Identifying Collision Repair Shop Variables Sooner Rather Than Later

Education posted on 12/12/18

Performing safe, cost effective, and timely repairs revolves around both execution and planning. Bottom line, if a shop doesn’t execute accurate vehicle disassembly, damage analysis, and timely parts procurement- the vehicle doesn’t leave on time. If a shop doesn’t build a repair plan based on OEM recommendations, the vehicle has a tendency to go backwards in the repair process. Throughout the repair process, but most importantly in the Damage analysis or “blueprint” stage, a shop will encounter a number of variables that MUST be solved BEFORE a vehicle moves ahead. If left unattended, these variables have a way of delaying a vehicle in the later stages of repair. Often these variables must be “measured” before they become apparent. An example would be suspension damage or frame damage. To the naked eye things might be appear to be insignificant; however, once measured with the correct equipment, further damage becomes apparent, and in some cases the vehicle could be considered an economic total loss. Vehicle diagnostics are similar in that often times the vehicle has not experienced enough miles or key cycles to illuminate a malfunction indicator light and using the correct equipment, such as the asTech® Remote Diagnostic Device, is the only way to determine the full condition of the vehicle.

Perform Diagnostic Scan of Vehicle Systems

Trying to spot all of the vehicle damage with the naked eye can lead to major delays and unhappy customers. Before disassembly, it is important to perform a vehicle “health check” to understand electronic issues before the vehicle has officially entered the repair process. Information that could be lurking in a vehicle’s control modules can reveal related damage, and also identify unrelated damage(s) as well. As vehicle control systems age, identification and verification of the “health” of these modules in a repair environment is critical. Like suspension and frame damage, electronic systems can be costly to repair in a vehicle.

Although they indicate something; dash lights are not a diagnostic tool. They give you a clue that something is amiss with the vehicle, but they do not provide any detail regarding the cause, or extent of the damage. When a vehicle has gone through the trauma of an accident, there may be multiple causes behind a single illuminated warning light. The easiest and most cost effective way to determine which internal systems may have been damaged is through an asTech® Remote Diagnostic Device diagnostic scan, which will provide a full report of the issues that exist within the vehicle.

Research and Build a repair plan by following OEM recommended procedures and best practices

Vehicle construction has changed and will continue to change at an accelerated rate. As an industry, it is our mission to keep our hand on the “pulse” of emerging and changing technologies. Exotic metals and composites are finding their way into vehicle construction. Improper material identification, incorrect sectioning or replacement procedures of various body components can lead to the reduction of a vehicle’s crash worthiness in a subsequent crash. Plan repairs around what you can prove via documentation, versus what you know.

Find the Right Color Match

Vehicle refinish operations are the finished product in the consumer’s eyes. It’s likely one of the features of the vehicle that attracted the consumer to that particular vehicle in the first place. It’s the repair shops obligation to restore the damaged areas’ paintwork by following the OE and paint manufacturers’ recommendations, and do so without disturbing the appearance of the rest of the vehicle. Often, this can be challenging, but shops that start with a quality product, use proper equipment and employ skilled refinish technicians can guarantee a quality paint job.

The collision repair landscape is a growing, constantly changing arena of training and technology. Collision professionals must be open to change and continuous improvement in order for them to have the best opportunity to thrive not just survive.

For more information on how the asTech® Remote Diagnostic Device and diagnostic scans help technicians perform quality repairs, contact Collision Diagnostic Services today!

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