The Importance Of Diagnostic Scans

Your Vehicle’s Computer Systems May Require Diagnostic Scanning

Why? Auto manufacturers require scans of vehicle’s electronic systems in certain situations to ensure they’re calibrated and working properly for passenger safety.

Your auto body repair shop can refer to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) repair procedures to determine whether your vehicle requires pre- and post-repair diagnostic scans.

(Ford, Toyota, and Volkswagen are examples of OEMs. These companies create specific repair procedures for the vehicles they design and produce. Auto repair shops should always follow these instructions.)

What does a ‘Pre- and Post-Repair Diagnostic Scan’ do for you?

Your vehicle is composed of many parts, including computers and electronic systems. Diagnostic scans identify issues in all of your vehicle’s electronic systems. These problems can’t be identified any other way (until they cause serious safety issues).

The pre-repair diagnostic scan identifies all computer systems and diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) that exist after an accident. DTCs show which systems need to be repaired or calibrated. Accident damage, including dents, broken glass, or battery or electrical problems, can cause problems in computer systems that trigger DTCs!

The post-repair diagnostic scan ensures that all the computer systems are working properly after your repair so your car is safe for you to drive. (No DTCs should appear.) Taking your vehicle apart and putting parts back together can trigger DTCs, even if it’s just a bumper or a door handle!

What kinds of computer systems does your car have?

If your car was manufactured after 1996, it has enough computer systems that a diagnostic safety scan can find issues that can’t be found any other way. These computer systems and sensors run through nearly every part of your car, from your windshield and door handles to the inside of your gas tank and your engine.

Think of your fuel tank distance notification, your automatic headlights, your windshield wipers, your rear parking camera, or keyless start or auto-lock features.

Isn’t that why cars have dashboard warning lights?

Scans can identify specific problems in computer systems – warning lights only show that a problem exists. Not every computer system triggers a dashboard warning light.

In 2017, the entry level Honda – the Honda Fit – had up to 500 possible codes that can come up on a scan. The most elite option, like a Honda Pilot, can have 1,000! It’s not possible to have a warning light for every system, and it hasn’t been since before 1996.

Why are we telling you this?

Although these scans are only required for your safety, insurance companies aren’t always willing to pay for them. The decision to scan or not is yours and we want you to make an informed decision.

Will your insurance cover it?

Depending on your policy and your insurance company, diagnostic scans may be covered.

Insurance companies who won’t cover the costs of these scans in any policy are primarily concerned with their business, not your safety. Covering the cost of diagnostic scanning will cost them money and may lead them to increase their prices, which isn’t good for business.
If you believe your insurance company should cover the cost of your diagnostic scans, call them.

We Are Here To Help!

Contact us with any questions you may have regarding your repair needs or estimate questions.