CarMD.com Corporation, a leading provider of automotive diagnostic information and business solutions, recently announced the test results from the first year of repair shop use of its CarMD PRO SCAN inspection solution. Of the more than 5,000 vehicles scanned by automotive repair shops that were early adopters and pilot testers of CarMD PRO SCAN, 80% needed repairs, a majority with hidden problems not likely identified by a visual vehicle inspection alone. On average, these vehicles had six issues that needed to be checked, repaired or replaced, resulting in improved peace of mind for vehicle owners and increased average repair order (ARO) for shops.
Of the 5,642 vehicles tested with CarMD PRO SCAN through Dec. 31, 2019, 32% had a check engine light on, resulting in an ARO of $722 in related repairs. Among these vehicles, there were 300 different diagnostic trouble codes found to have triggered the CEL. 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,” said 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 cars and trucks have hundreds of different modules that can fail; CarMD PRO SCAN is able to run a network scan (NS) to check all of these modules. Eighty percent of vehicles tested with PRO SCAN had at least one NS 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 without a CEL on reported a problem with one or more systems. On average, each vehicle had six different modules that required attention, resulting in additional work and increased revenue for the shop. 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. Some less commonly diagnosed issues, but equally important due to their potential impact on passenger safety, were faulty backup camera, adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights, lane departure alert and seat belt retractor motor module.
“Utilizing CarMD PRO SCAN in our shop 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 DTCs 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,” said Rip Patel, ASE certified technician and shop foreman at Laguna Auto Service Center. “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 another $200 in the first few months of use.”
Patel adds that “This information has given the shop service advisors confidence to sell preventive maintenance when due and diagnostics on DTCs that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. We’re heading into a digital era and the automotive industry is going to see dramatic changes. Why not be at the forefront of it?”
According to the company, launched during the 2018 AAPEX Show in Las Vegas, CarMD PRO SCAN is a turnkey aftermarket business solution that taps CarMD’s database of curated maintenance, repair and vehicle data to provide repair shops with a way to catch hidden problems, improve customer service and generate return on investment. CarMD PRO SCAN provides repair facilities with everything they need to easily incorporate this solution into their normal repair routine. In minutes, the service writer or technician can scan every module on the vehicle, whether it’s associated with a warning light or not. The Bluetooth feature makes it possible for anyone in the industry, even those with little technical know-how, to simply plug in the tool and receive the information at the shop PCs. When the scan is complete, a CarMD PRO SCAN report displays an overview of freeze frame, I/M status, network scan results, OBD2 codes, pending DTCs, most likely fixes, upcoming maintenance and predicted diagnostics. Dashboard and reporting options enable the shop to customize reports for their customers and offer coupons for related repairs.