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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.

 
Monday, 02 November 2020 18:23

From the Desk of Mike Anderson: Hands-On Testing Shows Limitations of Relying Solely on DTCs or Aftermarket Scan Tools

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I’ve had the good fortune recently to spend some time recently working with Nissan/Infiniti as they prepare some new hands-on training they are developing, and it gave me a chance to spend some time scanning and learning about calibrations on their newest vehicles.

That led to a couple of key takeaways that I wanted to share with you here.

 

The first item I discovered made its way into a six-minute video that can be found on Jake Rodenroth’s LinkedIn page here.

 

Jake and asTech were also at the Nissan/Infiniti training pilot, and his video demonstrates that shops can’t rely solely on the absence of diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) as an indication that all advanced driver assistance systems on a vehicle are calibrated and ready to function properly. It also shows why even minor damage to a vehicle is enough to warrant a scan.

 

“I have a 2020 Nissan Titan, my personal vehicle, with some minor freight damage on the front,” Jake said. “There are no DTCs present for the radar. But because of the damage, the radar is actually off-center. The horizontal alignment is measured in degrees, and the spec is plus or minus 3 degrees. My truck is pointing at negative 3.38. It’s out of spec according to Nissan’s manual. But it hasn’t triggered a DTC.”

 

That’s why shops need to do a thorough review of a pre-repair scan---not just checking for DTCs---to identify the need for something like that to be adjusted. Don’t rely just on the presence or absence of a DTC to determine an ADAS requirement.

 

Aside from checking for DTCs, check the “values” of the ADAS components---the horizontal and vertical specifications, for example. Just like a four-wheel alignment, you can’t verify if something is properly aligned unless you verify what it is and what it should be, given any acceptable tolerance. You simply cannot determine if specific ADAS components are within specs on a Nissan or Infiniti vehcile without using a scan tool.

 

The second thing I confirmed while I was working with Nissan is something I don’t always win friends by saying, and that’s this: What you find when scanning a vehicle absolutely varies depending on whether you are using a factory scan tool or an aftermarket scan tool. We did side-by-side comparisons on four brand new Nissans and a new Infiniti, and every single aftermarket tool we tried failed to connect with at least one or more of each vehicle’s control modules.


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