Reprogram in a Flash
For many shops, J2534 programming is a headache. The software and time that is required means that it will either eat up a large chunk of a technician’s hours or that it will have to be sublet to a nearby dealership or shop. The Remote Assist Program (RAP) Flash Kit from Drew Technologies is a way for shop owners to keep work in the shop while saving time.
How It Works
Everything that is needed to perform a J2534 program is included in the kit. The RAP Kit includes a Windows PC, J2534 device, internet access modem and battery maintainer, which is a feature that RAP Kit customers Harry Clack and Aaron Cash especially like.
“I love how complete the kit is,” says Clack, owner of Advanced Transmission in Lafayette, La. “The battery can be charged while the job is being done, it’s great.”
Also included in the kit are the OEM subscriptions. Currently, the KIT can program Chrysler, GM, Ford, Honda/Acura, Nissan/Infiniti, and Toyota/Lexus/Scion with more to come in the future.
A Time Saver
Both Clack and Cash, shop foreman at Hud’s Auto Service in Lubbock, Texas, say that their shops made the decision to use the RAP Kit primarily based on the time it would save.
“We decided to purchase the RAP Kit because reprogramming is, and continues to be, a problem in our shop,” Cash says. “The equipment that is required and the different subscriptions alone is a lot, but more than anything, it’s a problem because of the time that it takes.”
By using the RAP Kit, the staff simply plugs in the kit, calls Drew Technologies and puts the vehicle aside while it’s being flashed. Cash says it’s like outsourcing the job while keeping it in the shop. Someone else does all the work to perform the flash while the rest of the shop continues to be productive on other jobs.
Before the RAP Kit, Clack says his shop would have to transport a vehicle that needed flashing to a nearby dealership or shop in its network. The process would require two people, one to drive the vehicle and one to follow behind to drive back. Doing this could eat up an entire hour. That breaks down to two wasted hours of time.
“We have more control over the programming process and are able to deliver vehicles in a more timely manner,” Clack says about using the RAP Kit.
A Worthwhile Investment
Clack estimates that his shop sees anywhere from two to five of these jobs per week. With his estimate that each job cost him two hours of a technician's time, that’s a loss that can quickly add up. The RAP Kit is free for shops to lease and it costs $125 per service. Clack and Cash both say that the cost is passed along to the customer. Cash says that the price is too high for him to markup, but that the time savings is huge. Clack agrees.
“We see a cost savings even though we’re paying each time we do the programming service,” Clack says. “We see a savings because we don’t need to turn two guys loose to go to dealerships. That time savings goes right back into the shop and we’re able to be more productive.”
Clack adds that the fact that his shop is able to offer this service has created more opportunities for work to be sent to Advanced Transmissions.
Ease of Use
Clacks says that the RAP Kit is basically a plug-in-and-go product. If a flash needs to be performed on a vehicle, Clack says that his staff is able to move the vehicle over to the side, plug the RAP Kit in, and continue working on other jobs.
Clack says that the time it takes varies on the vehicle, but he says certain vehicles can be done in under 10 minutes and some take a few hours. This is much quicker than when he had to rely on the dealership, which could take more than a day depending on the amount of work that had to be done.