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
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
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
NOTE: Any time the battery terminal has been
disconnected, the intuitive park assist system MUST be
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
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
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
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
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
If fluid is found in the left tie rod boot, replace the gear