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Reader asks why car was scanned at body shop

Wheels: Jeff writes by email: “I recently took my SUV to a body shop to have a dent fixed. I had backed into the side of my house when I was moving cars around. I was surprised when I got it back, there was a notification on the work order that showed the body shop had found a stored diagnostic trouble code in my car for a yaw sensor fault before work was started. The same code was listed on the work order after the work had been completed. The body shop manager suggested I take it to a shop or dealership to have this fault diagnosed. If they neither told me about the fault nor wanted to try to charge me to fix it, then why was my car scanned for codes?”

Halderman: Because of some legal cases where a shop has been found to be responsible for faults that were never part of a repair, most mechanical and body shops now perform a pre-scan and a post-scan of all the modules in the vehicle. By scanning all the systems on your vehicle, the body shop was following their standard operating procedure.

By performing a complete module scan, the body shop not only protected themselves against possible legal action, it was a case where it was helpful to you to know that one of the modules in your vehicle had flagged a fault that was not yet serious enough for the on-board computer to turn on a dash warning light. Look for this to become more and more common throughout the automotive service industry.

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