TECHSTREAM PLAYS AN ACTIVE ROLE IN REPAIRS
During the collision repair process, Techstream is one of the most valuable assistants you can have by your side. Techstream can perform a variety of tasks, including indicating when systems aren’t functioning properly and verifying that components are working properly. Techstream can help you write a more accurate estimate and ensure that all systems work as intended when the repair is complete.
“THE TECHSTREAM diagnostic tool is the right arm of the technician,” says Chris Risdon, Technical and Collision Training Assistant Manager, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “Pretty much every repair a technician does should start and finish with Techstream.”
One huge advantage of Techstream is that it allows technicians to perform a health check on vehicles. During a health check, Techstream examines each of the vehicle’s computers and asks if there are any issues. If there are any abnormalities, the computer will respond by outputting a diagnostic trouble code, which will guide the technician to the vehicle system that is at fault. Health checks can also go back and look at a vehicle’s history, highlighting if there have been issues with certain systems in the past. This can be particularly helpful when a vehicle has been in a collision—vehicle history codes may tell you if certain systems, such as the air conditioning, had issues before the collision took place. This can help you determine if damage is the result of a collision or if it existed prior to the collision. Health check results can be printed and included with the estimate and vehicle’s file.
Techstream also allows you to perform active tests on vehicles right in your shop. Most of a vehicle’s systems that are run by a computer have an active test that will allow that system to be manipulated via Techstream. Active tests let you turn these systems on and off to validate that they work and aid in the repair process. This can help save time, increase efficiency in your shop and help you perform more accurate repairs. Without Techstream, techs have to manually verify that systems are operating correctly. This is a much more laborious process and may involve disassembly of the vehicle, whereas Techstream can verify if these systems are working almost instantly.
As an example, active tests can help you purge the inverter cooling system on hybrid vehicles. To perform this procedure, you can use Techstream to turn on the water pump, which allows you to properly purge the cooling system very quickly and accurately. Alternative methods can take a long time and may not be very accurate.
Cooling fans are another example of how beneficial active tests can be. Work on cooling fans involves a lot of disassembly and reassembly, with many different connectors and wires. Using an active test you can verify that the fans work once you put the vehicle back together without having to wait for the vehicle to heat up and without even having the engine running.
Integrating Techstream into the repair process of every vehicle you work on can help make repairs more efficient and accurate. The following is the recommended process for incorporating Techstream into your repairs:
- Start with a health check. A health check should be done during the estimating process. This will tell you many things you should know about the vehicle before you begin the repair. It can also help you write a more accurate estimate by detecting issues that aren’t apparent during an initial inspection. Once the health check is complete, print the results and attach them to the estimate.
- Use active tests throughout. Active tests should be employed throughout the repair process to confirm that vehicle systems are operating properly and to assist with the repair.
- End with a health check. After you have completed all repairs and reassembled the vehicle, do another heath check. This will help ensure that the vehicle has been put back together properly and that all systems are functioning as intended. After you are finished, print the results and keep them with the vehicle’s file.
Many of Toyota’s instructor-led courses include training on the proper use and application of Techstream. To sign up for an instructor-led course, visit www.crrtraining.com. For more information about Techstream call 800-368-6787 or visit www.techinfo.toyota.com.
“Techstream can speed up the repair process and provide confidence that the repair is complete,” explains Risdon. “It is an invaluable tool that should be part of every repair process.”