Auto Glass Installation and the Internet
Isn’t the Internet a wonderful thing? It’s at our fingertips to entertain, communicate, challenge and inform. When I was growing up, all I had was a library card and the Encyclopedia Britannica. Now anything you want to know, see or experience is right there on Google. Or is it?
We used to believe that what was written in a library book or printed in a textbook was proven truth. We had recognized scholars and learned authors researching and composing writings that we were confident were factual. When I researched for my term papers at the library using scholarly papers and volumes of specialized publications, I was confident that what I was learning was established fact.
The Internet, with its many search engines and millions of sites, however, makes no promises of being correct or proven. It is a free forum of ideas, opinions and philosophies with no assurances of truth. Yet, when we quote the Internet, we use it as a basis of fact, and we refer to it often to get information.
What does this have to do with auto glass and its installation?
One of the things I have always held as a requirement in my career as a trainer is that the information I share through my classes, articles and book is factual. Yes, I have my opinions, and will share them if asked, but I qualify those opinions and make sure my audience is aware that it is an opinion and not a fact. The Internet does not do that.
When you “Google” a particular installation or a vehicle or any information concerning auto glass installation, you must take the information with a critical eye and consider where it is coming from and what it is really worth. I frequently get comments and questions from my students on videos or write-ups they have seen on the Internet. Don’t get me wrong, some of the information they glean can be very beneficial, and there are those in our industry who produce helpful YouTube videos. Others are simply wrong or destructive. The sad part for new (or poorly trained) technicians is that they don’t know the difference.
My advice to everyone who uses the Internet to accumulate information for auto glass replacement is to keep going. Be sure you know the basics of good installation practices and then look at what you see online with discerning eyes. Be critical of what you see. Where did this information come from? Who is presenting it, and what is its purpose? Is it meant to inform the public or to sell a product? Are the actions and procedures accepted elsewhere, or is it the opinion of the author alone? Glean from it what you need, but learn the basics of auto glass installation, and then compare what you see online to your foundational knowledge. Make sure it aligns.
Do you need to know how to take off the mirror on a Toyota 4Runner? Do you need the best way to save the clips on a Honda Pilot side molding? How do you remove the door panel on a Range Rover Evoque? All of these types of questions can be answered by a visit to the Internet. However, installation tips not proven to be safe to the consumer should not be taken from Brad’s $99 Auto Glass Emporium video tips. You may want to pass these by.
Bob Beranek is the president of Automotive Glass Consultants Inc.