Body Shop Tips: Scan Every Vehicle Before and After Any Repair

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Categories: DIY Auto Tips

Whether your vehicle is undergoing repairs for a broken windshield or a disconnected battery, ensuring that your vehicle goes through a pre- and post-repair scan is crucial. In fact, it is now mandatory for body shops to include this scanning as a fundamental step in a vehicle repair process. This is due to the fact that, nowadays, vehicles are far more technologically advanced than prior years, with many new cars having between 40 and 100 electronic control modules. These electronic modules store, monitor, and communicate data that requires scanning when the vehicle is in need of any repair.

There are many conditions that can occur prior to or even during repairs that could trigger the Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs). Without proper scanning, the vehicle could malfunction and perform improperly when being operated. Such conditions that could trigger the DTCs include a collision, where even just minor damage occurs, as well as voltage loss, battery disconnects, interior trim repair or removal, glass replacement, and significant vehicle disassembly. With the many conditions that could result in triggered DTCs, it is important to include scanning in any repair to ensure that the vehicle functions properly.

According to the OEM position statements, all vehicles involved in a collision must have both a pre-repair and post-repair scan so that the body shop is aware of potential coding trouble, regardless of any warning light that may or may not be turned on. If you are a body shop repairer, you may be wondering how to effectively go about this necessary scanning process. The first step is to closely follow the OEM position statements, as they apply to all models and model years. Your body shop should also ensure that it is not using a basic scanning tool, since a basic scanner does not have the ability to test vehicles for DTCs. Both DTCs and MIL lights must be thoroughly tested, which can only be accomplished by an OEM factory tool. You should also remember to scan vehicles even if they do not have an MIL. Finally, the post-repair scan is critical, because that is what will detect calibration issues in the vehicle’s electronic components. These components may need to be recalibrated prior to returning the vehicle to the client.

When choosing an auto body shop to have your vehicle inspected or repaired at, it is important to make sure that your vehicle will undergo the mandatory pre- and post-repair scanning. Likewise, if you work at a body shop, confirm that the OEM position statements are followed closely so that you can accurately detect any coding or calibration issues with the vehicle before releasing it to your customers. This will prevent any issues or malfunctions with the vehicle from occurring that could be prevented with scanning.

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