Hi everybody and welcome. This is the first of a three-part article on a subject I’m passionate about. This month we will discuss Why Factory Diagnostic Scanners are now Critical to Modern Vehicle Repair. Next month we will follow up with Why AE Tools is the Premier Resource for Purchase and Support of Factory Scanners.

Uncle Max:

Imagine for a minute, you’re 18 years old again. You’re rich uncle Max has come for a visit in his new Ferrari. He slaps you on the shoulder, hands you the keys, and says “take it around the block kid!”

Suddenly you’re overwhelmed with a sense of excitement and power. This baby can do anything. Nothing from your past can compare, and your future horizons are bright indeed.

Well, that’s how I feel when I use a factory diagnostic scanner. Here’s why:

Factory Scanners – The Ultimate Power Trip:

Factory scanners vary in what they offer, but you can usually expect:

  • Module Network Topology: Having every module visually arrayed on its own bus is a fantastic diagnostic tool. You know which modules are not built, not communicating, have codes, and require updates.
  • Access to every Diagnostic Fault Code and its factory description: No more vague “manufacturer controlled” definitions.
  • Access to every Module Data PID and graphing: Missing data is now a memory and graphing provides critical details about dropouts, trends, and comparisons.
  • Device Activations: If an inoperative device activates via scanner, you just eliminated half the circuitry as a potential problem. Add a scope during activation and you have diagnostic heaven.
  • Relearns and Initializations for every part requiring them: Replace any part and make it talk to the car without dealer assistance.
  • System Tests like cylinder balance, compression, injector kill, etc: Very “hip.”
  • Customer activated Flight Recorders: Puts the customer on the road with a pushbutton to record intermittent problems. Think of the labor savings.
  • Help Documentation, usually first class. This is how I learn most new scanners.
  • PROGRAMMING: No more J2534 and its limitations. You can now program everything.  (Whoopie, cartwheels, handstands, fireworks!)

Time Is Money:

On the diagnostic front, all the abilities just mentioned can create an astonishing time savings.

Indeed, some repairs will become possible that formerly had to be sent to the dealer.

And speaking of the dealer, programming appointments, sometimes two days out, are a worry of the past. As is the occasional out of town tow. You’re now “in house” all the way.     

(Request a Quote for the Chrysler MicroPOD II–Click Here)

The Word No Disappears From Your Vocabulary:

When your customer asks if you can fix their car, the answer is “You Betcha! We have the full diagnostic and programming package used by the dealers.” This impresses customers to no end. Word will spread. It hands your service writer an exciting new sales tool. And you have an additional opportunity to find and replace ratty belts, worn tires, and loose ball joints.

Outside Sales:

Consider making your shop “Programming Central”. Design a brochure and price list. Then visit the Service Manager for every mechanical, transmission, and body shop in your area. Include the factory dealers and independent used car sales stores. The local Ford Collision Shop can’t program a new air bag module in a Chrysler. Ditto with a Nissan TCM in Honda used car sales. Let them know you can cover all their “out of house” programming and diagnostic needs. 

Keys, Remotes and Antitheft, A New Income Stream:

Do you want to make a used car dealer smile? Tell him you can take care of all his key and antitheft problems. He may even invite you home to dinner. This discussion will come back soon as an entire article unto itself. But the factory scan tool provides everything you will need to program new keys, remotes, and antitheft components.

I’ve got another 10 pages to write, but space considerations and respect for my audience require I wind it down here. “Hey, did I hear a sigh of relief out there?” “OUCH!”

Remember, next month we talk about Why AE Tools is the Premier Resource for Purchase and Support of Factory Scanners.


Think of a 10-year-old kid in a candy store.

The last time someone truly had your back.

Thanks for Stopping By.

See You Soon,

Marty, Out

P.S. Try to watch this and not laugh.