| July 25, 2017

Barry Dorn, the past chairman of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and owner of Dorn’s Body and Paint, shares his thoughts on pre– and post–scanning.

When a new issue begins trending in the collision repair market, shops generally make one of two decisions: (A) write it off as industry overkill or (B) begin adapting immediately.

According to Barry Dorn, “In the case of pre- and post-repair scans, you need to fall into the second group—and much sooner than later. Your decision is that critical.”

He continues, “When industry leaders began taking up the subject of scanning, much of the focus fell on whether the necessary diagnostic equipment would be both affordable and available and if scanning was necessary for every repair and whether only the newest vehicles (with the most recent technology and potentially greater number of sensors) should be targeted. Those questions apparently have been addressed and the answers are “yes” both to equipment accessibility and scanning every vehicle every time.”

Dorn says his shop adopted a policy last October to pre- and post-repair scan all vehicles that passed through its facility, regardless of the severity of the repair. Tooling has been no problem. “We use an aftermarket scan tool and it’s worked great on most every vehicle we’ve seen,” says Dorn.

Perhaps more significant, with no exceptions, a code has come up on every vehicle repaired at the shop. Dorn explains that relatively light repairs have consequences that could potentially require a sensor or other system to need a repair or recalibration. What’s more, damaged electronic pieces needing attention can have significant, devastating consequences when overlooked.

Dorn says that’s due in large part to how reliant drivers have become on vehicle technology.

He notes how motorists will use backup cameras to determine whether they can back up safely. If any part of the camera system has been compromised, a driver could get a false or inaccurate “reading” and run into another vehicle, obstruction or a pedestrian.

Dorn continues, “Extrapolate that problem to lane departure warnings, proximity detectors, air bags and other safety or operational systems, and one gets the picture of a disaster in the making.”

Automakers have come down strongly on the need to scan. “Most OEMs are not ‘suggesting’ these recalibrations take place, now they are requiring the procedure to be followed,”
says Dorn.

Team members at Dorn’s inspecting a job.

“They are taking a completely different approach than they have in the past.” Dorn says it will be up to collision repairers to spread the word on scanning.  Shops, especially, will have to take note. Regardless of where other industry entities stand on scanning, the fact remains shops ultimately are liable for their repairs. Either ignoring or overlooking such a critical issue could be the worst decision a shop ever made and possibly its last.

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Category: The Business of Repairs