January/February 2014

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

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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014


J-2534 ISSUES TO HEADLINE NASTF@ATE MARCH 20

The popularity of J-2534 issues in the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) Service Information Requests (SIR), help line calls and social media discussions drew the attention of NASTF volunteers. They have made this topic-number-one for the March 20 NASTF Spring 2014 General Meeting at the Doubletree Hotel Seattle Airport, SeaTac, Washington, 1-4pm (PT) on the day prior to the opening of the Automotive Training Expo (ATE), presented by ASA Northwest.

The SAE J-2534 standard makes reprogramming vehicle control modules from a shop laptop easy on some vehicles but not on all. With the variability among OEM/automaker websites, browser compatibility, and OEM and aftermarket pass-through devices, NASTF recognizes that even the best technicians often face daunting challenges in reprogramming jobs on some vehicles.

Presentations and discussions about the broad topic of J-2534 will address at least the following elements:

1.       How to make reprogramming successful
2.       Why OEM J-box capabilities are not the same
3.       Using a J-box for more than programming
 

The NASTF Spring 2014 General Meeting will also reveal details of NASTF committee activities including initiatives in OEM scan tools, vehicle security, OEM education resources, and collision repair information.

Admission to the NASTF Spring 2014 General Meeting is free, and no pre-registration is necessary. Attending the ATE training sessions or expo does require registration, however, and can be done online at http://atetrainingexpo.com.

Watch for updates to the NASTF meeting agenda in the March 1 NASTF Newsletter and on the NASTF website at www.nastf.org.

OEM SCAN TOOL RESOURCE CENTER

The NASTF/ASA Scan Tool Resource Center is open for business thanks to the hard work, persistence and dedication of Donny Seyfer (Owner, Seyfer Automotive, Wheat Ridge, CO). On the date of introduction, January 23, 2014, three tools from three OEMs, Ford, Suzuki & VW/Audi are reviewable on this valuable service. Another seven tools will soon be introduced individually to the "Scan Tool Resource Center" as their product details are ready for publication. Scan tool pages for the remaining eleven OEMs not yet listed have been difficult to obtain but now that this website feature is introduced, Seyfer expects an increase in OEM interest to participate.

The SCAN TOOL RESOURCE CENTER is a joint project of the NASTF Service Information Committee and the Mechanical Operations Committee of the Automotive Service Association. Seyfer is a member of both committees.

NASTF LOGIN/PASSWORD CONFUSION

NASTF Vehicle Security Professionals (VSPs) with their LSID are often frustrated when they attempt to login to the NASTF Supporter database at www.nastf.org, thinking it is their NASTF VSP Registry account.

ALERT: These databases are separate and independent. NASTF VSPs are only listed in the NASTF Supporter database if they have registered at nastf.org IN ADDITION TO the process of obtaining their LSID.

NASTF apologizes for the confusion but notes that the separation of these two databases is currently necessary due to the nature of the confidentiality of the information retained in the VSP Registry accounts. While a new VSP Registry interface is being developed, VSPs/LSID subscription holders should email David Lowell at sdrm@nastf.org to change their passwords or to update their account information. VSPs who do not find their names in the NASTF Supporter database using the "USER LOOKUP" at www.nastf.org/GetNASTF should complete the forms to register.

PROGRAMMING GLOSSARY

Thank you to NASTF supporter, Hugh Atkins of Drew Tech and Donny Seyfer, NASTF Board member and owner of Seyfer Automotive, who cured the confusion in the mind of NASTF Staff over the terms used to describe programming events. We include it here in hopes that others can share in our learning.

  • Calibration: This (file) is the new software installed into the vehicle's computer (ie: an ECU) which is the objective of a reflash or programming service job.
  • Application: This software (usually provided by the OEM as a part of the J2534 file download) is the programming software installed on the (laptop) computer used by the technician in a reflash or programming service job.
  • Firmware: This is the software that resides in the vehicle communications interface (VCI), which can be a J-2534 device or other aftermarket or OEM tool. Generally, this is performing a sort of computer language translation allowing the PC to communicate with the vehicle.

 

 

  OEM NEWS




HYUNDAI began paid tech site subscriptions and none of the free subscription account logins will carry over to the new paid-subscription service. (So every user must create a new account on the new tech site.) Access to Hyundai J-2534 programming files ($75 per download) will be sold separately from their service information, which is in subscriptions of 1 week ($20), 1 month ($60) or 1 year ($300). The vehicle security (Locksmith) codes are priced at $12 per VIN. Preview all OEM subscription prices anytime on the NASTF Website: Information Access Charges. [ALERT: You may need to adjust your customer charges for Hyundai reprogramming as your cost for these OEM files was recently free but now will be $75 plus the cost of your service subscription.]

CHRYSLER put a UConnect link on the free side of TechAuthority.  On the bottom of the homepage, click on “Related Documents and Links.”  Then, click on “UConnect Consumer Software Download.”

ACURA (Collision info) New collision repair information was released by Honda covering the 2013 Acura RDX, 2014 Acura RLX and 2009-2014 Acura TL. These pdf documents are available on the free side of the Honda/Acura technical website (click "Collision Repair Information" in left-side menu and read bulletins under the Body Repair News section.

JAGUAR/LAND ROVER still does not have a system in place to distribute security system information (key codes, etc.), but they are working with NASTF as they said in January, "Currently, Jaguar will not give out its' key codes. [VSPs] will have to contact their local Jaguar [or Land Rover] dealer for further assistance. We hope to have a program in place soon that will allow independents to obtain key code information." 

CHRYSLER's wiTech Lite scan tool enjoyed higher-than-expected sales in the fourth quarter of 2013 according to a Mopar official. "Incoming inventory has been delayed due to international logistical issues. At this time, we expect new product to be available in early February 2014," the official added.

CHRYSLER - NASTF has learned that the Chrysler Group LLC is registering diagnostic software and tools in both dealerships and aftermarket shops to ensure authenticity when servicing customers' vehicles.  License registration has been in use by many OEMs for some time, but in the near future, unregistered Chrysler tools will not operate. Soon, the wiTECH software will show a warning to users whose devices do not hold a valid registration. Registration of the Chrysler tool is free, assuming the user has paid the yearly license fee.  The Chrysler spokesperson notes that approximately 80-90% of known users have already registered their device.  Later in 2014, Chrysler will no longer allow unregistered users to operate their wiTECHs, including users of clones of the wiTECH VCI.

FORD's technical website at www.motorcraftservice.com is designed to display in Microsoft Explorer 5.5 or 6.0. You must enable the "Compatibility Mode" for this website if using the later versions of MS Explorer. For example, Request for Help forms will not open the request form in Microsoft’s newest browser, Explorer 11.0, unless Compatibility Mode is enabled. To enable Compatibility Mode for Explorer 11.0, click TOOLS on the browser menu, select “Compatibility View settings”, and ADD motorcraftservice.com to the list. A new version of Ford's tech site, which will correct this issue, is in their plans but may not be available for many months.

Kia reports that the 800 number on www.KiaTechInfo.com is Kia’s Consumer Assistance support line, and they are capable of addressing www.KiaTechInfo.com questions and concerns.
 

 

 

  VEHICLE SECURITY

  By David Lowell, Director VSP Operations


Recently some NASTF Vehicle Security Professionals have been contacted by an online key code broker, advising that to continue service with them VSPs must provide their LSID and LSID passcode. NASTF VSPs should already know this is a violation of the "NASTF VSP Registry Terms and Conditions" which all VSPs must sign when applying for the NASTF VSP Registry LSID license. Sharing the LSID and LSID passcode with anyone other than the auto manufacturer’s website is grounds for suspension of the LSID license. Those who have provided their LSID and LSID passcode to anyone other than the auto manufacturer’s website, should contact me (sdrm@nastf.org) immediately, to disable the compromised LSID and immediately provide a new LSID.

In addition to violating the Terms and Conditions of use of the LSID, there is the risk that an LSID and passcode could be used by unknown others and linked to auto thefts.  All LSID transactions are monitored by both NASTF staff and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), and sharing of an LSID could cause a VSP to become the subject of an auto theft investigation.

 

 

  COMMITTEE NEWS

 


2014 COMMITTEE CO-CHAIRS ANNOUNCED BY NASTF BOARD - All 12 of the important co-chair positions on the six working committees of the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) received appointments from the NASTF Board of Directors for the 2014 term. Each committee has one co-chair representing the OEMs and one co-chair representing the independent automotive segment. To view the full list of 2014 committee co-chairs visit the committee index page.

Education Committee - The Education Committee (EduC) will hold quarterly committee conference calls on specific Wednesdays throughout 2014 at 11am ET/8am PT. An email invitation and agenda will be sent to committee members of record about 2-weeks in advance of each scheduled meeting. The 2014 dates for EduC are: January 8, MARCH 5 (note the change), July 9 and October 8. For information about EduC, visit the NASTF Education Committee page at www.nastf.org/Committees/Education. Anyone wanting to join the EduC should send their request to skippotter@nastf.org.

Collision Repair Committee - The Collision Committee will hold quarterly committee conference calls on specific Wednesdays throughout 2014 at 11am ET/8am PT. An email invitation and agenda will be sent to committee members of record about 2-weeks in advance of each scheduled meeting. The 2014 dates for VSC are: January 22, April 23, July 23 and October 22. View information about CRC 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.

The NASTF CRC met in a web conference on Jan 22 and Jason Bartanen presented the beta-version of the new I-CAR Repairability Technical Support website. While it may be late spring before the new service is fully operational, I-CAR invites collision technicians to participate in the site review. Submit your interest to rts@i-car.com. To review the project, visit http://rts.i-car.com. Find the minutes of the CRC meeting (after January 29) on the NASTF Collision Repair Committee page.

Vehicle Security Committee - VSC will hold quarterly committee conference calls on specific Wednesdays at 11am ET/8am PT. An email invitation and agenda will be sent to committee members of record about 2-weeks in advance of each scheduled meeting. The 2014 dates for VSC are: February 12, May 14, August 13 and November 12. If you would like to join the VSC, email skippotter@nastf.org. Be sure to visit the NASTF VSC page at www.nastf.org/Committees/VSC.

Equipment & Tool Committee - ETC will hold quarterly committee conference calls on specific Wednesdays at 11am ET/8am PT. An email invitation and agenda will be sent to committee members of record about 2-weeks in advance of each scheduled meeting. The 2014 dates for ETC are: February 26, May 28, August 27 and November 9. For information about ETC, 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.

Communications Committee - The Communications Committee will hold quarterly committee conference calls on specific Wednesdays throughout 2014 at 11am ET/8am PT. An email invitation and agenda will be sent to committee members of record about 2-weeks in advance of each scheduled meeting. The 2014 dates for Communications are: March 12, June 11, September 10 and December 10.

For information about this committee visit the NASTF committee's webpage at www.nastf.org/Committees/Communications. Anyone wanting to join the Communications Committee should send their request to skippotter@nastf.org.

Service Information Committee - SIC will hold quarterly committee conference calls on specific Wednesdays at 11am ET/8am PT. An email invitation and agenda will be sent to committee members of record about 2-weeks in advance of each scheduled meeting. The 2014 dates for SIC are: March 26, June 25, September 24 and December 17.

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. Anyone wanting to join the Service Information Committee should send their request to skippotter@nastf.org.


 


  ON MY MIND
  An Editorial by Skip Potter, NASTF Executive Director



The very unique role of NASTF in the wide-open world of the automotive industry is that this organization is the rare public gathering of the OEM/automaker with aftermarket/independent sector service professionals. I was reminded of this valuable cooperative effort when the new 2014 NASTF Board of Directors made 12 appointments for 2014 co-chair positions in the six NASTF project committees.

Numerous OEM representatives have participated through the years as NASTF committee volunteers, but 2014 marks a record year for involvement of OEMs in NASTF leadership positions. Three of the fifteen-member NASTF Board of Directors are OEM representatives, and now six of the 12 committee co-chairs represent the OEM perspective.

For those who may be missing the incredible value of this point, allow me to remind everyone that NASTF was not created to fight for aftermarket access to OEM resources. Rather, NASTF was formed as a means for OEMs and the independent sector to come together and solve access issues regardless of whether it was legally required of the OEM or if the OEM sought voluntarily to improve OE customer service through the independent service sector.

The greater objective of NASTF, then, is to improve the ownership experience for vehicle owners throughout the USA. With such a broad cross-section of the automotive industry sharing the NASTF conference table, OEMs and independent service operations are now better able to deliver on that objective.
 

 

  NASTF IN THE NEWS

 


PARTS & PEOPLE (JANUARY 2014) - Matthew Sevart added pictures and interviews to his coverage of the NASTF Fall 2013 General Meeting, November 6, in Las Vegas. Click here to read "OEM Scan Tools and The Connected Car Dominate Topics at NASTF."




NASTF IS ON THE ROAD

 

NASTF@NADA, New Orleans - January 25-27, 2014 (Exhibiting)

NASTF@CARQUEST, Orlando - January 30-31, 2014 (Exhibiting)

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

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

NASTF@ATMC, Atlanta, GA - April 7-9, 2014

NASTF@AAIA-CCPN, Huntington Beach, CA - April 24, 2014

NASTF@ETI Tool Tech, Sonoma, CA - April 29 - May 1, 2014

NASTF@Just Cars (for locksmiths), Orlando, FL - May 2-3, 2014 (Exhibiting)

NASTF@AAAS, Destin, FL - June 6-8, 2014

NASTF@NACE/CARS, Detroit, MI - July 31-Aug 1, 2014 (Exhibiting)

NASTF@AAPEX/SEMA, Las Vegas, NV - Wednesday, Nov 5, 2014 (Fall General Meeting)

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