Looking at the procedure for body structure damage, Anderson pointed out, “The vehicle must be placed on a VW-approved alignment system, and a vehicle alignment must be performed if there’s visible damage to the body structure or if the body dimensions are different than those stated in the repair manual. VW doesn’t hesitate to say ‘must.’”
VW’s erWin also contains a lot of symbols to guide technicians through the repair process, indicating what type of welds are needed, whether the area must be cleaned, if adhesive must be applied, if drilling is needed, and much more.
Warning that erWin uses different terminology than repairers may be accustomed to, Anderson stated, “Volkswagen does not call a frame rail, a frame rail. They call it a longitudinal member.”
He also noted that VW requires their adhesives be used when adhesive products are needed.
He emphasized, “It is critical to verify the expiration date before opening the adhesives.”
Anderson stressed that it’s important to check repair procedures on every vehicle every single time, no matter how often a technician works on a particular model.
“Things change,” he said. “If you were to go into a repair manual on a certain date, this wasn’t in there. You know what? It’s been revised, and it’s been revamped. This was an update, and that’s why you need to research repair procedures every single time and not just once in a while."
As Anderson began exploring the first body repair/body collision repair manual, he said, “People always say VW doesn’t have a position on scanning, and you’re right---they don’t. So people ask, ‘Why don’t they?’ [They don’t] because Volkswagen doesn’t want you to become dependent on position statements. They want you researching repair procedures on every single vehicle based on VIN numbers and the vehicle options that are on that vehicle. On this vehicle, under Procedure for Electronic Control Units after Accident Repairs, it indicates that one of the conditions for which installing an electronic control unit is necessary is when the functional check or the unit’s diagnosis procedure indicates the fault control unit defective. The only way you can do a functional check is with a scan tool! You must do a functional check. That right there; you don’t need a position statement because it’s in erWin’s procedures.”