May Newsletter from CAS

Article Index
⚙️OEM vs Aftermarket Scan Tools
⚙️The Critical Role of Software Updates for Scan Tools
⚙️From the Field: NASTF Certification
⚙️Laptop Upgrades: HDD to SSD

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OEM vs. Aftermarket Scan Tools:
Weighing the Benefits for Automotive Technicians

When it comes to diagnosing and repairing modern vehicles, automotive technicians rely on diagnostic scan tools to access vital information from a vehicle's onboard computer. With a wide range of options available, shop owners often face the challenge of choosing between Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) scan tools and aftermarket alternatives. In this article, we will explore the benefits of both options, helping you make an informed decision about the best fit for your shop's operational needs.

OEM Scan Tools
"Precision and Coverage"
Vehicle-Specific Functionality: OEM scan tools are specifically designed for use with a particular make or model of vehicle. This ensures that technicians have access to all relevant diagnostic information and vehicle-specific functions, resulting in more accurate diagnoses and efficient repairs.
Comprehensive Coverage: OEM scan tools typically provide more extensive coverage of a vehicle's systems and components, enabling technicians to access a wider range of diagnostic data. This can be particularly beneficial when working with complex or advanced systems, such as ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems).
Software Updates and Support: With OEM scan tools, technicians can expect regular software updates. This ensures that the tool remains up to date with the latest vehicle years, models and technologies, as well as any changes to diagnostic procedures or protocols.
Security Access & Programming:
The need to access security systems such as adding keys or performing a programming operation is pretty much guaranteed to be possible when using a factory scan tool.
Aftermarket Scan Tools
"Versatility and Affordability"
Cost-Effectiveness: Aftermarket scan tools are often more affordable than their OEM counterparts, making them an attractive option for technicians working with a limited budget or those who service a wide variety of vehicle makes and models.
Multi-Brand Compatibility: One of the primary benefits of aftermarket scan tools is their ability to work with multiple vehicle brands. This can be advantageous for independent repair shops or technicians who frequently service multiple makes and models, as it eliminates the need to purchase multiple OEM scan tools.
Customization and Flexibility: Aftermarket scan tools often offer a greater degree of customization and flexibility, allowing technicians to tailor the tool to their specific needs and preferences. This can include the ability to add or remove features, adjust settings, and even develop custom diagnostic procedures.
Ease of Use: Many aftermarket scan tools are designed with user-friendliness in mind, featuring intuitive interfaces and easy-to-navigate menus. This can help reduce the learning curve and enable technicians to quickly and efficiently diagnose and repair vehicles.

The Critical Role of Software Updates in Automotive Scan Tools

In the automotive industry, vehicles are increasingly tech oriented. Automotive scan tools, used for diagnostics and repairs, must keep pace. One key aspect to ensure these tools' effectiveness is regular software updates.
Adapting to New Automotive Technologies:
Today's vehicles contain complex electronic systems. To accurately diagnose and repair these, your scan tools need to stay updated. Software updates ensure compatibility with new models and refine diagnostic processes for precision and efficiency.
Addressing Software Bugs and Compliance:
Software updates are often released to rectify any bugs that can affect the tool's performance. Also, they ensure compliance with the tool manufacturer's standards, reducing the risk of a misdiagnosis or presenting inaccurate data displays.
Enhancing Tool Efficiency and Longevity:
Besides compatibility and bug fixes, updates often enhance the user interface, making it more user-friendly. Enhancements such as a new navigation screen can lead to quicker diagnostics and repairs. Additionally, updates can extend your tool's life, protecting your investment and ensuring continued high-quality service to your customers.
At CAS we currently track over 20,000 software subscriptions for our customers. Knowing a software subscription is expiring and when to renew is one of the ways we help our customers and unsure their scan tools are fully up to date. For subscription renewal needs, call your CAS rep or the CAS offices @ 508-238-5855 x1.

Howard Sanders: Field Rep Eastern Michigan

From The Field - NASTF LSID Certification

Is it time for you or someone in your shop to become a NASTF Certified Vehicle Security Professional (formally LSID)?
If your shop works on late-model Ford or Chrysler, the answer is YES! CAS Field reps are currently seeing a trend of manufacturers updating modules and/or the scan tool programs to require VSP Credentials to finish programming replacement of certain components that are related to security (BCM, PCM, Ignition Components, Instrument Clusters, etc.).
Here are just a couple of examples from the field:
  • 2015-2016 Jeep Renegade BCM’s due to FCA’s use of 2017 Renegade BCM for replacement requiring a $30, 3 day Expiring Tech Authority SKIM or Security Access Pin (dealer SKIM Pin does not work).
  • 2015 & Newer Ford SJB/BCM/GEM replacements requiring a parameter reset to complete.
  • Any “push button start” Ford that requires PCM replacement (oldest seen by CAS Reps- 2008 Ford Fusion Requiring NASTF Credentials).
These vehicles are not exceptions. They are the early warnings for the need to become a NASTF Certified VSP. As we continue forward, this need will become greater & greater for a shop to be able to complete some repairs on today’s vehicles.
For further information on NASTF VSP requirements, speak to your CAS Rep or click here to visit their official website: NASTF SDRM.

CAS is Hiring

CAS is seeking a Technical Field Representative to join our team in the North Shore area of Boston. As a Technical Representative, you will be responsible for building relationships with potential customers and promoting our innovative automotive technology products. This is the perfect job for someone who has a passion for cars, technology, and computers but wants to transition from day-to-day technician or shop owner to a position that allows one to use their knowledge helping others in the automotive repair industry.
  • A technical background in diagnostics and repair.
  • A comfortable knowledge of PC's and windows.
  • A desire to work with other techs providing technical support and training.
  • Company provided demonstration tools. Both OEM and aftermarket.
  • Generous compensation plan
  • Health Insurance plan
  • Retirement plan
  • Ongoing Technical Training
  • An opportunity for both higher income and personal growth
If you are a self-starter with a passion for cars and technology, we would love to hear from you. Apply today and take the first step towards an exciting career with CAS!

Tech Tip: Laptop Upgrades HDD to SSD


Have you noticed that you have to wait for what seems like forever to get your Diagnostic laptop to boot up lately?
If the PC is more than a few years old there is a good chance you’ve got an old Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or maybe a 'Hybrid' drive in your laptop. The HDD has moving parts inside that break down over time due to heat and extended use which causes extended boot times and poor performance. Think of an HDD as a Record Player in that they use a series of spinning disks and an arm that has to place a read head over the right track on the disk to get the data. This technology was sufficient for automotive use up until the last few years.
The good news is your drive can be easily upgraded by CAS to increase both the speed and useful service life of your existing laptop.
Our Tech Department can upgrade your old HDD to a new Solid-State Drive (SSD) which will significantly increase the overall performance of your laptop at a lower cost compared to purchasing a new PC. This upgrade could also be considered if you are buying a new laptop and want to use your old laptop as a backup/secondary PC (depending on the OEM applications you have). You will notice right away that there is a much shorter boot time in Windows, so you’ll spend less time waiting to connect to customer vehicles. The SSD also has a more direct data transfer, so any automotive diagnostic software which requires a large amount of data will run smoother. Having no moving parts in an SSD allows the laptop to be much more resistant to everyday wear and tear in the automotive environment which keeps your diagnostic laptop ready to use whenever it is needed.
If you have a laptop that you feel might be a candidate for an SSD upgrade, contact your CAS Sales Rep to start the process!

February Newsletter from CAS

February Newsletter
This month the CAS newsletter will be introducing a new column, 'From the Field'.

From the Field will feature articles from CAS reps on a variety of topics about common issues they're seeing at different shops regarding questions about various product or vehicle lines. This month's article is about the newer Ford VCM-3 interface and is written by longtime CAS Field Rep Howard Sanders. Howard is based out of the Detroit, MI. area.

This issue will also introduce our new EZ-Remote package and all of its capabilities. Navigate to the EZ-Remote article to watch an informational video and/or open a PDF.

Thank you from all of us at CAS!

Watch a Short Video on EZ-Remote


Introducing CAS EZ-Remote!

EZ-Remote software from CAS and E-ZDS makes it possible to connect technicians with OEM software to run on any late model car or truck. EZ-Remote works with either a Zenith-5 or a Gscan3 allowing for multiple OEM software applications to work on scanning and reprogramming cars from any distance, whether it is across town or across the country.

"What if I only own one or two shops, would EZ-Remote help me?"

With the EZ-Remote you don't need to buy any OEM software or interface devices - all you need is a Z5 or Gscan3. Either tool may be used as a general scan tool but when OEM software is needed, they are also compatible with EZ-Remote. Simply schedule an on-line session with the CAS EZ-Remote operator and we will use OEM software operated by CAS to remote in and provide support. Simply pay a single session fee. To schedule a session call '83 EZ-Remote' (833-397-3668) M-F 8:30am-5:00pm EST

"I own 3 shops but only 1 OEM factory tool, can I be my own EZ-Remote operator?"

Yes! Previously, in order to do OEM diagnostics in a 2nd or 3rd shop, you would need to purchase another factory tool package or bring the vehicle to shop #1, transport the scan tool to another location, or hire a remote diagnostic provider. With an EZ-Remote subscription you can now just purchase Z-5's for locations 2 and 3 then use OEM software from Shop #1 to remote in for diagnostic tests with shops #2 and #3 – no driving vehicles or scan tools around. No 3rd party mobile diagnostic fees. No lost technician time! To order an EZ-Remote package contact your local CAS rep.

Here are the basic steps of how EZ-Remote works.

1)   A Service Tech will send a connection request via the scan tools keyboard to an EZ-Remote operator using either an E-ZDS manufactured Zenith-5 or Gscan-3.

2)   The Remote Operator will respond to the request by connecting to the on-site scan tool remotely and once connected to the scan tool, connect to the car through the vehicle’s data link connector.

3)   The Remote Operator will then launch the appropriate OEM software and perform a Pre-Scan, identifying any pre-existing issues.

4)   The technician can then troubleshoot any codes that show up and/or perform any needed services. If vehicle programming is required, the EZ-Remote operator can perform any necessary reprogramming.

5)   Once the repairs have concluded, a Post-Scan report can be generated and emailed to the shop.

EZ-Remote gives you the opportunity to access OEM scan tools on an as needed basis or create your own diagnostic network by centralizing your OEM scan tools through an EZ-Remote network based in one of your shop locations.

Cut costs without cutting corners.

Service more vehicles.

Spend less time.

It's that EZ.

For more information or to request a demonstration call your local CAS rep or contact the CAS offices at (508) 238-5855. On-line at

Click to Open Additional Information PDF

Howard Sanders: Field Rep Eastern Michigan

From The Field - FORD VCM3
"Do I really need a Ford VCM-3?"

As a CAS Field Rep I hear this question quite often. If you are a Light Duty shop that works on F Super Duty Series trucks or a shop doing work for the collision industry, then the answer would be “YES”. We are seeing a need on late 2019 and newer model F-350SD trucks for more stable communication & programming on these platforms. The VCM 3 is a much faster & more stable communication interface when using the Ford Diagnostic Repair System (FDRS); which is the required OE program for 4 Models in 2018, but blossoms to 18 Models in 2021 with the new CAN-FD network on some of those later models.

Are you a shop that works on Medium Duty Ford Trucks (F-650 & 750, LCF)? Then the answer is an absolute “YES”. No longer will you have to send out your customers Medium Duty Fords for Programming or diagnosing. With the New VCM 3 & the Ford 9-Pin Deutsch Adapter for your 16 Pin VCM-3 diagnostic cable you are now able to use the VCM 3 not only as a factory interface with IDS & FDRS but you now are able to use the Ford VCM-3 interface with Factory HD Truck Applications such as Cummins, Navistar Engine Diagnostics, Wabco, Bendix, etc. for those spec-built components of a Ford Medium Truck. It also adds the new Ford CAN-FD (Flex Data Rate CAN) Network Communication Capability for the New Ford Medium Duty Trucks Starting 2018.

Additionally, if you still have an original VCM-1 interface, then the answer is definitely a “YES”. Many shop owners are now finding out the hard way that they are having to upgrade due to many requirements/updates of Windows10 operating system. Also, the many issues being seen with Ford IDS 128.01 software release compatibility. So now is an absolute great time for VCM-1 owners to upgrade to an interface that will cut diagnostic/programming times and expand the IDS capabilities. Also be advised that if your VCM-1 should fail, it is no longer considered a repairable item and with the on-going electronic shortages you could find yourself without a working VCM for weeks if not months!

Finally, the VCM-3 has firmware updating capabilities for the foreseeable future with the F1 & F2 buttons on the unit. The VCM 3 gives a user a much faster and more stable communication interface with the vehicle you are working on when using the IDS or FDRS Software’s. Not to mention the much faster Ford CAN-FD Network access and use with the newer Ford EV’s, Cars & Trucks. In fact. it can take upwards of 5 minutes to establish communication with FDRS on a 2021 & up Ford Mach E Mustang with a VCM-2 and literally 1 minute with a VCM-3.

Refer A Friend Rewards
Even though they say friends shouldn't go into business together, there's nothing about friends helping one another in business itself!

The CAS Refer-a-Friend program rewards successful referrals in the form of a $100 American Express gift card which can be used anywhere. A referral tells us that you're not only pleased with the service we provide but that you trust CAS enough to be your recommended service provider.

For more information or to request a referral form, call your CAS rep or the CAS office at (508) 238-5855.

CAS is Hiring
CAS is looking to hire a Field Rep in the North Shore area of Boston.

This is the perfect job for someone who loves cars, technology, and computers but wants to focus on the sales aspect of the automotive industry rather than the hands-on technical or mechanical aspects of the industry. Benefits include:

  • Company provided demo stock
  • Generous compensation plan
  • Health Insurance plan
  • Retirement plan
  • On going Technical Training
  • An opportunity for income and personal growth

Click here to learn more information and fill out an application!

Tech Tip: Connection Issues

What did the car say to break up with the Ford IDS tool?

"It's not you, it's me..."

Very rarely will you find a problem with a scan tool itself, though that is not to say it never happens, it's simply uncommon. So how do you tell whether the problem is with the IDS tool or the vehicle itself?

The answer is simple - try another vehicle!

Switching from a factory scan tool to an aftermarket scan tool may allow you to connect through some backdoor method, but it does not fix the problem that prevented the factory scan tool from connecting in the first place.

For example, if you are working on a Ford vehicle and for some reason the Ford IDS scan tool is not connecting, try the same scan tool on another vehicle.

If the factory tool is able to connect to this next vehicle, then you now know the issue is with the original vehicle itself. This problem could be with power & grounds, communication wires, module failures or network issues, but it is not a problem with the IDS scan tool.

If the factory tool is still unable to connect on the new vehicle however, then you will want to contact CAS Tech Support as there may be a problem with your 'scan tool'. It may be an issue with a cable, hardware, VCM, software, or even a virus. Either way, now it's time to call CAS Tech Support and let them help you sort it out!

Contact CAS Tech Support at 1-877-263-4897, ext. #3 (M-F 8:30-5:00 EST)

January Newsletter from CAS

CAS Company Meeting
For the first time since the pandemic began in 2020, CAS was able to host one of our two-day company meetings.

CAS distributed awards to the top salesmen, CAS Reps met with representatives from TEXA, Autoland, and DG Technologies for technical training sessions, then ended each day by celebrating our thanks for another profitable year.

In addition to welcoming 5 new members to our team, CAS saw Joseph Demuth off into retirement after 14 years as an Ohio field rep.

We wish him the best and are excited to see what the new year brings to us all.

Taking over Joe's territory will be Randy Freder.

Randy has been with CAS for about six months and is based near Solon, Ohio. Randy has been in the automotive industry for years, working with both AllData and Mitchell 1. Prior to AllData Randy sold Bear Diagnostic equipment.

Randy and Joe spent the last 3 months of 2022 touring the territory together to meet current clients and attend training sessions, ensuring a smooth transition.

Randy can be reached at

On Monday morning Chris and Joffrey from TEXA arrived to speak with and provide technical training to the CAS Reps on the newly released ADAS RCCS3.

TEXA's Radar and Camera Calibration System 3 is a state-of-the-art ADAS system that does not require static calibration targets which can take up significant footage in a garage. Wheels and handles make it both moveable and allow for absolute precision in its measurements.

After Joffrey’s presentation, Chris took the CAS reps down into the bays, as pictured below, where he walked them through the RCCS3 process on a AXONE Nemo 2 tablet equipped with IDC5 software a 2018 Mercedes Benz C 43.

TEXA's Radar and Camera Calibration System 3 is offered in two versions - Digital Monitor or Static Target. The RCCS3 monitor is a 75-inch screen, meeting the 1:1 proportion ratio in every manufacturer's specification without deforming or resizing images.

For more information on the RCCS3, explore the links below and call CAS toll free at 877-263-4897, or email us here.

Autoland iScan3
On Tuesday morning the CAS Reps received in-depth technical training on Autoland’s iScan3, as done by Autoland's Director of Business Development, Eric Edberg.

Eric’s demonstration put emphasis on Mercedes and BMW, as the iScan3 is one of the few aftermarket tools which allow for the re-programming of BMW controllers.

The training consisted of first learning the computer side of the iScan3 and its Support On Demand (SOD) capabilities, allowing CAS technicians to access and calibrate the vehicle through the iScan3 using Support On Demand services from our offices. Eric demonstrated this on a 2018 Mercedes Benz C 43 in our garage bay before coming up to the office and walking CAS Reps through the tabs and options on a projected computer screen.


He further explained how certain vehicles have options available in the iScan3 that others will not, depending on whether or not it has been locked by the manufacturer, and the navigational steps required to get there.


The iScan3 is a European special tool but able cover nearly any vehicle and extends to Asian, Domestic, and includes those of Supercar make, along with various medium-duty trucks.


For more information on the iScan3 call CAS toll free at 877-263-4897, or email us here.
DG Technology
CAS was recently visited by Glen Eaton, the Senior Product Manager with DGTechnologies.

Glen reviewed for the CAS Diagnostic guys the latest interface offering from DGTechnologies, the DPA-XL. This new interface device was designed to work will all Heavy Duty OEM software applications by incorporation the RP-1210 design standard. The CAS reps found this an exciting addition to the product line up not only for its flexibility in working across multiple Heavy Duty applications but also because the interface kit included a HD Truck scan tool program ‘DGDiagnostics’.

This program allows for general scanning of most HD trucks allowing for code reading/clearing and data PID display. Shops can use this interface with any OEM HD app they may own and also use the DGDiagnostics app to scan the occasional HD truck they don’t have OEM software for.

All CAS field reps will have the DPA-XL device added to their demo stock, so shops interested in seeing the device in action can simply call their CAS rep for a demo.

Click to expand image of compatible software

Tech Tip: WiFi Performance
Most of the diagnostic tools today require some sort of internet access.

A common issue our Tech Support Department finds during troubleshooting sessions is a problem with the shop's Wi-Fi performance, specifically regarding download & upload speed. These internet/router performance specs are an important factor for applications like wiTech 2 or the BMW tool which require a constant, uninterrupted Wi-Fi connection. Slow speed and low bandwidth result in dropped communications and long, slow programming events.

You may click here to check your network's performance using Google's 'Speedtest'. When asked what the bare minimum for speed should be, generally 25Mbs upload and 25Mbs download should be considered the slowest acceptable speed where scan tools will work. As an example, when we recently checked our internet connect speeds, the CAS in-house network reported 297Mbs upload and 335Mbs download. Way beyond those 25/25 minimums !

We suggest that you check with your ISP to compare what you are paying for versus what 'Speedtest' is reporting. We also suggest ordering the highest available performance offered by your ISP when using it for business & diagnostics. Other factors which disrupt internet would be physical interference like walls or objects blocking the router signal. Recognizing and resolving these performance issues can significantly increase reliability of not only the functionality of your Wi-Fi based diagnostic tools but the rest of the wireless devices in your facility.

Any questions? Contact CAS Tech Support at 1-877-263-4897, ext. #3