How Technical Service Bulletins Can Help Your Body Shop

Your collision shop is familiar with Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs), but do you and your technicians use them as often as you should? A refresher on how TSBs can be an essential tool for completing accurate repairs may be useful. From safer vehicles to cost efficiency, read on to see how TSBs can help your body shop and your bottom line.

What is a Technical Service Bulletin?

 A Technical Service Bulletin is a guide OEM vehicle manufacturers publish when unforeseen issues are reported and have been determined by the OEM to be repeatable. The bulletins document the problem and a fix and are distributed to dealerships and automotive professionals serving their vehicles.

While TSBs are sometimes created by OEM vehicle engineers, most are initiated by technicians who are first to identify the issue. It’s important to note that problems with a vehicle can have multiple causes. Because there can be more than one way to correct an issue, there may be numerous TSBs.

TSBs are typically distributed to dealership service departments and other repair shops to aid technicians in correcting an issue as quickly and efficiently as possible. The TSBs provide detailed descriptions of problems for a particular YMM (year, make, model), giving repair shops a simple way to streamline their TSB processes. When your professional technicians access TSBs using SUN® Collision Repair Information, it’s much easier to itemize repair procedures and standardize repair processes.

What’s the Difference between TSBs and Recalls?

 Recalls are issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the manufacturer when a problem poses a risk to drivers and others, or the problem exists across a group of vehicles. Manufacturers are responsible for correcting these issues regardless of warranty status at no cost to the consumer. Manufacturers must fix the defective component(s) by repairing or replacing it, or they may have to offer a refund or even repurchase the vehicle.

Technical Service Bulletins are issued by manufacturers when a recurring problem is found, and there’s not a documented repair procedure. While the NHTSA doesn’t govern TSBs, they do record them along with mandatory recalls. Unlike recalls, manufacturers aren’t on the hook for repairs, replacement, or other remedies unless the vehicle is still under warranty.

A TSB is a guide for quickly identifying and correcting an issue that is deemed to not be a safety issue. However, there are situations where a TSB can lead to or be associated with more severe problems — made evident by the 2005 General Motors TSB for ignition switches that led to 12 deaths. The takeaway? While TSBs don’t typically address critical safety failures, the information provided is no less essential than other OEM information.

How Are TSBs Created and Issued?

Since TSBs are initiated by customer complaints, many are issued during the first year of a particular model or the first year of a new model generation. The “new and improved” features and benefits of a new design may not reveal their flaws in pre-release testing, but they often show up quickly under real-world driving conditions.

Distributing TSBs to dealership service departments is a priority for OEMs because these repair facilities typically encounter more vehicles still under warranty. OEMs also alert independent repair shops and other service facilities of TSBs, and if the defect appears to be widespread, they may send out notifications to car owners.

Why Technical Service Bulletins Are So Important for Collision Repair

The reason TSBs are such an important resource for collision procedures is that they provide a field-tested and detailed guide for exactly how to perform repairs. Consider that TSBs address unfamiliar problems requiring advanced repair knowledge, and it’s easy to see how they can be such a vital part of a professional technician’s toolbox. But TSBs are important to collision repair shops and drivers for other reasons too.

TSBs Can Help Your Shop Control Costs and Increase Revenue

 Because TSBs address vehicle problems not documented in other OEM resources, professional technicians should always review them before working on a vehicle. You already know how challenging it is to keep up with modern vehicle technology, much less how to perform the unfamiliar repairs associated with that technology.

Without the latest TSBs, even the most seasoned collision technician could complete repairs incorrectly, perform unneeded associated repairs, or spend more time on the job than is necessary. All those scenarios have one thing in common — they cost your collision shop more than they have to. A real-world example of this issue is performing a time-consuming and expensive repair on a composite body component when a TSB from the manufacturer recommended replacing the part entirely.

At the other end of the spectrum, using an organized TSB resource like SUN Collision can help drive business. Remember, TSBs are typically minor issues as opposed to the safety concerns prompting recalls. That means many of the “issues” documented in TSBs could be seen as mere inconveniences or annoyances. Think wind noise, rattling glove boxes, and other minor problems, and you’ve got the picture.

With on-demand access to TSBs at the push of a button, the tools to upsell repairs are right at your fingertips while the vehicle is already in your body shop. Most of your customers won’t make a separate visit for minor issues, so they will certainly appreciate you taking the initiative to help them enjoy their vehicle more.

Make TSBs the first step in your regular diagnostic routine, and you can benefit from safer, more efficient and accurate repairs, more knowledgeable technicians , and a healthier bottom line.

How to Get Instant Access to the Latest Technical Service Bulletins

 You know how important the latest OEM vehicle information is for your collision center’s success. But with the constantly changing landscape of vehicle manufacturing and the increasingly complex collision procedures, you need more. You need real-time updates to perform repairs accurately.

SUN Collision provides updated TSBs within two weeks of OEM publications to provide the most comprehensive and accurate TSB database. We also include a standalone Technical Service Bulletin lookup tool perfect for training technicians and keeping your body shop a step ahead. When you combine on-demand TSBs with the rest of our software features, you get a suite of collision repair resources that work together to help your business grow.

Here are five features of SUN Collision that can help you perform faster and more profitable collision repairs:

1. Common Collision Procedures

Collision repair software helps jump start diagnostics and saves time on many of the repairs your shop performs every day. Our collision resource is built to complement your experience and knowledge with common collision procedures based on familiar criteria like symptoms, codes, components, mileage, or using YMM alone.

2. Real Fixes

The line between mechanical and collision repairs has all but disappeared because of vehicle technology. When you choose SUN Collision, you get notes and records from over a billion past mechanical repairs and 45 million real fixes in a single resource. All that expert knowledge from professional technicians like you means better-trained technicians, better repairs, and more jobs kept in-house.

 3. Interactive Wiring Schematics

Because of the advancements in vehicle technology, detailed wiring diagrams are more important than ever for accurate collision procedures. Our collision repair software provides complete wiring traces, component locations, testing procedures, and more.

4. OEM Paint and Finish Specifications

To most customers, even the most accurate collision repair is only as good as the final appearance of their vehicle. The SUN Collision paint and finish database makes finding the latest OEM information easy. You’ll find the detailed resources you need for surface prep, application processes, and more to put the perfect finishing touches on collision repairs.

5. Up-to-Date ADAS Procedures

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) have become standard equipment, but there’s nothing “standard” about the complexity of the technology. Because ADAS is so integrated with other systems and components, ADAS repair creates new challenges for collision repair facilities. SUN Collision features the most up-to-date ADAS information available to help you meet technology head-on.

The easiest way to find Technical Service Bulletins, recalls, and the other OEM information you need to perform accurate, cost-effective collision procedures today and in the future is with the click of a button. The intuitive and familiar layout of our search engine, 1Search Plus, couldn’t be easier to use. You’ll find information delivered in uncluttered graphics and text that speaks the language of professional technicians from diagnosis to the final finish. And you’ll always be one step ahead with constantly updated OEM information.

To learn more about how SUN’s user-friendly software can save time and reduce costs, we’d be glad to give you a quick demo at your convenience. You can also call SUN at 877-840-1973 and talk with a collision repair expert who understands your business and how collision repair software can help you grow your business.

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