There are safety features in our cars which are also called ADAS which stands for Advanced driver-assistance systems. When you hear ADAS, think of all of the bells and whistles that come equipped with your car that help to avoid accidents. They include back up cameras, lane drifting alerts, blind spot monitoring, auto breaking and much more with every new make and model.
Not that long ago, the only safety system that needed to be reset and checked after an accident was the airbag. Safety feature repair used to be simply because the airbag light or sensor light would appear on your car’s dashboard indicating it needed attention. We all dreaded the dashboard lights because we knew it meant our car had an issue that required repair, a reset or recalibration. With any luck, it could simply be a minor issue like a loose wire somewhere in the system.
Unfortunately in new cars do not have the same indicator lights for ADAS systems in need of attention. Modern, complex safety systems in our cars require a skilled body shop to do a full scan of your vehicle to catch any issues. If your shop doesn’t scan for them, you will have no way of knowing if they are throwing off fault codes.
What many of us make the mistake of doing is assume that all body shops do these scans for you. Consider this, vehicle diagnostics provider CarMD reported that its third-party PRO SCAN tool had found issues on 80 percent of 5,642 vehicles checked by repairers.
CarMD wrote that “a majority” of those 80 percent had “hidden problems not likely identified by a visual vehicle inspection alone.”
“On average, these vehicles had six issues that needed to be checked, repaired, or replaced, resulting in improved peace of mind for vehicle owners and increased average repair order (ARO) for shops,” the company continued in a news release.
In summary, what CarMD is saying is that 80 percent of the scanned vehicles had other system issues that would otherwise be invisible since they do not have any indicator lights. And that is 80 percent of the cars scanned in shops that actually use scanning tools which is quite high. That means, chances are, if you car hasn’t been scanned after an accident, your safety features may be compromised.
Of all the cars scanned, only 32 percent of them displayed the more common check engine light, which is not collision or ADAS related.
But on the 68 percent without a check engine light, “nearly three quarters (74%) of these vehicles … reported a problem with one or more system. On average, each vehicle had six different modules that required attention, resulting in additional work for the shop.”
“The most common Network System codes were related to the Body Control Module (BCM), Transmission Control Module (TCM), Instrument Panel Cluster (IPC), Powertrain Control Module (PCM), Engine Control Module (ECM) and radio.”
Here is the part that impacts customer safety, though: “Some less commonly diagnosed issues, but equally important due to their potential impact on passenger safety, were a faulty backup camera, adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights, lane departure alert and seat belt retractor motor module.”
CarMD spokeswoman Kristin Brocoff confirmed these 74 percent didn’t throw any of the other dash lights either.
“In most of those cases it was an issue that doesn’t report a dashboard warning light at all,” she wrote in an email. “Other scenarios included situations where a CEL bulb was removed or disconnected from the combination meter. In others, it was an intermittent issue that hadn’t triggered a warning light.”
With that said, its obvious why you should choose a collision repair center that will be thorough and follow all the proper protocols for collision repair, including a pre and post-repair scan and calibration. Now that you know how important it is to scan your vehicle, you may be wondering why a shop might not choose to scan the vehicle?
Unfortunately, there are still a good number of body shops that still perform repairs the same way they always have since the 1970s. They may either completely ignore these scanning and inspection procedures, or worse, they don’t even know that they need to perform them.
You may also run into other body shops who are under pressure to keep repair costs low in order to keep their severity numbers low to stay on certain direct repair programs. Here at Telesis Collision we consider sending out any vehicle that has not been pre and post-repair scanned if we can not do them ourselves. We follow all proper repair protocol and know that any vehicles that haven’t are a huge safety issue to the customer and to our business. So we scan everything, and that should help you feel 100 percent sure you have received the most correct and safe repair.