May 2014

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




MAY 2014


The NASTF Fall 2014 General Meeting in Las Vegas on Wednesday, November 5, during the AAPEX/SEMA trade shows will lead off with a discussion on aftermarket access to OEM education resources. The NASTF planning task force is just beginning to identify the primary elements and the potential panelists for this topic so your suggestions and insights are welcome. Email as soon as possible to assist in planning this discussion.


Officially, NASTF does not enjoy direct participation from any of the HD engine-makers or assemblers. Until we get one or two of those OEMs to voluntarily participate, the NASTF Board will not establish a NASTF Heavy Duty Committee.

In the meanwhile, NASTF has relied on HD techs to keep NASTF updated on available HD service resources. The addition of Cummins, Mack, Volvo and Paccar engines are examples of those links seen on the NASTF OEM Service Website list.

If you dig into the Cummins website you will find the following related to subscriptions:
The link to Mack Truck service resources is and the direct link to their subscription is:

For PACCAR, notice that the PX-7 and PX-9 refer to the Cummins Quickserve site. The MX-13 requires a PACCAR Login account before you see the subscription options displayed in the picture, right. CLICK FOR A LARGER IMAGE

The link to Volvo truck service information resources is and the direct link to their subscription options is HERE.
If you discover additional on-line resources that may be helpful to other independent technicians, please share them with NASTF with an email to



JAGUAR/LAND ROVER - While JLR Service operations are headquartered in Great Britain, NASTF enjoys significant support from contacts here in the U.S.A. Jim Osborne (left, Technical Service Engineering Mgr) and Joe Murtagh (right, Service Diagnostic Support Mgr) invited NASTF Executive Director, Skip Potter, to tour their suburban New York City offices discussing OEM tools, education resources, website navigation, vehicle security and NASTF committee service.

JLR is in the process of making changes as to how independent repairers/customers can obtain JLR diagnostic software and hardware, which is necessitated by new legislation in Massachusetts. Currently, JLR sells the diagnostic hardware and software as a package through Bosch. JLR will soon change this to a process where the diagnostic software can be purchased through their technical information system, TOPIx.  The software is then loaded to any PC.  In the event an Independent/Customer wishes to purchase the same hardware as JLR dealers/retailers they would still be able to purchase it through Bosch, which would then include technical support for the Panasonic Toughbook hardware.

Already, JLR diagnostic software/module programming subscriptions (less security access) can be purchased via TOPIx (From the Options Menu – Programming subscriptions – click add). In order to obtain access to security functionality including programming keys, a licensed Locksmith or potential independent repairer will need to go through a JLR accreditation process (additional fees will apply). Contact JLR ( for further information.

And notice that TOPIx doesn't accept Discover credit cards; only VISA, Mastercard, Maestro, VISA Debit and VISA Electron. Further, NASTF has learned that some US credit card issuers (banks) block non-USA transactions on their cards. Because JLR transactions are done in Great Britain, check with your card issuer or bank in advance to ensure your ability to use TOPIx or other non-USA based web services.

VOLVO Cars of North America invited Skip Potter, NASTF Executive Director to their New Jersey office to meet their service support team on April 16, 2014. Pictured, L-R: Richard Morrissey (Tech Info Specialist), Joy Alcaro (Tool & Equipment Specialist), John Lescroart (Service Operations Specialist), Marion Lippis (Service Operations Mgr), Vince D'Auria (Regulatory Mgr) and Potter. (Not pictured, Walter Gosson, Service Operations VIDA Specialist).

Soon, technicians new to servicing Volvo cars using VIDA will not need to wait for the postal service to deliver the Volvo diagnostic system DVD, as the automaker expects to release an internet-based version in February 2015. The best news for existing VIDA subscribers at the time of the release of VIDA2015 is that the DVD system does not become obsolete with that release. NASTF learned that the new VIDA2015 will be designed to run on any PC/laptop running Windows 7 or 8 Pro with an i-Pad version available possibly in 2016. VIDA2015 was described to NASTF as a downloaded application which runs on the PC while accessing files by way of an Internet connection.

BMW hosted a NASTF visit to their "National Workshop" in northern New Jersey on April 16, 2014. Jason Kozak, Manager of the Aftersales Technical Service Dept (pictured), told NASTF's Skip Potter: "We are committed to independent service. BMW has only 360 dealers in North America so independent technicians give us the opportunity to take care of all our customers."

Kozak sees an opportunity for NASTF to facilitate an improvement in the number and level of technicians trained to service their BMW cars, which is why he joined the NASTF Education Committee. He demonstrated key features of the BMW TIS including a tour of the 125 factory service manuals covering 1999 through 2014 BMWs in the Technical Training index behind the Service Reference tab and the resources behind the newly introduced Tool & Equipment tab. Those extensive training and information resources and others are available as part of any TIS subscription, including the 24- hour subscription for $30.

MERCEDES BENZ - The update for the MBUSA PassThru reprogramming software which is used for transmission control module (TCM) programming as well as other powertrain-only control units was released last month to resolve a mid-event reflash failure such as the one described in NASTF SIR#547. Specifically, with the 03/2014 software release, the SD FLASH files now install properly.  It appears, however, that the 01/2014 version MB software must run and fail on the PC being used in this programming event. Then, without uninstalling 01/2014, the tech must download and run MB version 03/2014 to be fully successful.

GENERAL MOTORS - With all TIS2Web subscriptions, General Motors has recently implemented a new security process. Users are issued three licenses per subscription ID. This process is similar to many other types of software licenses, including many from other aftermarket service information providers.

If the three licenses have been used on three PCs, error E5529 will be displayed when trying to use TIS2Web on a fourth PC. The other three PCs will continue to have access to TIS2Web.

Additional licenses can be released under various circumstances, such as when a service center has updated the PC operating systems or PC hardware. Contact the ACDelco eBusiness Helpdesk at 1-800-825-5886, prompt #3, for assistance.

By David Lowell, Director VSP Operations

There are two new reasons for enrolling in the NASTF VSP Registry:

  1. For independent VSPs who have been getting your Chrysler key codes and security PIN codes from MOPAR franchise dealerships, effective April 24th the following changes were implemented by MOPAR Technical Service Operations (TSO):
    • Dealerships will be allowed 15 key codes per day or 300 per month through their portal in DealerCONNECT.
    • Any subsequent key codes needed [by franchised dealers] must be requested through the Customer Care Assistance Center and limited to no more than two additional requests per dealer code, per day.
    • Dealers are encouraged to track employee key code requests by running weekly and monthly Key code reports. Any excessive amount of requests should be immediately investigated and remedied.
    • Ensure that employees do not share their SID and DealerCONNECT password. Dealership personnel who no longer work at the dealership or do not need access to codes will need to be removed immediately from My Personnel.
  2. In order to purchase an ECU programming file from for a 2014 Ford Fusion a NASTF VSP Registry LSID is required. You may see this requirement for other new Ford/Mercury/Lincoln products in the near future.

Hopefully, these and other recent actions by the OEMs will help to curtail the various unauthorized sources of vehicle security information being made available.


Vehicle Security Committee - If you would like to join the VSC, email Be sure to visit the NASTF VSC page at

The next conference call for the VSC is set for Wednesday, May 14, 2014. An email invitation with web and dial-in information will be sent to Committee members of record at least one week in advance.

Equipment & Tool Committee - Visit the NASTF ETC page at Anyone wanting to join the ETC should send their request to

The next conference call for the ETC is set for Wednesday, May 28, 2014. An email invitation with web and dial-in information will be sent to Committee members of record at least one week in advance.

Communications Committee - If you would like to join the Communications Committee, email Be sure to visit the NASTF Communications Committee page at

The next conference call for the Communications Committee is set for Wednesday, June 11, 2014. An email invitation with web and dial-in information will be sent to Committee members of record at least one week in advance.

Service Information Committee - View SIC information from the NASTF SIC page at If you would like to join the Service Information Committee, email

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 Review recent SIRs by visiting

The next conference call for the SIC is set for Wednesday, June 25, 2014. An email invitation with web and dial-in information will be sent to Committee members of record at least one week in advance.

Education Committee - The March 5 meeting of the Education Committee set the next step in its' important initiative to improve awareness, access and use of OEM education/training resources.

Minutes of that meeting are available for view on the Education Committee webpage. Visit the NASTF Education Committee page at Anyone wanting to join the Education Committee should send their request to

The next conference call for the Education Committee is set for Wednesday, July 9, 2014. An email invitation with web and dial-in information will be sent to Committee members of record at least one week in advance.


Collision Repair Committee - View information about CRC on the NASTF Collision Repair Committee page at Anyone wanting to join the CRC should send their request to

The next conference call for the CRC is set for Wednesday, July 23, 2014. An email invitation with web and dial-in information will be sent to Committee members of record at least one week in advance.

An Editorial by Skip Potter, NASTF Executive Director

Access to OEM education resources has been a hot topic around the NASTF office this year. The NASTF Education Committee has begun work to improve the NASTF OEM Training Matrix. I met with a large group of OEM training department managers at their annual meeting in Atlanta last month and later discussed this topic with shop owners at a meeting of the Car Care Professional's Network, a segment of the Car Care Association (formerly AAIA).

In my spare time (rare) I have been surfing several of the OEM websites myself to become familiar with the training resources that are available and intentionally experiencing, first-hand, the navigation necessary to locate those resources. Not all OEMs make their training/education resources as obvious as does Honda, Chrysler, Ford and Nissan. Each of those OEM Technical Information Websites make a direct reference using the words "Technical Training" prominent on the welcome page of their website, and they then provide a list, index or search function just one click away without the need to login or purchase a subscription. However, if you dig a little on other OEM technical websites you may discover significant training treasures. For example, login to your VW/Audi account and using "Guided Search" select any vehicle to lead you to many online self-study and video downloads under the "TRAINING" category. I found a self-study guide there in pdf, downloadable for FREE, covering immobilizer system operation theory. As another example, login to your BMW account and purchase a $30/1-day subscription to get access to 125 technical training textbooks covering vehicles from 1999 to 2015 and used to train BMW dealer techs.

All this surfing has made me wonder what the difference is between the terms education, training and information. Offhand, I presume education and training to be almost synonymous (for our purposes). When considering education/training resources, I suggest we are referring to classes, sessions and entire curriculums that impart knowledge about the systems we service and the development of the skills we use in the process. I think of education/training as consumed by the hour. Information, on the other hand, I view as an on-demand need, consumed by the minute by those already educated on the system and skilled in the process.

Jason Kozak, Manager of the Aftersales Technical Service Department for BMW, makes a point, however. Regardless, if you consider the technical service bulletin (TSB) to be an education, training or information resource, he says there is a lot of learning packed into every one, and techs will be better educated and informed if they take the time to read all those that apply to every vehicle and every system they service.... before they begin.

What's your opinion or experience regarding OEM education/training resources? Email me at


Thank you to Bryce Evans of Ratchet&Wrench Magazine for his expose' covering Donny Seyfer's OEM SCAN TOOL RESOURCE CENTER introduced by NASTF earlier this year.

Thank you to the Parts & People newspaper for making the NASTF Spring 2014 General Meeting their Editor's Pick for their on-line publication and for providing extensive coverage in their print editions, as well.


NASTF exhibited at a meeting of the Alabama Locksmith Association on March 21, 22 and 23 in Birmingham, Ala. More than 20% of the locksmiths in attendance visited the NASTF booth to speak with NASTF VSP Registry Operations Director, David Lowell, about accessing vehicle security codes directly from the automaker.

On May 2 and 3, NASTF exhibited at the Just Cars locksmith event in Orlando, Fla where almost 16% of the attendees visited Lowell. Over 80 VSP Registry applications were distributed and 15 locksmiths bought VSP Registry subscriptions on-the-spot.

NASTF Executive Director, Potter, met with members of the OEM Education Roundtable in Atlanta on April 7 attempting to clarify confusion some OEM training managers had regarding the legal requirements surrounding existing resources they already make available to their franchise dealers. Section I-j of the NASTF Service Information Standards, a voluntary document established in 2008, was cited as an example of the general spirit of cooperation offered by the OEMs at that time.

NASTF made a quick trip to northern New Jersey on April 15, 16 & 17 to visit the offices of Volvo, BMW and Jaguar/Land Rover. See OEM NEWS section earlier in this newsletter for more detail.

NASTF's Executive Director (Skip Potter) discussed the topic of OEM education resources with the Car Care Professional Network (CCPN) segment of the Auto Care Association (formerly AAIA) on Thursday, April 24. The purpose of the visit was to enlist the support of CCPN in the new NASTF Education Committee initiative as well as to gain insight from these leading shop owners on their expectations, need and environment for technical training resources available from the OEMs.

On April 28 NASTF's Executive Director presented a traditional annual update to tool-makers attending ToolTech, an event organized by the Equipment & Tool Institute. His presentation focused on the three most significant elements of change for NASTF in 2014: An increase in industry outreach, NASTF's Board of Directors and their Committees, and the funding of NASTF operations.

NASTF@WORLDPAC, Orlando, FL - May 16-17, 2014 (Exhibiting)

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

NASTF@ALOA, New Orleans - July 24-26, 2014 (Exhibiting)

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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