Talking Cars: Alldata and Identifix are worth the money

Junior Damato

Question: I am a new auto shop owner and have read your auto column for more than 10 years. I need to upgrade my computer scan tools and have been thinking about subscribing to Alldata and Identifix. Both companies have a monthly service charge, and I do not know if it is worth the expense. What are your thoughts on both companies?

Answer: Congratulations on opening a new shop. The No. 1 priority is customer satisfaction and communication with the customer. Second is information for the correct repair, not just replacing parts. Do not use cheap aftermarket replacement parts.

Now, the scan tool information: There is no scan tool that does it all. Unfortunately, you will need two or three scan tools for different manufacturers. Be very careful on your selection; most tool vendors will let you try a scan tool for a week and some offer classes. There are many monthly magazines for shop owners to read that offer information about new tools and equipment that are available. Be very careful on leasing deals.

Now to Alldata and Identifix: Alldata office management, repair and recall info is the best there is. Yes, like anything else, there is a monthly charge. I personally use it daily and would never be without it. This is a must for all your customer information – flat rate bill time for the job, price for parts and part numbers, in-depth trouble shooting and how to actually do the repair and special tools if needed.

As for Identifix services, no auto shop should be without them. Identifix is like a big football team, and each technician is a specialist in a particular car line. Second, they get information from subscribers like myself every day on vehicle problems and what repaired the problem. There is a section at Identifix called Direct-Hit online; it is open 24/7 and offers a tremendous amount of help and information.

In most cases, both companies will give a no-charge one-week trial. Trust me, you will subscribe.