It’s sensible to get a regular medical check-up. And not only people, cars need physicals too. But Nissan vehicles don’t go to an ordinary doctor. They have a tool that can examine the car almost like a CT scan. It’s called CONSULT.
CONSULT (Computerized ON-board System UniversaL Tester) is the “stethoscope” that Nissan dealers use but it’s much more than just a tube and earpiece. It communicates with the car's control unit to learn about the status of the vehicle's electronics system and check for malfunctions. After all, cars are now like complex computers with numerous devices and electrical components. Only a special “doctor” like CONSULT can diagnose defects invisible to the human eye.
And like the best kind of tool, it’s easy to use. The cable is plugged into the outlet under the dashboard on the driving seat and then hooked up to the computer. Specialist software scans the car, displaying any faults and then offering troubleshooting guidance.
In this way Nissan can deliver high-level after-sales services all over the world through its team of dedicated “paramedics.”
An ever-evolving, ever-improving tool
CONSULT-III Plus is the latest version of CONSULT which came out in 2010. Nissan arrived at this new model after sounding out the opinions of the actual technicians who use the CONSULT system in Japan and major markets around the world.
One of the new features is it can print out a “medical chart” for the car, so now even owners without the in-depth knowledge of mechanics can get a grasp of repairs and maintenance conditions. Ultimately, CONSULT is a medium for furnishing customers with information and peace of mind.
Accurate, fast communication
CONSULT was the culmination of the ingenuity and efforts of its developers, the Global Service Engineering Dept (GAS) and Electronics Architecture Engineering Dept (XX2) team. The beneficiaries of their toil are chiefly the customers and local Nissan staff, who can now use CONSULT to print out materials when explaining complex car problems. This isn’t just about giving some cars a little something “extra.” It’s an integral tool in the relationship between manufacturer and owner, and it was the GAS team’s crowning moment when CONSULT was integrated with all vehicle models, including OEM cars.
The team wanted to create a system that could be relied on to always help carry out vehicle repairs and inspections quickly and effectively, and to this end they gathered spec data on vehicles sold in all countries. CONSULT now displays the check-up and maintenance manual in twelve different languages. CONSULT-III Plus is fast too: It requires just 50 seconds to analyze and display the results of its inspection.
The more CONSULT's usability improves, the better the service that staff can provide to car-owners. The responsibility for quality does not stop once a car has been sold. Carrying out accurate “medical” inspections, finding potential faults early on, and then suggesting adequate measures to deal with problems – this is how CONSULT enhancses and ensures continued quality for drivers everywhere.