In order to achieve a complete, safe and quality repair, pre and post repair scanning must be part of the collision repair process of your battery electric vehicle (BEV) and hybrid electric vehicle (HEV). This step should always be performed – no exceptions.
Click here to read more
Today’s BEV/HEV vehicles represent an intriguing and complex maze of advanced technology, including robust electrical systems far more sophisticated than meets the eye. The integration of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) makes them real computers on wheels and they are constantly updated, similar to our phones/mobile devices. ADAS features – many of which are now standard in today’s vehicles – range from blind spot detection to lane change assist and more. And because of the slim design, they are often invisible.
Proper pre- and post-repair scanning aids in damage detection and subsequent repair of these vital ADAS functions. Since vehicle scanning and ADAS calibration are hot topics in the collision repair industry, let’s first understand the differences between these functions and how this impacts collision repair.
A post-repair calibration, often referred to as alignment, module setup, relearn, zero calibration, initiation, or calibration, is a required step after the removal, installation, and/or repair of many safety and driver comfort system parts, or ADAS.
Often referred to as a pre-repair scan, pre-scan, or health scan (capturing codes), this is a step in the damage analysis/blueprinting process used to identify bugs, bugs, and/or damage related to and not in the to identify the connection with the collision. While a post-repair scan/post-scan (identifying/clearing codes) is a quality control process function used to ensure that all vehicle system diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) (related to the collision or loss at hand) and the fault codes set during the repair have been correctly addressed and cleared, DTCs found to be unrelated to the collision should be documented, reviewed with the customer and corrected if necessary before the vehicle is returned to the owner .
Special consideration should be given to EV scanning, especially when the vehicle has suffered a collision. To scan an HEV/BEV, you must turn on the ignition, a step that is slightly different than turning on the ignition on an internal combustion engine vehicle.
The EV has the traditional ignition mode where your display lights up. This happens when you press the vehicle’s start button without depressing the brake pedal. You cannot drive the vehicle in this mode because the high-voltage contactors in the battery are still open and the system is not energized. The benefit of this mode is that you can scan the vehicle without the risk of high voltage, which I always recommend. The second mode is called standby mode. In this case, the driver presses the start button with his foot on the brake. “Ready” appears on the vehicle display. This means that the battery contactors are closed and the system is live. Especially if the vehicle was in an accident, I would avoid this mode as it could have life-threatening consequences. Some EVs may have a limited accessory mode when initially pressing the ignition switch without depressing the brake pedal.
Collision industry terms can often be interpreted in multiple ways, which can lead to confusion. For example, if you send a vehicle to a lodger and say, “It just needs to be scanned,” the lodger can simply plug in the scan tool and clear codes, and then return the vehicle in its entirety without performing the appropriate diagnostics. Additionally, many ADAS sensors/modules are unaware that they have been replaced or that calibration is required, so you must make your sub-landlord aware of the calibrations required.
To avoid confusion, start with a search of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) calibration requirements to identify the ADAS parts that require calibration when there are repair operations that affect them. Next you need to provide a detailed list of all the processes that need to be completed – even better if the list includes the actual OEM procedure the vehicle requires. This eliminates a lot of confusion about what needs to be done while improving cycle time for everyone involved.
EV scanning tools and equipment
How can you be sure that the scans you run are accurate? This starts with properly functioning and updated tools and equipment. Regardless of what devices you use – and some OEMs can be very specific about scanning devices – it’s important that you perform regular checks and balances to ensure all scanning tools and devices are working properly. Many manufacturers have frequent and automatic software updates. Also, it’s good practice to turn your devices on and off daily.
To get stuck?
As with many new advances, experience is the best teacher for building confidence and competence, and that comes with expert training. And the training continues to evolve as OEM repair procedures are updated based on new models, materials, repair techniques, etc.
Questions or issues may arise when following proper OEM repair procedures, including pre- and post-repair scanning. The I-CAR Repairability Technical Support (RTS) portal was designed to be a real-time resource for the industry, with a team of technical experts ready to respond to your inquiries via “Ask I-CAR”. Accessing RTS is easy and free; You’ll even find a real-time “leaderboard” of the top 10 trending OEM specific repair questions as well as general repair questions. It’s all in an effort to help the industry provide “complete, safe, and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer.”
Test drive an EV
Have you ever been behind the wheel of an electric vehicle? As electric vehicles continue to share our streets and neighborhoods, these vehicles will become commonplace. Whether or not you have the keychain for one, I encourage you to connect with friends/family members to enjoy some time on the go in one. It’s a completely different “lens” than most of us in the industry and is helpful for gaining more confidence and insight into our EV world.
I-CAR continues to offer an evolving list of relevant and robust EV courses. For the latest course additions and free resources, visit: https://info.i-car.com/electric-vehicles#Courses.