Thoughts from a Glass Shop

I’m a new owner (3 weeks) of a 24 OBW in the best color ever, metallic autumn green, and I’ve been hearing all over the forums about the infamous windshield issues. Ironically, I spent 2 1/2 hours replacing the windshield on another car of mine, a 2012 Pilot. I chose to wait during the repair at their showroom, which was close to the front operators. During those 2 1/2 hours I heard so many conversations from the store with customers, both over the phone and 1:1.

I started talking to both operators and got them on the subject of the Outback windshield. Granted this is a high volume store in a fairly large town with about 6 bays and they are always booked. They also do cell service.

1) They recommend only factory Subaru windows because aftermarket ones have many problems. They mentioned that the “triangles” are not in an accurate location when compared to the factory glass. I’m not sure what they were referring to, but it looked like it affected sight accuracy or something. They said there was a larger sighting phenomenon that required calibration compared to the OEM glass. They also said aftermarket glass sometimes won’t pass a calibration. Both told me they then have to pull the glass back and try another one or sometimes even go back to OEM.

It seemed like they just have less problems with the OEM and it saves them time, money and frustration. They had no idea if aftermarket glass is more durable when compared to OEM. With all these thoughts, I want to point out that I have no idea what their sample size is.

2) Surprise for me, they don’t calibrate after every glass change. They run a code scanner and see if there are any faults before replacement. After replacing the glass, they run another scan and if no new codes show up, end of story and the customer is on their way. If a code comes up that requires sight calibration, then they do it, but only when a code directs them in that direction. Sorry if I’m being a little naive here, but it looked like it was just an OBD-II scan tool because they would mention engine codes to customers in addition to vision codes. Does anyone know if an OBD-II scan tool picks up the vision codes that refer to the calibration?

Again, nothing scientific here and certainly not a statistically legitimate study, but these are girls who do this 40 hours a week interacting with customers, insurance companies, and store workers. I’m kind of surprised about the aftermarket issues as I haven’t heard of them on any forums. Maybe it was a problem with a supplier they use, who knows? But I doubt the suppliers are that geographically localized, so it doesn’t make sense.

What did I learn? Well, they both highly encouraged a $0 discount for everyone. I checked that box earlier and it was a $30 annual increase. The cost was so insignificant that I added it the day I got the car.

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