In the last Tech Tips, we discussed how vehicle manufacturers’ collision repair information is essential to an estimator. This month and in January 2012, we’ll focus on how OE information is also vital to collision shop production managers. We’re presenting this article in two parts in order to offer several specific examples of what type of information is available from the ALLDATA Collision S3500 information system.
Part One features:
2011 Lexus park assist system – calibration process
2011 GM vehicles – Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) covering a power steering leak
Part Two will feature:
2011 Chevrolet Volt – front suspension frame, removal and replacement
2010 Ford F-150 – steering gear R & R
Production manager. That’s a nice, short title for manager of:
Getting it done on time and on the money
Repairing the vehicle safely and properly
Motivating the team
Reducing wasted time and effort
Sweating the small stuff
Does this strike a chord?
The production manager in a collision shop has a big job with lots of challenges. So, besides a winning lottery ticket, what’s the single most important thing to help make your life easier? Accurate and timely information! And where do the most precise repair procedures, diagrams, specs and safety precautions come from? That’s right, the vehicle manufacturers!
Who else knows which components are made from which types of steels, exotic alloys, plastics or other materials? Who else knows best where to section without compromising the crush zone? Who else knows the causes and repairs for issues that arise after a model leaves the factory? And what better source is there for ensuring that the vehicle drives away from your shop in a safe condition?
When your team doesn’t need to guess or search for correct procedures, you save precious time. And – bingo – that makes everyone involved happy, from the vehicle owner and the insurer to the estimator and general manager.
As the production manager, you need accurate and timely OE information to help you:
Improve throughput to ensure on-time vehicle delivery
Accelerate technician efficiencies and production
Reduce unnecessary outsourcing of repairs
Simplify repairs on complex, technically challenging vehicles
Here are some excerpts from current OE repair articles and TSBs found in ALLDATA Collision S3500.
Always refer to ALLDATA for safety procedures, identification of material types, recommended refinish materials, removal and installation procedures. Always refer to the vehicle manufacturer for questions relating to applicable or non-applicable warranty repair information.
NOTE: Any time the battery terminal has been disconnected, the intuitive park assist system MUST be initialized.
NOTE: This procedure MUST be done by two techs:
Tech A checks the warning on the multi-information display and the touch screen in the vehicle.
Tech B blocks the sonar on the outside of the vehicle.
Without depressing the brake pedal, push the “POWER” switch twice to select the “IG-ON” mode.
Turn the steering wheel to the full lock position, and then turn the steering wheel in the opposite full lock position.
When performing the following steps, monitor the multi-information display and touch screen to confirm that initial calibration is complete.
Technician A: Push the park assist main switch in the switch box to turn the park assist ON. Then apply the parking brake and put the selector lever in the “N” position (Figure 1).
Technician B: Stand approximately 10 inches (25.4 centimeters) from the left front clearance sonar sensor as shown (Figure 2).
Technician A: Verify the warning screens are NOT displayed with Technician B in position. If the warnings are still displayed, repeat steps 1-3. If the warnings are NOT displayed, the initial calibration is complete.
The OE collision repair information in ALLDATA Collision S3500 includes complete mechanical procedures and TSBs. TSBs are published by manufacturers to address known problems with a particular make and model or to update a repair procedure. They can save hours if a customer returns a vehicle with a problem that may or may not have anything to do with your repair.
This particular TSB deals with a mechanical service, which illustrates a major advantage of OE information. Keeping many mechanical repairs in-house increases your shop’s profitability. It also offers customers the benefit of “one-stop shop” repair work. Mechanical work – even unrelated to a collision – opens up a new source of revenue and gives a shop a competitive edge.
Here’s an example of a current TSB from GM:
2011 GM vehicles steering/suspension – power steering fluid leaking
2008-2011 models: Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV, Escalade EXT, Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, GMC Denali, Sierra, Yukon, Yukon XL, Yukon Denali, Yukon Denali XL, 1500 Series only excluding hybrids
Some customers may comment on a fluid leak. The technician may find fluid leaking from the power steering system. Use the following information to assist in diagnosis.
IMPORTANT: All potential leaks should be completely cleaned and identified before attempting to repair or replace any power steering components.
Start diagnosis by inspecting the fluid level in the power steering reservoir. If the fluid level is NOT low, a careful analysis of the condition is necessary as it may involve a different type of fluid leak.
Inspect the components where the fluid has accumulated.
Clean off any fluid residue from the suspect components.
Apply tracing powder to the suspect components. This is an effective way to determine the source of a leak. As an alternative, fluorescent dye may be added to the power steering fluid.
Start the vehicle and allow the power steering system to reach normal operating temperatures.
Turn the steering wheel to the stops in each direction while bumping the steering wheel against the stops 3 to 4 times. This will build maximum steering system pressure and help identify the source of the leak if present.
Determine the source of the leak.
If a repeatable leak is found, refer to the following tables to determine the proper corrective action needed.
SOURCE OF LEAK | CORRECTION
Pressure feed and return hoses/lines | Replace seals, hose or line set
Power steering pump | Reseal or replace pump if necessary
Cylinder gear/rack lines | Replace O-ring seals or rack lines
SOURCE OF LEAK | CORRECTION
Porosity leak in the gear/rack housing | Replace steering gear/rack
Leak from tie rod boots | Replace steering gear/rack
Pinion seal | Replace steering gear/rack
Repeatable leak at steering gear adjuster plug* | See note below
*If fluid is observed at the adjuster plug during the initial visual inspection, then refer to the following:
Seepage at the adjuster plug may not necessarily indicate an active leak. Power steering fluid is used during the manufacturing of the gear/rack. The fluid used at assembly is pushed into the pinion area during assembly. The adjuster plug and the area below the pinion are not positively sealed. Fluid trapped in this area during assembly may seep from the adjuster plug. The rack should not be replaced for this condition.
You can distinguish seepage from an active leak by removing the left tie rod boot clamp and inspecting for the presence of fluid at the inner tie rod.
If no fluid is found in the left tie rod boot, replace the boot clamp and clean the seepage from the rack. No further action is needed.
If fluid is found in the left tie rod boot, replace the gear assembly.