OEM Diagnostics in
• Since before OBD2 scantools have been a necessary tool
for some repairs
• With the increase in vehicle technical comes an increase
in scan tool usefulness and complexity
• Today a scantool may be necessary for simple tasks such
as tire rotation, brake pad replacement, alignment, or key
• There are tons of scantools on the market, but which one
is right for the job???
•Aftermarket scantools typically offer comprehensive
•These tools feature a common user interface across all
makes minimizes “tool-specific” training
•For a technician, single tool ROI is good when spread out
over their entire customer range
•But sometimes the technician needs more to finish the job
•Flash programming where OE applications fall short of real
world needs (I.e. emissions flash only)
•Vehicle diagnostic functions that are missing from their
•Security and coding functions that OEMs have not offered
•The need for the dealer tool is growing because of vehicle
complexity and number of software fixes to cars.
•Most dealer tools are hard to buy.
•Technicians want to buy from their local parts store or tool truck.
•Technicians also tend to buy tools that are marketed to them thru
promotions, media, and sales people
•They don’t want to wait weeks (or months) to buy from one
•Some dealer tools are difficult to use, especially without training
•Many “all makes” shops cannot afford the cost of every dealer tool.
•OEM Tech support for factory tools can be hard to get in the
aftermarket, depending on the brand.
•Without OEM tools, many technicians feel that their future is
•OEMs should recognize that the aftermarket needs
•Getting this capability to everyone is good for selling cars
and customer satisfaction
•Offer complete OEM Diagnostics thru a software subscription
•Let the technician use a universal pass-thru interface
•Allow technicians to purchase “ala carte” subscriptions by the job,
make then affordable enough that they can be absorbed in the
•Give any subscriber full access to all dealer functions, use SDRM
for sensitive functions
•Make tech support and training available, even if it is fee-based
people will want it (if it’s good)
•The Pass-thru concept is relevant for as long as the car needs a
•Every OEM is using some form of Pass-thru in the dealerships.
Many are using J2534, some are using PDU, some are using a
•Adopting a universal interface means agreeing on an industry
direction. If each OEM has their own standard, there is no
•The transition from a proprietary pass-thru interface to a
universal interface does not mean all OEM software has to be re-
•J2534 was originally co-developed by the OEMs, SAE, EPA, and CARB
•While not perfect, every OEM and many suppliers have a lot of interest
in it’s success, and over 12 companies make J2534 devices.
•Regardless of what happens with other PT standards, EPA and CARB
likely will still require J2534 for reprogramming
•There is a path for adding OEM-specific proprietary details thru J2534-2
to support future technology
•If you are going to pick “one standard”, it is the best platform because of
it’s maturity, implementation by all OEMs, upcoming compliance tests,
and capabilities for expansion thru J2534-2.
•Someday when the car connects direct to the PC (or internet), the same
software model works without a pass-thru device.
•In the future, perhaps technicians can plug their laptop directly into the car, buy
the short term subscription, and get complete diagnostics without any pass-thru
•There are many automakers considering Ethernet for future vehicles.
•Some of the proposed Ethernet vehicle technologies still require a pass-thru
device, but others may not.
•If the version of Ethernet they adopt allows connection to the vehicle without
pass-thru, a direct connection may be possible.
•Until that day of a direct connection, OEMs and Suppliers need to work together
to ensure interoperability
•In order for aftermarket scantool companies to remain
viable, OEMs need to release all of their scantool data to
ETI, but it has to be 100% complete
•Even doing so is not enough.
•OEMs also need to support “all module” flashing and SDRM
functions in their J2534 application
•Without both, technicians are still going to need the OEM
•Right now a real problem is growing in the aftermarket
•OEMs need to strongly consider two options
•Make full diagnostics available thru universal pass-thru
such as J2534
•Give ETI full scantool data and increase their J2534
applications to support SDRM and all module
•Many argue that a good solution encompasses both