If you recently bought a car manufactured sometime over the past few years, it’s most likely equipped with some advanced safety features commonly known as ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems). These used only to be seen in luxury cars, but have become a standard in most cars manufactured nowadays. This is why it’s critical a body shop knows what needs to be done before, during, and after your repair. Otherwise, your safety could be at risk.
We at Mid Island Collision Center are here to let New York drivers know the importance of your car being scanned as part of a routine repair procedure. If a body shop neglects this step, your safety being compromised is just the beginning of what can go wrong. Your car’s safety systems could be malfunctioning, unable to perform their designated functions, sensors could be aimed in the wrong direction and your airbag sensors could have a fault code. However, unless a body shop performs a vehicle scan before, during, and after the repair, you would have no way of knowing this is what’s happening to your car. It’s up to a body shop to keep you safe on the road, not put you in danger. Unfortunately, many body shops will ignore scanning and continue on the repair process.
Insurance companies don’t like to pay for pre- and post-repair scanning because to them, they’re getting billed twice and they don’t want to do that. However, it’s critical 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. For example, the rear sensors could be throwing a fault code, but only the front sensors are being repaired. Without pre-scanning, the vehicle, a repair shop and the customer would have no way of knowing there is an issue with that system. The technology in cars is extremely complex and requires these various repair procedures because there might be damage not even related to your recent accident. Even a minor 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?
When a repair technician performs a diagnostic vehicle scan, they will hook up a scanner to your car’s diagnostic port where Diagnostic Trouble Codes (or DTC for short) will appear, giving the technician a vantage point on where to start the repair process. 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.
If you compare this to going to a doctor, you know that part of the process is to tell the doctor 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. No matter what, pre-and post-repair scanning will always be a repair requirement from any car manufacturers in order for a technician to accurately diagnose what’s working and what needs repair. ADAS technologies are like a computer, and 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 New York Knows How To Perform Scanning and Calibrations?
Here at Mid Island Collision Center, we are Long Island’s premier choice for collision repair because we know what it means to repair your car the right way. Too many body shops, especially in New York, will jump right on a repair, neglecting necessary steps like scanning thinking they know what’s best for your car. However, they are severely putting your life at risk because of their negligence and you have to pay the cost. We never cut corners in our repair process because we feel New Yorkers should receive a car repair that has safety and quality as the top priorities.
We look forward to hearing from you!