by Bob Beranek

Back in 2013, I wrote an article for Technically Speaking called “The Seven Steps of Installation Pre-Inspection.” 2013 does not feel that long ago, but new technology has underlined the importance of pre-inspections beyond even what they were in the past.

Interaction with the customer before work begins and the inspection of the vehicle for pre-existing defects are still very important. To review, the tech should look for:

  • Early signs of corrosion. If corrosion is visible before mouldings are removed, it is an indication that there is more corrosion present under the glass or moulding. It may be necessary to discuss bodywork or the possibility of refusing to complete the installation entirely.
  • Moulding fit. If the moulding is not fitting flush to the body or glass, it could indicate a hidden problem with a previous installation. This also should be discussed with the customer.
  • Missing or damaged parts. This also can indicate a previous installation. It could mean the installation may take longer to complete to the customer’s satisfaction.
  • Aftermarket paint jobs. Usually appears as “orange peel” texture, improper color matching or over spray on mouldings. This can indicate previous bodywork. This may cause problems with glass fit or paint peeling by removal of the moulding or protective tape.
  • Interior or exterior stains or damage. Check the seats, floor, headliner and interior garnish mouldings. Some stains may indicate a leak that should be addressed before work begins. While others can mean that some exterior parts may be loose or misplaced causing water or air seepage.
  • Electronic and mechanical items. These include wipers, washers, radio, lights, window regulators, power door locks, rain/light sensors, remote start, etc. Make sure all mechanicals are in working order before beginning work or inoperable mechanicals are discussed with the owner.

Today there is even more to look at and deem suitable for auto glass replacement. With the advent of the Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) and the increased complexity of modern vehicles, the importance of pre-inspection or “Vehicle Assessment” is more important than ever.

We also now have more to consider when approaching the vehicle for glass replacement. Be sure to look for:

  • Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. Is there ADAS present? How do I handle it with the customer? Do I recalibrate or pass it along to the local dealership? If I am doing the recalibration, are all conditions correct for accurate calibrations? Does this vehicle require static calibration, dynamic calibration or both? Does it need a wheel alignment before the recalibration can be performed accurately? Your CSR or dispatcher can be trained to pre-qualify the customer and schedule accordingly, but pre-inspecting and customer interaction is the best for all concerned.
  • Pre/post scans. It is becoming common to pre- and post-scan a vehicle whenever it is repaired or maintained. The scans can pinpoint issues before they become bigger. Some of the items found on a scan cannot be remedied by an auto glass technician but should be found and communicated to the customer prior to doing any work on the vehicle. Post-scans can indicate if something you did caused a fault code to be triggered. This will alert the auto glass technician of possible concerns before leaving the keys with the customer.
  • Tools and their usage. We have a wide array of tools at our disposal. Power tools, new hand tools and setting tools all made to make our job easier and safer. The pre-inspection time should also be used to determine the best tool for the job based on what is observed and investigated by the customer interview. If the vehicle demands zero damage to the pinchweld due to exposure to the painted surfaces, then possibly a wire-out tool rather than a power or hand tool would be better to use. If the glass and installation expose a prior installation, then expect issues like corrosion, vehicle damage and missing parts to be part of your installation.

Modern installations are becoming very complex and technologically advanced. We must be on top of the new changes and be prepared to adjust our pre (and post) inspections to document any existing problems and preserve a record of the work that was done, both for the safety of the customer and to protect yourself from liability.

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!

I received some interesting news recently about 2017-18 Honda CRVs equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and a rain sensor (FW04540-41). Although I can’t confirm at this time if this glitch applies to all Honda models, if the Honda model you are working on has both ADAS and a rain sensor, then I suspect the following procedure will be necessary when replacing glass in those models as well.

Honda CRV 2017

Honda CRV 2018

Dealers will tell you that all Honda model vehicles will require OE glass be installed before they can be recalibrated. With that being said, those of you who recalibrate with your own purchased tool may find that recalibration is possible with aftermarket glass, if the glass used is of good to excellent quality. The issue is the rain sensor.

If you install an aftermarket windshield, the rain sensor still may not work, even though the recalibration was a success, and even though it worked during the pre-inspection. The reason for the malfunction is what is called the Body Control Module (BCM).

Honda has an instruction note for installation that reads:

  • Make sure that there are no air bubbles between the windshield glass and the silicone sheet during installation;
  • If the automatic lighting/rain sensor connection is connected after the 12-volt battery terminal is connected, the automatic lighting/rain sensor is not confirmed by the body control module;
  • If the body control module does not confirm the automatic lighting/rain sensor, the automatic wiper system does not work.

This means that the BCM must be reset to recognize the lighting/rain sensor. How do we reset the BCM? In this case, the only way to reset the BCM is to disconnect the battery.

I know, disconnecting the battery should be discouraged whenever possible. Disconnecting the battery means that memory systems built into the vehicle can, and in most cases, will be lost. You will have to explain to the vehicle owner the possibility of lost memory to favorite features. However, here’s what needs to be done.

  • Disconnect the negative battery terminal;
  • Leave it disconnected for 15 minutes;
  • Reconnect the battery terminal and start the vehicle;
  • The vehicle will go through a reset protocol and reset the lighting/rain sensor; and
  • The radio can be reset by depressing the power “on” button 3-5 seconds.

After talking to several Honda dealers and dealer glass installers, I have heard that if an OE glass is installed, this BCM reset process rarely needs to be completed. So, you have a choice, stand around for 15 minutes waiting for the BCM to reset, or simply buy OE glass and be on your way. I will let you know when I learn more.