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Friday, 19 January 2018 16:36

The Best Body Shops' Tips: Pre- and Post-Scanning, Recalibration---What Shops Can Expect

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Miguel Mora Botello (right) and Joe Ortiz (left) perform remote scans using Mercedes Benz Xentry scan tools with asTech. Miguel Mora Botello (right) and Joe Ortiz (left) perform remote scans using Mercedes Benz Xentry scan tools with asTech.


As new vehicles are introduced to the market, often equipped with complex technology, the collision industry is challenged with keeping up-to-date with repair procedures.


As a result, Jake Rodenroth, director of industry relations for asTech, said that staying current as much as possible is crucial to the success of a collision repairer’s business.


“Collision repairers are facing brand new models, sometimes on the first tank of gas,” he said. “I think every shop needs to have some path to resolution. We’re the first line of defense.”


Rodenroth and Doug Kelly, CEO of Repairify, spoke about the importance of pre- and post-scanning and recalibration during a Guild 21 podcast sponsored by Verifacts Automotive in January. Repairify is the company that created the asTech device.


Many body shops across the country wonder what new technologies their employees should be aware of and how to work them into their daily workflow.


“There is a lot of buzz out there right now about emerging technologies---not just on the electronic side, but on the metal and substrate side,” he said. “From a process perspective, it starts with identification. As repairers, we can’t get on the same page with identification until we have product knowledge and stay up-to-date with modern vehicles.”


Rodenroth said that identification can include ADAS and frequency-reducing technology, which can be hidden behind windshields, glass, mirrors and grills; structural identification maps of the different substrates on a vehicle; hybrid and EV powertrains; and special tool requirements.


Throughout the Guild 21 call, attendees were asked to give feedback. When asked how many of their customers know what equipment options are on their vehicles, 87 percent answered “no.”


“I think you will see a shift in those responses in the coming years as more millennials enter the workplace and start buying cars,” said Rodenroth. “They are not intimidated by technology. In fact, they embrace it.”


As a result, they are known to buy vehicles that contain an abundance of technology and spend time understanding how every feature operates.


Those who participated in the call were also asked how their staff stays up-to-speed on current model vehicles. The majority (75 percent) said they did so through secondary sources such as the Internet, OEM sites and dealers. Only 15 percent answered they did so by looking up build data, and the remainder said they use another method.


During the presentation, Kelly stressed the importance of obtaining authorization from customers to perform work diagnostics, road tests and potentially conduct off-site calibrations.


“It’s important that consumers understand what information is being pulled and how it might be shared,” said Kelly. “When doing diagnostics, whether it’s with a third-party or your own diagnostic tool, you’re not pulling crash data. You’re pulling all of the stored trouble codes.”


This includes the possibility of revealing things that are wrong with the vehicle unrelated to the accident.


Many consumers are concerned about the information shared with their insurance company.


“Consumers don’t intentionally misrepresent loss, but they are not always aware of when certain systems go offline or how,” said Kelly. “It’s good housekeeping to let consumers know what you are doing, explain the process to them and get their permission.”


A sample authorization form is available on the SCRS website,, and asTech website at: A document is also available for repairers to hand out to customers to educate them about some of the systems available on today’s vehicles. This not only reminds them how complex vehicles are, but Kelly said it also reinforces why diagnostic services, such as pre- and post-scanning and recalibration are important.


“If you don’t know what’s on the car, you can misdiagnose certain issues,” he said. “Sometimes false positives indicate an issue when in fact that vehicle didn’t come equipped with that item in the first place.”


Knowing the build data, understanding the tools and services being used, and ensuring they are up-to-date will all help in the repair of the vehicle.



Rodenroth said that some parties don’t think pre-scanning a vehicle is necessary, and suggested that those shops consider the following:

• The role that trim levels can play
• How a pre-scan can help determine damage to the electronic components
• Potential unrelated electronic issues like maintenance and warranty concerns
• Airbag deployments are unique and can depend on many factors such as the number of occupants, their seat position, weight and if they were wearing seatbelts
• Specialized concerns with hybrid and EV vehicles
• Repair procedures that require scanning based on an operation being performed
• Scheduling off-site ADAS calibration requirements proactively


Repair planning

Rodenroth recommended addressing the vehicle owner’s expectations up front so he or she understands how the vehicle is equipped and what’s required to make it whole again.


“Consider repair vs. replace decisions very carefully, as many modern vehicles are constructed of non-repairable substrates and there is often limited reparability around ADAS components,” he said.


When it comes to parts utilization and the decision to purchase OEM or aftermarket, he advised listeners to watch bumpers and windshields very carefully.


“A lot of aftermarket windshields will have a plastic bracket that comes on that glass that is not serviced and can’t be transferred,” said Rodenroth. “If you are going to use aftermarket glass, you’ll want to confirm all things are in place.”

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