by Bob Beranek
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I saw a topic on an industry forum run by glassBYTEs that was titled “Hey Bob Beranek!”  Well, I couldn’t ignore that and promised the subject writer I’d answer his questions as best as I can. The questions and answers may help you too.

  1. Should every new install with ADAS be re-calibrated (or at least checked), or only if things don’t seem to be working accurately?

According to Opti-Aim, a recalibration should be completed on every ADAS equipped vehicle after a windshield replacement. Why? The reason – although a fault code may not be triggered/tripped, the camera, bracket, or both may not be perfectly positioned for maximum performance. As I’ve said in previous posts, even if the camera or LIDAR is a millimeter off, it can cause big differences at the reference point. It can mean feet or yards off of being perfect.

  1. What about aftermarket glass? Should only OEM glass be used when ADAS is involved?

Most third-party calibrators can recalibrate aftermarket parts if the ARG parts meet OE specs. However, if the bracket is so far off that it’s outside the limits of the units aiming ability, that part will not allow the unit to be properly recalibrated.

The only way of making sure the glass can be recalibrated properly in advance is by using OE parts. That’s why many dealerships require OE glass before agreeing to do a recalibration. They don’t want to waste time recalibrating something that doesn’t work, or they want to limit their liability.

  1. Is an aftermarket glass from say Pilkington (DOT-15) the same as an OEM Honda branded glass that is marked Pilkington (DOT-15)?

That’s a good question for Pilkington. I will let you know what I find out. I do know Pilkington guarantees they can recalibrate any Pilkington part no matter if it is OE or not, if their calibration tool (Opti-Aim) is used.

Recalibration is complicated and a rapidly changing issue. There are liabilities, products, tools, adhesives, procedures and vehicle design both public and proprietary that come into play. There are scanners, lasers, cameras, LIDAR, and sensors of every type and style mounted to dozens of different parts of the vehicle. Some apply to us and others don’t. We all hope for is a simplified or standardized system that can be recalibrated or self-calibrated. Right now none of us know it but I’ll do my best to keep you up to date.

 Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of my Readers!

The aftermarket is slowly gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to perform recalibrations of advanced driver assist systems (ADAS). With the proper equipment and training, we can now offer a valuable service to customers. Can we relax now? I’m afraid not.

The next big thing in our industry will be scanning. Specifically, we will be performing pre and post scanning on vehicles prior to and after the replacement procedure. Whether we like it or not, many vehicle manufacturers are requiring scans when a vehicle comes in for a service or repair.

What is a scan? Why is it important? How does it pertain to the auto glass industry? These are important questions and it will take more than one post to explore them adequately, so let’s begin.

Have you heard of the OBD-II? The OBD stands for OnBoard Diagnostic (OBD) computer. The II (2) is the version currently being used. Most scanning devices state they can scan any vehicle from 1996 onward because scanning became standardized in 1996. The first OBD device used in a vehicle was in 1968 on the Volkswagen and was used to monitor its fuel-injected system. There were different versions of the OBD as time progressed but the 1996 version (OBD-II) standardized the 16-pin design receptacle and the basic requirements for reporting faults. The OBD-II has a port by which a reading device (scanner) can be inserted and is usually found underneath the dash on the vehicle’s driver side.

Photo Courtesy Nissanhelp.com 

Photo Courtesy Engie

By preforming a scan, you tap into the OBD to find out what is wrong with the vehicles components that are reporting to the OBD computer. Once the scan is completed and the issues (faults) are defined and found, the technician can repair the problem, adjust electronically or simply erase the fault code.

Not all scans provide the same picture of included components. The basic components originally required by mandate were simple emission control tracking. Later, vehicle manufacturers added other performance and safety related components to the OBD computer for monitoring, but they are manufacturer specified and not standardized.

There are a wide range of scanning tools out there, and they fall into two types. One is a more consumer driven tool. It’s usually inexpensive and gives the user a picture without giving them much technical information or the ability to do any repair or erasure. The other is a more professional tool that can give the repair technician practical information to act upon.

Bluetooth Scanner – Photo Courtesy BAFX Products

Stand Alone Scanner – Photo Courtesy of passadvice.me

My next scanning post will address its importance to auto glass replacement and discusses the ramifications to the industry.

There are benefits and drawbacks to both mobile and in-shop installations. However, the introduction of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) has again brought this issue to the forefront, and added another reason why in-shop installations may be better than mobile. It is possible to reverse a consumer demand for mobile installations to a demand for in-shop installations if you make the decision and change your marketing efforts.

In Europe, glass shops have never stopped practicing in-shop auto glass installations and they don’t have a problem convincing their customers to choose quality over convenience. Their customers don’t demand mobile service because it is not offered. In the United States however, we have a problem of our own making. Mobile service began in the United States in the 1950s and we have been doing it ever since. Even with the introduction of moisture curing polyurethane, larger glass parts, one-man sets and now ADAS, we still feel that if we don’t provide mobile service we will not succeed.

Think for a moment how much you pay for tools, supplies, vehicles and equipment for delivering mobile service. Think for moment what problems mobile service creates for the delivery of your product. Think for a moment how many callbacks were caused and how much time was wasted because of mobile service. Think about the long-term injuries that result in one-man trucks and mobile service.

I challenge all of you owners to put a pencil to the calculation of what mobile service costs you. Then take that revenue saved and see where you could put that money to better use. Would it be in marketing in-shop installation quality?  Upgrading your facility to make your customers more comfortable when they are waiting for their vehicle?  Renting cars for those that must leave?  Buying faster cure urethanes for faster turnaround time?  Of course, you can just put that saved revenue directly into your pockets as profits earned.

Winter is coming, and in many parts of this country glass shop owners worry about business, both in the number of jobs booked and the weather related issues revolving around the mobile install. If you communicate the importance of a controlled environment installation to your customers they will be more apt to bring their vehicles to your shop for service. It seems like common sense that their vehicle will be serviced better in controlled conditions than to have glass replacement done outdoors in inclement weather.

I do realize that mobile service is not going away completely. Some of you don’t even currently have a shop. I also realize that it would be foolish to flip a switch and change everything overnight. However, I feel that through the right planning, training, and implementation, in-shop installations can be increased and eventually take over the percentage of installs now taken by mobile installations. This is not pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking; it does work. I will wager that the analysis you make will open your eyes and you will see the benefits of changing your business plan from primarily (or only) mobile service to primarily in-shop installations.