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Tool Review: Matco Tools MaximusFlash+

March 12, 2020
The reviewer was pleased with this diagnostic tool’s ability to extend the coverage and services his shop could offer.

Remote diagnostic services are convenient for automotive technicians regardless of their level of expertise or supporting equipment in their shop. Whether it frees up time for the technician to work elsewhere or offers coverage on vehicles that the shop does not have OE-level coverage on, remote diagnostic services assist the technician in precise diagnostic and programming applications. Scott Brown of Connie & Dick’s Service Center in Claremont, California, provided a review of the Matco Tools MaximusFlash+ after having used the tool in day-to-day operations.

The MaximusFlash+ comes packaged in a secure carrying case along with 100’ of network cable that is rated for outdoor use. Brown said the length of cable and its outdoor-rated protection offer flexibility in the tool’s application but did note that the 100’ length can be difficult to wrap back up. He currently keeps the cabling stored on a service cart but says he will be investing in a retractable reel.

The MaximusFlash+ also comes with a one-sheet quick start guide, “covering everything you need to know about the tool and how to use it,” Brown said.

“The only real setup [required] is establishing the online login [account] for the Matco Diagnostics site. To use the tool, it’s pretty much plug-and-play,” he added.

After establishing an account on the site, using the tool is “fairly simple.” The tool is plugged into the vehicle’s OBD-II port, plugged into the shop’s network, and the vehicle is turned on. Matco recommends connecting a battery maintainer to the vehicle before proceeding to fill out a service ticket.

Submitting a request is a straightforward process. The vehicle’s VIN is automatically transferred to the website portal. From there, the user can select which service they are requesting – whether it be reprogramming or a diagnostic scan. The prices for each service are listed beside each option. Finally, the site will verify the user’s contact information and the best method for contact. There is also an entry field, allowing the user to pass along any notes or specifics to the remote team.

“In my experience, they call within 15 minutes or so; sometimes, it has been much quicker than that,” Brown said.

Not only was Brown pleased with the expedited response times, but he was also appreciative of the level of support and expertise provided by the Matco service team.

“In one case, I was working on a Volkswagen and [the Matco service team member] I was talking with was an ex-Volkswagen technician who was very familiar with the system, which was a big plus,” Brown said. “He knew what to look for and how to set things up. It’s a nice asset to have.”

Brown also attested to the tool’s ability to extend the coverage and services a shop has to offer.

“A shop today may have a few highly skilled technicians who are proficient in certain car lines and may have themselves equipped with factory tooling,” he said. “But if they have other vehicle types come in the shop that they don’t have the expertise or tooling for, this tool helps fill that void.”

In one particular instance, Brown’s level of tooling was unable to access the alarm system in a 2009 Mazda 6. Through the MaximusFlash+, the Matco service team was able to remote into the vehicle and pull the trigger event history. With that information, Brown and his team were able to successfully repair the vehicle.

“[MaximusFlash+] can do what has been advertised,” Brown said. “This is a new solution. Instead of the shop tooling up and buying all the factory information and diagnostic capability for a car line they maybe don’t see a lot of, using [the MaximusFlash+] is an excellent business strategy.”

About the Author

Tyler Fussner | Associate Editor | Fleet Maintenance

Tyler Fussner is Managing Editor - Community Manager at Supply Chain Connect, part of the Design & Engineering Group at Endeavor Business Media.

Previously, Fussner served as the Associate Editor for Fleet Maintenance magazine. As part of Endeavor's Commercial Vehicle Group, his work has been published in FleetOwner magazine, as well as Bulk TransporterRefrigerated Transporter, and Trailer-Body Builders.

Fussner's May 2022 print feature 'The dawn of hydrogen trucks' was named the best single technology article in B2B by the judges of the 2022 Folio: Eddie and Ozzie Awards. Fussner was also awarded Silver in the Technical Article category for the Trade Association Business Publications International (TABPI) 2021 Tabbie Awards.

Fussner previously served as Assistant Editor for Endeavor's Transportation Group on the PTEN, Professional Distributor, and VehicleServicePros.com brands.

Fussner studied professional writing and publishing at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He has experience in shop operations, is a Michelin Certified Tire Technician, and a Michelin Certified Tire Salesperson.

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