You want to hear a great horror story? Ask a collision shop owner. Most of them start with, “Remember that car we worked on…?”
You’re probably thinking, “Yeah, everyone has a few of those stories. What’s the big deal?” But the story only starts with “that car;” the horror enters when you have to pay your parts bills and do your payroll. Yeah, that’s the horror story I’m talking about! As you’re cutting checks, you remember all the time your staff wasted working on “that car” with three techs not producing revenue because they were standing around with their chins in their hands. The clock was ticking and dollars signs were flying out the window.
It just goes to show that it’s almost impossible for anyone to keep up with the latest vehicle technology. Electronic systems, alternative materials, new construction techniques designed to save weight, tricky engineering to improve aerodynamics, etc.
I can listen to shop horror stories for days on end, and it drives me to look at the most searched for repair procedures in our database to see what’s causing those stories. As my grandfather always told me, “It’s easier to learn from someone else’s mistakes.” Too bad I didn’t heed his advice when I was younger. The older I get, the wiser the “ol’ man” gets.
In the May 2014 issue of BodyShop Business, we told you about the most requested OEM procedure from ALLDATA Collision, which was the removal and replacement of the front bumper fascia on a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. For this month’s Tech Tips, I decided to focus on those top articles that folks are currently looking at to give you some insights into what other shops are running into right now.
Here are five of the most requested vehicles/repairs among subscribers to ALLDATA Collision. See if any of these ring a bell for you.
2013 Hyundai Sonata
DTC B1742 – Airbag Event #1 (Front Driver’s Side Door/Pressure-Side Impact Sensor)
So you repair damage to the front driver’s side door on a Sonata, including the airbag and side impact sensor. You’re ready for a break before the next job, but the airbag light is still lit. Unlike a conventional acceleration sensor, this vehicle is equipped with pressure-side impact sensors that sense air pressure in a distorted door at the time of a crash. The SCM detects the impact signals of the pressure-side impact sensor and does its electronic magic to determine if the driver is going to get hit upside the head with a puffy white bag.
Verify that your techs are properly reassembling these doors after they perform their R&I operations. The repaired door must be airtight. Anything that compromises proper pressure within the door will generate a code. Something as seemingly insignificant as a broken clip may be the culprit. You might say you’re under a lot of “pressure” to get this job right.
2014 Ford Fusion
Front Door Skin Panel
If you’ve ever had to perform this repair, you already understand why so many technicians may need OEM information to do it right the first time. To put it bluntly, this procedure is a bear.
Removal of the skin panel begins with grinding it off along the perimeter of the door. Then, the original adhesive residue must be trimmed off with a utility knife. Replacement requires bonding the panel with adhesive and MIG
welding in two spots. I guess this procedure could be called a “skin panel Fusion.”
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD
Frame – Lower Front Rail
The new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee may look pretty hot, but Chrysler says to save the heat when working on the new SUV because it uses an “extensive amount” of high-strength steels in this vehicle.
However, many of you will be delighted to hear that Chrysler has produced sectioning documentation for the new Grand Cherokee. The lower front frame rail procedure calls for sectioning the rail 90 millimeters in front of the cradle bolt center-line and to use butt-joint welding with a .75-inch backer. And don’t forget to apply corrosion protection per OEM specifications. Just an FYI, Chrysler uses structural adhesives in the 2014 frame rails as well. If the sectioned component fails, the results might not be so “Grand.”
2014 Toyota Corolla
Quarter Panel Sections
While you’re not supposed to use heat on a Grand Cherokee’s body panels or frame components, Toyota says you need heat for removing and replacing the quarter panel on a Corolla. The procedure cautions against too much heat, which may deform the panel. R&R on the quarter panel is not a walk in the park. It involves adhesive, body sealer and the three weld brothers: plug, spot and butt. The devil is in the details for a proper repair.
2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4WD
Front Bumper Lower Shutter Actuator Replacement
Remember when bumpers were just pieces of metal? Bolt off, bolt on. Of course, bumper assemblies are a bit more complex now. For example, the bumper/grille assembly on a 2014 Chevy Silverado includes a shutter component designed to close when the need for engine cooling is reduced. Why? Well, when you’re driving your Chevy to the levee, the shutters may close down to increase the truck’s aerodynamic qualities and performance. It’s all aimed at boosting MPG. The removal procedure describes carefully disassembling links, tabs, electrical connectors, actuators and louvers. The emphasis is on “carefully.”
Yikes! It’s getting more complex out there every day. So, have you encountered any of these vehicles yet? Always be sure to check the latest OEM information so you can guarantee that your shop delivers safe, efficient and properly repaired vehicles. The way technology is evolving, it may not be long before there is a whole new slate of candidates for the most requested collision repair procedures.
NOTE: This repair/service information is excerpted from information published by the vehicle manufacturer, and intended for the purpose of promoting OE collision repair information to trained, professional technicians with the knowledge, tools and equipment to do the job properly and safely. Before attempting any repairs described, refer to the complete article in ALLDATA Collision S3500. It’s recommended that these procedures not be performed by “do-it-yourselfers.”
Karl Kirschenman is ALLDATA’s collision product manager, focused on providing simple, innovative and best-in-class products that contribute to efficient, safe and quality automotive repairs for the collision repair industry. Prior to joining ALLDATA, he was the director of technology for I-CAR, leading the corporate technology team and supporting operations in North America, Canada and Australia. He holds a bachelor of science degree in communication, and has over 10 years of experience in the collision industry.
© 2014 ALLDATA LLC. All rights reserved. All technical information, images and specifications are from ALLDATA Collision S3500. ALLDATA and ALLDATA Collision are registered trademarks of ALLDATA LLC. Hyundai and Sonata are registered trademarks of Hyundai Motor Company. Ford and Fusion are registered trademarks of Ford Motor Company. Chrysler, Jeep and Grand Cherokee are registered trademarks of Chrysler Group LLC. Chevrolet and Silverado are registered trademarks of General Motors Company. Toyota and Corolla are registered trademarks of Toyota Motor Corporation and/or Toyota Motor Sales, USA. All other marks are the property of their respective holders.