Smart Pro Gets Even Smarter

Aug. 3, 2020
Added features help automotive locksmiths work smarter instead of harder.

The first half of 2020 is behind us — thankfully! Most people I know would NOT want to relive the past six months, but good things happened as well as the bad things that grabbed all the headlines. I suspect that a lot of lifetime friendships were formed this year. During the “lockdown,” many people spent more time with their loved ones than ever before.

As a locksmith, my job and probably yours as well became “essential.” Although some stayed home and watched TV as their income flatlined, we were out there risking everything to help others. We found new ways to work smarter rather than harder. Early on, I realized that reducing the amount of time that I spent sitting in a stranger’s car was just as important as the mask, sanitizing spray and gloves.

While others spent “quality time” with loved ones, I spent my time bonding with the tools that I use every day. I carry six different programmers in my truck, while four others stay mostly at my shop unless I have a specific need for them on a job. As 2020 got underway, I welcomed a new programmer, the Smart Pro from Advanced Diagnostics (AD), part of Kaba Ilco Corp., into my truck. Because I used AD’s Unlimited Tokens plan, I had a big incentive to use the Smart Pro as much as possible. I soon realized that with it, I could shave minutes and sometimes hours from many of my jobs.

The more that I used the Smart Pro, the more proficient I became. At first, I didn’t take advantage of the wealth of information contained on the page that opened every time I selected a vehicle. After a few screwups that made me want to slap myself, I learned to pay attention to what the machine was trying to tell me.

You could say that I have been in the information business since the late 1980s when I started to make training videos, teach and write magazine articles. So, it was natural for me to think that I already knew it all. In fact, one of the few undeniable truths in the automotive locksmith business is that no one knows it all. Soon, I really began to appreciate the work that went into putting all of the Smart Pro’s information at my fingertips.

The folks at AD have done an excellent job of compiling and organizing a tremendous amount of the data that we require to work smarter instead of harder. But, as the old saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” AD and Ilco put the information in our hands, but way too many of us don’t take advantage of it. After I made it a point to pay attention to what was on that data page, my jobs got easier and faster.

Updates for 2020

At the time of writing, AD had introduced five software packages for the Smart Pro since the beginning of 2020. (There are also Spanish and French versions of most of these as well as English.) 

Just days before I finished this article, AD announced that there no longer would be a need to go through the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) or enter a locksmith identification (LSID) number issued through NASTF to complete any programming operation. Here is an excerpt from that announcement: “As a result of these enhanced capabilities on the Smart Pro, Advanced Diagnostics will be discontinuing its Ford Online Service that required a NASTF login and the QR Reader.” This was good news, because I don’t have an LSID or a membership in NASTF. I don’t have anything against NASTF, but as an old-fashioned locksmith, I rarely have to pull a code, so the cost-benefit ratio would be a high cost with little, if any, benefit for me. With that in mind, let’s look at the newest software provided by AD.

ADS2296 – Toyota: This software allows the user to program the latest generation of Toyota and Lexus proximity keys and reset the immobilizer. Adding keys and All Keys Lost (AKL) operations are supported. However, changes made to the system by Toyota now require that all new proximity keys be brand new. If any “lost” fobs are recovered, they can’t be programmed back into the system. When this software was introduced, Outcodes generated by the software had to be converted through NASTF with an LSID and an active TIS subscription (an additional service that enables locksmiths to access Toyota, Lexus and Scion codes). That no longer is necessary for the reasons mentioned above.

ADS2295 - Alfa Romeo-Dodge-Fiat-Jeep 2019: This software update allows the user to program proximity keys for the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Giulia and bladed keys for the Fiat 500X, Dodge Promaster and Jeep Renegade models. No working key is required, so this software allows the user to handle AKL situations as well as adding keys. All existing keys (and remotes) will be erased but can be added back in during programming. The security PIN is bypassed during programming, and any remotes are programmed at the same time as the key. The Smart Aerial cable (ADC242) is required to prepare all keys, but no working key is required for that.

ADS2297 – 2020 Nissan: This software allows the user to program proximity keys for the newest generation of Nissan vehicles without having to access NASTF, obtain dealer codes or connect to the internet. The security system is bypassed automatically to provide a stand-alone solution for these vehicles. As with previous Nissan systems, all existing keys will be deleted but can be reprogrammed. Remotes automatically program at the same time as the keys. AKL situations are supported as are adding keys. This software update is available in English, Spanish and French.

ADS2281 – Mitsubishi: This software update allows the user to program bladed keys and remotes for the 2018 and up Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. Security is bypassed automatically, and no PINs or internet access is required. All existing keys will be erased during programming, but they can be programmed back in. No working key is required, so AKL situations and adding keys are supported. This software update is available in English, Spanish and French.

ADS2290 – GM 2020: This software allows the user to add a bladed or proximity key to several General Motors vehicles if no working keys, or only one working key, is available. PIN reading is performed automatically without access to NASTF or the internet. The remote is programmed at the same time as the key. This software update is available in English, Spanish and French.

For more information on the Smart Pro and Smart Pro software, go to:

Expanded Look-Alike Remote Line

Kaba-Ilco released many new Look-Alike remotes in 2020. But now, the Look-Alike line also includes proximity fobs, or smart keys. These remotes, Remote Headed Keys (RHK) and proximity keys have the look and feel of the original-equipment products at a significantly lower cost. Each remote is brand new, not refurbished in any way, allowing you to offer your customers reliable new remotes at lower prices than at the dealerships. Some of the new Look-Alike remotes include proximity fobs for Chrysler, Jeep, General Motors, Ford, Toyota / Lexus and Nissan. New RHKs also are available for most Honda and Acura vehicles as well as Lexus vehicles. New Look-Alike flip keys are available for Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Fiat, Mazda and GM vehicles. For more information, go to:

Steve Young has been a locksmith since 1973 and has trained and taught locksmiths since 1988. He is a frequent contributor to Locksmith Ledger.