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Ensure customer safety with post-repair calibrations

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - 06:00
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The OEM position statement for Kia on pre- and post-repair scanning is concise and doesn't leave room for interpretation:

"After a collision has occurred, it is imperative to perform both pre-repair and post-repair scan procedures within all the systems to test for potential diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs)."

Repair facilities need to understand the car type, the vehicle build data, ADAS components, and trim levels to determine the necessity of performing a pre-repair and post-repair diagnostic service request. Many repair facilities do not have sufficient technical support capable of understanding all of the highly complex electronic systems operating the modules and sensors on today’s vehicles. Using the patented asTech®remote diagnostic repair process can provide the expertise and support shops need to produce safe and proper repairs.  

You'll find something similar to the Kia position statement for nearly every OEM. These diagnostic repair guidance statements or instructions may take the shape of a formal position statement or reside inside the actual OEM repair procedures. Researching OEM position statements and repair procedures is required to arrive at an accurate diagnoses to perform proper repairs and understand specific calibration work may be needed to insure a safe repair is completed.

Within the last few years, highly advanced safety and driver-assistance systems are being placed on high production low cost vehicles. With this new technology comes new repair requirements. Repair facilities must be diligent about researching and training their staff on the new vehicles and technologies operating these vehicles.

Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS), require special consideration during the repair process. OEM repair procedures require certain ADAS components be properly calibrated after repair or replacement. Unfortunately, it's a part of the process that's often overlooked.

Learn more about ADAS and how they protect you.

Why Post-Repair Calibration Is Crucial

Just like it's possible for an airbag to be inoperative without the Airbag light illuminated, it's possible for ADAS systems to 'fail' without having an MIL lit. Post-repair calibration, as well as aiming, is a must for:

  • ADAS functionality. ADAS systems use advanced technology that depends on pinpoint accuracy. A slight variation in its mounting position or a thickness variance in a bumper repair can affect whether the ADAS function accurately detects an object or drives headlong into danger.
  • Customer safety. While OEMs admonish customers to remain diligent while using ADAS functions, their guard inevitably gets let down. Customers learn to rely on ADAS systems to keep them safe, and if they aren’t calibrated, aimed, and working properly, it comes as an dangerous surprise.

Adaptive Cruise Control employs long-range radar. Emergency Braking, Pedestrian Detection, and Collision Avoidance systems use LIDAR. Cameras, ultrasound, and short/medium-range radar are in use for several other systems. All are ADAS systems, and calibration or aiming is necessary in one way or another for each one.

Learn more about building a consistent diagnostic repair process.

How Do You Identify Calibration Requirements?

Knowing when calibration will be necessary affects both estimating and the repair timeline. So how do you identify when calibration is going to be required?

The simplest method is this: with every ADAS repair, a post-repair calibration should be performed. It’s really the only way to insure the car you are delivering back to your customer has been properly repaired. Today’s drivers have come to rely on the these sophisticated safety systems to help them operate their vehicle in the safest manner possible.

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