July 1, 2016
Dramatically cut down on diagnostic scanning time with the MAHLE TechPRO

The Shop:

Jeffrey Buckley and his wife, Candace, founded My Father’s Shop in Midlothian, Texas, in 1994, and at just 2,400 square feet, the business exudes the mom-and-pop feel that its name suggests. My Father’s Shop does an average of $350,000 in annual revenue.

The Reviewer:

The small staff and size of the shop don’t get in the way of Buckley’s success. With just two people on staff (the Buckleys), the shop manages to turn out a monthly car count between 80 and 100 with an average repair order between $300 and $350.

To keep his shop up to date on the latest technology, Buckley attends the SEMA Show in Las Vegas each year to check out the latest product releases, and in 2015, he discovered the MAHLE TechPRO.

How It Works:

The MAHLE TechPRO is compatible with any Windows-based tablet, laptop or desktop computer. Once a shop has purchased its subscription, it downloads the software to a selected monitor. The program then pops up onscreen, and it’s just like opening an app on any mobile device, Buckley says.

The vehicle inspection connection (VIC) device plugs directly into the OBD-II port, and uses a Bluetooth connection to link to the computer. When it’s plugged in, it lights up red to show that it’s on and changes to green when it’s connected.

For domestic vehicles model year 2007 and newer, the diagnostic scanning is completed in about 30 seconds. Users can see the device run through each module. Once each module is completed, a checkmark pops up next to it.

How It’s Used:

“I can show the customer exactly what is being done rather than just saying, ‘Your check engine light is on for this reason.’ It also shows all of the other issues the car may have, when you can tell a customer there are other issues, that adds to credibility. That part is amazing,” Buckley says.

Buckley uses it to scan 3–4 cars a day.

The only downside, according to Buckley, is its limited functionality on vehicles made before 2007. The vehicles can still be scanned using the TechPRO, but the user needs to select OBD-II mode, which isn’t as fast.

However, Buckley adds that updates are coming and more makes and models are being added every day.

The Return:

When Buckley first got the diagnostic tool, a 2008 Ford Ranger came into the shop, but he forgot to use the TechPRO. It took him around an hour to diagnose the vehicle. After his wife reminded him to use the TechPRO, Buckley decided to find out how much time he would have saved. He was able to set up and diagnose the vehicle in under five minutes.

Buckley charges $95 per hour for diagnostics at his shop, meaning it takes a little less than two hours of work to break even each month on the $1,600 annual subscription fee. Then, add in the time savings (in general, Buckley says that it saves him 15–20 minutes per vehicle) and the added work found on each vehicle through the tool, and Buckley says the return on the TechPRO was swift.

Interested in knowing the impact of a particular auto care product in the shop? Send your suggestions to [email protected]

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