by Bob Beranek
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A few years ago, I was asked to judge an auto glass installation competition at a large western glass company. That company planned on having the competition at a race track in their area so spectators would be able to watch. The temperature that day was going to exceed 100°F and the vehicles were parked outside in full sunlight.

When the judges arrived, we checked the adhesive instructions which stated that the application temperature should not exceed 110°F. Obviously, we were concerned about the high temperatures surrounding the competition. However, when the instructions said “application temperature” did they mean product temperature, surface temperature or ambient temperature?  What would be the ramifications of applying the adhesive in extreme temperatures?

We had an adhesive representative who was present for the competition, so we asked him for advice. Unfortunately, he did not know the exact answer, and due to the fact that the competition was occurring on a weekend, we were unable to contact a technical advisor at the adhesive company’s technical lab.

Through some serious discussion between the replacement company owner, the adhesive representative and the judges, we decided to take steps to cool down everything involved with the installation. We placed the glass and adhesives into air-conditioned service vehicles to make sure that the glass surface and the adhesives were well under the temperature limit of 110°F. We also started the vehicles and ran the air-conditioning in advance of the competition to assure that the vehicle was cooled down before the competition proceeded. We weren’t sure at the time what the upper temperature limit of the “Application Temperature” meant, but we were certainly not going to install glass under conditions contraindicated by the sealant manufacturers.

Since that incident occurred, I have researched this issue and found that there are different consequences for applying adhesives beyond their temperature limits. They can include bonding deficiencies, application problems and storage concerns. Obviously, the most important of these consequences is the bonding problem. If the sealant does not bond properly, the result could be injury or death caused by improper glass performance in a crash.

If the adhesive loses its viscosity, the adhesive pre-maturely cures, and waste is the obvious result. If the adhesive loses its thickness due to higher than normal temperatures, it can drip onto the customer’s interior causing vehicle damage. Under extreme heat conditions, the weight of the glass can flatten the windshield to the pinchweld’s metal and cause a stress fracture. Lastly, if sealants are stored improperly, the product cannot be expected to be to perform as promised.

The moral of the story and the research we conducted says one thing, temperature matters and caution must be exercised to insure proper performance of your adhesive products. Check your adhesive’s technical data and installation instructions for temperature limitations.  If for some reason the data is missing or not clear, check with your adhesive rep. If the rep is unsure, check with the adhesive company’s technical expert for clarity. This is important. It is not enough to go through the procedures perfectly if you don’t know your products limitations. Do it right every time and think before you proceed.

When installing a windshield, do you lay your bead of urethane or do you apply your bead of urethane? Perhaps you are thinking, “What is the difference?” Actually, there is quite a bit of difference. I heavily favor “V” beads over round due to the better bonding and sealing dynamics. I apply the adhesive bead to either the glass or the pinchweld, depending on which type of glass part I am doing, or if there is an existing OE bead for me to follow. However, applying the bead to a surface is very important to the success of the installation. (Please note: Always reference your adhesive manufacturer’s instructions to determine the type of bead that should be used.)

Today I want to discuss the proper way to apply the adhesive bead to whichever surface you choose. How many of you have seen an installer hold his caulk gun six inches off the pinchweld to lay the round bead to the surface? Over the years I have seen this several times and have always wondered why. So I asked. Believe it or not, more than one technician has told me it was because they thought it was “cool.” They told me that the customers who watch them do the installation thought that the way they laid their bead was very professional and somehow instilled an air of confidence in the installer’s skill. Wow, are you kidding me?

Applying the bead of urethane is probably the most important part of the installation process. The type of bead and where you put it is imperative to the success of the bond and seal. Take a look at this video. The interesting part is at the 3:00 minute point.

This video is a perfect example of what I am talking about. This is not only wrong, it is dangerous to the owner/occupant. The right way to apply a bead of urethane is to apply it and not lay it.

bead_format

What I mean by apply is to cut your “V” bead the width of the existing OE bead and equal to the height of the upper pinchweld wall and then apply the bead while holding your caulk gun in a 90-degree angle to the surface (perpendicular) and pressing the nozzle down to touch the surface. This applies a tall straight “V” bead that fills all gaps and assures proper adhesion to the surface.

Laying the bead like in the video above or even at a 45-degree angle to the surface can cause a weakness in the adhesion or bridge a low spot which could cause a leak or bond problem.

Now you’re going to say, I can’t always get my gun at 90 degrees because the vehicle is too tall or the opening is too big. I realize that. I am six foot two and I have problems reaching the large and tall vehicles as well. Sometimes getting your gun at 90 degrees is impossible. However, if that vehicle is so big that you can’t reach the top middle to apply at 90 degrees°, at least reach as far as you can and get the gun perpendicular as soon as possible. Or, apply the adhesive to the glass and use a setting tool or another person to assist in the set.

The point is to apply the adhesive bead to the surface making sure that the seal and bond is secure. Don’t lay the bead with the hope that the liquidity of the adhesive will find the gaps in the surface you are laying it on. Simple tasks mastered make for great technicians.

Here are a couple of recalls that might be of interest to an auto glass technician.

Ram ProMaster

The first is the Ram ProMaster for 2015. The manufacturing of the side air curtain uses a tape wrap that aids in its installation during the assembly process. The recall is specific as to its repair of the issue. The dealer is instructed to remove the offending tape from the air curtain as described in the Recall Communication # R19041715 below.

The reason that this may be of interest to the technician is because the technician frequently removes the interior garnish moldings during the replacement of the windshield or front vent part and the air curtain is exposed. Due to the technicians’ close proximity to the air bag system and the removal of the molding, it may be misconstrued that the technician may have something to do with the malfunction of the air curtain. This is obviously not the case and the technician should call attention to the recall before starting the installation. The formal recall text is below:

Report Receipt Date: APR 15, 2015
NHTSA Campaign Number: 15V223000
Component(s): AIR BAGS
Potential Number of Units Affected: 2,408

Vehicle Make, Model, Model Year(s)

  • RAM PROMASTER 2015

Manufacturer: Chrysler (FCA US LLC)

SUMMARY:

Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain model year 2015 Ram ProMaster City vehicles manufactured November 6, 2014, to March 17, 2015. The affected cargo and passenger vehicles have side air bag inflatable curtains that, due to an installation issue, may not deploy properly. As a result, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 214, “Side Impact Protection.”

CONSEQUENCE:

In the event of a crash, side air bag inflatable curtains that do not deploy properly may increase the risk of vehicle occupant injury.

REMEDY:

Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will modify the installation of side air bag inflatable curtains, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on June 12, 2015. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is R19.

NOTES:

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

New Safety Recall Advanced Communication – R19041715

FCA US LLC announced a safety recall on certain 2015 model year (VM) RAM ProMaster City cargo and passenger vehicles.

Some of the above vehicles may have “A” pillar Side Air Bag Inflatable Curtains (SABIC) that were manufactured with the incorrect type of assembly tape. The assembly tape may not allow the airbag to deploy as intended. This could cause an increased chance of injury during certain crash events. This may fail to conform to the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 214, “Side Impact Protection”.

FCA will conduct a voluntary safety recall on all involved vehicles to remove the incorrect assembly tape from the “A” pillar Side Air Bag Inflatable Curtains (SABIC).

Dealers will be notified of the launch of this safety recall by way of established methods used in the past.

We ask that you please take the time to ensure that your personnel are aware of this communication and are prepared to execute a customer friendly process for inquiries on involved vehicles. Customer

Services Field Operations, FCA US LLC

 

 

Mitsubishi Vehicles

The next issues is with the Mitsubishi Lancer and Outlander models. They have an Electronic Control Unit that is unstable and may cause the wipers, head lights and tail lights to malfunction and they also have a problem with the defroster blowers not working.

If the Technician notices that the wipers or defrosters do not work properly during the pre-inspection, it is likely the ECU component is not working or the blower motor needs replacing. The technician should notify the owner and explain the recall before beginning the installation. The full recall text is below:

Report Receipt Date: APR 20, 2015
NHTSA Campaign Number: 15V232000
Component(s): ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
Potential Number of Units Affected: 53,396

Vehicle Make, Model, Model Year(s)

  • MITSUBISHI LANCER 2009-2010
  • MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION 2010
  • MITSUBISHI LANCER SPORTBACK 2010
  • MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER 2009-2010

Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.

SUMMARY:

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (Mitsubishi) is recalling certain model year 2009-2010 Mitsubishi Lancer vehicles manufactured January 12, 2009, to July 6, 2010, 2009-2010 Outlander vehicles manufactured January 12, 2009, to August 27, 2010, 2010 Lancer Sportback vehicles manufactured June 17, 2009, to June 8, 2010, and 2010 Lancer Evolution vehicles manufactured July 14, 2009, to August 4, 2010. The affected vehicles have an electronic control unit (ECU) that controls the head lights, tail lights, and windshield wipers. Due to a manufacturing error, the voltage inside this ECU may be unstable.

CONSEQUENCE:

Unstable voltage could result in intermittent failure of the vehicle’s head lights, tail lights, and windshield wipers. If the headlights and/or windshield wipers fail, the driver could have reduced visibility. If the tail lights fail, the vehicle could be less visible. Either condition increases the risk of a crash.

REMEDY:

Mitsubishi will notify owners, and dealers will replace the affected ECU, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Mitsubishi customer service at 1-888-648-7820. Mitsubishi’s number for this recall is SR-15-002.

NOTES:

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Report Receipt Date: APR 20, 2015
NHTSA Campaign Number: 15V233000
Component(s): VISIBILITY
Potential Number of Units Affected: 76,958

Vehicle Make, Model, Model Year(s)

  • MITSUBISHI LANCER 2009-2011
  • MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION 2010-2011
  • MITSUBISHI LANCER SPORTBACK 2010-2011
  • MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER 2009-2011
  • MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER SPORT 2011

 

Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.

SUMMARY:

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (Mitsubishi) is recalling certain model year 2009-2011 Lancer vehicles manufactured March 16, 2009, to March 30, 2011, 2010-2011 Lancer Sportback vehicles manufactured June 17, 2009, to December 1, 2010, 2010-2011 Lancer Evolution vehicles manufactured July 14, 2009, to January 7, 2011, 2009-2011 Outlander vehicles manufactured February 10, 2009, to June 22, 2011, and 2011 Outlander Sport vehicles manufactured August 26, 2010, to November 19, 2010. In the affected vehicles, the blower motor may fail.

CONSEQUENCE:

Failure of the blower motor may reduce the performance of the windshield defroster, diminishing the driver’s visibility and increasing the risk of a crash.

REMEDY:

Mitsubishi will notify owners, and dealers will replace a suspect blower motor, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Mitsubishi customer service at 1-888-648-7820. Mitsubishi’s number for this recall is SR-15-003.

NOTES:

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.