Volume 8, Issue 5 - September/October 2006

Trainer’s Corner
n-the-Job Tips

The Big C—Corrosion 
by Dale Malcolm

Training is all about providing information and changing behavior. The methods for replacing glass continue to change as do the vehicles themselves. But one problem that has persisted for as long as I have been in the AGR business is that of rust or corrosion on the pinchweld. I am going to write a series of articles on this subject in a team effort with well know corrosion treatment evangelist Mark Rizzi, owner of ACR Glass in Alliance, Neb. 

It’s All Corrosion
The term corrosion is used because some vehicles use aluminum which oxidizes instead of steel which rusts; but, it is all corrosion. The term treatment is used instead of repair because you treat or mitigate, rather than repair, the damage in the corroded areas. The only way to repair a corroded area is to cut out the affected area and weld in new material. This is beyond the capabilities of most glass shops. 

Corrosion is caused when the underlying metal is exposed to oxygen by breaching the protective paint on its surface. The oxygen causes the corrosion and water and salt accelerate the reaction if they are present. If you scratch the paint on a pinchweld and quickly reapply corrosion protection, problems can be avoided. Surveys have shown that more than 90 percent of corrosion encountered during glass replacement is from unprotected scratches made during a previous installation. Mark told me at least half of all the vehicles that have had a prior replacement when they come into his shop for new glass require some corrosion treatment work. He also noted that it is rare for a vehicle with its original glass to have any corrosion. 

Proper Bond
A proper bond of adhesive to metal is key to a safe and trouble-free glass installation. 

The Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS) requires that a surface be corrosion free for a safe installation. According to AGRSS, corrosion must be treated before installing new glass and the owner/operator of the vehicle notified. 

Mark stressed to me that this is not optional and is now considered a normal procedure in auto glass replacement. Without the proper treatment of existing corrosion, it is impossible to complete a safe installation. 

In an industry where a large portion of glass replacement companies overlook this problem, it is difficult to be the only one talking to customers about corrosion. What many companies miss is that this presents a great opportunity to differentiate your company from the competition. Mark has a success rate of more than 90 percent in getting additional payment for treating existing corrosion in vehicles he is replacing the glass. Treating corrosion can and will lead to more satisfied customers, reduced liability and more profitable installations.

Next time we’ll discuss training the office staff to deal with this issue.

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