Anticipating the question of whether they can charge for researching repair procedures, he said, “As a business owner, you are free to do whatever you want to do; however, I will tell you that according to our ‘Who Pays for What’ surveys, less than 11 percent of shops are actually charging for that and getting paid.”
After logging into TechAuthority.com, you can enter the VIN number or the year, model and engine. Accessing the vehicle of choice gives the user several tabs. TSBs/Recalls provides technical service bulletins for 1992 to present vehicles, while the Service Information Tab provides service information for some 1992 and 1996 to present vehicles, including removal and installation instructions. The website also offers the Wiring tab (some 1992 and all 1996 to present vehicles), Diagnostic tab (some 1995, all 1996 to present vehicles), and the Parts tab (2006 to present vehicles). The Collision Information tab provides body repair information for certain vehicles, and the TechTOOLS link offers vehicle controller reprogramming and reads the data collected from a scan tool.
Talking about the Collision Information tab, “the tab you’ll probably use the most,” Anderson demonstrated how you can select Warning and then Safety Notice to open a PDF that provides important information that repairers need to know, such as the fact that magnesium components cannot be repaired and that FCA has a no-heat recommendation for repairs on body panels and frame components because of the type of materials they use.
Moving on to welding, Anderson noted that many manufacturers have a requirement of no welding within a foot of an electronic module or wiring harness. Under Warnings, he navigated to Restraint Warning to find that FCA recommends disconnecting both cables. Another thing he looked at was the Service after a Supplemental Restraint System Deployment, which noted that any vehicle to be returned to use MUST have the deployed restraints replaced. A list of guidelines must then be followed and a diagnostic scan tool must be used to verify proper Supplemental Restraint System operation following the service or replacement of any SRS component. FCA specifies that the scan tool must have the latest version of the proper diagnostic software.
Here, Anderson noted, “I try to avoid my opinions, and I try to only inject the facts. A lot of people say the OEM positions say that scanning is recommended, but ladies and gentlemen, if we move past the position statement and just look at the OEM procedures, FCA clearly states here that we have to use a diagnostic scan tool, and it’s the only way for us to verify if everything that was in that SRS system is working properly.”