Dangers in YouTubing repairs

Jan. 29, 2021
In our “YouTube anything” world, there’s one search category that needs extreme caution when executing: any type of collision repair procedure.

In our “YouTube anything” world, there’s one search category that needs extreme caution when executing: any type of collision repair procedure.

Unfortunately, instead of following industry best practices, an OEM’s official collision repair procedure, some individuals are opting for the “quick, YouTube approach to a 
collision repair,” explained Scott VanHulle, I-CAR Manager, RTS & OEM Relations. The results, he said, could be disastrous if you 
are going through an unknown source.

“This approach is truly an accident waiting to happen,” he said. “There are so many misinformed people on social media; so many `YouTube warriors’ trying to show `what they found to work their own way’ which is almost always incorrect and a dangerous way to make a repair.”

VanHulle is passionate about this growing issue, pointing to a recent YouTube video demonstrating an Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) calibration that “printed off a target and a clip board which is nowhere near the correct size,” he said. `You can’t make this stuff up, but it’s clearly dangerous for anyone to mimic this approach. The worst part is you also see this method being duplicated all over the place.”

Industry protocol

“One of the values of I-CAR training is that we not only walk learners through an example process on a real vehicle, using precise proven methodology of performing a complete, safe, and quality repair, but part of our instruction process explains the `why’ behind it, going over the considerations and `what ifs’,” he said. 

“For instance, if you are trying to decide if a high-strength part can be heated or not, since it can react in a number of ways, I-CAR courses can walk you through that decision process based on facts from the OEM and industry vetted I-CAR best practices.

“Bottom line, every repair is different; you can’t apply a general rule of thumb to all repairs,” VanHulle said.

OEM procedure "only trustworthy reference"

Sean Carey, President, SCG Management Consultants, LLC., echoes similar feelings.

“The complexity of today’s vehicles coupled with the oftentimes interdependency of components requires a technician to become extremely diligent and process driven, making it no longer safe to say; `I’ve removed and replaced hundreds of these bumpers or facias or door mirrors; what’s going to be different this time?,’” Carey explained. “Well that really is the question the technician should ask and check. I know for a fact from working at an OEM for years that the components, interactivity and calibration can be different even within current model years. The OEM procedure is the first, and in my opinion, the only trustworthy reference point.” 

Carey reinforced VanHulle’s views on subjective sources.

“Let me assure you that Google, YouTube and other social media sites are not a reliable source for OEM procedures and data that can make a difference to a complete, safe and proper repair,” he said.

VanHulle points to I-CAR’s Repairability Technical Support® (RTS) portal as a legitimate, accessible online resource available to the inter-industry on any collision repair question or consideration.

“Everything we offer through RTS is documented, using industry vetted and approved I-CAR best practices, and through the OEM repair information,” said VanHulle. “There’s no opinion here; we only provide documented facts.”

 This article comes from I-CAR and was first run in the I-CAR Collision Reporter publication. View it at I-CAR.com/CollisionReporter.        

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