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Pre and Post Repair Scans

The Importance of Defining Pre- and Post-Repair Scanning

1. Tell me about the process of putting definitions together for pre-scans, post-scans and post-repair calibrations.

I-CAR held a Repairability Summit in August 2016 (during NACE) to start the development of the definitions. The Repairability Summit attendees included OEMs, collision repairers, insurers, tool and equipment makers, information providers and other subject matter experts. I-CAR drafted definitions for pre-scan, post-scan and post-repair calibration and presented that draft to the summit attendees; we spent a couple of hours reviewing/revising the first draft at the summit; then following the event, I-CAR staff modified the definitions, based on inputs, and sent the second draft to the group for review. Following the second draft and edits, we finalized the draft, sent it to summit attendees for a final review, and then published the definitions.

As a result, we now have I-CAR published definitions that were developed and vetted by the inter-industry. The inter-industry vetting is important, as it represents the entire industry’s input, rather than just a couple of stakeholders.

2. What is the purpose of providing definitions?

I-CAR sought to provide definitions as there appeared to be a lot of confusion over what, exactly, pre-scanning and post-scanning actually meant. Additionally, we felt that post-repair calibration was largely being overlooked. While pre- and post-scanning are important, without the calibration/aiming procedures required on many of today’s vehicles, complete, safe, quality repairs may not be possible. We made the decision to include post-repair calibration to ensure there were clear lines between pre-scanning, post-scanning, and post- repair calibration.

3. How will these definitions serve the collision repair industry?

Without industry developed and vetted definitions, collision repair professionals could be engaged in a conversation about the requirements, but not communicating effectively with one another. By defining these terms, industry stakeholders can have a conversation and know that they’re “on the same page” when it comes to the terminology they’re using.

4. What do you think some of the key components to those definitions were?

For pre-scanning, the inclusion of the language “…related, and unrelated, to the collision” in the definition is significant. Pre-scanning allows for the opportunity to determine faults/codes/issues that likely are the result of the collision and, just as importantly, those that are likely not part of the collision. Without the pre-scanning step, the determination of related/unrelated could be a challenge.

For post-scanning, the recognition that a test drive, “key cycles, or other enable criteria” is part of the process. It isn’t always as simple as hooking up the scan tool and clearing all of the codes. An important piece of each, although not part of the definition, is also documenting those findings.

For post-repair calibration, I believe it really points to all of the steps, processes, tools, etc. that may be required to ensure that cameras and/or sensors are aimed properly. Without calibration/aiming of many of the Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS), the system may not function properly and may not perform as designed.

5. Did those definitions clear up any confusion on a particular step in the diagnostic process?

Without clear definitions between each of the terms, it poses a challenge to communicating effectively. With alignment on the definitions, repair professionals can reduce confusion over what is required for complete, safe, quality repairs.

6. Was there something surprising that stood out?

I wouldn’t say surprising, but it was nice to get as much participation as we did. The industry really cares about this topic and we the inter-industry participation helps ensure that the definitions meet the needs of everybody; most importantly the customer.

7. Now that the terms are clearly defined, what do you think the next step is for diagnostics in collision repair, and ensuring scanning is universally accepted in the industry?

I-CAR is currently working on a number of different initiatives around diagnostics. We are hosting additional Summits and working on establishing best practices for scanning collision damaged vehicles. The best practice will include the steps required to ensure proper pre-scanning, post-scanning and post-repair calibration. We are also launching a new feature on the I-CAR Repairability Technical Support (RTS) website ( for post-repair calibration requirements. This first-of- its-kind search function will alert repair professionals to the ADAS options available on late-model vehicles (we will launch with 2016 vehicles and add to the database from there), whether that system will illuminate a Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) or set a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC), let the repair professional know which camera/sensors are part of each of the ADAS, when those cameras/sensors require calibration/aiming, and whether a scan tool or other special tools or equipment are required for calibration/aiming.

I-CAR is also working on a couple of courses related to collision repair diagnostics, we’ve been publishing a number of articles on the subject via I-CAR’s RTS website, we are doing a number of interviews with different publications, and are speaking on a regular basis at local, state, and national collision repair meetings and conferences.


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