Whether you purchased a car over the past few months or sometime since 2016, your car is probably equipped with some level of advanced safety technologies, also known as ADAS. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, or ADAS for short, used to only be seen in luxury cars, but have become a bit of a standard in modern-day vehicles. The advancements in cars have also created the need for body shops to follow the repair procedures laid out by the car’s manufacturer, known as OEM repair procedures. These repairs ensure your car is repaired with safety and quality as the top priorities. Anything less, and your safety will be at risk.
Unfortunately, the state of California does not require autobody technicians to be licensed to work on your car. Your safety is our top priority here at Telesis Collision Center, which is why we want to let California drivers know about the importance of various repair procedures and what it means for your car. Scanning and calibration are critical for modern-day vehicles, and we’re here to explain why.
If an autobody shop neglects to scan your car as part of the repair process, your safety would be at risk and you wouldn’t even know it. The safety systems in your car could be malfunctioning, unable to perform their designated functions and your risk (along with anyone else in the car) of injury from an accident increases. Sensors could be aimed wrong and your airbag sensors could have a fault code, without you knowing. Unless a body shop performs a vehicle scan before, during, and after the repair, your car wouldn’t be able to protect you the way it should.
Insurance companies don’t like to pay for pre- and post-repair scanning because to them, they’re getting billed twice. However, it’s important to know what faults codes exist in your car prior to starting the repair. In many cases, these systems are all tied together. If a technician begins a repair without scanning could cause more system failure if these systems are unable to communicate with one another. For example, your lane assist could try correcting your steering based on bad information from a faulty sensor somewhere else in the system.
It is also a liability issue. The vehicle could have fault codes that result from the previous repair or are not part of the car that’s being repaired. Your rear sensors might also have a fault code, but only your front sensors are being repaired due to a technician not performing a proper scan. Without a pre-scan of the vehicle, a repair shop and the customer would have no way of knowing there is an issue with that system. It could even be completely unrelated to the accident. Even a small tap on the bumper during rush hour is enough to throw off sensors but not enough to show up as visible damage.
What Is Scanning?
During a diagnostic vehicle scan, a technician will hook up a scanner to your car’s diagnostic port where various Diagnostic Trouble Codes (or DTC for short) will appear to give a technician where to begin the repair. It’s important to note that even if your car doesn’t illuminate certain lights on your dashboard, that doesn’t mean nothing is wrong with your vehicle. This is the whole purpose of vehicle scanning so the technician can get a good look “inside” your car to determine what’s wrong.
The best way to compare this is when you go to the doctor. You can tell the doctor all your symptoms, and they can diagnosis you from that. But until they take x-rays or get bloodwork, they won’t be 100% sure of your diagnosis. Similarly, an auto repair technician can get to work on your car without scanning based on what they can “see.” However, there could be non-functioning safety equipment, hidden faults, or damaged components that will go undetected unless there is a diagnostic scan. This is why a technician must know to scan your car before getting to work on your vehicle.
When Are Scanning and Calibrations Needed?
Aside from beginning a repair, a post-repair diagnostic scan will be required for a few different reasons. Let’s take, for example, what American Honda wrote in a position statement from May 2019 regarding pre- and post-repair scanning:
- “A preliminary diagnostic scan during the repair estimation phase to determine what diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) may be present, so proper repairs may be included.
- A post-repair diagnostic scan to confirm that no DTCs remain.
- Any repair that requires disconnection of electrical components in order to perform the repair will require a post-repair diagnostic scan to confirm if the component is reconnected properly and functioning.
- Damage that requires the replacement of body parts will always require a post-repair diagnostic scan.
- Some safety and driver-assistive systems (such as ADAS) will require inspections, calibration, and/or aiming after calibration after collision or other body repairs.”
Every car manufacturer, like Honda, will have its requirements on scanning and calibrations. However, it is guaranteed they will always require pre- and post-repair scanning to accurately diagnose what needs to be repaired and determine everything is functioning correctly. If you think of ADAS technologies like a computer, a recalibration is similar to resetting a computer.
Most modern cars come with a variety of different ultrasonic, camera, and radar sensors. These sensors are what ADAS technology is made of so they can “see” what is going on around your car, keeping you safer on the road. If any of these sensors were even off by one degree caused by a minor fender bender, it could be equivalent to being 50 feet off the designated target area.
Even minor fender bender repairs are why technicians must know when cars need scanning and recalibration. The best body shops will look up any repair procedures laid out by the manufacturer, including position statements like Honda’s shown above. This is why pre-scanning is important.
Who In California Knows How To Perform Scanning and Calibrations?
We at Telesis Collision Center are an OEM Certified repair shop that has been serving Palmdale for over 20 years. Our technicians have all received extensive training and are capable of handling any repair that comes into our shop. We know what it means to repair your car the right way, which is putting your safety as the top priority, and following exactly what the manufacturer tells us. Because of this, we are among the 10% body shops in the country that have received I-CAR Gold Class training.
Here at Telesis Collision Center, we know how important it is to scan and calibrate your car as part of the repair process. We refuse to cut corners in the repair process, which is why it’s critical to take your car to an OEM certified repair shop in Palmdale who repairs your car exactly as the way the manufacturer instructs.
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