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WHY diagnostic scanning is important after a collision

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

Vehicle complexity has exploded in the last decade! Collision repair used to be about sheet metal, headlamp and bumper replacement. Now it involves more and more sophisticated electronics. Repairers must be prepared to fix not only the physical damage done but must also consider they are repairing a computer network on wheels. With more complex parts and electronic components comes the ever-increasing need to incorporate pre and post-scanning into today’s auto body repair procedures.

The customers safety is at stake

Post-repair scanning and calibration is so critical because these systems protect the passengers inside the vehicle. We have all become reliant on front cameras, rear cameras, lane-assist technology and blind spot monitors to help us navigate the roadways. When you get behind the wheel, you’re placing your trust in the repairs done to your vehicle. When repairing very specialized safety systems, your shop must pay serious attention to the manufacturer’s advice on diagnostic scanning. Sometimes even the smallest of things, such as removing a door handle, warrants a scan.

The details on diagnostic scanning

When involved in a collision your vehicle will store “fault codes” in the computer that may or may not show a warning light on the dashboard. A typical diagnostic scan will involve connecting the vehicle to a device that “scans” the vehicle computer system to look for any issues.

A pre-repair scan happens before repairs start and searches for these fault codes to look for issues with the system components that might have been damaged in the accident or might need to be re-calibrated.

Post-repair scans happen once the vehicle is fully repaired and are performed to ensure that all codes have been identified and cleared if needed.

Not every vehicle that’s been in a collision requires a pre or post scan. You need to be able to trust that the repair center technicians are well educated in this area. Qualified, trained technicians are a must in the automotive collision industry.

Be sure to ask questions!

When selecting an auto body repair shop to fix your accident damaged car, it is important to educate yourself and know what questions to ask, including making sure they have a quality scanning tool available if needed.

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