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Items to consider when building your diagnostic repair process

Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 07:00
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After a vehicle has been involved in a collision, there may be hidden damage. Although the vehicle is drivable and appears to be operating normally, without diagnostic testing, it is impossible to tell if everything is working the way that the OEM intended, because of the complex technology on today’s vehicles.

Technology is driving everything we do
The technology controlling the safety systems on today’s vehicles is complex and sophisticated. Even the slightest impact can alter or damage the way these systems operate. Many times, even in minor accidents, additional diagnostic trouble codes are introduced in the vehicle. Specific calibrations may be required to restore the vehicle back to pre-accident condition. A simple process like removing the rear bumper cover or removing a door handle can create diagnostic repair issues. These issues must be addressed prior to returning the car to the customer. To be certain that all vehicles are returned to pre-collision condition, a repair technician should perform a diagnostic post-scan. In fact, the OEMs recommend it. Using the asTech™ device to perform both pre and post-scans is an approved way of guaranteeing that the vehicle is repaired to pre-collision condition.

Beware the hidden damage
The vehicle owner expects the vehicle to be returned to pre-collision condition. If the insurer and repair facility want to meet that expectation, it’s in their best interest to complete a diagnostic pre-scan using the asTech™ device. An accurate and efficient repair process can only be achieved if all damaged parts and necessary repairs are identified before repairs begin. Photos can help in this process, but can only show the visible damage. Damage to the vehicle electronics will not likely be seen by the naked eye, or shown in a photo.

Modern vehicles are equipped with sophisticated safety electronics, modules and sensors. These sensors control many of the safety aspects of the vehicle. A damaged sensor puts the driver and their passengers at risk of injury if they were involved in another collision and the sensor didn’t work. It isn’t possible to determine if a module; such as the airbag module, is working, just by looking at it. Choosing to use the asTech™ device can properly identify all of the vehicle damage present on the vehicle. Scanning reduces liability for the all parties involved.

Time is money
Most quality focused repair shops utilize some type of disassembly for repair (DFR) to streamline the estimating process. DFR ensures all damage is identified up front. Performing an asTech™ scan on a damaged vehicle prior to beginning repairs, will help isolate all damaged electrical parts and prevent unnecessary parts delays after the repairs have begun. Following a DFR process, which includes using the asTech™ device to perform the required health checks, can in certain situations reduce the overall severity of a loss by eliminating unnecessary trips to the dealer, lower the need for costly rental days, shorten repair cycle times, allow a repair facility to meet more guaranteed completion dates, and improve the overall customer experience.

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