by Bob Beranek
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Recently we’ve seen an increase of original equipment (OE) glass purchases from dealerships. Why, because Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are being incorporated into new vehicles more often than not. This means auto glass companies that don’t recalibrate ADAS systems must depend on dealerships. By adding dealerships as a partner to complete auto glass services for their mutual customer, may mean the dealership will demand OE glass be obtained for the replacement to facilitate recalibrations.

What does that have to do with the title of this post? When OE glass is purchased from a dealer, it can sometimes come to auto glass shops pre-primed, especially if the vehicle is a new model or has just been manufactured for the new model year. This can pose a problem if the urethane adhesive you choose doesn’t allow use with unknown primers.

We all know technicians should never use a glass part with an unknown primer applied. If glass is delivered to your shop and the glass has a primer applied, it should be returned for a new part. The technician wouldn’t have a way of knowing how the glass was cleaned, primed, or prepared and what chemicals were used. You also wouldn’t know if the glass was cleaned properly and if the primer used was compatible with the primers the technician will use? None of these things are known and no one should assume the previous technician knew what they were doing when they prepped the part.

You may think, I’ll just clean it off, but will you, and can you? It may look clean and contaminant free when you’re done cleaning it, but is it really? If you use abrasives to remove any foreign materials some of the frit paint may be removed. The frit is a rough surface with peaks and valleys that are coated with chemicals that can’t be removed fully without removing a substantial amount of the frit paint. When frit paint is removed the frit is not as protective of the urethane as it was before. The adhesive will be more susceptible to ultraviolet light breakdown and reduction in mechanical bond.

So, what should we do to prep the pre-primed OE part? I asked that question to three of the top auto glass adhesive manufacturers’ in the industry. Unfortunately, each had a different answer, but none said you can’t prep an OE part properly with the right procedures. One of the top adhesive producers warned not all OE prepped glass was equal in terms of proper priming. OE’s make mistakes like everyone else. I’ve previously written about problems with priming that must be addressed if witnessed.

I urge all technicians and owners that read this article, to check with their adhesive representatives or check their adhesive instructions to verify the procedures in dealing with pre-primed OE parts. If your urethane of choice has neither a rep nor written instructions covering this issue, the only way you can be assured the primer on the OE part is compatible with the urethane used is to purchase the OE urethane kit with the OE glass part. Then follow the written instructions given to you by the OE adhesive company.

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.