Autologic Solution offers dealer-level tool and tech support for European diagnostics

Long Island, N.Y.—As many European vehicle makes continue to gain market share in the U.S., a diagnostic scan tool solution for the aftermarket technician becomes increasingly important, and a requirement for shop owners who want to offer their customers complete, in-house service and repair, said Justin Kidd, BMW and Mercedes-Benz support technician for Autologic Diagnostics.

The days of a specialist fixing a late-model BMW or Mercedes-Benz, for example, with an extensive tool kit and years of experience, are over, he said, and investing in OE scan tools is not only expensive, but each make requires different hardware, and a separate, Web-based software subscription.

The answer when it comes to a complete scan tool for European imports, Kidd said, is the Autologic, which offers coverage for eight vehicle manufacturers: BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Porsche, Volvo, Volkswagen, Jaguar, and Rolls-Royce.

Autologic Diagnostics, said Kidd, provides an invaluable technical support service on demand, using dealer-trained master technicians and specialist software engineers. Collectively, these elements make up the Autologic Solution, he added.

“The Autologic Solution is not just a partial solution,” he said. “It provides complete coverage of all vehicle systems, including unique functions such as coding, flash programming, retrofits, conversions, and fitment of aftermarket products.”

 The investment for the complete Autologic Solution, including the hardware and built-in software coverage for all eight car lines, and technical support, runs approximately $53,000, Kidd said. But he noted that, unique to Autologic, single-line software subscriptions are available.

“We sell a tool by software package,” he said, “meaning you can buy our tool specifically for BMW or Land Rover or Mercedes-Benz, or you can ultimately fit all of the software we currently manage onto one platform. We load whatever software the customer wants on the tool so he doesn’t have to replicate the hardware, which is really a cost savings to the customer.”

Rather than invest in the whole Autologic suite, Kidd recommends that shops specialize, starting with one or two of the key software lines, and expand from there.

“Traditionally, what happens is once a shop owner gets a few software lines, and starts making money with us, he will add the third, fourth, and fifth lines as he brings in more technicians capable of helping them repair those vehicles.”

If the shop owner is looking for coverage on just one line, the tool and software investment is $11,550, which includes all of the files needed to update the modules on the vehicle, plus tool updates, as well as tech support, Autologic Diagnostics CEO Kevin FitzPatrick said.

“We do the absolute best that we can to give the customers the highest level of capability and the absolute highest level of tech support,” said FitzPatrick, adding that the tech line, consisting of 12 European Master Technicians, currently fields about 300 calls per day. “We pride ourselves on the fact that when we get involved in helping a customer, we stay with that customer until that problem is fixed.”

 Every Autologic owner also has a unique password to download software updates, which are made available on the Autologic Diagnostics website, Kidd said, adding that a yearly software subscription for one line is $1,260, with discounts available for multiple car lines.

“Our software, in most cases, updates every day,” he said. “The manufacturers change software and change coding information, and we change it right along with them.”

A dealer-level tool with training and support is the perfect combination for generating revenue in the aftermarket, Kidd said.

“It’s is a force you can leverage and make real money with,” he said.  “We have to get guys past the idea of being nervous to make the initial investment, and get them thinking like businesspeople, saying, ‘OK, if these cars are out there, these cars need to be repaired. If I don’t have the capability to fix this vehicle, and if I don’t have the back-end tech support to help me fix this vehicle, well, that’s money that I’m not going make.’” 

Put simply, FitzPatrick said, the Autologic Solution provides an aftermarket shop with the complete dealer-level package.

“The Autologic Solution gives independent garages the confidence to undertake any service and repair work required and enables independent garages to specialize without having to involve the dealer for outside help,” he said. “From the day you purchase the tool, you have the same ability in your hands and at your disposal that most dealerships have.”

“This is how we assist our customers,” FitzPatrick added. “At Autologic Diagnostics we help repair shops grow. That’s what we do.”

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.