How We Diagnose your Vehicle: Pre- and Post-Repair Scanning

One of the biggest fears that a luxury vehicle owner faces in the aftermath of an accident is the unseen damage. You can see the dents, but what about the things you can’t see?

Enter diagnostic scanning.

Scanning the vehicle is the only way to identify “diagnostic trouble codes, or DTCs.

Just like doctors use MRI and CAT scans to look inside the patient, auto body repair technicians use scanning to see all the functions of the vehicle.

Scanning is performed by hooking up an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) device to the vehicle and generating a computer report of everything in need of repair.

By doing a pre-repair scan and post-repair scan of the vehicle, a high-end body shop like Gold Cost Auto Body can diagnose virtually all components of the auto. We use a pre-repair scan to see what is wrong with the vehicle and determine what repairs to make. With a post-repair scan, we make sure there aren’t any lingering problems that still need to be addressed, and that all the technology we took apart during the repair has been properly reassembled.

If that sounds simple, well, it really isn’t. In many ways today’s luxury vehicles are computers on wheels. In fact, there is so much technology that Malfunction Indicator Lights (MILs) on the dash can’t even come close to reflecting all the DTCs that can be triggered by an accident.

For instance, a 2017 Honda Fit – the automaker’s entry level vehicle – contains 510 DTCS. By contrast, Honda’s top of the line Odyssey Touring Elite features in the range of 1,000 DTCs. Imagine a dashboard that could fit 1,000 indicator lights. That would be overwhelming.

What’s more, vehicle owners are wanting more and more technology worked into the car. And the more technology there is, the more things that could need repair after a collision event.

Let’s talk about bumpers as a “for instance”. Back in the day, bumpers were simple metal pieces mounted on the front and rear of a car to absorb impact.

No more. Now we’re talking about bumper covers that host “Blind Spot Monitoring devices,” “Collision Avoidance Systems,” and other high-tech features.

And that small example says it all. It is no longer a question of if a shop can perform scans on your vehicle, it is truly the only way to offer a complete repair.

This video from Honda (below) provides an excellent definition of pre- and post-repair scanning by comparison to visiting an eye doctor.

This January 2018 article by Rhode Island based Reliable Collision offers a run down of why pre- and post-repair scanning is needed.

Tech Shop Magazine offers their insight, that further explains the details of pre- and post-repair scanning.

And finally, this article in Collision Repair Magazine notes how pre- and post-repair scanning in now becoming a manufacturer requirement of body shops.

Performing pre- and post-repair scans is part of GCAB’s ongoing pledge to our customers to provide the best and most comprehensive service possible. Nobody wants to take their car to the auto body shop, but when you have to go, you want the best bumper-to-bumper diagnostics available. That’s what GCAB delivers.