The scanning explosion began roughly two years ago. A couple vehicle manufactures published position statements to further emphasize the need for scanning their vehicles. These manufactures, as well as nearly all others, had stated the need in their repair procedures, but the industry wasn’t adapting to it. With the publishing of the position statements, the industry woke up to the need! As other manufactures saw the need to follow suit, many more statements were published. Today we have position statements for approximately 65 percent of vehicles on the road and an even greater percentage have the requirements in their repair procedures. With collision repair centers and insurance companies alike now knowing that there is a need, there are many hurdles to overcome.
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The first hurdle is simply performing the scan. Scanning is time consuming, labor intensive and generates costs that must be properly compensated for. Planning for the scan starts with the tools and personnel to do it.
You can use either OEM or aftermarket scan tools, and based on your client base and shop focus, it is very likely that you will need multiple tool options to cover all of your scanning needs. Extensive research is highly recommended.
Once the equipment is purchased, the next hurdle is who is going to utilize the equipment. There is a new technician need in our industry and most shops may not have that person employed yet. Shop owners need to find someone who understands computers, is very good at researching and learning, is not intimidated by wiring, technically oriented and very attentive to details is required. The first instinct may be to use a technician already on staff. This will work if the person has an understanding of electrical equipment and has the ability to research and learn.
The employee hurdle is the biggest, most challenging item. Scanning a car doesn’t mean plugging into the OBD port, reading codes, clearing codes, test driving and ensuring no codes return. Vehicles today have hundreds of codes that do not illuminate an MIL; they also can have a multitude of issues that do not set a malfunction code. Sensors —those as simple as the occupant weight sensor or as advanced as a camera that enables a vehicle to drive itself — do not know when they are calibrated incorrectly. The employee who is tackling the scans must know how to read live data and ensure that all streaming information is within guidelines — guidelines they only know after research. They must know what calibration process needs to take place after disconnecting a battery, removing and installing, or removing and replacing any component on the vehicle.