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Have you mastered occupant classification systems in collision repairs?

Thursday, October 4, 2018 - 07:00
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Nearly every vehicle that passes through your collision repair shop's doors is 10 years of age or newer. Each one is almost assuredly equipped with an Occupant Classification System, or OCS. This safety system is a fundamental part of the airbag system and is intimately affected when there's a collision. Yet, OCS is often an afterthought in collision repairs.

It's important to not just understand how OCS works, but also to know why diagnostic accuracy is crucial and how to properly perform repairs.

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Understand Occupant Classification System basics
All Occupant Classification systems have the same core purpose: to determine the passenger's weight. The velocity of airbag deployment is based on an accurate reading from the OCS.

There are several OCS styles used by OEMs today and in recent years. It may be a bladder-style sensor, a bolt-type weight sensor, or a pressure-sensitive mat in the seat. Regardless of which system is in place, it must be understood so it can be diagnosed correctly and repaired to the highest standard. The asTech® diagnostic pre-scan can help you determine diagnostic faults within the OCS system which will help guide the repair process.

Diagnose OCS repairs confidently
There are real-world consequences of improperly working Occupant Classification systems. That's why it's so important to ensure accurate diagnosis occurs for every car that comes through your collision repair shop. The asTech ASE certified master technicians provide the capability to properly assess the condition of the OCS after a collision.

If your repair facility is a certified repair shop for an OEM, there's a really good chance your technicians are very familiar with certain types of OCS systems. Yet, almost everyday customers will arrive at your facility with a vehicle with systems that your technicians might not be as familiar. Ensure the technicians in your repair facility have access to the patented asTech diagnostic repair process and the required OEM diagnostic procedures.

Implement an OCS procedure policy
In a collision, it's quite possible for OCS issues to go undetected. The collision may not set off an airbag light, which is why a consistent shop policy should be in place.

Consider implementing a diagnostic process to check every collision repair using the asTech device to identify airbag- and OCS-related codes before the repair commences. Once repairs are complete, demand another scan to confirm all related codes are now corrected. An asTech remote diagnostic device is the perfect solution when you're working on multiple makes and models too.

Take the right corrective action
As with all airbag-related repairs, the customer's safety is in your hands. Only a fully trained technician should attempt Occupant Classification System repairs. Ensure that professional-grade tools are available and that only new, OEM parts are used in the repair.

If your technicians aren't familiar with, or don't fully understand the OCS system in a vehicle, it's best not to attempt the repair. asTech® provides both remote and in shop mobile repair services to manage all of your OCS needs. It guarantees that a fully trained licensed technician will get the repair completed in a timely fashion. The asTech® goal is to keep the car in the production lane at the shop.

Understand your liability
When you accept a vehicle for a collision repair, you're assuming responsibility for the quality of work performed. Incorrect or incomplete airbag system repairs such as OCS repairs can leave you exposed to legal issues.

If your shop isn't fully equipped to handle Occupant Classification System diagnosis and repairs, there's something you can do. Choose asTech remote diagnostic services to help you pinpoint the repair issues that will need to be addressed or contact asTech for mobile or on-site repair services. You'll be glad you did.

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