Scanning and diagnostics are quickly becoming the fastest-growing segments of vehicle repair.
As a result, body shops are seeking to learn about the scan tools available, the challenges and benefits of scanning and how to create a profit center at their facilities.
Leadership from AirPro Diagnostics recently offered insight on diagnostics during a virtual presentation given to AkzoNobel Acoat Selected customers, “Diagnostics: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly.”
The presentation featured Eric Newell, vice president of field operations and business development for AirPro Diagnostics, and Josh McFarlin, the company’s vice president of strategic business operations.
The session was moderated by Tim Ronak, senior services consultant for AkzoNobel.
The following is a synopsis of the presentation.
Ronak: What types of scan tools are available on the market and what are the main differences?
McFarlin: There are many kinds of scan tools and they aren’t all the same. Over my career in the service and collision repair segments of the auto industry, I’ve had exposure to various scan tools with different capabilities. I’ve broken them down into the following levels to explain the main differences.
Level One is what is found at a manufacturing facility. Typically, an automaker will work with a vendor to create a scan tool that will allow the vehicle to be programmed and calibrated as it comes off the assembly line. The vehicle needs to be configured in accordance with its build options so the systems can communicate and data is interpreted correctly.
Level Two scan tools are those used at dealerships. The same vendor often creates the hardware and software, but the intent of the tool is very different and is used for “fault-based diagnosis.” This allows a shop to diagnose the network and system conditions as well as test different systems for diagnosis and repair.
Level Three tools use software that can be licensed from the OEM through its website. The software is similar, if not the same, as the software used at dealerships. As a result of the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act and the 2014 memorandum of understanding among the Auto Care Association, Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE) and vehicle manufacturers, OEMs must provide independent repair shops with access to the same service information and tools available to their franchised dealers. This includes software licenses.
Level Four tools are based on OEM scan tool data provided to the Equipment and Tool Institute (ETI) by OEMs. ETI acts as a clearinghouse and licenses the information to scan tool makers, which design different levels of tools based on customer needs. They also consolidate the scan tool data from multiple OEMs into one tool. Many vendors are the same ones manufacturing OEM scan tools.