AirPro Diagnostics introduces FieldPro Quick Scan Device
Jacksonville, Fla.—As awareness of the need for pre- and post-repair scans rapidly increases, there’s no consensus among insurers and repairers for the conditions when scans are required, said Michael Quinn, senior vice-president of business development for AirPro Diagnostics, LLC.
AirPro’s scan tools for collision repairers use direct OEM and OEM-sourced data to remotely analyze diagnostic trouble codes by its ASE-certified technicians over a Wi-Fi connection. Its latest offering, the pocket-size FieldPro, offers a quick way to assess if related codes are present and if an in-depth pre-scan is needed using its full-featured, original AirPro scan tool.
“What we’re trying to avoid is this Russian Roulette the industry is playing,” Quinn said. “‘Let’s scan this car, don’t scan that car.’ ‘Only scan cars with airbag deployments,’ ‘Only scan cars with frame damage.’ But we all know that most sensors and cameras are on the outside of today’s vehicles, and that even a minor fender-bender can throw a blind spot sensor out of calibration.
“When you scan a car and there are no related codes and you get a bill for $110, $119, whatever it is, that’s a tough one to swallow. So we’ve created this tool with that mindset, to help the industry move forward to ultimately scan every vehicle.”
“The FieldPro performs a full health scan using OEM-sourced data to ping every module that could possibly be on that vehicle, just like an OEM scanner does on vehicles up to and including the 2019 model year,” said Chuck Olsen, executive director of operations. “It can pull the diagnostic trouble codes for everything, including forward-facing cameras, blind spot monitors, steering angle sensors, ABS, airbag, body control modules, and of course, powertrain modules.”
Olsen said the FieldPro device, plugged into the vehicle’s OBD II port, connects wirelessly to a smartphone app to report any codes, along with a brief description.
“The data directly uploads into our Orion diagnostic management system, where our ASE-certified technicians perform a thorough review and then alert the user or the shop as to whether or not the AirPro Diagnostics’ pocket-size FieldPro allows an initial “health scan” of all vehicles to see if trouble codes are found and an in-depth pre-scan is needed.vehicle is going to need any further in-depth diagnostics.”
If the Quick Scan, using either the original AirPro “big box” or FieldPro, uncovers no loss-related DTC or ADAS codes, then there is no charge to the shop, as long as a post-repair scan is also completed for the same VIN.
“The post-repair scan must still be done with the full-featured AirPro, to make sure everything is returned to OEM specifications,” Olsen said: “You disassemble the vehicle, take things apart and then reassemble; you need to make sure there are no faults in any ADAS or safety systems before the vehicle is returned to the customer.
“Because most collision repair shops do not employ a skilled diagnostician, they often depend on a dealership or a mobile technician for that specialty. A post-repair scan using live data can quickly identify errors such as electrical connectors not plugged in or not fully seated, bent terminal pins, and painted-over grounds. Remote AirPro diagnosticians can also program or initialize replacement modules and perform all basic calibrations, such as park assist, steering angle sensors, yaw rate sensors, and acceleration sensors. Complex ADAS calibrations are also performed if the shop can fulfill the vehicle set up requirements, such as static targets for radar and cameras, or test-drive routines, depending on the calibration being performed.”
Proper diagnostics involves more than simply scanning
“A proper scan involves more than reading codes and clearing them without addressing their root cause,” Olsen said. “OEM service information must also be consulted. As an example, a steering angle sensor must be reset after a wheel alignment, although a scan tool would detect no error.
“Apply the service information for the procedures that were performed on the car, and use the scan tool to execute those procedures above and beyond clearing the codes. It’s not only having the right tool but having the right skill set to properly operate the tool, as well as making the decisions on when to apply the OEM procedures. That’s really what we bring to the table: a good, solid, capable tool, and the diagnostic expertise behind it.”
Integration with estimating platforms to help expand data collection for “common fixes”
Mechanical repairers commonly use a database for popular fixes for “pattern-based failures,” such as a heater hose rubbing through the insulation of the wiring harness on a Ford diesel pickup, which causes a short in the exhaust backpressure sensor circuit.
The variability of vehicle collisions complicates that task, although Olsen said with the Orion management system’s integration with estimating systems, the company receives a description of the types of damage the vehicle has sustained. The plan is that with enough data, it will accurately predict, as an example, what electrical components are commonly damaged in a right-front collision on a 2018 Toyota Corolla.
“It’s going to take time, and we’re going to have to pool a lot of data, but that’s our vision, to build that predictable database from collision events.”