OEM Calibration Data Access
On several occasions I have dealt with customers stating that a Toyota vehicle needs an update. The customer will produce a TSB which relates to a current problem and would like the ECU to be updated before further diagnosis, The TSB is usually superseded so the calibrations don't match. This leads all to believe that there is an update. After paying $65 for a subscription, it is discovered that the vehicle is up to date.
This is a question more for NASTF but I thought I would bring it up here and see if I am missing something with Toyota. The domestic OEMs give us access to the current calibration on their websites without paying a fee to do so. One can compare the current calibration with the updated one and determine the need. The Chrysler system seems the best because you can download the pdf and search offline.
It seems it should be customary to provide this information so we can determine the need for an update. In the case today, a subscription was purchased and techstream said there was an update. It was an update to the calibration in case a factory supercharger was added to the system. It was completely up to date as the vehicle was naturally aspirated. $65 down the toilet and a wasted trip. Is there a Toyota database available that is free of charge? If not, is there a way to encourage Toyota to give access to the calibration / multimedia search form without a subscription?
Thanks for asking. I have been aggravated by this also, and I hope for a solution.
I have made it a habit to inform my customers that if there is no update available you still pay on Toyota’s. Maybe not full price, but you can’t lose money. If there is a way to check for an update on Toyotas then I have never been taught or found it on my own. The only way I know to check is pay the $65 and do a scan with Techstream.
Hi Mike: I appreciate where you're coming from. The underlying issue is that your customers don't know what they don't know. They think that a TSB is a TSB like a can of peas is a can of peas. Unless they can show you the current calibration in the module and the "current Toyota Motor Sales TSB" (if there is one), there is no way for you to know if a calibration update exists. In many (most?)
Hi Guido, My hope is that through NASTF we can get all OEMs to make the calibration information public. A couple of years ago Ford made substantial changes to their Motorcraft service website. At first the As-Built and Calibration information was moved to a subscription only area of the website. Several of us lodged a complaint to the administrators and within a few days they were put back into
Hi Mike: As I said, I appreciate where you're coming from. The difficulty that you will face is in how Toyota programs a module. I actually support the mechanics of how they perform it. It helps prevent people from doing things that they shouldn't do. Notice that I didn't say prevent. (I've been guilty of that, too.) When I chaired the NASTF workgroup for immobilizer information release by
Guido, Having Toyota list the calibration related TSBs on the free side is exactly what I am suggesting. In the long run they will generate more revenue from the services performed. With all the Youtube DIY technicians out there both the dealer and aftermarket service centers would benefit. OEMs like Honda get it. For $10 you get full on OEM software across J2534. More aftermarket support
By customers for you is other shops I guess.That fee is something I charge for or blend into the diagnostic fee.No money or time wasted.Untill something better comes along you should establish a charge to cover the fee and some time,at least you are eliminating a potential fix that they might be chasing there tail on and that saves them time and money.I
Hi David, It would be very nice if it were a nice an neat world where everyone values ones time. We certainly use a blended formula to establish our rates. Ultimately it all works out. In most cases if a vehicle does not have an update we charge half our normal rate for a service charge. Unfortunately with the $65 charge from Toyota, it does not cover even their cost. With particular customers
Hi Mike. There are two main points in question in your post. Guido has addressed it nicely from the technical aspect and that leaves the charge out fees for the visit and a service, that results in no change to the vehicle system. It definitely would be handy to have access to a free portal like the GM SPS info tab from TIS2Web, that is the public portal for GM products. However, comparing
Martin, Thank you for the advice. It is something that we need to work on. -Mike
Hi Mike. I'm sure this is something that many businesses continue to struggle with, whether providing mobile services or at a fixe location. There has to be some balance between charging fairly for services and not being taken advantage of. It's a mental challenge when you have a conscience and work ethic based on honesty and integrity, not to give it all away and be led to falsely believe
Mike, Toyota like a few other manufacturers (nissan) Seem to be a problem for aftermarket scan tools to just get the calibration number to coincide it with a TSB. I like you (not to your level) am a mobile programmer. I just advise my customers that the fee is not based on whether it needs an update or not. I do program Volvo. I find them very lucrative. Advising a customer that the programming
Our Volvo dealer is only about 20 miles from home base and charges $80 to $100 for programming. I could not even be close to competitive with the way Volvo charges for access and modules. Just not interested. Bigger fish to fry. -Mike