C.A.S. 'Connections'
Issue 2013-10October 2013

Hello and welcome to this month's 'CAS Connections' newsletter!
This October 2013 newsletter highlights a number of current topics that we think are important for you to be made aware of.
Please take a minute to review the topics below that relate to the scan tools you presently own or may be considering purchasing in the near future.
The CAS/OEMTools Sales and Support Team  
TECH ALERT - VW kills scan tool!
NEW PRODUCT - Mobil Flash Cart
MICROSOFT XP - The End is Near
'LIVE-On-LINE' Support
TECH TIP of the Month - GDS Recert
TECH ALERT: Scanning a VW can kill your scanner!
Cars on Road 
Sound Impossible? Not really. It is possible that a VW can pull into your service bays for a scan issue, and you end up damaging one or more of your shops scan tools once you connect to the DLC connector.! 
The issue at hand are VW's that have aftermarket radio's improperly installed in them. Somewhere between 1997 and 1998, VW and Audi started using diagnostics-capable radios in most of their models. That means that scan tools can talk to the radio. Why? So you can set various options, like whether a CD player is connected, whether there's an amplified or conventional antenna, and so on. In addition, these radios constantly monitor their speaker outputs and if you have an open or short circuit to one of the speakers, even a momentary one, they will record a fault code. 
The problem is VW brought the "K-Line", the wire on which all of the control modules in the car communicate with the scan-tool, to a pin in the connector on which older radios used to put +12 back into the harness.  (We're not sure whether this was for antenna power or as an amplifier turn-on or what).  So if you were to take the non-diagnostics capable radio out of a 1997 GTI and put it in a 1998 (where there should be a diagnostics-capable one), it fits perfectly, plugs right into the harness, but the K-line ends up shorted to +12!
Now, nothing in the car cares if the K-line is shorted to +12. The K-Line is not used for intra-vehicle communications. But a scan-tool initializes a communications session by pulling the K-line to ground.  The K-line is supposed to have some voltage on it, but through a high-impedance source. If the K-line has "hard" +12v on it, something has to give!  What "gives" is usually the scan-tool's output driver for the K-line.
For a link to see how to determine if the VW you're about to work on has this 'wiring issue', [click here] and download the PDF file titled 'VW Radio Issue'.
NOTE: CAS customers...This tab is password protected. You will need to enter your user name and password. Call your CAS rep or CAS Tech Support [1-877-263-4897 ext. 3] if you have forgotten your user name or password.
CAS introduces the 'Ultimate Mobile Flash Cart'!
Flash Cart cropped 
Finally Found!...We have finally found the ultimate 'Mobile   Flash Cart' for use with all the laptop based scanners we have shipped out over the years.
After multiple trips to the Las Vegas AAPEX/SEMA shows, interviews with a number of 'tool cabinet' suppliers and endless on-line searches we have finally found a Mobile Flash Cart that meets our demands.
Think about it, laptops are becoming the common platform for all OEM tools and the next generation of aftermarket scan tools. Along with the growing number of laptops in the shop, the need to position the laptop while a reflash is in progress has become a growing concern. Top two places to 'park' the laptop when in use? The roof of the car and the passenger side front seat. We have had a number of laptop's in for service after they 'slide' off the car's roof. Broken USB ports on the PC mother board are a common failure due to USB cables 'hooking' on the seat while the laptop is in use.
So, here is a Mobil Flash Cart that is truly mobil, which means it has a large and solid set of wheels that allow it to actually maneuver between bays. A cart that allows for multiple PC arrangements, including a secondary larger remote monitor, room for a laptop docking/charging station, an integrated AC Power Strip with surge protection, a long heavy duty AC power cord when needed, room for a printer and a seperate keyboard drawer. A mobil platform that won't scratch the customers vehicle if it slides up against it. A cart that has locking drawers for storing all those expensive interface devices and second drawer for your reflashing power supply, plus a place to secure the laptop itself when not in use. It even has  place to hold your coffee cup!
If you have laptop based scan tools in your shop, and would like to discuss obtaining the Ultimate Mobile Flash Cart, please contact your local CAS rep or call our offices at 1-877-263-4897.
Microsoft announces the end of XP Support!
Microsoft has recently announced they are "ending support"  for their operating system known as XP Pro, effective April 2014. Everyone know's that one can't purchase a new PC with 'XP' anymore as it has been superceded by WIndows 7 and Windows 8, but what does "ending support" mean and how will it affect anyone with a laptop running XP?
'Support' in Microsoft speak, means many things but one of the most important support issues that will end regards the release of security updates. Every week, typically on Thursday, Microsoft releases what are known as security updates. These updates have to do with the on-going battle between good and evil in the PC world. In other words, security updates are software patches that are designed to be installed on one's PC to defeat the latest viruses and malware that Microsoft has recently uncovered. Installing these updates are your protection against viruses taking over your PC and making it do funny things, like not work! With MS ending XP Support, these patches will be ending and hence pc's running on the XP O/S will become more and more vunerable to attacks.
This development does not mean you should rush out and buy a new laptop with the latest Windows 8 O/S. In fact, not all OEM tools work with Windows 8 as of today! But you should consider an Operating System (OS) upgrade. Our recommendation is upgrading to Windows 7 Professional. (aka: Win 7)  Currently, all OEM Apps we deal with are Win 7 compatable and virtually any laptop purchased from CAS can be upgraded to Windows 7. As a matter of interest, CAS has been ordering and deploying Windows 7 compatable PC's for at least the last two years, anticipating this transition!
If you would like to have your current pc upgraded to Windows 7 Professional, call your CAS rep or call into our offices to get started. April 2104 is less then 165 days away!
CAS 'Live-On-Line' Support - It's Everywhere!
Cars on Road 
Technical assistance is becoming more and more important for any shop striving to keep up with the technology explosion that's coming through the bay doors today. Laptop applications for scan functions are expanding and with this new development the technical 'sandtraps' are also growing. Windows Operating Systems errors, hardware failures and technical issues all confront automotive techs every day.
CAS customers can take advantage of our 'Live-On-Line' support function which allows both our field and office based technical reps to remotely access your CAS supplied laptop for immediate and live assistance. It's like having one of our technical specialists right there with you as you service the vehicle! Hardware issues, help with a reflash process or just guidance for a 1st time user are all available to our customers as part of our annual support package that is included with every new laptop application we install.
Next time you need "Tech Support Right Now!" simply contact your CAS rep or call our office...1-877-263-4897 Ext. 3...We're available Monday-Friday 8:30-5:00!
This Months 'Tech Tip'!
This months 'Tech Tip' from the CAS Technical Support Department is about 'recertifying' your 'GM GDS-2' software application.
There has been a growing number of CAS customer who have now ordered and added the next generation GM OEM scan tool, the MDI with GDS-2. However, one of the idiosyncrasies of this new tool is the need for the application to be 'recertifed' every 14 days. This requirement is new to many shops. Failure to do so results in a shut down application, a delay in getting the car completed on time and often times a confused tech.
To help address this issue, CAS has written a CAS TSB reviewing the process of recertifiying an MDI/GDS-2 application. Although the process does not take long, it can seem confusing at first and this TSB provides a 'screen-by-screen' review of how to perform the function. This TSB can be found on the CAS website; www.oemtools.com on the 'Customers Only' tab.
NOTE: The 'Customers Only' tab is password protected, call your CAS rep or CAS Tech Support if you have forgotten your user name and password!
Any time you have a technical question simply contact your local CAS rep or call our Tech Support Department...1-877-263-4897 Ext. 3...We're available Monday-Friday between 8:30am-5:00pm!
Providing Tools, Information and Training to the Automotive Aftermarket