by Bob Beranek
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One of the benefits of being a trainer is having the opportunity to observe and learn tips for using and operating both new and existing tools. I thought I would share some things that I have learned while teaching Auto Glass University.

  1. When the glass part is original equipment, and there are no factory installed gravity stops, assume there are guide pins inserted into the upper pinchweld. These will have to be separated from the interior glass surface to facilitate wire progression.
  2. Do you want an easy way to find the guide pins? Use the rearview mirror you just removed to see where the pins are located.  Then separate with a stiff sharpened putty knife or paddle blade.
  3. Try not to cut the cord for reuse. Every time the cord is cut, it is restricted to the size of the glass part it will fit.
    • Start the cord, and insert it around the glass edge. Do not cut it.
    • Make a loop with the cord, and insert it through the islet on the anchor cup bottom to top. Repeat using the same loop. Then insert the islet through the loop and pull.



    • This knot is very strong and will not give but will allow the knot to be released without cutting the cord. Thanks to Gilbert Gutierrez for the knot idea.
    • Mount the anchor cup to the outside glass surface leaving the cord reel hanging from the anchor cup. Cord will not chip the glass and cause premature fracture.
    • Once most of the glass is cut out, release the anchor cup. Lift the glass where it is separated from the bead and push the anchor and reel inside. Then remount on the inside surface and finish the cut out.
    • Once the glass is removed, the cord loop is released from the islet, and the cord knot is released allowing it to be reused without cutting it.
  1. Sometimes the only available way of mounting the operating cup prohibits the use of pads to protect the dash and inside moldings. If you are using cord rather than wire, you can use a plastic stick or even a gloved hand or finger to push the cord to the inside glass surface to protect the moldings and headliner. I would not suggest using your finger if wire is being used.  The wire can cut through your gloved hand.
  2. Are you having trouble threading your cord through the hole in the wire starter? Try using a needle threader you can find in a sewing supply store or department store. They are inexpensive and work well if you get one that is more substantial than the little aluminum one.













6. The closer the wire or cord is to the glass, the better it cuts, and the safer the interior moldings are from being damaged. Push the protective pads and, thus, the wire/cord as close to the inside surface as possible.

7. Believe me, you DO NOT want to cut the VIN plate off. Make doubly sure that the wire/cord will clear the VIN plate when you get close to it. Take it slow and easy.

8. Speaking of slow and easy, when you cut the corners, take is slow around the radius. Pull and relax, pull and relax. This is where the wire/cord is stressed the most and where it will break most often. When the cuts are going easy, you can go as fast as you want. When it is tensing up, take it slower.

9. Threading the wire/cord is as simple as tucking the wire/cord under each corner and under each gravity stop. The straight away will take care of itself. You may want to make sure that if the cutting medium is wire, it doesn’t make contact with the roof paint. You may have to use tape to hold it under the glass edge at the top.

Far be it for me to promote or criticize a particular business plan. I know a lot of business owners that are having great financial success as auto glass providers with a diverse number of different business types. However, I feel the need—for the sake of safety—to comment on the practice of subcontracting technicians.

First of all, subcontracting technicians is a periodic necessity if a disaster strikes or if business has a drastic unforeseen increase. You can’t turn down business because of fluctuations in the demand.  However, there is some realizations that must be dealt with by both the business owner and the technician offering the service before entering into the subcontracting relationship.

If you are a business owner employing a subcontractor, there are some issues you must be aware of:

  • The subcontractor is not your employee. He does not have your long term benefit at heart. You cannot control the technician—except by ending the relationship which also ends your extra help.
  • You are responsible for his/her work—good or bad.
  • Does the subcontractor follow your directives once they are out of your sight, or do they do what is expedient for them? If you pay by the job, they will do as many jobs as they can no matter what directives you give. If you deduct pay for warranty or callback work, they will make the job leak free, but is it well bonded?
  • Liability is still yours. Heaven forbid that an accident occurs and the glass installation failed to perform properly. No matter what legal papers were signed, the improper installation will stain your company and good name—not the subcontractor’s.
  • How well do you know the technicians skill level? Did you witness an installation? Did you check credentials and reputation?

What about the subcontractor’s responsibilities? Most, but not all, subcontractors are ex-employees of another auto glass company. They may be excellent technicians but average businessmen.  Or, they can be poor technicians and poor businessmen. Either way, the relationship must be open and above aboard.

  • As a contractor, do you carry your own business insurance? Do you carry your own worker’s compensation insurance?
  • What happens if you damage a customers’ vehicle?
  • A subcontractor is his/her own employer; it is his/her own business. All self-employed business taxes, fees and responsibilities apply.
  • Are installation supplies and equipment provided, or are they the subcontractor’s responsibility?  What do those supplies include, and what do they cost? Is the truck supplied? Is the fuel supplied?
  • What if the glass is broke while installing? What if the wrong glass is ordered and a new glass must be picked up?

There is a lot to consider and discuss when subcontracting is the chosen business plan. However, there is one consideration that must be addressed above and beyond the financial and logistical issues, and that is the safety and provided service to the customer. Can it work to subcontract? Yes. Is it easy to provide safe and competent service? You be the judge.

I received some interesting news recently about 2017-18 Honda CRVs equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and a rain sensor (FW04540-41). Although I can’t confirm at this time if this glitch applies to all Honda models, if the Honda model you are working on has both ADAS and a rain sensor, then I suspect the following procedure will be necessary when replacing glass in those models as well.

Honda CRV 2017

Honda CRV 2018

Dealers will tell you that all Honda model vehicles will require OE glass be installed before they can be recalibrated. With that being said, those of you who recalibrate with your own purchased tool may find that recalibration is possible with aftermarket glass, if the glass used is of good to excellent quality. The issue is the rain sensor.

If you install an aftermarket windshield, the rain sensor still may not work, even though the recalibration was a success, and even though it worked during the pre-inspection. The reason for the malfunction is what is called the Body Control Module (BCM).

Honda has an instruction note for installation that reads:

  • Make sure that there are no air bubbles between the windshield glass and the silicone sheet during installation;
  • If the automatic lighting/rain sensor connection is connected after the 12-volt battery terminal is connected, the automatic lighting/rain sensor is not confirmed by the body control module;
  • If the body control module does not confirm the automatic lighting/rain sensor, the automatic wiper system does not work.

This means that the BCM must be reset to recognize the lighting/rain sensor. How do we reset the BCM? In this case, the only way to reset the BCM is to disconnect the battery.

I know, disconnecting the battery should be discouraged whenever possible. Disconnecting the battery means that memory systems built into the vehicle can, and in most cases, will be lost. You will have to explain to the vehicle owner the possibility of lost memory to favorite features. However, here’s what needs to be done.

  • Disconnect the negative battery terminal;
  • Leave it disconnected for 15 minutes;
  • Reconnect the battery terminal and start the vehicle;
  • The vehicle will go through a reset protocol and reset the lighting/rain sensor; and
  • The radio can be reset by depressing the power “on” button 3-5 seconds.

After talking to several Honda dealers and dealer glass installers, I have heard that if an OE glass is installed, this BCM reset process rarely needs to be completed. So, you have a choice, stand around for 15 minutes waiting for the BCM to reset, or simply buy OE glass and be on your way. I will let you know when I learn more.