Why are These Steps Important?

When drivers hit the road, they rely on the vehicle’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to get them to their destinations safely. Not only these systems crucial for driver safety, but they also keep pedestrians and other drivers safe, as well. However, the ADAS can’t prevent human error and thus all collisions. So, when a collision repair comes to your shop, it’s crucial your shop does pre- and post-repair scans. However, according to the 2019 FenderBender Industry Survey, only about 67% of body shop respondents are performing these diagnostic scans on every repair.

Correctly diagnosing, repairing, and performing quality checks on the ADAS reduces your shop and technician liability. Even if no fault codes are present during the repair and post-scanning, a calibration of the ADAS is always highly recommended by the OEM. Furthermore, you can take calibration, and post-repair quality checks a step further by calibrating the auto glass. While OEMs state this process isn’t always necessary, it can be a safety net and further reduce your repair shop liability once the vehicle leaves your lot.

Despite pre- and post-repair scanning necessity for repair quality and driver safety, there has been an industry-wide debate about the terminology technicians and repair shops use with their customers. In 2017, Jason Bartanen, then director of industry technical relations at I-CAR, told Body Shop Business that he was a lot of shops use the terms “pre-repair scanning,” “post-repair scanning,” and “post-repair calibration” interchangeably. However, these terms are not interchangeable but rather separate procedures throughout the entire repair process. While Autel diagnostic kits and tools from Triad Diagnostic Solutions allow you to perform all these separately, we feel it’s important we finally discuss the clear differences between pre-scanning and calibration.

What is Pre-Scanning?

The pre-scanning process (also known as the pre-repair scan, pre-scan, or health scan) is a complete health check of the vehicle. With diagnostic tools like the Autel MaxiSYS MS909, you can get an entire blueprint of the number of computer modules on board, as well as any Diagnostic Trouble Codes that indicate pre-collision or accident-related damage. It’s important for both your technicians and the customer that you have these errors, faults, and damage identified before any repair work is done. This essential first step eliminates unnecessary delays due to back-ordered parts or the need for additional insurance authorizations during the repair.

What is Post-Scanning?

The post-scanning process (also known as the post-repair scan or post-scan) is the quality control process that needs to be done before your shop hands the keys back to the customer or drive. This can guarantee that all the fault codes have been cleared and that the vehicle is in proper working order when it leaves your lot. Skipping the post-scan step increases the risk of missing a significant repair that doesn’t indicate through a light on the dash. You also run the risk of the vehicle returning due to safety feature malfunction that could have been identified and remedied long before the customer got the vehicle back. Post-scanning ensures that the vehicle is restored to its pre-incident condition.

What is Post-Repair Calibration?

Finally, post-repair calibration must be performed as a final quality check to ensure that all the vehicle’s onboard safety features and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) are working. The initiation and completion of a calibration aim to correct any issues with collision mitigation, lane-departure warnings, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control systems, just to name a few, post-repair. As you know, the ADAS is crucial for drivability and safety while on the road.

Another critical component of the calibration check is to ensure that the vehicle’s alignment is correct. Many of the collision-avoidance safety features that come in today’s vehicles rely on the readings of the vehicle’s centerline. These readings come from external sensors and cameras. If the alignment is off, these incorrect readings increase the chances of another collision.

Get Everything in One Place

When you need reliable diagnostic software and hardware, Triad Diagnostic Solutions has you covered. We have a complete line-up of diagnostic scan tools and ADAS calibration kits that will meet your shop’s every need. We also supply the yearly software updates that you’ll need to continue to safely and correctly use your diagnostic tools. We’ve got everything you need in one place, so contact us today to learn more!