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CarMD Pro Scan Helps Techs Find 'Hidden' Needed Repairs

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CarMD.com Corp. has compiled the data from 5,000 vehicles scanned by automotive repair businesses that used the company's Pro Scan tool, and says a majority of those vehicles needed repairs that weren't apparant during the typical visual vehicle inspection.

CarMD says 80% of the vehicles scanned needed repairs, and a majority had "hidden problems not likely identified by a visual vehicle inspection alone."

On average, vehicles had six issues that needed checked, repaired or replaced. CarMD says its Pro Scan tool provides peace of mind for vehicle owners, as well as increased average repair order for shops that use it.

Here's a look at some of the details in the data CarMD provided.

Of the 5,642 vehicles tested with CarMD Pro Scan through Dec. 31, 2019:

  • 32% had a check engine light on, resulting in an average repair order of $722 in related repairs.
  • Among these vehicles, there were 300 different diagnostic trouble codes found to have triggered the check engine light.
  • The most commonly reported diagnostic trouble code (DTC) was P0113, which is typically related to an issue with a mass air flow sensor or manifold absolute pressure sensor.

“There’s only so much a technician can catch through a visual inspection, so if a module or sensor isn’t tied to a dashboard warning light or visible to the naked eye, it can be difficult to identify,” says Jim Dykstra, vice president of business development and strategy for CarMD. “In addition to check engine light issues, CarMD Pro Scan reports results on every network system module, which helps repair shops find hidden work to drive sales and provide their customers with a more complete overview of their vehicle health.”

Newer vehicles have hundreds of different modules that can fail; CarMD says the Pro Scan can run a network scan to check all modules.

  • 80% of vehicles tested had at least one network scan code present.
  • More than two-thirds (68%) of vehicles tested with Pro Scan did not have a check engine light on, but nearly three quarters (74%) of these vehicles reported a problem with one or more system.

On average, each vehicle had six different modules that required attention, resulting in additional work and increased revenue for the business. The most common Network System codes were related to the Body Control Module (BCM), Transmission Control Module (TCM), Instrument Panel Cluster (IPC), Powertrain Control Module (PCM), Engine Control Module (ECM) and radio.

Among the less common, but still safety-critical issues detected were:

  • faulty backup camera,
  • adaptive cruise control,
  • adaptive headlights,
  • lane departure alert, and
  • seat belt retractor motor module.

Rip Patel is an ASE-certified technician and the shop foreman at Laguna Auto Service Center. Patel says the use of the Pro Scan "has brought efficiency to another level.

"It has armed our service advisors with the information needed to create the repair order, as well as the pertinent DTC’s affecting major systems and any related bulletins or maintenance needs. This has resulted in more counter sales as the vehicle is being checked and building trust with new clients via the ability to email the reports directly to them.

"The largest value has come from locating vehicle issues that were missed on visual inspections. That has brought peace of mind knowing there is a system in place to back up the techs, safety for the customers and added revenue to our bottom line. This system is paying for itself by increasing our ARO (average repair order) another $200 in the first few months of use.”

Patel add, “This information has given the shop service advisors confidence to sell preventive maintenance when due and diagnostics on DTC’s that would otherwise have gone unnoticed."

For more information about CarMD Pro Scan, visit www.carmd.com/Pro-Scan/.

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