by Bob Beranek
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You may have been hearing about Auto Glass University this past year and the school has plans for the future. Although I do not use my blog as a means to market any endeavor, to avoid any misconceptions, I want to make sure everyone in the industry knows who we are and what we do.

First, a little history may be in order. In January of 2010, for my company Automotive Glass Consultants, I developed and wrote an online training program at Auto Glass University (AGU) first went online live in January of that year. The purpose of this training course was to present in one place a current, unbiased and easily to update automotive glass training course that is accessible from anywhere. It can be used as the foundation for internal training programs, as a study guide for certification, or by academics and anyone else with a desire to know about the art of automotive glass installation. Auto Glass University is solely my trademarked product.

Based on the materials we assembled for the online site (and with the invaluable writing expertise of my talented wife and business partner Ann Schuelke) in 2011 we wrote and published the textbook, “The Complete Guide to Auto Glass Installation.” We felt the book would open up another avenue to present the automotive glass curriculum at an adult level of education.

Obviously, though, we all know that automotive glass installation cannot be completely taught by book learning. You must experience the use of tools to master them, feel the release of a molding from its clip and smell the chemical odor of primers, cleaners and adhesives. Without this practice, it is not possible to attain true competence at the technician level. I know this and you know this.

It has become increasingly clear that the industry needs a hands-on training “school” through which aspiring entrepreneurs and entry-level automotive glass technicians can learn the art of installation. So, when I was approached by Eric Asbery of Equalizer Industries with a proposal with that idea in mind, I felt it had real merit. Equalizer offered their beautiful training facility in Austin, Texas, as a location to hold week-long classes with a curriculum based on our book. Thus was born Auto Glass University Powered by Equalizer (AGU hands-on for short) in 2013. Gilbert Gutierrez and Jason Horne, who many of you know from Equalizer, are certified instructors for the school. We are adding additional certified instructors as the program expands.

Eric Asbery and I agreed on one thing from the beginning. Our curriculum, based on the AGU format, must have the absolute reputation of unbiased education without the hint of commercialism. It is to Eric’s great credit that not only was this his desire as well, he made sure that concept was clearly understood by all his employees affiliated with our project.

Eric’s commitment to be an unbiased source of training is so strong that we hold a “Vendor Night” during each training session. At each Auto Glass University class, Equalizer hosts tool makers and suppliers from all over the industry to showcase and demonstrate their products, including his direct competitors. Eric and his organization put money and an immense amount of effort in helping us make sure the school was one that the industry could be proud of. “Auto Glass University, Powered by Equalizer” is named perfectly because it describes the relationship exactly the way it is, education first and industry support second.

AGU will never deviate from its core of unbiased education. During the hours of instruction, there will be nothing but practical instruction. If the names of specific products are mentioned, it will be for illustration purposes only. There are no favorites at AGU, just partners with a common goal of safe, quality automotive glass installation. Promotional events or offers after the day’s instruction or at breaks can be very informational to students new to the industry but they are completely optional to the students.

In the coming months, we plan to expand AGU to other regions of the country to make the program more affordable to those students who may not be close to Texas. You will see other industry sponsors, supporters and benefactors named in relation to AGU. These friends know that our future as an automotive glass replacement industry is dependent on the training and education available to our future leaders.

I hope this clears up any questions concerning AGU and AGU Powered by Equalizer. If not, feel free to contact me. I look forward to your feedback.

I have written three prior posts on lane departure systems and this will make my fourth. Again, my friend Mitch Becker from ABRA Auto Body and Glass sent me a bulletin about the 2015 Honda Civic. The lane departure camera for the Civic is located on the exterior rearview mirrors. I assumed that cameras mounted to the header or outside rearview mirrors were not our concern because we never displaced the cameras so re-calibration was unnecessary.

I was wrong.


Mitch reminded me that we replace the exterior rearview mirror glass or mounting plate, and sometimes we displace the mirror housing to replace the door glass or remove interior panels. He also mentioned the fact that if the power to the camera is interrupted, it more than likely will also need re-calibration. He is absolutely correct on these facts which means that if you replace the glass, mounting plate or housing on the exterior rearview mirrors or if you disconnect the camera power connectors while changing the door glass, it is to your best interest to check and see if the vehicle manufacturer recommends or requires re-calibration of the lane departure cameras.

Lane departure systems are going to eventually be on every vehicle you work on so how the camera is mounted to the vehicle determines how you will handle the calibration. Some vehicles will not need calibration because it is not removed or displaced.  Others will require dealer involvement to re-calibrate. Maybe it is a good time to look into an add-on to your glass replacement business, calibration services.

We don’t do many gasket-set windshields any more. However, while visiting my friends at Aegis Tools International last week, we talked about how installers used to use a length of nylon braided rope to install a windshield. I thought I would document a use for rope that not many technicians today have even heard of. I’m sure most automotive glass technicians have at least witnessed a rope-in installation sometime in their career but I bet few of you have seen or heard of roping-in the chrome molding into a gasket.

First of all, most foreign gasket windshields used a system of decorative chrome moldings that insert into the gasket similar to the old DW819 with chrome installation. I’m talking about the six-piece rigid chrome moldings with the “L” shaped flange that insert into a groove in the gasket and not the chrome insert that locked the gasket to the glass they used in the later models.

One of the most difficult was the older Subaru models with four-sided chrome. Like the DW819, the chrome was inserted before the glass was roped into the opening, but unlike the Ford version the chrome did not have an “L” flange to insert.  Rather it used a rubber flap on the gasket that fit over a “rolled” inner edge of the chrome.


04102014Blast from the Past-2

Getting that gasket to firmly grasp that “rolled” edge was a real challenge that most technicians would gladly skip if they could. As a matter of fact, there were guys (not me, of course) who practiced their selling skills by convincing the customer to forgo the reinstallation of the chrome saying, “it looks better without the chrome, doesn’t it?”

So, what do you do when the customer says, “No, I want the chrome put back in.” Here’s the trick:

—You use a 1/8th inch braided nylon rope inserted into the groove of the gasket where the chrome is to be inserted.

—Place the chrome molding where it is to be inserted.

—Use your thumb to apply slight pressure on the top of the chrome molding while pulling the rope outwards from the glass edge.

Move your thumb as the rope is pulled. The rubber flap is forced up and over the underside “rolled” edge grasping it and keeping it in place.

This works like a charm and unless the chrome “rolled” edge is bent or damaged, it will work every time.