Programming and Profits

| January 5, 2016

This article was first published in ACDelco Insider:

It is easy and affordable to program vehicles in-house, increasing the shop’s productivity and bottom line. All that’s needed is a J-2534 interface tool and TIS2Web software for GM vehicles. Several economical options are available for these tools that make it easier for service centers to get a better return on their investment when programming — all while saving time, increasing technician productivity and generating additional profits.

Return on Investment

Programming is quickly becoming more common — and a required procedure — for many repairs, from necessary ECM reprogramming for emissions-related engine repairs to simple relearn procedures needed when replacing a component, such as a window switch module.

Service centers can determine how much of an investment is needed to perform programming by adding up the cost of any programming equipment (diagnostic equipment, interface device, software subscription) and how much they would charge customers for the programming services (minus technician labor time). Divide the investment costs (tools and software) by the gross profit (charge, minus labor time) to reveal the number of programming jobs needed to break even. Most shops are sending profits out the door by not programming.

Service Manager Brady Bengel at Town and Country Auto Center in Lansing, Mich., a Blue Level Professional Service Center, decided to program vehicles in-house once he saw how it would improve his business model.

“I am able to turn vehicles around faster for my customers. I can keep my guys working on cars instead of driving around town or towing them to the competition. And I’m not turning away business due to being able to program in-house. My customers are happy and I’ve seen an increase in revenue — it’s a win-win.”

It typically costs a shop almost $2,000 more to outsource 10 programming events. That’s nearly three times as much, and 60 times as long, as programming in-house. In addition, the customer is charged more at a subletting shop versus a shop that provides full service. As a result of the cost efficiencies, in-house programming yields greater profits yet the customer charge is less per event. In the end, quicker, less expensive customer service leads to happier, loyal customers.

TIS2Web Subscription Options

ACDelco TIS2Web is the web-based subscription service for GM vehicle calibrations, Global Diagnostic System 2 (GDS 2) software and Tech 2 diagnostic software updates that are required to diagnose GM vehicles. Several options are available for TIS2Web software applications that are designed to fit the budget and specific needs of every service center, whether it’s a one-time programming need or a full subscription.

Programming n Profits

TIS2Web subscription options:

  •  Complete GM Service Support Package $3,125 per year
  •  Tech 2 and Service Programming Package $1,395 per year
  •  Service Programming System (SPS) Only $55 for 2 days, $275 quarterly, $995 per year
  •  Tech 2 Diagnostics $750 per year
  •  GM Global Diagnostic System 2 (GDS 2) $57 for 3 days, $227 monthly, $575 per year
  •  Tech2Win $55 for 3 days
  •  GM Vehicle Communication Interface Package $775 per year

ACDelco also offers a variety of programming training, including no-charge online tutorials and a diagnostic technical support hotline. To view the TIS2Web Tutorial Videos, go to

For more information about TIS2Web, go to, click Shop Programs, and then select PSC Program and TIS2Web.

Programming Tools

In addition to TIS2Web software, a J-2534 interface tool is needed for programming. The DrewTech – MongoosePro® GM II may be a cost-effective option for some repair shops for diagnosing and programming GM vehicles. The tool can be purchased directly at

An Adapter

The MongoosePro GM II supports TIS2Web for control module programming and Tech2Win for diagnostics on powertrain, chassis, body, anti-theft, and TPMS systems, including GDS 2 vehicle diagnostics. The MongoosePro GM kit includes the MongoosePro GM interface, installation CD and user’s manual.

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Category: Industry News, The Business of Repairs, The Technical Side, Trainers Corner