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wiTECH , Micropod ll upgrade ?


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wiTech ,Micropod ll / Tech Authority : Shop focuses heavily on Computer/ Electrical work diagnostic and repair. Just received notice from AE Tools that I must upgrade in Jan. to a Micropod ll  with serial # over WSP-31560. Hardware cost of 1,850.00 with license and subscription a special deal of 4,809.00. ($500 discount with bundle)

The Question: What are others doing with wiTECH ? The yearly cost after equipment seems way too high IDS, MDI ll have much better program cost. Are you using wiTech? Seems essential for solid diagnostic and programming on Chrysler vehicles. Does anyone have a  source recommendation for wiTECH / Micropod ll  offering a more reasonable cost? 

I did look for discussions on diagnostic equipment, please point me in that direction if I've missed the topic.

Thanks,      

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Yes, you will need to replace your current dongle if its not a Micropod II with serial WSP-31560 or higher. We have been using a VCI Pod for the last few years on WiTech 1.0, but our license for WiTech 1.0 expired about 2 months ago, and they would not renew it. They said (and I knew it was a long-time coming) we needed to purchase a WiTech 2.0 subscription but the old VCI pod won't work, so you also see a new Micro Pod II to go with it.

The reality of working on FCA vehicles that you NEED this tool if you want to be competent and confident in your repairs. We have a Snappy, Autel Elite, DRB3 physical and virtual at our disposal, but they aren't always able to get the job done. 

 

MicroPod II Pros

- It is small and fast

- No more stupid ethernet cord to connect. VCI pod was always clumsy.

- Wireless / uses Wifi to connect (if you consider this a pro, I personally prefer wires under 10 feet long)

MicroPod II Cons

- It is required to continue diagnostics

- Expensive and technically unnecessary since there is nothing wrong with the VCI pods, they should still work but FCA has final say. 

- Communicates to PC via Wifi, not bluetooth. There is a usb cable that only allows device setup, it won't work as a physical connection for diagnostics. 

- Turns old dongle into a doorstop you cannot use or sell.

WiTech 2.0 Pros

- It is FAST compared to Witech 1.0

- It's internet browser based instead of a desktop java program (I think 1.0 is java, cant remember now).

- It shows vehicle flashes that are available in the network tree without having an active flash subscription :) 

WiTech 2.0 Cons

- WiFi only connection. For test drives, you literally need to have a hotspot (phone or mobile hotspot) to keep doing diag.

- Again, an unnecessary expense when the old program still worked.

- FCA will continue to nickel and dime at every opportunity. Tool, Software, Key Codes, Flash capabilities, Info systems: All require separate transactions :(

- Google authentication code needs to be entered twice every time you connect to the server. 

 

Hopefully that helps give you some more information. Ultimately, if you consider yourself a shop that is up on technology, you will have to pony up for the system. 

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Annual Subscription is $1600; and if the pod is $1850 I don't know where the $4809 amount comes from?  Are they adding Tech Authority too? If you are an ASA member you can get Tech Authority for less - makes it worth being an ASA member in addition to all the other benefits and industry support that the ASA membership provides.

I purchased my MicroPod II from my local dealer for considerably less.  I am told the dealers are not supposed to sell them to us - they want us to purchase through AE Tools or AES Wave, who will also provide support.  You can check out: https://kb.fcawitech.com/article/video-how-to-setup-witech-2-0-for-aftermarket-users-744.html

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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