Steve Brotherton Consultant/Technical Information Specialist at Continental Imports
iATN members who have been around a while will recognize my name as a strong proponent for factory OE tooling. Our shop Continental Imports is a European specialty shop and our main specialty is MB and BMW. Since NASTF opened up the independent world to access to factory tooling and software, we have had it. Our biggest problem through the years has been Jaguar and Land Rover. We had went with Autologic to handle those brands because aside from the tooling we did not have the training to properly configure modules, systems and networks. Autologic has now quit updating their tool and after we couldn't talk to a 2016 Land Rover we knew that we needed a new path.
As such we went to the Farsight people. So far they have handled exactly what we needed. They have remotely programmed the security modules in both a 2010 XJ Jaguar and 2011 Land Rover SE. These are some of the most complicated systems. They programmed and configured both cars while we proceeded with other work making a profit to pay for the outside help.
Just this week our techs faced a really confounding problem with a Saab. We bought our TechII from Saab 15 years ago and program them a few times a year. In this case we replaced the motor in a 9-7 Saab. Unfortunately the 9-7 is not in the normal Saab software and after spending considerable time with it, our tech came to me to see about handling it as a GM Envoy. I called Farsight as Our GM capabilities are poor if at all. We don't work on GM cars. They are providing exactly what we needed. That is mostly technical knowledge about how to deal with this. We are now going to program it as a 9-7 Saab with them overlooking the process using the TIS2Web and Cardaq and the Farsight tablet.
I see the tool as a total remote access aid/guide for those who handle everything and don't have the specific knowledge to deal with particular brands. Or, as in my case we handle only 6-7 brands but for a couple of those and another three or four that we shouldn't see but do, I now have the same power in my hands as I do the MB, BMW, and VAG that I send techs to training for and buy the OE tooling and software for. Capability is our shops main selling point. After spending a hundred and fifty thousand dollars on factory tooling the Farsight is a small cost to add a layer of capability that I can't create internally. It works for me!