GM Loan Tool Program Offers Cost-Effective Access to Special Tools

The GM Loan Tool Program (LTP) supplements the U.S. Essential Tool Program as a cost-effective alternative to purchases of high cost and/or infrequently used special tools. It does not replace essential tool shipments, but provides access to costly and infrequently used special tools. Tools in the program range in retail price from $10 to $3,000. The Loan Tool Program was put in place in response to dealership surveys regarding special tool cost and availability and is designed to help save dealerships significant special tool costs.

Special tools in the Loan Tool Program can be requested through the GM Special Tools website.

TIP: Dealerships must access the GM Special Tools website through the GlobalConnect link in order to enable the Loan Tool button.

Once a tool (Fig. 1) has been selected for loan on the website, the tool will be shipped to the dealership via UPS 2-day ground (overnight shipping is available by request at an additional charge) and then, after five days of use, the dealership returns the tool to the central distribution warehouse in Romeoville, IL.


Fig. 1


The Loan Tool Program is coordinated and managed by Bosch Automotive Service Solutions. The LTP is dealer-funded by all U.S. dealerships through an annual subscription fee of $550 (billed through the dealership Open Account), which includes outbound and inbound ground shipping. (Dealerships with multiple franchises at the same address are charged only one subscription fee for the program.)


Loan Tool Program Inventory

Select special tools for all GM divisions are included in the Loan Tool Program inventory, including high cost engine and transmission unit repair tools as well as special tools for low volume GM models.

In some cases, the deferment of just one special tool to the Loan Tool Program can offset the annual subscription fee (for example, the EL-51470 Night Vision Camera Alignment Target has a cost of $2,661).

In recent dealer feedback, service managers have indicated that tool costs and underutilization are two of their biggest concerns regarding special tools. Additionally, surveys show that hard-to-find, division-specific or lost special tools must be readily available in order to make repairs correctly and efficiently.


Ordering a Special Tool

The Loan Tool Program features a simple process for requesting special tools. (Fig. 2)


Fig. 2


  1. Dealership contacts Bosch via the GlobalConnect link to the GM Special Tools website. (Fig. 3) Once on the site, select the Loan Tools feature and enter the desired tool number in the Search box. If the desired tool is available for loan, select the Loan cart button to initiate the transaction.


Fig. 3


  1. Fill out the request form and click Place Loan Request. (Fig. 4)


Fig. 4


  1. Bosch processes the loan tool request and ships the tool. 2-day shipping is included in the program (an overnight shipping option is an extra charge calculated at check-out).


  1. Dealership has use of the tool for 5 days and then returns the tool using the provided return instructions and label. (Fig. 5) The loan tool requestor will receive two email messages from Bosch as reminders to return the tool.


Incomplete or unreturned tools will be charged to the dealership at a rate of 2x the retail price of the tool.


Fig. 5


  1. Bosch receives the returned loan tool, verifies its functionality, and places it back in the loan tool inventory.


Each year, certain new tools, including new product launch tools, will be evaluated for addition to the Loan Tool Program. Currently, over 40 percent of all special service tools are available through the Loan Tool Program.

Dealerships have the option to purchase all special tools available through the LTP via the online catalog or by calling 1-800-GM-TOOLS.


– Thanks to Rick Jackson

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