Finding a replacement windshield can be difficult because you need to consider a lot of things when buying such a fragile product. To help you with this decision, we're comparing the products from two brands that sell windshields: J&L International and Flex-a-lite.
We aren't cheapskates and we understand the concept of getting what we pay for. Yet, we also believe there are quality products that are out there for folks like us who need them to fit into our budget. So, we set out to look for a windshield that's priced at around 500 USD or lower.
We searched online and found that the Flex-a-lite windshields can be bought at various price points. Its cheapest can fit our budget at the 250-500 USD price range. But, it also has some products that exceed our limit. It even has a few sets of six that are priced beyond 1,000 USD. In the meantime, we saw that the J&L windshield has been priced at less than 50 USD. We were surprised at this amount as well, but in terms of this criterion alone, it stands out as an obvious winner.
Being able to find a product that's suitable for our car is essential. We can understand that models that are rare or have been out of production for years might have a more difficult search. Yet, we still want to be able to look for most the parts we need and to find it within someone's catalog.
We were saddened to see that the J&L brand only stocks one product, but we do like the fact that it can fit an old-fashioned Volkswagen Beetle. We did perk up considerably when we saw that Flex-a-lite offers 36 different items for a variety of vehicles.
Because the product we're buying is obviously quite fragile, we want to be able to receive some reassurance and support from the companies who made them. We're certainly glad to see that both brands are offering limited warranties for their windshields. Still, J&L manages to offer a warranty with two years of coverage instead of just a one-year coverage (like Flex-a-lite).
Fit and installation
An easy installation and a perfect fit go hand-in-hand, since a lot of replacement headaches come from products that don't fit with a vehicles's other components. With Flex-a-lite, we've found that the windshield we ordered was able to fit directly onto our car's opening. The whole process was easy, even if we did need to do some drilling. Meanwhile, we also managed install the J&L windshield on an old Volkswagen and it was a direct fit.
WINNER:Flex-a-lite and J&L
Appearance, quality, and performance
We need windshields that are clear seems to be the case for both products. We're also glad to see that J&L's product has been made according to the DOT's specifications. But, we appreciate how Flex-a-lite's windshields are made from a durable and scratch-resistant polymer. It gives us the confidence that we'll be able to use the windshield for a long time.
We're surprised by how close this comparison has become. Yet in the end, Flex-a-lite's wider product range and better quality have edged out J&L's pricing and warranty lead. So, we recommend Flex-a-lite windshields for your car.