In just seven years, I-CAR’s Repairability Technical Support (RTS) Portal has grown to become an industry mainstay, with accelerated usage of the online resource.
“The importance of finding, documenting and following OEM repair information has never been more critical as all vehicles are undergoing constant changes,” said Jeff Peevy, vice president, Technical Products, Programs & Services, I-CAR. “If you did it that way 30 years ago, you’re doing it wrong on todays’ vehicles.”
Launched in 2014, today RTS receives more than 5 million pageviews a year – a whopping 11,443,953 total visits since the portal’s debut.
“Beyond OEM sites, RTS is the industry’s only online resource that can help fill technical information knowledge gaps with timely, documentable information technicians can count on,” said Peevy. “You can’t perform a complete, safe and quality repair if you can’t find a repair procedure, or need clarification about something that may not make sense to you in the procedure.”
And RTS goes beyond just information provided by OEMs that I-CAR helps distribute across the industry – RTS also offers the following databases and reference materials, all with search functions that make it easy to locate the information you need, including:
- Vehicle specific information
- OEM calibration requirements
- OEM partial replacement
- OEM restraints
- Hybrid and electric vehicle disablement
- OEM glass replacement
- I-CAR best practices (industry-vetted)
- I-CAR 360 videos (vehicle specific overviews)
- Ask I-CAR (real-time online and telephone tech support for specific repair challenges)
- Collision Repair News (published weekly)
As part of I-CAR’s (COVID) Industry Relief Program, I-CAR opened the subscription-based portal to all, and continues to provide complimentary access through June 30, 2021, at https://rts.i-car.com/.
“When we opened access during the early days of COVID to help the industry, hits to some areas increased 1,800% and usage has continued to skyrocket,” said Scott VanHulle, manager, OEM and RTS Relations, I-CAR. “We’re monitoring needs and interest on a real-time basis, and there’s no question RTS is helping the industry to perform complete, safe and quality repairs.”
For instance, in the first quarter of 2020, the OEM Restraints System Part Replacement search feature netted 4,180 hits. One year later, that same feature received 163,308 hits in the first quarter.
VanHulle said RTS not only helps technicians find information but provides context on why something needs to be done.
“RTS is beneficial to anyone in the industry; it supports I-CAR’s mission of ensuring every person in the industry has the knowledge, skills and information to perform complete, safe and quality repairs on behalf of the consumer.”
RTS also is the “stop gap” for those “YouTube Warriors”” who are getting quick but not necessarily accurate information, Van Hulle said.
“RTS is not about opinions, but hard and fast facts that we can serve up quicker, better and accurately,” he said.
The RTS team continually researches OEM service sites to provide the most up-to-date information for all RTS searchable OEM databases..
“We’re always trying to help the industry, and, at the same time, it’s industry feedback and collaboration that keeps RTS as relevant as possible,” Peevy said. “It’s exactly what the industry wants and needs.”