solution, others are of the opinion that aftermarket windshields (Original Equipment Equivalent windshields, also known as OEE windshields) offer the same quality, plus the benefit of affordability. If you are currently facing the same dilemma, here are some aspects to pay attention to before making the final decision.


When it comes to the safety offered by OEM and aftermarket windshields, they both provide the highest level of safety to the driver and the passengers travelling in the vehicle’s cabin – both types of windshields are made from special glass that breaks into blunt-edged pieces when shattered to minimize the risk of injuries for those traveling in the car on the event of an impact.

Both types of windshields meet and exceed the industry standards regarding safety, but in some cases, such as in the case of windshields that have integrated heating elements, cameras, radars or sensors installed, the recommendation of auto makers is to replace damaged glass with OEM windshield because replacement made with aftermarket parts can hinder the functionality of the systems that use the cameras, radars or sensors involved.


OEM windshields are definitely pricier than aftermarket parts, in many cases, the difference being 40-60% and in many cases, the vehicle insurance carried by the car’s owner might not cover for the complete costs of getting the damaged part replaced with an OEM windshield. However, some insurance policies cover only for replacement made with an OEM windshield – in such cases the more expensive solution is the only one if the car owner doesn’t want to lose the compensation.


Some experts claim that the quality of aftermarket windshields is inferior to the quality of OEM windshields, the acoustic shielding provided by aftermarket parts being much less efficient than in the case of original parts. Other people claim that aftermarket windshields might get dull faster, offering poorer optical quality, but you must bear in mind that aftermarket windshields are available in several different quality levels and the protective coatings applied on the glass might also different from one product to the other. It is also a fact that glass manufacturing technologies develop quickly, so an aftermarket glass manufactured recently might be of higher quality and might offer more benefits than the original, factory-installed glass on an old car.  Do a search for windshield replacement near me and talk with them about the availability they have for OEM windshields.

If you choose an aftermarket windshield for a complex vehicle, pay attention to choosing a product that integrates the same functionalities, such as sensors and also be prepared that the windshield installation process might need to involve some calibration to make the new glass work with the vehicle’s computer as well.



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Why Does My Car Have a Catalytic Converter and What Is the Role of the Unit?

Talking With An Automobile Mechanic

If you have been told by your mechanic that the problems you have been noticing lately are caused by the catalytic converter, you probably ask yourself the question “why does my car have a catalytic converter?” Why can it not go without it? Here are some details about the role of catalytic converters and why they are essential components in your car.

What Does a Catalytic Converter Do?

Catalytic converters are components of the car’s exhaust system that use various sensors to analyse the composition of the gases produced by the engine while burning fuel and other components to transform the noxious gases into less harmful chemicals that can be exhausted safely, without polluting the environment. The types of polluting gases that catalytic converters process are oxides of nitrogen, water vapour and hydrocarbons, all broken down prior to leaving the car’s exhaust system.

The first catalytic converter was invented in the 1930’s, but it did not become widespread until the 1970’s, when emission control regulations started to become more stringent and new technologies were needed to allow car makers to meet the new requirements. In the US, all cars manufactured after 1975 are required to have a catalytic converter and all modern cars in the world that use electronic fuel systems instead of carburettors are fitted with catalytic converters today. It is illegal to replace the exhaust system of a car that has a catalytic converter with a straight exhaust line that has no converter unit – though the process may add a few horses to the power of the car engine, the bypassing of the converter would increase noxious emissions to an unacceptable level and would also have a negative impact on the longevity of the car’s exhaust system as well on the life expectancy of the engine.  To find Denver catalytic converters technicians just visit a local mechanic shop, almost every mechanic is well trained in their operation.

The Components and the Placement of the Catalytic Converter

Catalytic converters have the following parts:

  • The catalyst support – made from ceramic material or metallic foil and featuring a honeycomb structure, the support is the part to which the catalyst is fixed;
  • The washcoat – this part is made from aluminium oxide, silicone dioxide or titanium dioxide and it plays the role of filtering the chemicals that reach into the converter;
  • Ceria – this component is added to promote the storage of oxygen;
  • The catalyst itself that has the role of processing the noxious gases in the presence of a precious metal, such as platinum, rhodium or other types.

Catalytic converters are located inside the car’s exhaust system, usually in a part of the exhaust manifold underneath the vehicle, maintaining a certain distance from the engine to ensure that the catalytic converter functions in the temperature range that is optimal for the chemical processes it is responsible for.


To answer your question “why does my car have a catalytic converter”, here is the short version of the answer: because modern cars cannot exist without their catalytic converters, because it is mandatory and because the catalytic converter is necessary for making sure that you can operate your car in a sustainable and responsible manner, without harming the natural environment.


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How to Choose a Driving School in Orange County

masterdrive vehicleChoosing a driving school in Orange County is no easy task – not because good driving schools are hard to find in the area, but on the contrary, because there are so many excellent course providers that evaluating them is a daunting task. If you are currently in the process of evaluating local driving schools, here are a few tips to help you.

Your Priorities

To be able to evaluate a local driving school in Orange County, you need to determine your own priorities first:

  • How much time you can spend attending in-classroom training – many schools nowadays provide not only in-class training, but also the option to use online training materials to prepare for the written test;
  • The instructor – the relationship with your instructor needs to be a relationship based on trust, so it is very important to feel comfortable during the lessons, especially while on the road. For example, if you prefer to learn from a female instructor, look for a school that provides that option. Try to find out whether the school you have in mind works with instructions who are pedagogically qualified for teaching – remember that almost everyone can obtain a driving license, but not everyone is able to teach driving efficiently;
  • Flexible scheduling – if your life is busy and hectic, you need a training schedule that is able to accommodate the changes that you require;
  • Proximity – it is a good idea to choose a driving school that is located in your neighborhood to avoid having to spend a long time commuting to and from the driving school, especially if you choose presence learning;
  • Preferences related to the training vehicle – if the car you will be driving after you obtain your license is an automatic, make sure that the training vehicle is an automatic as well.

What to Look for When Evaluating the School

The best driving school for you is certainly the one that meets all the above expectations, but there are a few more aspects that you need to pay attention to in terms of the institution as such as well. Choose a school that carries the necessary certificates and accreditations to provide driving courses and also check the profiles of the driving instructors to find out whether they carry all the necessary licenses and insurances. It is a good idea to check the school’s reputation as well – you can find evaluations on review websites and you can check the school on the Better Business Bureau website as well, to see whether there have been any complaints filed against them or whether they have ever had their licenses revoked in the past.

The quality of the training fleet is also important – try to find out as much as you can about the vehicles used in the training process as well as about access to special equipment such as vehicles that can simulate slippery road conditions.

Think about the aspects above and try to choose your driving school in Orange County based on these criteria – you need proper training if you are to become a good driver, so don’t put up with anything less than the best.


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