by Bob Beranek
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I saw a topic on an industry forum run by glassBYTEs that was titled “Hey Bob Beranek!”  Well, I couldn’t ignore that and promised the subject writer I’d answer his questions as best as I can. The questions and answers may help you too.

  1. Should every new install with ADAS be re-calibrated (or at least checked), or only if things don’t seem to be working accurately?

According to Opti-Aim, a recalibration should be completed on every ADAS equipped vehicle after a windshield replacement. Why? The reason – although a fault code may not be triggered/tripped, the camera, bracket, or both may not be perfectly positioned for maximum performance. As I’ve said in previous posts, even if the camera or LIDAR is a millimeter off, it can cause big differences at the reference point. It can mean feet or yards off of being perfect.

  1. What about aftermarket glass? Should only OEM glass be used when ADAS is involved?

Most third-party calibrators can recalibrate aftermarket parts if the ARG parts meet OE specs. However, if the bracket is so far off that it’s outside the limits of the units aiming ability, that part will not allow the unit to be properly recalibrated.

The only way of making sure the glass can be recalibrated properly in advance is by using OE parts. That’s why many dealerships require OE glass before agreeing to do a recalibration. They don’t want to waste time recalibrating something that doesn’t work, or they want to limit their liability.

  1. Is an aftermarket glass from say Pilkington (DOT-15) the same as an OEM Honda branded glass that is marked Pilkington (DOT-15)?

That’s a good question for Pilkington. I will let you know what I find out. I do know Pilkington guarantees they can recalibrate any Pilkington part no matter if it is OE or not, if their calibration tool (Opti-Aim) is used.

Recalibration is complicated and a rapidly changing issue. There are liabilities, products, tools, adhesives, procedures and vehicle design both public and proprietary that come into play. There are scanners, lasers, cameras, LIDAR, and sensors of every type and style mounted to dozens of different parts of the vehicle. Some apply to us and others don’t. We all hope for is a simplified or standardized system that can be recalibrated or self-calibrated. Right now none of us know it but I’ll do my best to keep you up to date.

 Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of my Readers!

Is an auto glass part still “safe” if it’s scratched? Well, it depends on the severity of the damage. A glazing professional will tell you if a glass scratch can be felt with one’s fingernail, the scratch is considered severe. If not, then it’s considered superficial and you can remove it on any glass part with “elbow grease” and some cerium oxide.

Severe damage indicates the removal of the scratch by whatever means, but will cause the glass to weaken, become distorted and be rendered unsafe. When an auto glass part is severely scratched the glass should be discarded. Auto glass parts are considered safe only when they’re not fractured. As soon as an auto glass part is broken it can’t do its job of supporting, protecting and providing clarity of site for the driver.

If you think about it, it makes sense. How is glass cut to size? The simple procedure is to “score” the glass and then break the score. What’s a score? It’s a controlled severe scratch created by a tool that breaches the harder surface of the glass by creating a fissure.

When pressure is applied to that fissure or score, the glass breaks controllably along the scratch that was created. A severe scratch is the first step in broken glass, you just don’t have any control over it.

Can auto glass be installed safely when there is a scratch present? If superficial, yes if it’s removed or accepted by the customer. If severe, no, just throw it away or return it.

Every repairable break is unique, and some repair professionals say a break or chip is like a snowflake. However, windshield breaks share certain characteristics that allow us to put them in generalized categories. These categories are bullseye, half-moon, star, crack and combination. The National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) developed a standard for windshield repair called the Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard (ROLAGS) and had it sponsored by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). It uses the following categories for repairable breaks:

  • Bullseye,
  • Half-moon,
  • Star break,
  • Crack,
    • Short;
    • Long;
    • Edge;
    • Floater;
    • Stress; and
  • Combination break.

The bullseye break is usually the easiest to repair. The outcome is the most pleasing to the customer because it almost completely disappears. However, many techs use the bullseye to demonstrate the repair process because of the ease of repair and pleasing results. This break is usually caused by a dull, slow moving projectile. Dull projectiles cause circular breaks because of the circular “grain” in annealed glass. Only sharp, fast moving projectiles would overcome the circular “grain”, like star breaks or cracks.

A half-moon break is an unfinished bullseye and is caused by an even slower moving dull projectile. Normally half-moons are a little harder to repair because the resin must be forced to the far reaches of the break.

Photo courtesy of mswindshieldrepair.com

One method of speeding up a half-moon repair is a procedure called refracturing. Some use this method because it makes the break bigger. Since a bullseye repairs so well and the end result is almost invisible, the refracturing technique creates a full bullseye from the half-moon. A tech can use a darning needle or pointed pick and place it directly into the pit of the break. Then they can use a weighted device and tap the needle or pick until the half-moon becomes a bullseye.

This same technique can be used on both the star and the crack repairs as well. You create a bullseye at the base of the pit which makes the repair faster and easier.

Star and crack breaks are caused by sharper and faster moving projectiles. These are typically harder to repair because of the break’s narrow “legs”. It also doesn’t appear as transparent as the bullseye or half-moon. When the break is properly repaired the finished “legs” of the break appear as fine “spider web like” lines when viewed head-on.

The last category of break is the combination break, which is usually caused by a large projectile. The windshield can be hit so hard that the cone of the break is pulverized, causing a star break within a bullseye. The finished repair appears to look like a repaired star break since the bullseye disappears, but the star within the break repairs like a typical star break.

Photo courtesy of glassusa.com

Before any repairs are accepted or completed make sure your customer understands the process and what to expect. Refer to the ROLAGS Standard below: https://rolags.com/pdf/ANSI+NWRA+ROLAGS+001-2014.pdf