by Bob Beranek
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One part of the newly published ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard 003-2015 remains the same as the prior version. It is so important that I call it the ‘Golden Rule’ of the Standard.

4.1 Those engaged in automotive glass replacement shall not undertake or complete such installation when any related condition would compromise the retention system and the owner/operator shall be so notified.

This means that if there is corrosion, contamination or a deformity of the body that would not allow the adhesives to bond properly to the vehicle, the technician and/or shop owner must decline to complete the installation until the problem is rectified. Now, this could mean that the technician fixes the problem in the field, or it might mean that the vehicle must be taken or towed to an appropriate repair facility. But, either way the customer must be informed of the problem and steps must be taken to restore the vehicle to a safe condition or the installation cannot be completed.

The ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard is there to give guidance and support to technicians who want to provide a safe and quality automotive glass installation. We know that automotive glass adhesives do not adhere to corroded metal or under any of the other conditions mentioned above. If safety and quality is our goal, why would we overlook the obvious?

“Ouch.” You may be thinking. This is hard to take. The Standard is telling me that I have to turn down a handful of money because the vehicle is corroded in the bonding area? If I do that, I would be turning away customers constantly. Won’t the primers cover the corrosion and promote bonding? Yes, to question number one and no, to question number two.

I live in Wisconsin. Wisconsin is a northern state that throws salt on the roads every winter to melt the inevitable snow and ice. That salt distribution is a major cause of corroded vehicles. Our vehicles are corroded more than most other states. I see corroded pinchwelds almost daily. Have I had to refuse a job due to corrosion or vehicle body issues? Yes, I have several times, and it wasn’t an easy choice. We have competitors, just like you, that will do them no matter what condition the vehicle is in. But, it is a decision I made based on the ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard I agreed to follow. It is a business decision of liability reduction. I will not put my customer’s life in danger for the sake of a buck. Yes, it took some effort to explain the situation and the danger it posed to my customers and their families, but once I did, they understood. Many of the installations that I initially refused came back to me eventually after the problems were fixed. Not all, but many.

What about question number two, “Won’t the primers cover the corrosion and promote adherence?” I am not a chemist, but I did my research and I have never seen an adhesive manufacturer in the automotive glass industry that makes the statement that their adhesives will adhere to corrosion. The fact is that unless corrosion is removed completely and proper preparation of the metal is completed, the corrosion will continue to spread and undermine the bond.

This directive from our Standard puts a new light on the importance of pre-inspection. Instead of looking at the vehicle for just pre-existing damage and missing parts, we have to look to see if the work can be done at all. If there are extenuating circumstances that hinder proper bonding, it is our duty and moral responsibility to advise the customer of the problem and work to get it fixed.

As many of you already know, the ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard 003-2015 has been revised and edited to meet the new issues that affect our industry. The official new name is ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard 003-2015. The 003 is the third version accepted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and 2015 is the year it was accepted and published.

As the chairman of the Auto Glass Safety Council™ Standards Committee, I thought that I would explain, in the coming weeks, the wording and meaning behind some of the current changes. I may even try to translate some of the legalese that creeps into the language of a meaningful document like this one.

Let us start with the new scope of our standard. It reads:

New 1.1 Scope

An automotive glass replacement safety standard addressing procedures, education and product performance for motor vehicles falling within the guidelines of FMVSS 208-212.

Old 1.1 Scope

To develop and publish nationally recognized automotive glass replacement safety standards addressing procedures, education and product performance.

As you can see, the main change in the scope is the added reference to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) 208-212. FMVSS 208-212 governs passenger vehicles and trucks weighing less than 10,000 pounds. Obviously, we want safe installations in all vehicles on the roadway, not just passenger vehicles. However, we needed the ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard to reflect the fact that safety comes from information provided to us by the carmakers and the adhesive companies that supply the materials.

How do we get that information?

We get this important information through the Federal Safety Standards that govern the carmakers and through the data given to us by our adhesive companies. Adhesive companies and carmakers work together to meet the Federal Safety Standards, providing us with technical data sheets and guidelines for safe drive-away times. So, if we install the glass and deliver the vehicle according to the Federal Standards and the published adhesive data, we must make the scope of our ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard define that clearly and succinctly.

I am frequently asked why the other Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (other that 208-12) aren’t mentioned in the ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard? In fact, they are. However, some of the standards don’t apply to all vehicles and others are addressed but not mentioned by number or regulation. Our Standard covers all of the pertinent federal standards.

For example, FMVSS 216a Roof Crush, does not apply to convertibles, so that particular standard isn’t mentioned in the “Scope” section which is meant to address all vehicles. Others, like FMVSS 111 Rearview Mirrors and 205 Glazing are mentioned in the body of the standard by their regulation numbers. The only other two federal standards that are not cited by name are FMVSS 118 Automatic Moving Panels and 214 Side Impact. These are referred to by specific standard guidelines in the body of the text.

Although they may at times be difficult to find, all of the Federal Safety Standards are addressed in the ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard. Our goal as technicians should be to simply follow the new ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard to ensure glass will be installed correctly and safely for our customers.

To view the full ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard, click here.

Did you ever wonder why we are instructed to “leave 1-2 mm of existing bead” when replacing a windshield? I did, so over the years, whenever I talked to an adhesive manufacturer’s representative, I asked the purpose for that recommendation. Most said it was to prevent damage to the body of the vehicle. However, there are a few other benefits to leaving a little existing urethane attached.

We must use a cutting tool to remove most of the existing urethane. Damage prevention is a legitimate reason to leave a measured amount of urethane in place. Whether you use a utility bladed tool, a scraper or one of many specialized tools invented for the sole purpose of cutting back the existing bead, you run a risk of scratching or gouging the paint. If you take the time to remove most of the urethane and then concentrate on leaving a portion of that urethane intact (the 1-2 mm), the result will be less damage to the painted pinchweld and less premature corrosion.

However, I believe that there are a couple of other reasons for leaving a little of the existing adhesive. The most important reason is that, by leaving a portion of the existing bead, it makes it possible to replace the glass a second or third time and still have the ability to expose a portion of the OE bead.

The OE bead is something that we know. We know the adhesive meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards because the automaker attests to that fact based on crash tests and results. We know that it was applied properly because during the first installation we stripped the existing bead in a way that proves that it is adhered by pulling the bead while trimming it back.

A bead applied by another replacement technician is something we don’t know. Did the previous technician clean the body properly? Did he use an adhesive that meets the OE specifications? Did he prep the pinchweld bead to accept the fresh adhesive? Did he apply it properly to meet the OE requirements for safety? Did he allow the adhesive to cure properly before release? We don’t know. So, if we can get back to the OE bead by trimming it back under the previously applied adhesive, we will be better off.

The other reason for leaving the recommended 1-2 mm of existing OE bead is the adhesion benefit. Any adhesive sticks better to itself than to another surface. This is due to molecular entanglement bonding. If you leave a portion of the existing bead and you apply another fresh bead on the newly exposed existing bead, your bond cannot be better. The reason is that 100 percent of the molecules in bead surface will entangle with 100 percent of the molecules in the other bead, thus making it the strongest bond possible. Leaving a portion of the existing bead assures that there is enough existing bead to bond to the new adhesive.

The final reason is cost savings. When I owned my automotive glass replacement shop, I always looked for ways to save money and add more profit. If I can strip the old bead without damaging the pinchweld paint, I don’t have to prime the body. If I don’t prime the body, I save the cost of having to buy large amounts of body primer. This saves me money and improves my bottom line.

So there you have it. These are the many reasons why a technician should leave 1-2 mm of existing urethane when replacing the stationary glass parts of a vehicle. Will this take more time and effort? No. Invest some time in training and practicing. Buy the tools to do it right, and make sure your tools are sharp and ready to go. By doing this, the time and effort is the same as stripping it clean. Plus, the technician gets the peace of mind that the job was done right.