Wednesday, 30 March 2011 13:55

Are You Technical Service Bulletin Savvy?

Written by Dan Espersen

Only in the last few years have collision repair facilities had easy access to quality industry repair information. Prior to that, this very important tool was either not available or, if available, was cumbersome and difficult to access.

If we were to wind back the clock  five years, the availability of critical industry repair information would have looked something like this:
● Limited availability through OEM sites, either pay or free
● Available through printed manuals
● Limited availability  through online search and forums
● Dealership sources
● Limited or non-specific articles available through industry created  web sites
● Trade magazines and publications, etc.


You get the point. The necessary information has not always been available or accessible. As vehicles become more and more technologically advanced and collision repairs have required the need for collision as well as mechanical repair procedures, the availability of correct, consolidated and easy to access information has become critical in shops’ day-to-day operations.

Understanding this critical need, ALLDATA recognized and pioneered action, to provide the collision industry with a comprehensive, easy to navigate, consolidated approach that provided the shops a one-stop solution to access critical collision and mechanical procedures offered by the OEMs.

In the past few years others jumped on-board as this demand proved to be a critical need in the shops. So now—more than ever before in the history of the collision industry—correct, accurate, repairs that conform to published standards may be required, documented and expected by consumers, insurance companies and customers, internal as well as external.

One of the bigger hurdles that has developed over the last few years in shops who have access to this information, is the ability to find or source the information that is specific to the actual repair procedure. In other words, there is too much data available to source, even though it is consolidated and available.

This can certainly be a nice problem to have, since information is no longer the issue. However, finding everything you really need that is critical to getting the overall repair plan developed and to complete the overall repair process can be time consuming in this world of all data being available at the click of a mouse.

Do you know if your Information Provider has a program that can provide you all the information based on a single repair entry? It might be a good question to ask.

For example: You need to replace a sensor for a side air bag deployment on a vehicle. You immediately go to your program and look up the procedure, print it out and build it in to your repair plan.

Did you stop and think that there may be a Technical Service Bulletin associated with the sensor replacement? Or are there other associated procedures that tie into the sensor replacement that you may need?

This is just an example of what shops will encounter daily when accessing repair information for repair plans. The goal is to provide or at least understand other associated items that coincide with the process.

Here is an example of exactly what I am referring to. This article is a technical service bulletin for a 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche that should be considered when replacing a side impact air bag sensor.

TECHNICAL Bulletin No.: 09-08-64-004
Date: March 03, 2009
Subject: Side Air Bag Function (Apply Foam to Door)
Models: 2007-2008 Cadillac Escalade Models
2007-2008 Chevrolet Avalanche, Suburban, Tahoe
2007-2008 GMC Yukon Models
Attention: If the air bag has been deployed, contact a GM Engineer for further information prior to repairing the vehicle.

In some extremely rare cases, a customer may report that when the front or rear side door is closed with extreme or unusual force, the side air bag may deploy. In these cases, the engine must be running. If the air bag has been deployed, contact a GM Engineer for further information prior to repairing the vehicle.

Important: Complete the side door repair steps below, then proceed to side air bag replacement following SI.
1. Remove the side door trim and water deflector.
2. Inspect all of the components in the door to make sure that they are fastened or routed properly before proceeding to step 3.
3. If you have not found anything loose or misrouted inside the door, add additional Fusor super flexible anti-flutter foam-fast set, Fusor P/N 121/124, or 3M Automix P/N 8463. Run a continuous, thick bead (shown above) the entire length between the door outer panel and the top edge of inner safety beam. Make multiple passes behind the side impact sensor portion of the beam as required to fill in any gaps.
4. Apply Fusor super flexible anti-flutter foam-fast set, Fusor P/N 121/124, or 3M Automix P/N 8463, in a continuous bead the entire length between the beltline reinforcement and the door outer panel.
5. Install the side door trim and water deflector.

So, the question is this? Are you TSB savvy when creating your repair plans? Do you even look? And, if not, how much time and money are you wasting in tracking this information down the hard way by starting a procedure not knowing that the OEM has a TSB that explains that there is a preliminary procedure that could save you lots of work?

It’s worth looking next time.