October 2013

This is the full-text, online version of the NASTF Newsletter.




Greg Brannon, Director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations for AAA (American Automobile Association) will present his organization’s perspective on connecting with AAA’s 53 million members and their vehicles at the Fall 2013 General Meeting of the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) on Wednesday, November 6, 2013.

“NASTF members represent a broad range of perspectives and needs related to connected vehicles, and I look forward to engaging the NASTF in discussion of the future of connected vehicles and implications for consumers,” said Brannon, Director, AAA Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations.   

This presentation will include:

  • Emerging technologies of the connected vehicle
  • The implications for consumers and the aftermarket of vehicle-generated data
  • Consumer understanding of related risks/opportunities
  • Evolving trends and practices of AAA’s Approved Auto Repair network

The NASTF Fall General Meeting will be held from 1-4:30 pm (Pacific) in Casanova Room 605 at the Sands Expo/Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, NV during the AAPEX/SEMA trade shows. Other topics on the NASTF meeting agenda November 6 include counterfeit tools, information needs of collision techs, vehicle security, OEM tools and education resources.

NASTF General Meetings are free to attend and no pre-registration with NASTF is necessary. However, registration for the AAPEX/SEMA trade shows is highly recommended. To register for a show badge, visit www.aapexshow.com.


LIVE WEBCAST ANNOUNCED FOR NOVEMBER 6 FALL GENERAL MEETING - Those unable to attend the Fall 2013 General Meeting scheduled in Las Vegas during AAPEX/SEMA will now have the option to watch, listen and even ask questions live via the web. The webcast, provided by Motor Age Magazine will launch from the NASTF website homepage at 1pm Pacific time/4pm ET on Wednesday, November 6, 2013. To read more about this announcement, click HERE to download the pdf press release.


NASTF 2014 BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTION PROCESS BEGINS - NASTF Participant Members (supporters who are registered in the NASTF database and who reside in the USA) will, for the very first time, have the opportunity to nominate and elect directors and officers under the new NASTF Bylaws effective for 2014. In September, the NASTF Board of Directors accepted the Nominating Committee's slate of candidates, but a group of 25 or more members may submit a slate of their own before the submission deadline of October 31, 2013. All NASTF Members will be notified by email and asked to vote for one slate of candidates during the voting period from November 1 - November 30, 2013. (NASTF supporters not residing in the USA are not eligible to vote.)


A member intending to assemble a member slate should read Articles V and VI or the 2014 Bylaws and select their director candidates from the list of board eligible members. Officer candidates must be selected from the current Board of Directors.

DO SCAN TOOLS COST TOO MUCH? - Charlie Gorman, Executive Manager of the Equipment & Tool Institute shared his thoughts on the topic of scan tool costs in last month's issue of the ETI Newsletter. To put today's scan tool costs in perspective, Gorman reminded us that a popular $25,000 "tune-up machine" back in the 1980s would be $50,000 (with inflation) in today's money. Read the entire article at http://etools.org/diagnostictools. [Note: Gorman is the 2013 NASTF Chairman of the Board.]




A semi-annual content review is underway by OEMs of their information provided to technicians via the NASTF website.

A new url for the GM technical website has been in effect for many months but most browsers were able to redirect from the old url. Because some browsers are not automatically redirecting, NASTF has updated its recommendation to https://www.acdelcotds.com/acdelco/action/home for all GM makes.

Chrysler has published a new edition of their J2534 Manual (a pdf download) which can be found on the free-side of TechAuthority.com from the RELATED DOCUMENTS link on the bottom of the site page.



  By David Lowell, Director VSP Operations

Part of my daily duties consists of responding to questions regarding procedures related to the Authorization for Automotive Key Generation and/or Immobilizer System/Anti-Theft Services" (known as the Positive ID or D-1 form). Here are some of the most frequent questions (with answers):

Q: My business model requires that I make keys and access immobilizer information for vehicles sold by auctions after they have been repossessed by the financial institution. I also must make keys for used car dealers who generally have only a transfer title to a vehicle. In most cases these vehicles do not have license plates and the owner listed on the title is a financial institution or corporation. How do I comply with the positive I.D. policy when using the VSP Registry?

A: Verify ownership/title papers and I.D. as you would in any other transaction. Be completely sure you have positively ID’d the person requesting the service and established that they have the authority to request the service. Verify that the vehicle ownership papers match the VIN; and that no possibility of a crime exists. Fill out the Positive ID (D-1) form completely and enter the dealer or auction stock number in the appropriate place on the form. An invoice or work order that contains all identifying information, when stapled to a duly signed Form D-1, is acceptable for collection of this customer information. Enter dealer or auction in any screen asking for the license plate and enter the owner’s representative info in any screen asking for owners I.D.

Q: I have a mobile scan and diagnostics service. I provide auto security system immobilizer resets and re-flashing services for service and collision repair shops where the customer is not present. How do I comply with the positive I.D. policy when using the VSP Registry?

A: Verify ownership/title papers and I.D. as you would in any other transaction. The shop requesting the service must have a copy of the vehicle owner’s driver’s license, and other contact info specified on the Positive ID (D-1) form along with the owner's signed permission to perform the security related service. Be completely sure you have positively ID’d the person requesting the service (including making a copy of their driver’s license) and established that they have the authority to request the service. Verify that the vehicle ownership papers match the VIN; and that no possibility of a crime exists. Fill out the Positive ID (D-1) form completely and have the individual who has authority to order the work on behalf of the owner sign the form.

Q: What information will I be required to collect at the time of service and what records must I maintain?

A: Every time you use the VSP Registry to acquire security-related information on behalf of a customer, you are required to complete a document called Authorization for Automotive Key Generation and/or Immobilizer System/Anti-Theft Services" (known as the Positive ID or D-1 form). This is a contract between you as the direct service provider and the requestor. The requestor attests that they are the registered owner of the vehicle and indemnifies you and the automaker from liabilities associated with use of the security-related information to make keys for the vehicle and/or provide security-related services on the vehicle. This document is a permanent record of the transaction that you are required to keep for a minimum period of two years from date of service. This signed form can serve as a protection for you if a dispute arises over the services you provided.




Service Information Committee - View SIC information from the NASTF SIC page at www.nastf.org/Committees/SIC. Techs having trouble completing jobs because of access to OEM service information and tools continue to post their questions on NASTF's Service Information Request (SIR) on-line response system. To log or file a NASTF SIR, visit www.nastf.org/FileSIR. Review recent SIRs by visiting www.nastf.org/SIRarchive.

The SIC conference call, scheduled for Wednesday, October 2, 2013, was cancelled. A new date will be announced soon.

Education Committee - Co-chairs Karen Miller and Rob Morrell have announced an important conference call for the Education Committee, Wednesday, October 30, 11am eastern/8am pacific. The invitation with dial-in information will be emailed to all committee members on record. If you wish to be included on the Education Committee, send your request to skippotter@nastf.org. For information about the Education Committee, including a roster of current Committee Members, visit the NASTF Education Committee page at www.nastf.org/Committees/Education.

Vehicle Security Committee - The VSC will not have a committee meeting during ASRW or AAPEX/SEMA. Instead, as the VSC did for their Spring 2013 committee meeting, they will meet via Go-To-Meeting in a web-enabled conference (which accommodates a dial-in option for those not able to access the web). Email invitations for the Wednesday, October 23 meeting of the VSC have already gone out to registered VSC members but the conference reminder will be emailed to registered members of the VSC. If you would like to join the VSC or did not receive your email invitation, email skippotter@nastf.org. Be sure to visit the NASTF VSC page at www.nastf.org/Committees/VSC.

Communications Committee - The Communications Committee met August 14 via conference call. Visit the NASTF Communications Committee page at www.nastf.org/Committees/Communications

Collision Repair Committee - View information about VRC on the NASTF Collision Repair Committee page at www.nastf.org/Committees/Collision. Anyone wanting to join the CRC should send their request to skippotter@nastf.org.

Equipment & Tool Committee - Visit the NASTF ETC page at www.nastf.org/Committees/ETC. Anyone wanting to join the ETC should send their request to skippotter@nastf.org.



  An Editorial by Skip Potter, NASTF Executive Director


Last month I attended the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) Symposium presented by SAE International and was humbled to sit among hundreds of automotive engineers discussing the design-end of OBD which we all know so well from the service-end. I learned there is a great difference in the view. OBD engineers are trying to earn certification from a government regulatory agency so new OEM models are eligible for sale; Service technicians are trying to return the vehicle owner to the road. Both work under intense pressure and both have little time to accomplish their objectives. Fortunately for the service technician, “The goal of OBD”, according to one of the many European engineers in attendance, “is to support the technician with information useful for repair.”

I arrived at the SAE OBD Symposium knowing I was in over my head, technically, but I actually like that feeling because I know I will learn a lot. The first hint at how deep this pool may be was the 11 page brochure titled “Abbreviated Terms Index” that was part of my registration kit. There were some familiar acronyms like ATDC (after top dead center), BCM (body control module), EEPROM (electrically erasable programmable read only memory) and VVT (variable valve timing). But throughout the 3-days of sessions I found myself referencing this brochure often; researching terms like BSFC (brake specific fuel consumption), DOC (diesel oxidation catalyst) and IUMPR (in-use monitor performance ratio).

This may not be true at all OEMs but I got the impression that the OBD engineering department is the last step between the assembly line and the showroom for new models. Design engineers have taken years to create a work of art that will emit less NOx (oxides of nitrogen), PM (particulate matter) and HC (hydrocarbons). OBD engineers, it seems, are left with mere hours then to test their PIDs (parameter identifiers) and DTCs (diagnostic trouble codes) before CARB (California Air Resources Board) quarantines their test vehicle behind the curtain of Oz (or is that O2).

While the SIR (service information rule in SAE terms) is a mandate of the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and at least partially responsible for the existence of NASTF (National… you get the idea), SIR and EPA were not once mentioned in the 3-days of this symposium. If you are not aware, the EPA does not certify vehicles for sale. In the USA, OEMs must satisfy CARB. Ultimately, if the model is OK for California, it’s OK for the USA. For me, the view of OBD through CARB was strangely different than the view through the EPA, which is common to most of us on the service-side.





NASTF Executive Director, Skip Potter was a guest last month with Pete Meier on Auto Pro Workshop. Click HERE to watch the video interview.



NASTF@Greater Phila. Locksmith Conv/Show, Philladelphia, PA - Oct 4-5, 2013 (Exhibit Only)

NASTF@ASRW (NACE/CARS), Las Vegas, NV - October 17-18, 2013 (Exhibit only)

NASTF@AAPEX/SEMA, Las Vegas, NV - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 (Fall 2013 General Meeting)

NASTF@ASA-Midwest VISION 2014, Overland Park, KS - March 7-8, 2014 (Exhibit only)

NASTF@ASA-NW ATE, Seattle, WA - Thursday, March 20, 2014 (Spring 2014 General Meeting & Exhibit)

The National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF)
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