by Bob Beranek
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I live in beautiful southern Wisconsin which blesses us with four seasons that each and every one of us looks forward to year after year. Spring offers new life with budding flowers and new growth. Summer has warm temperatures and outdoor activities, while fall has beautiful colors and crisp air to fill the lungs. Winter is filled with holiday anticipation and fun in the snow. The beginning of each season is anxiously anticipated because we become bored with the previous one. We like the new season but always look forward to the next one, even winter.

CorrosionChanging seasons are desirable for many reason,s but they are also a challenge for the auto glass professional. Not only do we need to pay attention to the procedures we practice but also we must keep an eye on temperature, humidity and the occurrence of corroded metal. Corrosion is a bad thing when it comes to auto glass installation.  It is a condition that must be dealt with, whether we like it or not.

Here are the facts about corrosion as it pertains to auto glass installation:

  • Adhesives do not adhere to rust.
  • Corrosion will always get worse unless it is slowed down.
  • Corrosion is caused by exposure to oxygen.
  • If the “E” coat is breached, the metal will corrode.
  • Typical pinchweld primers are not rust-inhibitive.
  • Corrosion must be dealt with or the installation is unsafe.

I know, more than most, that corrosion is a pain to deal with because up in Wisconsin we use road salt to clean our roads of snow and ice. Salt accelerates the oxidation of metal if the metal is unprotected. So, if a previous installer did not protect the exposed metal on a pinchweld by applying a coating of primer, then the vehicle will be corroded. I deal with this on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. What do we do?  The next series of articles will be dealing with the observation, cause, prevention and treatment of corrosion, as well as how to deal with the customer when corrosion is found and how to get paid for the service you render.

Comments (7)

  1. Paul Ralhan said on 12-04-2012

    In two decades of automotive glazing, I’m now carrying more products for paint correction and rust treatment than I ever did previously.

    Score lines, gouges, scratches and the consequential corrosion issues come as a direct result of a previous installer’s negligence. These people seem to think that painting a series of scratches is what polyurethane adhesion promoters are for.

    Interesting subject, Bob and I look forward to more.

  2. Daniel said on 13-04-2012

    You hope not to hear the old sailor’s yeal ” Hole in ‘da sink” !
    If rust happens to be so heavy that pinchweld is completely eaten, then we got a great bad deal ! Unfortunately, there are so many so called “technicians” that don’t bother to deal seriously with wounds they do when cutting out old glass or trim the old urethane bead. This is one of the reason we, as [pretended] professionals, have harsh times when trying to bring the 3-rd, 4-th, a.s.o. consecutive replacement job to normal standards. Corrosion is but one of the facts that hardens our jobs.
    Hope you had a great Easter hollyday.

  3. Tim said on 13-04-2012

    Here we are at the crossroads, the big adhesive manufactures say “only prime the scratches”, well the common, in a hurry tech hears that as ” I didn’t scratch the pinchweld”, so they don’t do anything, and thus there starts the downward spiral. If the big adhesive manufactures would just say to prime everything and make a product the adheres to fresh cut urethane, the technicians would have to do it or risk being none compliant. But its about cost, if they force the techs to use more primer, the cost goes up, very little, but they are afraid the small companies will use a different product that does not require the use of all the primer. (what costs more, more pinchweld primer on every job, or the products that are used in repairing rust, sanding disks,metal prep, pre-primer that seals the pinchweld before applying, you guessed it, more pinchweld primer. If we used more now, there should not be the rust that so many of us see on a daily bases.

  4. Rick Nelson said on 13-04-2012

    It’s good to finally hear the term “typical pinchweld primers are not rust-inhibitive”. I think that the adhesive suppliers are guilty of promoting this “easy” fix when in fact it is not a fix but a “cover-up”.

    Their reasoning has always been that the “small area” of concern will not effect the “overall strength” of the installation. They don’t mention that the rust develops under the E-coat and spreads.

    Now if we can only proceed to the one step that occurs earlier in the process, the tools being used which are in fact the cause of all the issues we see here.

    Poor workmanship and the use of tools that cause paint damage need to be addressed before discussing the repair of rust issues otherwise the process will remain in motion and not go away.

    No other professionals in the automotive repair industry are allowed to damage a vehicle as much as auto glass replacement installers are and the “cover-up” that ensues goes unnoticed and exposes the vehicle owner and their family to the danger of bond failure during a crash and air bag deployment.

    Our mentality of “bigger is better” for power tools with large blades has led us down this road, that and the improper use of knives for cutting and trimming the adhesive.

    We all know speed is essential for the bottom line but this leads, again, to damage.

    Thanks for the articles Bob. Keep them coming.

    • Daniel said on 28-04-2012

      Someones hunt for “hidden treasures” under the replaced windshield (at least once!). I always discover (with some evil satisfaction) that replacements performed by so called ” branded service workshops” prove to be at least suspicious if not totally defectuous. That is why our branded “Dr.Parbriz” jobs are signed, sealed and documented so any further complaint could be directly addressed to us.
      Darn’ do we feel like DaVinci, Monet or you name what any other classic painter ?!
      Stop laughing, you naughty pals !

  5. Bob Beranek said on 09-05-2012

    Hi Daniel,
    I bet you do rank right up there with DaVinci or Monet. I once had a class and one of the students said he used the remainder of his primer stick to sign every job he does under the cowl panel. When I asked why, he said that “all great artists sign there work and that proves I remove the cowl panel”. I thought that was a great response.

    • Daniel said on 10-05-2012

      Well, I often use the very same line when asked by customers why do I sign the job. The only difference is that I answer with: ” over 50 years, when you will attempt to replace again your windshield, my signature will value just a couple of dimes less than Picasso’s” .
      It happened twice that some unfair customers tried to transfer the stickers on other vehicles, to claim miss-replacements. Little did they know there’s a hidden counter-sticker with vehicle’s ID, not to mention that the stickers we apply can’t be taken away without being damaged.

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