One part of the newly published ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard 003-2015 remains the same as the prior version. It is so important that I call it the ‘Golden Rule’ of the Standard.
4.1 Those engaged in automotive glass replacement shall not undertake or complete such installation when any related condition would compromise the retention system and the owner/operator shall be so notified.
This means that if there is corrosion, contamination or a deformity of the body that would not allow the adhesives to bond properly to the vehicle, the technician and/or shop owner must decline to complete the installation until the problem is rectified. Now, this could mean that the technician fixes the problem in the field, or it might mean that the vehicle must be taken or towed to an appropriate repair facility. But, either way the customer must be informed of the problem and steps must be taken to restore the vehicle to a safe condition or the installation cannot be completed.
The ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard is there to give guidance and support to technicians who want to provide a safe and quality automotive glass installation. We know that automotive glass adhesives do not adhere to corroded metal or under any of the other conditions mentioned above. If safety and quality is our goal, why would we overlook the obvious?
“Ouch.” You may be thinking. This is hard to take. The Standard is telling me that I have to turn down a handful of money because the vehicle is corroded in the bonding area? If I do that, I would be turning away customers constantly. Won’t the primers cover the corrosion and promote bonding? Yes, to question number one and no, to question number two.
I live in Wisconsin. Wisconsin is a northern state that throws salt on the roads every winter to melt the inevitable snow and ice. That salt distribution is a major cause of corroded vehicles. Our vehicles are corroded more than most other states. I see corroded pinchwelds almost daily. Have I had to refuse a job due to corrosion or vehicle body issues? Yes, I have several times, and it wasn’t an easy choice. We have competitors, just like you, that will do them no matter what condition the vehicle is in. But, it is a decision I made based on the ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard I agreed to follow. It is a business decision of liability reduction. I will not put my customer’s life in danger for the sake of a buck. Yes, it took some effort to explain the situation and the danger it posed to my customers and their families, but once I did, they understood. Many of the installations that I initially refused came back to me eventually after the problems were fixed. Not all, but many.
What about question number two, “Won’t the primers cover the corrosion and promote adherence?” I am not a chemist, but I did my research and I have never seen an adhesive manufacturer in the automotive glass industry that makes the statement that their adhesives will adhere to corrosion. The fact is that unless corrosion is removed completely and proper preparation of the metal is completed, the corrosion will continue to spread and undermine the bond.
This directive from our Standard puts a new light on the importance of pre-inspection. Instead of looking at the vehicle for just pre-existing damage and missing parts, we have to look to see if the work can be done at all. If there are extenuating circumstances that hinder proper bonding, it is our duty and moral responsibility to advise the customer of the problem and work to get it fixed.