Reports and the Vehicle Computers
A diagnostic scan is performed by connecting to the vehicle’s information portal, referred to as the Diagnostic Link Connector (DLC), or OBDII, generally found under the driver’s side dash area although some vehicles have the DLC in the engine bay. A scanner is used to access and interpret the information within the vehicle. The diagnostic software in the scanner will check the vehicle systems for fault codes or Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) and can even monitor systems while the vehicle is running to check performance.
Vehicles are designed with an array of computer processors, microchips, sensors and modules that control scores of different electronic systems in the vehicle. Mechanics have relied on diagnostic scanning equipment for over twenty years to perform many aspects of their mechanical repairs. Historically, collision repair professionals have relied much less on scanning devices to perform their repair work. Major advances in automotive technology including advanced driver assistance systems and sophisticated creature comforts have significantly changed the way collision repair shops identify the extent of damage done to the electrical and diagnostic systems on the vehicle. When a damaged vehicle arrives at an auto body repair facility one of the first things the estimator or technician should do is research the OEM repair procedures for the specific vehicle type, determine both the build data, and the study the impact point and severity level of the damage done to the car. A diagnostic scan may be the only way to assess this kind of key repair information.
Scans and their Benefits
Scanning needs to be a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) during the initial inspection of the vehicle. The process is generally called Triage or Blueprinting. Scanning will easily identify electronic system failures and inoperative components. Many DTCs will not set or illuminate a Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) on the instrument panel and for this reason the vehicle must be scanned.
In the case of deployed airbags which have been replaced, the illuminated SRS indicator lamp will not extinguish. Airbags are generally replaced near the end of the repair process and usually just before delivery. If a damaged SRS component is discovered near the completion of the vehicle repairs it can cause an unnecessary delay in the delivery of the vehicle which often creates a supplement. Something nobody wants or needs if preventable. Pre-scanning with the asTech™ device would will prevent almost all of these types of expensive repair delays. Some of the systems to pre-scan or inspect are as follows:
- Engine operation
- Fuel management
- Emissions Control
- Stability Control System
- Antilock Brake System
- Airbag System
- Lane Departure
- Tire Pressure Monitors
- Camera Systems
- Parking Aid Systems
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), General Motors, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mercedes Benz have all issued Position Statements of the importance of Pre- and Post-scanning their vehicles that have been involved in collision events.
Information Provided in the Report
Information contained in the printable asTech™ scan report is as follows:
- Scan Report Number for future reference
- Date of the scan
- Time the scan was performed
- Invoice Number
- Repair Order Number (RO)
- Shop Information
- Vehicle information (Year, Make, Model, VIN, Odometer Reading)
- Shop Report Section
- Service Details Section
- Recommendations Section
- Scan Readings Section, including Initial Recorded Faults
- Snapshot Data Section (Freeze Frame Data if available)
- Disclaimers Section