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We do a fair amount of flashing. I've looked at RAP a number of times over the last several years. Quick disclaimer, I have never actually used one, so my post here is based only on my reading/research. The coverage is rather slim. Especially for us; as we do mostly European cars. I have contacted Drew Technologies numerous times to find out their plans for expanding the coverage. I have never really gotten any straight answers, and most of the times, I never even get a response, or a call back that was promised. This lack of service always concerned me. I don't believe the coverage has changed much over the last several years, which again makes me a bit skeptical about future expansion. A few other things that concerned me is the need for scheduling and the hours for those appointments. The following is from their site.

What are the RAP® Service Hours?

Monday – Friday 8:30am – 6:30pm ET
Saturday 9:00am – 2:00pm ET 

 Special instructions for Saturday appointments!

• Appointments must be scheduled Monday – Friday for a Saturday appointment.
• Inbound calls will not be received on Saturdays. Only outbound calls will be made to those with scheduled appointments.
• Appointment scheduling will be available beginning at 9:00am ET with the last appointments being scheduling at 2:00pm ET.
• Nissan Valve Body/Transmission Programming appointments will be scheduled no later than 1:00pm.
 All currently supported OEM makes will be supported (GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan).
• Level 2 Tech Support issues will be pushed to the following Monday for processing.

   If you are someone who likes to come in early, stay late, or work weekends, this will greatly limit you. If you are on the West coast, you will not be able to do anything after 3:30 pm. Another consideration is that you still need to pay a tech to monitor the RAP and talk to RAP support. Something else that concerned me is the cost of the flashing. $125.00 seems reasonable for a flash, but I'm not sure if that is per session, or per flash. When I do a BMW, it's rare that you can flash only one module. The last two I did needed DME updates. To do the DME, the CAS, and the Instrument clusters had to be done together. It was all or nothing. I did a GM ECM recently. It also required flashing the Security Module. If each vehicle session is $125.00, that is not bad. If the BMW is considered 3 flashes, or the GM 2, that could get pretty pricey.   

Now, while I have just beaten up on RAP, it still sounds like RAP could be very useful for some shops. If you work on a large percentage of the vehicles covered, and you don't want to invest a lot in tools and training, and can work with their schedule, it could be a great asset. You could avoid sending cars to the dealer. Drew Technologies also changed their pricing model. When I first started looking at them, I believe it was about $100. 00 a month if it wasn't being used. Free if you did 3 downloads. Now I believe it is $19.95 a month. At that price, there is not a lot of risk to having it around, and I still consider it from time to time.




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I have a mobile tech that comes to the shop for some programming.   We pay $104 for simple jobs and $130 for more complex ones and no monthly fees.  I mark these up handsomely and charge for diagnosis too.   Granted I have to have the car in the shop ready for him when he comes and have to schedule an appointment, but it seems not much different from RAP except maybe they can schedule it sooner.  Also, my techs don't need to assist with the programming.  They just need to be on standby to retest and confirm that the customer complaint is indeed solved afterwards.  

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  • 4 weeks later...

We have used the RAP for about a year and it has eliminated our issues with flash capabilities. The scheduling has not been a problem and they have been pretty accommodating about doing multiple modules when it's necessary. We don't do a bunch of euro, so we haven't hit the wall there yet. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm a mobile programmer. The RAP service program is a good idea, until something fails. If you've never experienced a bad flash, battery dying during the flash, etc, you'll lose your mind.

Whenever I go to a shop, I make sure everything is setup properly, ask questions before I even connect my scanner (why do you need to program the module, what was happening before hand, etc) and to make sure the vehicle has consistent power. If one thing goes wrong, there is a chance all the modules can be burnt out.

I have a lot of OE scanners and subscriptions. Been doing this for a few years. I can also perform diagnostics as well to check the "failed" module/sensors. I always inform the shop if they misdiagnosed the job and the flash doesn't resolve the issue, they are still paying for my services. Had a few shops that did misdiagnosed the issue. Some argued with me (but paid at the end) and others  had no issues.

Some shops assume throwing in a PCM will fix the issue and it may not.

So personally, I'd recommend getting a mobile programmer or even buying a few scan tools yourself. You can do OE diagnostics and programming. The diagnostics from factory software is outstanding and will cut down time during diagnostics.

Let me know if you have any questions! PM'ing me will be the quickest route, as I'll get an email notification about it.


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We had Drew and liked it but now we do it ourselves and just pay GM Ford or whoever their fee. I think its around 25-30 dollars but I might be wrong. We charge 195 to reflash and update everything available. I think Drew didn't do everything we needed and that was disappointing but it was alot better than waiting on someone driving all over town.

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We use Autel and one of the guys has a snap on. Both seem to do something the other doesnt once in a while. Autel is alot less expensive and I just get frustrated with all of the miracle  promises salespeople make so I bought the lesser expensive scanner

We dont work on European very often at all. Mostly American and Asian.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      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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