ACES Vehicle Information

ACES stands for “Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard”. ACES has replaced AAIA as the industry standard for automotive vehicle data for catalog applications data in North America.

ACES vehicle information:

Some online catalogs and repair databases require ACES vehicle information and will request it if there is no VIN in the vehicle record (or if the VIN cannot be decoded for some reason).

There are two ways to add ACES vehicle information:

Configuring ACES

You do not need to configure R.O. Writer for ACES. R.O. Writer is compatible with ACES automatically and immediately when you finish installing or upgrading.

This means you can add ACES vehicle information to vehicle records when

ACES Vehicle Information

ACES vehicle information comes from the ACES database that installs on each workstation when R.O. Writer Client installs.

During R.O. Writer Client installation, the ROWriterData folder is updated with an ACES folder that contains the "ACES" database.

The location of the ACES database in Windows Explorer.

All dropdown lists of ACES vehicle information are populated by this ACES database.

You do NOT need to run an update or program to update this database. The ACES database is updated by R.O. Writer via file updates on the launch window.

Adding ACES Vehicle Information on the Vehicle Tab

The Vehicle Tab of the Edit Vehicle window allows you to

If Epicor is Installed and Configured

If you have Epicor installed, there are two links on the Edit Vehicle window: one for ACES and one for Epicor. The Epicor link is selected by default. You need to click the ACES link to enter ACES vehicle information.

The Vehicle information section.

Epicor and ACES Links

The Epicor and ACES links allow you to review and enter Epicor information and ACES information for the same vehicle. These links also:

  • For more information, click the following link: Epicor and ACES Labels - New Color-Coding.
  • If Epicor is NOT Installed and Configured

    If Epicor is NOT installed and configured, ACES is the default for vehicle information on the Edit Vehicle window and the Parts/Labor tab. The vehicle dropdown lists on the Edit Vehicle window are populated with ACES Vehicle Information automatically.

    The aces vehicle fields populated with aces vehicle information.

    As a result, the Epicor and ACES links do not appear on the Vehicle tab.

    Vehicle Information Dropdown Lists

    When entering ACES vehicle information, the following dropdown lists are available for ACES:

    These dropdown lists are the same for every vehicle. New lists are not added or removed based on the vehicle. The ACES Vehicle Selector may ask you for more information even if the vehicle is valid for ACES.

    These dropdown lists are populated by the ACES database that installs with R.O. Writer Client.

    To View or Add ACES Vehicle Information

    After you add ACES information on the Edit Vehicle window the first time, the ACES information is added to the vehicle record in your database permanently. The vehicle is then valid for ACES for all online catalogs and repair databases going forward. The ACES Vehicle Selector will not appear the next time you access an online catalog or repair database.

    Complete these steps:

    1. Open the vehicle.
    2. On the Edit Vehicle window, click the ACES link.
      • The fields clear and the ACES indicator appears in brackets.
      • If Epicor vehicle information has already been entered, R.O. Writer tries to enter the Year, Make, and Model using the ACES information.

    The aces vehicle field partially completed from the epicor information already entered.

    1. Select the Sub-Model.
    2. Select the Engine.

    The vehicle is validated for ACES when the engine is selected. The ACES link turns blue. Vehicles are not valid for ACES until the engine is selected.

    If the vehicle was not valid for Epicor when you clicked the ACES link, the vehicle is validated for both Epicor and ACES when the ACES engine is selected. Both Epicor and ACES links turn blue.

    1. Click OK to close the Edit vehicle window. The vehicle appears in the vehicle section of the Parts/Labor tab as valid for ACES.

    The vehicle section of the parts/labor tab showing the green ACES label.

    Vehicles Entered Before ACES Compatibility

    ACES compatibility was added to R.O. Writer 2.1. Vehicles entered before R.O. Writer 2.1 are not valid for ACES until you validate them on the Edit Vehicle window or the ACES Vehicle Selector.

    The ACES link is not selected and appears red when you open the Edit Vehicle window.

    The Epicor vehicle fields with the ACES link red.

    Vehicles entered before R.O. Writer 2.1

    The vehicle fields of a custom vehicle.

    You can choose to leave the vehicle as custom; however, you will be prompted to enter ACES information when accessing online catalogs and repair databases if there is no VIN.

    If You Enter ACES Information Before You Enter Epicor Information

    Because Epicor is the default, you would typically enter Epicor information first. However, let’s say you open a phone quote and access a catalog that requires ACES information. Typically, the ACES Vehicle Selector window opens and you need to enter ACES information. This will validate the vehicle for ACES before it is validated for Epicor.

    If Epicor is configured correctly on your workstation, Epicor can generate an Epicor ID from ACES information, which means validating a new vehicle for ACES can also validate it for Epicor at the same time.

    To Verify ACES Settings in Epicor

    The “ACES” entry must be included as a feature in the Epicor license. To verify, open C:\NetCatData\CatalogAssign.exe and confirm that “ACES” displays at the bottom of the list.

    ACES at the bottom of the list.

    NOTE: Epicor cannot generate ACES information even with this license installed.

    Adding ACES Information on the ACES Vehicle Selector Window

    Some online catalogs and repair databases require ACES vehicle information to search by vehicle.

    When you access one of the repair databases or online catalogs that require ACES information:

    NOTE: The process of accessing online catalogs and repair databases that require ACES information is the same if you use Epicor or do not use Epicor.

    ACES Vehicle Selector Window

    The ACES Vehicle Selector window appears when accessing catalogs or repair databases that require ACES information if

    The ACES Vehicle Selector window with the sub-model dropdown list expanded.

    The dropdown lists on this window are populated by the ACES database that installs with R.O. Writer Client.

    ACES Categories

    The ACES Vehicle Selector displays the ACES vehicle information the online catalog or repair database is requesting for the vehicle. If the name of the category on the dropdown list is red, that information is required.

    The categories on the ACES Vehicle Selector are dynamic based on the vehicle and what the online catalog or repair database needs. This means that you may see categories that do not appear on the Vehicle Tab of the Edit Vehicle window, which has static vehicle dropdown lists.

    When you add information in these additional categories, those selections are saved and stored to the vehicle record if you validate the vehicle for ACES by selecting the engine.

    Validating for ACES

    On this window, you select ACES vehicle information for the current search AND add that information to the vehicle record at the same time.

    When the ACES engine is selected, the vehicle is validated for ACES and saved in the vehicle record in your database immediately. This has the same effect as validating on the Vehicle Tab of the Edit Vehicle window.

    The ACES information is added to the vehicle record in your database permanently. If ACES information is stored in the vehicle record, the ACES Vehicle Selector will not appear the next time you access an online catalog or repair database.

    Epicor Information

    Any Epicor information entered for the vehicle displays above the category dropdown lists.

    The Epicor label on the ACES Vehicle Selector.

    This can help you select the correct ACES information. For example, in the graphic above, the Epicor vehicle information tells you that the vehicle has a 3.5 liter engine. This helps you determine that the Sub-Model must be an LT or an LTZ because 3.5 liter engines are available only for those sub-models.

    The ACES Vehicle Selector with the engine circled.

    NOTE: The vehicle information does not need to be valid for Epicor to appear on the ACES Vehicle Selector. If any Epicor vehicle information is entered for the vehicle, it will appear in the Epicor label.

    To Add ACES Information on the ACES Vehicle Selector

    The following steps show the process when an online catalog requests ACES vehicle information.

    Complete these steps:

    1. Open a quote, estimate, or repair order that contains a vehicle

    2. Click one of the online catalogs or repair databases.

      A catalog clicked in the quick panel for a ticket that has no vehcicle information entered.

    3. The catalog window opens and the ACES Vehicle Selector pop-up window opens.

      The catalog window with the ACES Vehicle Selector window over it.

      • If year, make, and model were entered for the vehicle, those items are selected already.
      • This window displays dropdown lists for the information required by the online catalog or repair database. Required items appear in red.
      • If the catalog or repair database you accessed requires additional ACES information, those fields appear on this window in red. You need to select those items to proceed with the vehicle search in the catalog or repair database.
    4. Select the remaining required items in the dropdown lists.

      The ACES Vehicle Selector window with the sub-model dropdown list expanded.

    5. Click OK. (The OK button is not active until all the required vehicle information is entered.)
    6. The ACES information is
      • Sent to the online catalog or repair database.
      • Saved to the vehicle record in your database.
    7. The catalog window appears with the ACES vehicle information loaded.

      the catalog window showing the vehicle information selected on the ACES Vehicle Selector window.

    8. At this point, you can continue to search for parts and post them to the ticket.
      However, if you close the catalog window without posting anything, the ACES information is still added to the vehicle record.
    9. After you close and re-open the quote, estimate, or repair order, the ACES indicator appears in the vehicle section of the Parts/Labor tab.

      The top half of the parts/labor tab showing the green ACES label.

    10. The Epicor information still displays in the vehicle section. When you open the Edit Vehicle window to the Vehicle tab:
      • The ACES link appears blue.
      • The ACES information entered appears when you click the ACES link.

        The ACES vehicle fields on the vehicle tab.

    How Do I Know if a Vehicle is Valid for ACES?

    You know if a vehicle is valid for ACES if “ACES” appears in green text in the vehicle section of the Parts/Labor tab.

    the vehicle section of the parts/labor tab with the ACES indicator circled.

    ACES IDs

    To be considered valid for ACES, online catalogs and repair diagnostic databases are looking for ACES IDs in the vehicle record. If no ACES IDs are in the vehicle record, you are prompted to select ACES vehicle information, which adds the ACES IDs to the vehicle record in the R.O. Writer database permanently.

    You add these IDs when you validate a vehicle for ACES. Vehicles are validated by entering the ACES vehicle information (including the engine) on the

    The ACES Vehicle Selector window with the sub-model dropdown list expanded.

    The ACES vehicle fields on the vehicle tab.

    For more information about ACES labels on the Edit Vehicle window, click the following link: ACES Label Indicators

    Mismatches Between ACES and Epicor Information

    Descriptions for the same vehicle can different in Epicor and ACES. In addition, you might pick a totally different vehicle for ACES accidentally.

    Mismatch Prompt

    R.O. Writer checks for these differences whenever you enter ACES vehicle information. If the ACES information is different from the Epicor information, a prompt appears showing you the differences.

    The mismatch prompt that appears over the ACES vehicle selector when you select aces information that does not match the epicor information.

    This prompt is asking you if you want to update the Epicor information to match the ACES information.

    Mismatch Indicator

    If the Epicor and ACES vehicle information do not match, a mismatch indicator appears in two locations to let you know that the values are different:

    the vehicle fields where the epicor and aces links have a not equal sign between them.

    the vehicle section of the parts/labor tab where the epicor and aces indicators have a not equal sign between them.

    For more information about Epicor and ACES labels on the Edit Vehicle window, click the following link: ACES Label Indicators