Monday, 29 November 2010 12:18

Got Information?

Written by Dan Espersen

When making repairs, collision professionals traditionally call on experience, training and generally accepted practices to deliver a vehicle that satisfies the customer, the insurer and themselves. That formula worked well for many years. Cars were pretty simple and repairs were relatively straightforward back in the “old days.” So what has changed? Just about everything: the vehicles, customer expectations, economic pressures and, last but not least, insurer requirements.

What has not changed is the need to repair vehicles to their safe, pre-collision condition. As Dennis Dean Gamba of Cranston Collision Center in Cranston, Rhode Island, puts it, “For me, it’s all about knowing that we are doing the job right and that the vehicle is safe when it leaves here. I have a child and I want to know that any child is safe in a vehicle we repair.”

So, how do you continue to adhere to high standards of safety and quality while operating a profitable shop given today’s market realities? Efficiency is an absolute must. And, the key to efficiency is accurate information. Not just any information—OE information. After all, the factory built the cars, trucks, vans and SUVs, and the factory knows how they need to be repaired.

From sophisticated collision avoidance systems, to new generation construction materials to hybrid technology, it seems as if vehicles are becoming more complex by the minute. Mild steel, high-strength steel, ultra high-strength steel, aluminum, carbon fiber, advanced plastics—who knows what the next model year will bring. How do you keep up? With OE repair information!

OE repair information benefits the estimator, production manager, parts manager, body technician, mechanical technician and the person responsible for all of it, the general manager. OE information allows levels of efficiency and accuracy that cannot be duplicated by any other source.

A system such as ALLDATA® CollisionSM S3500 provides a precise blueprint for sectioning, welding, panel replacement, mechanical repairs, electronic system reset procedures, hybrid precautions, detailed upper body dimensions and more. And, don’t forget manufacturers’ technical service bulletins (TSBs), which alert you to known problems that may have existed prior to a collision. ALLDATA Collision S3500 is a single source for information on the vehicles you see coming through your shop every day.

Here are a few examples of the kind of OE information available in ALLDATA Collision S3500:

Always refer to ALLDATA Collision for safety procedures, identification of material types, recommended refinish materials, and removal and installation procedures. Always refer to the vehicle manufacturer for questions relating to applicable or non-applicable warranty repair information.

This bulletin describes precautions necessary during Borrego (HM) and Sorento (XM) Airbag Control Unit (ACU) related diagnosis/repair/replacement to prevent accidental airbag deployment during servicing. As an added safety feature, a Rollover Sensor has been incorporated into the Borrego (HM) and Sorento (XM) ACUs. This sensor determines if a rollover incident is imminent, and if improperly and inadvertently triggered during vehicle repairs may deploy various safety features (side and curtain airbags as well as seat belt pretensioners). As a result, the precautions listed below must be followed by all service personnel when diagnosing/servicing the Airbag Control Unit (ACU) and related components.

ALWAYS disconnect both battery cables from the battery and bleed-off residual voltage by holding the positive and negative battery cables together for 10 seconds before servicing or removing the Airbag Control Unit (ACU).

ACU must be securely installed in its proper location/position during diagnosis/repair of the vehicle.

All ACU bolts must be tightened to proper torque specifications and all grounds must be attached during vehicle servicing.

NEVER turn the ignition ON unless the ACU is securely bolted down in its designated location/position.

The application or use of panel adhesive is limited to the approved procedures published in Toyota, Lexus, and Scion model-specific Collision Damage Repair Manuals.

The following illustration is an example of specifications that include the use of adhesive. Please review collision repair manuals (www.techinfo.toyota.com) for complete instructions and symbol translations.

•    Apply adhesive (3MTM AutomixTM Panel Bonding adhesive # 8115) to the area indicated by *1.

•    Perform spot-welding on the flange indicated by *2.

Note:  Panel-bonding and weld-bonding are not approved procedures.
•    Panel-bonding is a substitution of any specified welds with adhesive material.
•    Weld-bonding is squeeze-type resistant spot-welding through adhesive.
For more information on OE repair information, please visit http://www.alldata.com/promo/abn8tt/

NOTE: This Repair/Service Procedure is excerpted from a Technical Service Bulletin published by the vehicle manufacturer, and is intended for use by trained, professional technicians with the knowledge, tools and equipment to do the job properly and safely. It is recommended that this procedure not be performed by “do-it-yourselfers.”