by Bob Beranek
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I have had a few glass issues reach my desk recently so I thought I would pass these on. Some of the issues are ongoing and I’m looking to my readers to contribute your experiences and knowledge.

First is the recall for the Jaguar convertible roof and glass. The roof and glass are designed to work in unison to close and open properly but the window switch is not operating the windows correctly. Please make sure that your customers are aware of the issue.

Manufacturer: Jaguar Land Rover North America LLC

Summary:

Jaguar Land Rover North America LLC is recalling certain model-year 2011-2014 XK convertible vehicles manufactured October 1, 2010 through August 1, 2013. The switch in the overhead roof console also activates the power operated windows when the convertible roof is opening or closing. The switch does not move downward to close the windows. Therefore, these vehicles fail to conform to the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 118, “Power-Operated Window, Partition and Roof Panel Systems.”

Consequence:

The power windows may inadvertently be activated and pinch or injure an arm or finger.

Remedy:

Jaguar will notify owners and dealers will replace the overhead roof console, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin by September 27, 2013. Owners may contact Jaguar at 800/452-4827. Jaguar’s recall number is J030.

Notes:

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888/327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Bob'sBlogFirstVan08292013The next issue was sent to me concerning the 2012 Mercedes Sprinter windshield DW1721. The report I received said the overall heated windshield came to the shop with four connectors two at the top and two at the bottom. The original glass had only two connectors at the bottom, one on each side. The original windshield was the OE part and was never previously installed so the ARG parts should have only the two connectors at the bottom.

The purpose of the email, however, was that the technician was asking if the top two connectors could be eliminated to facilitate installation because evidently the glass seemed to leak from where the top connectors made contact with the urethane. I currently have a call into the technician to ask about the DOT numbers and other details he can share with us.

If any of you out there that can shed some light on this issue please let me know. Call me at 800/695-5418, email me at bob@autoglassconsultants.com or comment on this post.

BobsBlogSecondVan08292013Lastly, someone had a question in AGRR™ magazine forum for me about a “weird occurrence” on the side sliding door glass on the 2007 Chevy Express Van. It seems that some of the glass parts are separating from the adhesive bead. As I read through all of the forums comments it appeared that all of the knowledgeable forum contributors were right on. All of the possible answers were there. So, not to be outdone and seeing that it was addressed to me, I thought I would comment. Here is my response:

“All of the information so far is correct. Here is my two cents worth. If the frit is pealing away from the glass with the urethane it is a misfired frit as mentioned above. If the frit is intact and the primer/urethane separates from the frit, it could be a number of reasons.

1. It could be improper preparation of the glass—OE error;
2. It could be outdated material—OE error or adhesive manufacturer error;
3. It could be a contaminant in the frit paint itself, especially if the OE changed glass brands. I would be interested in the DOT numbers before and after. This could be the glass manufacturer’s error; and
4. It could be human error at the assembly plant.

It is not unusual for a particular model to have the same problem, especially if it came from the same assembly plant. They seem to replicate the problem over and over again until someone catches the problem. Then they determine the seriousness and decide whether to re-work the vehicles affected or continue and correct. 

This failure could have been eliminated with the use of some of the abrasives and/or compounds introduced recently by the adhesive companies. Bottom line is that this is an interesting phenomenon and I will be interested if others have noticed this issue. If it is a glass defect, thank you for bringing it to the attention of the industry.”

If anyone out there that has witnessed this phenomenon on older Chevy vans, let us know. We would like to make the manufacturer aware of the problem. I would also like to thank “Larry” on the AGRR™ magazine forum for making us aware of the problem. It is concerned professionals like Larry that make us all look good.

The Boy Scout motto is “be prepared.” Being a good ex-second class scout—I never could memorize Morse code—I always aim to be well prepared for every eventuality. Although there are many auto glass technicians who pride themselves on their ingenuity and feel there’s nothing a little “liquid clips” won’t fix, in-field resourcefulness does not translate into a good job. A good job is one that is completed as close to OE as possible with the proper adhesives, moldings, clips and retainers. Going to the job with all of the necessities makes the job easier and faster.

A new technician will trail blaze many a job before gaining the experience to know what’s coming. Many times the technician is given a work order with little knowledge of what will be encountered. It is best to research as much information as possible before embarking on the installation:

—Check articles and write-ups on the vehicle;

—See if there is an installation instruction sheet;

—Inspect the molding and/or clips that came with the glass; and

—Check online forums for help.

The time spent on research will greatly influence the ease and smoothness of the actual installation.

Those technicians that are experienced must also prepare. They know that the mobile unit is an extension of the shop and the supplies and tools necessary to do the job right. It must be inventoried daily and restocked when needed. They know that they should check that:

—Adhesives and primers are within their use-by dates and the quantities are adequate;

—They have the tools needed for the jobs that day;

—All blades are stocked and sharpened;

—Universal mouldings are inventoried;

—Clips and/or clip kits are obtained and present;

—Batteries and back-ups are charged and ready for work;

—All miscellaneous supplies are at sufficient quantities;

Good technicians also know that a well stocked unit means smooth sailing ahead.

Here are some other tips to making the installation as easy as possible, thus making it more productive:

1) Keep your mobile unit as clean and as well-organized as possible. If you have to spend a lot of time looking for a tool or supply, you are wasting the time you could use for other things, like getting home early to see your son’s baseball game.

2) Keep your tool box light. The more tools you have, the more tools you must look through to find what you need. Look for tools that are all-in-one or step-saving. One example might be the adjustable wrench instead of open-end wrenches. Take only the tools you need to do the job. I knew one technician that had a windshield tote and a door glass tote. He saved trips back and forth from the truck to the vehicle.

3) Try to reduce the steps taken to complete the job. Do as much from one side of the vehicle as you can before going to the other side. Keep in mind step two above and reduce the trips to the service vehicle. Use a tote to house all the tools and supplies you will need on a particular vehicle, such as a five-gallon bucket with a tool organizer around the rim.

The key to a productive installation day is not working faster, it is working smarter. A mobile unit affords you a lot of time to think. You are on the road between jobs and that is a perfect time to visualize each upcoming installation. Plan it out and reduce your effort by using you head.

Last week I introduced a series about productivity. I started with the principle of taking control of the conversation when the customer calls and you book the job. This week I want to address the second principle: Don’t promise something you cannot deliver.

The most common place for broken promises to occur is during the mobile run. When your leave your shop, you give up some control. All kinds of problems can cause you to be late, in the wrong place or unable to do the job when it is scheduled.

Specifically timed appointments are the biggest problem. Traffic delays, installation problems or even miscommunication between the dispatcher and the technician can all contribute to delays. There are too many variables involved to accurately and consistently predict arrival time on a mobile run.

Some companies figure that an hour or an hour and a half per job is a good rule of thumb to use to approximate arrival time. However, throw in one curve, such as a wrong part, into the mix and the entire day is behind. Worse yet, you are inconveniencing not just one customer, but every customer who is scheduled after your setback. Does that build a good customer base? No.

The best way to deal with the question, “When will the technician arrive?” is to simply not promise anything. You can say, “It is difficult to give an exact time of arrival due to uncontrolled circumstances with mobile installation; however, we will go to where the vehicle is located during the day. Where will the vehicle be and when?” If your customer’s schedule is tight, suggest bringing the vehicle to the shop where timed appointments are available. Another popular option in this age of cell phones is to have the technician call before arriving to the appointment to share his estimated arrival time.

Being a mobile technician myself, there is nothing that ruins my day more than not having the vehicle where it is supposed to be. Some techs will attempt to contact the customer and track down the vehicle. Other techs will just leave and go do the next job. Whether you take the time to track down the customer or miss the job entirely the ramifications are the same. You promised something and didn’t deliver.

I know, you are may be saying it was the customer’s fault for not being there. Do you really think it is in your best interest to blame the vehicle owner for missing the appointment? No. You promised something and did not deliver. You lose. It is up to you to instill in the customer the importance of keeping the appointment and putting in place the process by which the customer will be reminded.

Lastly, the implied promise you give all your customers is that you know what you are doing; you know the type of part you need for replacement; you know the moldings, clips and materials you need to properly install the part safely; and you will get it there in one piece. What if the part breaks before you arrive? What if you have the wrong glass part to install? What if you don’t have the moldings, clips or correct adhesive? You know these situations can occur. If this does happens, you broke the implied promise and your customer is further inconvenienced. They may say, “Oh, that’s okay,” but you know that they will call someone else the next time they’re in need of a replacement or repair.

The bottom line is that promises sound good when you say them but if they are not kept they will ruin your business.

In the words of Denis Waitley, a famous American motivational speaker, “Losers make promises they often break. Winners make commitments they always keep.”