You: Hey, Mike, I keep hearing you saying we need to look up the OEM repair procedures on every single vehicle every single time. But surely you’re not talking about even the easy jobs, where we’re just replacing a single part.
Me: Oh, you mean like the Infiniti vehicle I saw recently where something had flown from the road and put a hole in the grille? All the vehicle needed was to have that grille replaced. Sure, you could skip looking up the OEM procedures for that. But then you’d miss the parts diagram showing the small part on the grille marked with a little black dot with a white X in it. That symbol in the Infiniti procedures indicates a non-reusable part.
So if you didn’t look up that procedure, you might not know that non-reusable part is an intelligent cruise control cover. And when you replace that part, a calibration is required. If you don’t look up the procedures for that calibration, you won’t know that in order to complete it correctly, you need to make sure the vehicle has a full tank of gas, top off the oil and transmission fluids if not full, ensure all tires are at the correct pressure, and only then do a 4-wheel alignment, all BEFORE you do the calibration.
So, yeah, that’s why I say you need to research the OEM procedures every time, on every job.
You: But Mike, that’s just one instance. Looking up the procedures on every job seems like a lot of work.
Me: I agree with you that that’s just one example. So here’s another one: Do you know the process to perform the seat belts inspection that’s required on some Volkswagen vehicles after an accident? That process requires, among other things, at least two different test drives, each at different speeds, and you have to hit the brakes on each--- obviously at a time and place where there are no vehicles behind you. Depending on the traffic in your area, you may not be able to perform those test drives during certain parts of the day. So you’ll probably want to know about that early in the process by researching the OEM procedures every time.