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Mike Anderson

mike anderson autobody newsMike Anderson is the president and owner of Collision Advice, a consulting company for the auto body/collision repair industry. For nearly 25 years, he was the owner of Wagonwork Collision Center, an OEM-certified, full-service auto body repair facility in Alexandria, VA.

 
Wednesday, 07 August 2019 17:13

From the Desk of Mike Anderson: Check OEM Procedures Before Disconnecting, Reconnecting Batteries

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The “Who Pays for What?” summer survey looked at how often shops research the OEM procedures related to disconnecting and reconnecting batteries.

The results report won't be tabulated until early this fall, but for now, we can take a look at some of the intricacies of disconnecting and reconnecting batteries when repairing a vehicle.

 

What was once a seemingly easy step has become more complex and time-consuming as vehicle technology has evolved.

 

Disconnecting the battery prior to repairs has become a common requirement. In the past, it was often considered necessary prior to performing any welding on the vehicle; but, many other procedures require disconnecting the battery, such as removing or disconnecting any electrical component.

 

It’s important to remember that disconnecting and reconnecting the battery is a non-included operation. There is no standard for what procedures are required by the automakers when reconnecting the battery; it varies based on the specific year, make, model and options of the vehicle being repaired. That’s why you MUST research it for every single repair.

 

Let’s look at some examples:

 

  • On a particular Audi, the automaker’s procedures state that when reconnecting the battery, you must “activate the one-touch up/down function for the power window regulators.” It also requires that you “Check DTC memories of all control modules, and delete the displayed entry “Undervoltage” under the vehicle diagnostic tester.” Most automakers say disconnecting the battery will set diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). You can’t check for those without doing a post-repair vehicle scan in conjunction with reconnecting the battery.
  • Do you think reconnecting the battery is only a more complex process on high-end European models? Guess again. The procedure for the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze is seven pages! It notes that you also need to inform the customer that the “start/stop” feature on the vehicle “will not be available until the vehicle is allowed to sit for at least three hours undisturbed.” How would you know to do that unless you read the procedures for reconnecting the battery?
  • Many vehicles have specific wait times after the vehicle is turned off using the ignition before the battery is disconnected.

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