Corrosion- Part Two

Those of you that have attended one of my seminars or training programs know that I push the first step of my seven steps more than any others—pre-inspection. Why do I think pre-inspection is important? If you do not look the vehicle over before beginning the work, you’ll wish you did, especially when it comes to the existence of corrosion. If corrosion is found after the glass is out, you have two options—fix the problem or forget it is there. Well, that may not be fair. Actually, we should define the levels of corrosion and then weigh the possible options.

LightAppears like a brown discoloration with some beginnings of metal pitting. Treatable.
ModerateHas significant metal pitting but can be   removed with no weakening of the frame. Treatable.
SevereVery deep metal pitting with no appearance of metal weakening but removal may compromise the frame. Possibly treatable.
PerforationMetal is flaking and expanding or metal is   missing and displays holes in the metal. Body work is required.

Now that we have defined corrosion let’s talk about finding it before we take the vehicle apart. During the pre-inspection step it is very important to look for indicators that will give you a warning that corrosion is present. Once you find it you can determine the severity and decide the course of action.

  • Check the glass “bug.”  If it has been replaced before there is a good chance that the prior installer did not prime the scratches good enough or missed some scratches. This could indicate a presence of corrosion.
  • Is there some corrosion showing itself from under the reveal moulding? If there is corrosion present, you can bet that it is worse underneath. Plus, you cannot treat the corrosion present because it is on the visible painted surface. If you do not get rid of all of the corrosion it will spread and become worse.
  • Look at the dashboard area. Corrosion near the dashboard indicates that the lower pinchweld is corroded and will need treatment.
  • Now get inside and look behind the headliner and behind the “A” pillar garnish moulding. If there is corrosion, determine the severity and include the customer in deciding what to do next.

In my last article I said that once corrosion is present it must be dealt with. The best way to deal with it is to treat it and get paid to do it. Easier said than done, right? Well, again, the facts are the facts. Corrosion will not allow bonding to occur and without bonding, safety is compromised and leaks are certain. Why would anyone want to put themselves into that scenario? It is a lose/lose situation where nobody is a winner. Yes, someone will do it down the street but I would suggest that it not be you. Convince the customer that you will not compromise their safety for any price. Convince them that no adhesives stick to corrosion. Nobody has magic glue that sticks to corrosion—nobody. Convince them that they chose you to do their work because they wanted the best installation for the best possible price and you will not betray their confidence in you. If you compromise your business reputation, your business will now be headed for failure.

How do I get paid for corrosion treatment? You sell it like you sold your glass service. Quality costs money and you’re a quality company. If they take it to a body shop they will pay much more in money and inconvenience than allowing you to do it now. Give them an estimate and a warrantee that proves your professionalism. Give them the choices and close the sale. What if the customer says no? Offer to split the cost with them or give it away if you think that the free extra time is worth the installation profit.