Hyundai Motor America is upgrading its dealership personal computer-based vehicle diagnostic system, putting more diagnostic and training information at service technicians' fingertips.
The Hyundai Diagnostic System II can be used to update Hyundai's hand-held scan tool software and to provide training to dealership service technicians via the Internet or CD-ROM. It also can be used for regular Web browsing, said Chuck Halper, Hyundai service director.
Halper said what makes the new Windows-based system attractive to dealers is that it can do anything a regular personal computer can do, plus support dealership service technicians. Halper said he expects to have completed dealership installation by August.
'In the past it primarily was used as a diagnostic tool,' Halper said. 'The old system doesn't have the same range of capabilities.' With the upgraded version, he said, 'we're able to get into live-motion video.'
Steve Burlette, assistant service manager and shop foreman at Livonia Hyundai in Livonia, Mich., said last week that he had had Hyundai Diagnostic System II in his service department for about 10 days, and his technicians love it.
He said the technicians really like the feature that enables them to look up information electronically rather than having to flip through paper manuals.
Burlette said he had not yet used the system himself but likes the idea of being able to surf the Web with it.
'It'll give me something to do on my lunch hour,' he joked.
Halper said the system's $2,300 price tag is relatively inexpensive compared with the $20,000 systems some auto manufacturers recommend to their dealers.
'We're in the car business, not in the computer business. The cost (to dealers) is what it takes to do the job and that's it,' he added.
Halper said the new system will work in conjunction with a new hand-held scan tool the company plans to introduce later this year.
He said Hyundai Diagnostic System II will enable Hyundai to pass on updated scan tool information from its parent in Korea to its dealerships in the United States.
Halper said the new computer system will be of particular use to technicians who might be in the middle of a repair but who need a brief refresher course to in order to finish the job.
Hyundai Diagnostic System II enables the technician to conduct vehicle diagnostics on one screen and toggle to another screen to see a five-minute video that shows how a procedure is done.
It also lets dealership technicians keep abreast of the latest repair techniques with online training and testing.
Currently, 60 percent of all technician training is conducted in one of Hyundai's four training centers, and 40 percent is conducted at local trade schools or junior colleges with which Hyundai makes special arrangements, Halper said.
Once Hyundai Diagnostic System II is in place, the training at trade schools and colleges will be cut in half, and 20 percent of the training will be computer-based.
Hyundai Diagnostic System II has a feature called 'remote rescue.' Dealership technicians who are having trouble diagnosing a problem can connect via telephone lines with Hyundai engineers who see on their computer screens what is happening as the technician in the dealership conducts diagnostic procedures.
Halper said Hyundai is rolling the upgrade out on a dealership-by-dealership basis. A Hyundai staff member is visiting every Hyundai dealership to examine existing diagnostic systems to determine whether a dealership needs to replace its monitors and keyboards in addition to getting the new unit.