Tuesday, 05 October 2021 19:26

To Scan or Not to Scan? CAA Says It’s No Longer an Option

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A car equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) comes into your auto body shop. You keep hearing about the importance of pre- and post-repair scanning and re-calibrations, but you avoid them like COVID.

You have had to take a few vehicles to the dealership to clear codes and in most cases, it simply delays the process and impacts your cycle time. You didn’t perform a pre-scan and then get stuck at the end of the repair because you can’t clear a code, and you don’t even know if it was from the accident.


Auto diagnostics wasn’t something to worry about a decade ago, but now it’s the hottest topic on every shop floor in the country.


So many questions. Do we have to scan every car and why? Will the insurance company pay us for them? If we opt out, can we get in trouble with the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR)? Should we do the diagnostics in-house or job them out? And finally---what are the OEs saying about these scans?


A recent video produced as part of I-CAR’s Repairers Real series focused on these questions and searched for answers. In short, some insurance companies have agreed to pay for pre- and post-scans and programming while a small handful are still refusing to join the party.


People often describe today’s cars as “computers on wheels” and every year the cost of these systems---the software, cameras and sensors---comprise more of the vehicles’ total cost. Electronics are responsible for 40% of a new car's total cost, according to a Deloitte analysis, up from 18% in 2000.


Computing technology has impacted every aspect of automotive design, engineering and manufacturing. Car designers have a wide range of digital tools and processes that enable the OEs turn out cars much faster and with more precision than ever.


CAA Executive Director Rick Johnson recently browsed through position statements by 15 major carmakers and although the language differed the message was universal.


“They all state that if you want to repair a car properly, shops have to perform all of the diagnostics required—pre and post scans and re-calibrations at the conclusion of the repair," he said. "The fact that we’re having this conversation now is a little ridiculous because...

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