I-CAR and Ford last month taught repairers about using Ford’s official OEM repair instruction website MotorcraftService.com with a look at a repair procedure some estimators, technicians and insurers might have overlooked.
The joint I-CAR and Ford presentation before the virtual NORTHEAST Aug. 21 proposed a scenario involving a 2016 Ford F-150 with damage to its rear.
As you perform the walkaround with the customer, you record the damage resulted from a direct hit to the rear bumper. The accident happened when a distracted driver did not stop in time because of texting. The only visual damage during the walkaround is the rear bumper and damage to the left box side.
After the blueprinting process, you determine that the only parts needed are the rear bumper, bumper reinforcement, left rear tail lamp, and the side obstacle detection module. The side obstacle detection module is bolted to the tail lamp and it cracked during the collision.
Another slide reported that 50 percent of F-150 collisions will yield rear bumper damage, and 20 percent will produce bedside damage on one side or the other.
A video during the presentation showed how a repairer could easily search for the word “lamp” on the Ford OEM procedure site and find a “Rear Lamp Assembly” removal and installation instructions link. (The video used a 2019 F-150 rather than a 2016 edition, but both are part of the same design generation.)
Step 5 of the procedure includes an operation that must be carried out if the F-150 contains an SODL or SODR (abbreviations for the left and right side obstacle detection control module), and a taillight is being replaced.
The video’s narrator said a repairer would then search for “side obstacle” and find the “Side Obstacle Detection Control Module” R&I instructions.
That OEM procedure opens with an crucial note:
“If installing a new SODL or SODR, it is necessary to upload the module configuration information to the scan tool prior to removing the module,” Ford wrote. “This information must be downloaded into the new SODL or SODR after installation.” (Minor formatting edits.)
I-CAR representative Joe Burda said during the webinar “there were many instances” where a taillight had been cracked, and the shop simply discarded an also-cracked side-object detection module without performing this step.
The procedure meant repairers needed to “suck the brains out” of the old module and digitally transplant them into a new module, according to Burda. He said a “lot of people didn’t realize that.”
I-CAR in April also alerted repairers to a similar brain transplant operation which might be required on the 2019 Lincoln MKZ.
“Neither the quarter panel replacement procedure nor the rear body panel replacement procedure for a Lincoln MKZ mentions the blind spot module that is mounted to the lower quarter panel,” I-CAR wrote in April. “This is important as you cannot remove the lower quarter panel or the rear body panel without removing the side obstacle detection module (SOD). The Workshop manual specifies the use of a scan tool before removing a module if it is being replaced. Per the 2019 Lincoln MKZ Workshop manual, Side Obstacle Detection Control Module: ‘installing a new SODL or SODR, it is necessary to upload the module configuration information to the scan tool prior to removing the module. This information must be downloaded into the new SODL or SODR after installation.'” (I-CAR formatting edits unknown.)
Like the video, the article illustrated the possibility that repairers might need to dig deeper than the immediate repair procedure and research other components potentially associated with or affected by that operation.
“When repair planning, it is always important to look further than just the specific replacement procedure,” I-CAR wrote.” Additional operations may be needed, such as initialization or calibration procedures. Every OEM has a different way to arrange information in a BRM or service manual. It’s no longer as simple as looking up a single procedure. ”
I-CAR, April 17, 2020
The 2019 Ford F-150 Limited is shown. (Provided by Ford)
The 2017 Lincoln MKZ is shown. The 2019 MKZ is in the same generation and is largely identical. (Sam VarnHagen/Lincoln)