Autel scan tool training draws big turnout at Ace Tool Co. dealer expo

Scan tools are one of the most popular and competitive automotive tool categories in today’s aftermarket industry, which is why training sessions on new offerings draw large audiences at industry gatherings. The training session on Autel scan tools during the recent Ace Tool Co. national dealer expo at the St. Petersburg Hilton in St. Petersburg, Fla. drew a huge audience, as Michael Flink, Autel commercial sales manager, reviewed the company’s product line and explained various product features.

Flink noted that the growth in repair information services since 2000 was driven by the need for more information than what was available from original equipment (OE) scan tools. “They (techs and shop owners) found what was in the tools really wasn’t as complete as needed,” Flink said.

A shop needed 15 to 20 OE tools costing $3,000 to $5,000 each, with an additional $1,000 a year needed for each tool’s updates, Flink said. “It’s not realistic for a shop to invest $50,000 in scan tools and $15,000 in updates a year,” he said.

Flink noted that the Autel Maxidas DS708 provides OE functions affordably. “The bang for the buck is huge,” he said. He noted that the touchscreen interface gives a user an easier learning curve than some other scan tools offer. He noted that the tool’s OE style menu allows users to access bidirectional functions.

Flink said Autel has been sometimes referred to as an “import” tool, but he noted that the company’s coverage of domestic cars is just as broad as its import coverage. Under the GM heading, menus are modeled after GM’s Tech2 scan tool, Flink noted.

The Maxidas DS708 kit comes with special connectors for Mercedes, BMW, Nissan and other models. There is an AC power cord and an Ethernet cable. The kit also comes with a manual and a CD.

Flink demonstrated the readiness screen on the AL319. He noted that the tool has LED lighting that illuminates the codes on the screen.

The AL519 has diagnostic trouble code (DTC) lookups, a printing function and technical tips.

The AL619 has ABS and SRS airbags for all makes and models.

The AL439 and the AL539 both have a digital voltmeter and a battery built-in.

The MD802, he noted, is a “one directional tool” that allows service writers to do estimates. An auto scan pings all modules in a car and pulls the codes.

He also noted the Autel scan tools have printing capabilities and the DS708 has wireless Internet access and can print wirelessly.

Focusing on brake jobs, Flink noted that a scan tool is needed to do brake jobs on cars with electriconic parking brakes. He explained the company’s TS401, TS501 and TS601 TPMS tools.

Flink also discussed the company’s videoscopes. The Autel MV208 and MV400 videoscopes allow the tech to record videos, take pictures and zoom in. There is an optional SD card slot to store data in these videoscopes.

Looking to the future, Flink said Autel will be introducing a J-Box as well as a tablet scan tool.

All attendees received an AL319.