Elitek had previously offered scanning services during a visit from one of its mobile technicians. Now, it’ll give shops the option of plugging an “EVS” device into their customer’s OBD-II port and having Elitek examine the vehicle at an offsite call center.
“The technician, with support from a centralized Elitek diagnostician, conducts the diagnostic scan(s), produces a scan report, enables remote programming where applicable, and invoices for the service,” LKQ wrote in a news release Tuesday.
LKQ North America sales and marketing Vice President Terry Fortner said the device can connect to either a remote OEM or aftermarket scan tool. “We use OEM tooling as the recommended and primary tool,” he wrote in an email.
Fortner said customers could still have an Elitek mobile technician come out and conduct operations onsite if they wished.
“In our eyes it’s up to the customers, we want the best experience for them, and they should be the ones to decide what that is,” he wrote in an email. “Both will happen.”
Fortner and Elitek remote division director Don Smith pointed out that remote services let Elitek work with customers its fleet couldn’t reach.
“With the formation of Elitek, LKQ now provides the most comprehensive diagnostic services in the repair industry,” Fortner said in a statement. “Elitek is the premier provider of both remote and mobile diagnostic services. This expanded offering allows us to be more responsive to our customers, including those outside of our current mobile servicing locations.”
“Our goal is to continue to provide superior customer service,” Smith said in a statement. “With the addition of remote services, we can be more responsive to a broader range of customers. And with LKQ’s Promise of Calibration, customers have the additional peace of mind in knowing that Elitek will stand behind the work performed.”
Elitek also offers mobile techs for work like advanced driver assistance systems calibrations and mechanical labor, “using an array of OEM software, tools, and certified technicians.”
We asked LKQ for its perspective on the ability of collision repairers to have sublet mobile and remote labor like Elitek’s reimbursed by insurers.
“The reality is some collision repair shops and mechanical shops may not be fully capable for a variety of factors; such as lack of equipment, lack of personnel, or lack of experience,” Fortner wrote. “We are simply here to assist our customers in a professional manner delivering the vehicle to the customer in a timely and safe manner. We are the only company offering full circle service; pre, post, diagnosis and mobile!”
LKQ typically does not publicly discuss specific pricing. Fortner said the cost of the tool and remote scanning would depend on factors including volume.
Collision Advice CEO Mike Anderson presented statistics to an April Dave Luehr’s Elite Body Shop Academy webinar showing significant percentages of body shops used mobile and/or remote diagnostics. (Respondents could select more than one answer.)
Few shops called mobile diagnostics their most common scanning methodology. But a third of repairers were relying on remote scans as their primary technique, according to the Collision Advice and CRASH Network “Who Pays for What?” polling.
LKQ, June 22, 2021
LKQ subsidary Elitek’s EVS OBD-II plug-in is shown. The device allows Elitek to conduct remote diagnostics on a vehicle within a body shop. (Provided by Elitek)
A 2020 “Who Pays for What?” survey found a variety of scan methodologies in use in the collision repair industry. (Provided by Collision Advice and CRASH Network)