The Differences Between Scanning and Calibration

Scanning vehicles and calibration of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) has been a much-discussed topic throughout the collision repair industry. But what are the differences between the two, and what does it mean for collision repairs?

“Often referred to as Pre-Repair Scan/Pre-Scan/Health Scan (Capturing Codes) is a step in the damage analysis/blueprinting process used to identify errors, faults, and/or damage related, and unrelated, to the collision. While a Post-Repair Scan/Post-Scan (Identifying/Clearing Codes) is a quality control process used to ensure all vehicle system diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), related and unrelated to the collision, and those set during the repair, have been identified and cleared.”

“A Post-Repair Calibration/Initialization (PRC/I) often referred to as aiming, module setup, relearn, zero-point calibration, initiation, or calibration is a required step following the removal, installation, and/or repair of many safety and driver convenience system parts.”

The collision repair industry often interchanges these two terms and that will lead to confusion. For example, if you send a vehicle out to the local dealer for a calibration and say, “It just needs a scan.” The dealer will most likely plug in the scan tool and clear codes, then return the vehicle as complete. In most cases the sensors/modules do not know they were replaced or that any calibration is required.

To prevent this confusion, start with the OEM Calibration Requirements Search to identify the ADAS parts that will require calibration when repair operations occur that affect ADAS parts. Next you will need to provide a detailed list of all the process that need to be completed; better still if the list includes the actual OEM procedure the vehicle needs. This will eliminate a lot of confusion around what needs to be done, while improving cycle time for all involved.

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