Why Some North Carolina Auto Body Shop’s Don’t Perform Scanning, and Why You Need It

If you recently purchased a new car over the past few years, it’s probably equipped with advanced safety technologies, known as ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems). This type of safety technology used to only been seen in luxury cars, but most cars made from 2016 on will be equipped with some level of advanced safety technology. That’s why it’s critical that a technician knows to scan your car before and after any work is done in the repair process. 

One reason why scanning is so critical to the repair process is problems associated with the technologies your car is built with typically won’t come up otherwise. The airbag sensors might have a fault code and any of the sensors (camera, ultrasonic, or radar) making up the ADAS features could be aimed wrong. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t like paying for pre-and post-repair scanning. To them, they’re getting billed twice, even though it’s a critical part of car repair nowadays. In fact, it’s critical to know what particular fault codes your car has before you even begin the repair. 

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 you are only being paid to fix the front sensors. Without a pre-scan of the vehicle, a repair shop and the customer wouldn’t even know what particular problems the systems might have. It could even be completely unrelated to the accident. Maybe you were lightly tapped in a parking lot, which is enough to throw off sensors but not enough to show up as visible damage. One degree off can be equal to a difference of fifty feet in these systems. 

What Is Scanning? 

When a repair technician performs a diagnostic vehicle scan, they will hook up a scanner to your car’s diagnostic port. From there, several different codes known as Diagnostic Trouble Codes (or DTC for short) will appear, which provide the technician a vantage point on where to begin the repair. However, even if certain lights aren’t illuminated 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 cannot provide a 100% solid diagnosis. This is similar if a technician can begin working on your car without scanning, solely based on what they can “see.” They don’t realize that there could be non-functioning safety equipment, hidden faults, or damaged components that will go undetected unless there is a diagnostic scan. Scanning is a critical part of car repair and ensuring your car is able to protect you with the same level of safety it was designed with.

When Are Scanning and Calibrations Needed? 

Aside from beginning a repair, a post-repair diagnostic scan will be required for a few different reasons. The following is what American Honda wrote in a position statement from May 2019 regarding pre- and post-repair scanning in the repair process: 

  • “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 a 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. These sensors that make up ADAS technology is so they can “see” what is going on around your car, thus keeping you safer on the road.

The best body shops will look up any repair procedures laid out by the manufacturer, including position statements like Honda’s shown above. They also know that each car that comes into the shop will require its own unique repair plan and that no car repair is ever the same. Pre- and post-repair scanning is not just important, it’s an essential part of car repair nowadays. 

Who In North Carolina Knows How To Perform Scanning and Calibrations? 

Here at Statesville Collision Center, we know how critical scanning is part of car repair nowadays. That’s why we never begin or end a repair without performing a diagnostic scan of your vehicle. 

Our technicians are all I-CAR Gold Class certified, which only about 10% of auto repair shops achieve. This means that our technicians have received the highest level of training and know what it means to repair your car the right way. We are always checking OEM repair procedures and understand what it takes to give you the best possible repair out there!

Our motto is, “we may not be related, but you’ll feel like we’re family!” This is because we genuinely care about North Carolina drivers receiving the highest level of repair possible for their vehicles.

Feel free to give us a call at (704)-881-0410. If you’d like to schedule an estimate or get an online quote, we’re more than happy to help out! We offer these on our website to make the car repair process as stress-free as possible!

We look forward to hearing from you!