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Rear roof glass repairs - Safelite or Tesla?

Gizmo17

Member
Feb 10, 2016
64
16
NJ
The other day, while washing my other car, I left 2 wheel detailing brushes on the trunk lid. A family member opened trunk to put something in, closed it and the top window cracked. About a quarter sized crack, ouch!
I contacted insurance, since it’s not the windshield, it’s subject to the $500 deductible. So if I go through Safelite, it’s $500 (total repair cost about $698). If I go through Tesla, it’ll cost about $1400 and insurance will cover $198 of it. It seems that Safelite has an aftermarket glass for this, that’s what Geico had told me. Has anyone had this glass replaced through Safelite? Just wondering if the glass quality at Safelite is as good as OEM (appearance and blocking out the sun/heat).
 

demundus

Active Member
Jul 5, 2015
1,324
856
Oceanside, CA
not this specific glass, but i had my windshield replaced by them aftermarket. i have nothing fancy, base windshield no AP,camera,heater etc, they argued with me at length about what windshield i needed (maybe they have bad vin decoding?). I basically had to promise to pay their fee if they got there with the wrong windshield. Surprise, i was right.

Anyway i was so fixated on that i didnt inspect the glass and a couple days later i noticed a bubble defect. That was 3 years ago haha.

TLDR: safelite aftermarket (non tesla sourced) windshield glass has been just fine and was much cheaper, however, inspect judiciously.
 
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Reactions: Gizmo17

Gizmo17

Member
Feb 10, 2016
64
16
NJ
not this specific glass, but i had my windshield replaced by them aftermarket. i have nothing fancy, base windshield no AP,camera,heater etc, they argued with me at length about what windshield i needed (maybe they have bad vin decoding?). I basically had to promise to pay their fee if they got there with the wrong windshield. Surprise, i was right.

Anyway i was so fixated on that i didnt inspect the glass and a couple days later i noticed a bubble defect. That was 3 years ago haha.

TLDR: safelite aftermarket (non tesla sourced) windshield glass has been just fine and was much cheaper, however, inspect judiciously.

Thanks for sharing your experience, why/how does that even happen?! All the do is glass!
 

Gizmo17

Member
Feb 10, 2016
64
16
NJ
I think you'll find the quality of glass is not as good. Think of the ranges in tint

Thanks, that’s what I’m afraid of. I tried searching the forums to see what people say about Safelite, in general. Seems like their quality is hit or miss. One thread talked about wavy glass. Not going to be happy if there are defects I can see.
 

qingshan

18 lr rwd fsd
Apr 19, 2020
277
126
Pomona Valley
Thanks, that’s what I’m afraid of. I tried searching the forums to see what people say about Safelite, in general. Seems like their quality is hit or miss. One thread talked about wavy glass. Not going to be happy if there are defects I can see.

It's way more than that. Does your roof glass look purple when wet? I think that's Ti added. The additives determine lots of things: strength, uv and ir transmission to start with
 

vapor trail

Member
Sep 9, 2015
233
219
Roseville, CA
I'd check in person with your local Safelite shop. They replaced my windshield (2019 MS) and used OEM glass purchased from Tesla. Told me there was no generic option. It did happen to be a Safelite shop in close proximity to my local Tesla SC. Not sure if that made a difference. Either way, I wouldn't accept anything but OEM glass for the roof.
 

Galinette

Member
Jan 2, 2018
256
232
Nantes
Glass expert here!

Car glass is a quite complex thing. First it has to be safe, so it’s either laminated (two glass panes bound together by a polymer sheet) or tempered. In either case the challenge is having a smooth curve without waves.
For a windshield it’s always laminated (to ensure you don’t take a rock or a metal part in the face at high speed) and strength is always lab validated as this enforced by safety regulations.
The curvature control is super critical to avoid seeing a ghost image of car lights at night. Aftermarket windshield are infamous for exhibiting that problem, as it’s hard to control, and not specified in norms or regulations. I would never choose an aftermarket windshield over an official one for that reason. However, even Tesla windshields are not 100% exempt of that problem.
For other glasses (roof, sides...) it’s less critical.
Car glass also has coatings applied. They have nothing to do with strength, the feature is a significant reduction of sun heat, and also light shading. A side effect of these coatings is an angle variable colored reflection, which depends a lot on the industrial process and is hard to control.
Aftermarket coatings may be more colored but this is purely cosmetic. Solar shading performance is regulated, so they should have matching properties (if they have the proper part reference)
 
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Reactions: AlbertOnMars
Oct 12, 2017
176
94
Los Angeles
Just had a bolt hit my roof glass -- I have a glass deductible of $100 for Tesla genuine replacement, but the process was interesting.

First off, Safelite wouldn't touch it out here in CA. They also referred me to "Sunroof Express" which also won't touch it. They then sent me to Tesla to get it replaced (go through the fun house of SCs) to get the work done, and they would pay them directly less the $100 deductible I owe.

I was told there really was no "aftermarket" available roof glass, at least in our area, and they all source from Tesla at the end of the day. Not sure if I believe it, but I also know the roof glass has a layer of ceramic film/material in it for heat dissipation.

In the end, Tesla is charging my insurance company $1200 and I owe $100 of that. So it's within your $1400 ballpark. As others have said, I don't think I'd be comfortable with anything other than Tesla genuine here...it's the roof of your car and much more than just a pretty sight at the sky.
 

Gizmo17

Member
Feb 10, 2016
64
16
NJ
Thanks for the replies, much appreciated. I’ll try calling Safelite to see if they use OEM or aftermarket. If it’s aftermarket, I’ll take it to Tesla. Live and learn...don’t put anything on top of rear trunk lid!
 

oakdalean

Member
Aug 15, 2018
21
11
Hartford CT
I have couple of chips on the windshield and needed replacement. Safelite refused to do it since they could not procure the glass from Tesla. I live in CT and took my car to the Warwick RI center. They took my car in at 8.30am and haven't received it back until 1.30pm. For this I had an appointment. They say that Tesla no longer does the glass replacement and only Safelite does it. Tesla charged $950 to replace it which I need to claim from my insurance. Another pain. Tesla Warwick RI is unbelievably slow.
 

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