How Collision Damage May be Hiding Issues

Education posted on 12/12/18

“Invisible” Damage May be Present

Accurate collision repair planning entails proper damage discovery, vehicle research and eliminating variables or unknowns as soon as possible. The vehicle’s onboard diagnostic network often tells a story about hidden issues that may arise later in the repair cycle. When a customer brings a vehicle into the shop, they may not be able or willing to disclose pre-accident damage or issues with their vehicle. Collision repairers are problem solvers by nature, and want to fix and fix it now. But before tear down begins, the first order of business should be to perform a vehicle health scan. The Pre-scan will provide a blueprint allowing the shop prepare for what needs to be repaired on the vehicle. This also gives the opportunity to have a discussion with the vehicle owner about fault data that doesn’t appear to be loss related. The goal is to build a plan around the repair supported by facts not opinions.

The challenge with modern vehicles is that manufacturers are constantly adding to the suite of electronics on board to keep up with safety systems and convenience items that consumers demand. As a result of the frequent upgrades, it’s almost impossible for repairers to maintain an SOP program. The asTech® Remote Diagnostic Device provides a new solution for repairers. With the asTech® Remote Diagnostic Device, a collision professional in the shop can remotely access OEM scan tools and Master Technician support in their body shop. Repairers finally have an opportunity to make informed decisions regarding diagnostics in a proactive way.

Trouble Codes May Provide an Answer

Collision damaged vehicles come right from the accident scene or from a tow yard where the vehicle may have been stored while the claim was being set up. The vehicle’s control systems constantly monitor the vehicle’s operation and will store fault codes for modules that are not operating as designed. These faults codes, depending on severity, trigger malfunction indicator lamps after a certain number of drive cycles have been achieved. If the vehicle has been on a tow truck or in a tow yard, very likely these drive cycles have not been achieved. Unfortunately, these issues leave the repair facility only to be discovered by a customer, resulting in poor CSI and corrective repairs.

Once a diagnostic trouble code or codes are discovered, the data can leave some shops guessing about what to do next. Another value of the asTech®  service is that Master Technicians, with a background in diagnostics, researches the diagnostic flow charts and offers recommendations to the collision shop to correct the issues. As with most shop operations, timing is everything. Discovering these electronic issues sooner, rather than later, is the difference between delivering a vehicle correctly and on time instead of late with questions about whether the repairs have been completed.

Incorporating diagnostic scans into a shop’s culture is the future of collision repair. Being proactive will help your shop turn the corner and using the asTech® Remote Diagnostic Device can help you get there. For more information on the asTech® Remote Diagnostic Device contact the Master Technicians at www.astech.com today!

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