The Importance of vehicle scanning

By capitalcollisionmt| Saturday, April 9th, 2016
Bruce Halcro

First was the Volkswagen Passat. It was driven into the bay; the mid-size repair to its front end had been completed that morning, and the crew at Big Sky Collision already had cleared its fault codes with an aftermarket diagnostic scan tool.

So, as far as your standard quality control check would be concerned, this vehicle was clean. It was safe. It was road ready. Right?

Well, at least to the dozen or so shop owners, insurance adjusters and members of the Montana Insurance Commissioner’s Office that were in attendance that day, that was the assumption.

“It was finished and checked the same way the vast majority of vehicles are at shops around the country,” Bruce Halcro says. “Most shops would be ready to hand those keys over to the customer.”

Halcro had just made the 240-mile trip from his own facility, Capital Collision Center, in Helena, Mont., to Big Sky’s Billings location. And as he watched Big Sky owner Matt McDonnell hook up a Collision Diagnostic Services (CDS) asTech2 device to the Passat’s OBD-II port, Halcro waited for the punch line.

Halcro works closely with McDonnell at the Montana Collision Repair Association, and at this time in late 2015, Halcro had owned a CDS device for nearly three years. He had a pretty good idea what was coming next: fault codes—23 of them, to be exact. But let’s rephrase that: According to the certified technicians on the backend of that CDS device, there were 23 issues within that vehicle’s system; that’s 23 potential safety hazards; that’s 23 different reasons why the Passat’s keys belonged nowhere near the hands of a customer.