What is the SGW? How does the SGW work?
What is the SGW? How does the SGW work?
You may heard someting about FCA Secure Gateway Module (SGW). SGW is going to change somethings as far as aftermarket diagnostics is concerned.
I have tried to write about the SGW to help automotive technicians understand why it is necessary, how it works, and what we need in order to prepare a service for SGW equipped vehicles.
What is the SGW?
The SGW is a module whose main purpose is to keep the communication networks of the vehicle secure.
So, SGW protects the vehicle comunication networks from being exploited by making a firewall between two portions of the network with the most vulnerability.These portions are the telematics/radio unit and the DLC.
How does the SGW work?
SGW separates the vehicle network into two sector as private and public sectors. The public sector are the telematics unit and the DLC. Rest of the unit on the network is considered private.
Access to the private sector of the network is almost impossible without authorisation. So SGW is not a gateway in the sense that you are used to. It's more like a fence, blocking most of the modules from public access.
SGW does not include any drivers and does not directly run or control any vehicle components, instead only allowing authenticated messages on private networks.
What is authentication?
SGW authentication can be goten from Chrysler servers. As of now there are two tools that will be allowed authentication via wiTECH 2.0. Micropod II and a J2534 device.
How to get authentication if have Witech diagnostic device?
If you use a J2534 device, the witech subscription is registered to the software, essentially locking it to the computer.
If you use a Micropod II, the witech subscription is locked to the tool so it is allowing you to use on any computer, tablet, or even cellphone as long as a connection to the internet is available.
When using Micropod II, the vehicle communicates through the Micropod II directly with the Chrysler servers via WiFi. The browser of laptop/tablet/cellphone logs into witech to access vehicle communication.
Considering the way data has come, we would think wiTECH will run slowly and not refresh data that fast, but it is surprisingly fast, if not faster than most other tools on the market
Working with the J2534 device is a little different. The J2534 device works with drivers and software downloaded to the wiTECH cloud instead of using an internet browser.
Both of these systems require an internet connection at all times, including for test drives.
By using Micropod II, the WiFi should be registered in the compartment as well as the laptop, when using the J2534 device communicating via USB, the WiFi should only be registered on the computer. This may make the pod less desirable during a test drive.
Some companies find some alternative way to comunicate with vehicle network when it has SGW. Autel is offering a bypass cable in order to circumvent the SWG.
FCA provided access to aftermarket companies in November 2018. Snap-on, Bosch, Autel and G-scan are all working with Chrysler for a solution. In fact, in February 2022, autel called for customers in all its regions to access SGW in the FCA group.
Why the SGW?
In 2015, hackers remotely took control of the 2014 Cherokee; Controlling many of its modules, including steering and braking, and posting it on youtube eventually led FCA group to develop and implement SGW.
Does the Security Gateway Module (SGW) placed on FCA vehicles prevent independent repair facilities from servicing FCA vehicles?
Actually No. FCA US continues to provide all diagnostic and service information to independent repair facilities and companies.
The SGW is embedded in most FCA vehicles for the 2018 model year and beyond as a cybersecurity measure as part of the FCA's commitment to continually review and address potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
SGW is not intended to prevent aftermarket vehicle companies and/or aftermarket repair centers from servicing FCA vehicles. SGW is exactly for securing the vehicle communication network.
How can aftermarket repair workshops service FCA vehicles that have an SGW?
For the US, FCA has installed a "bridge server" and user management system called AutoAuth that mimics the user and vehicle authentication process used by FCA certified dealers with the FCA scan tool.
This solution allows aftermarket scan tools to unlock the SGW and perform all necessary repair procedures. Users outside the United States receive this service directly from FCA.
Do all aftermarket scan tool companies have the ability to be registered through AutoAuth so that I can begin servicing FCA vehicles equipped with an SGW?
FCA has reached out to all aftermarket scan tool companies that currently have an active scan tool license agreement with FCA to provide this functionality.
FCA US is in ongoing discussions with several scan tool companies and is working to help them deliver their solutions as soon as possible. Currently, Autel company provides this service to all its users.
Does the aftermarket scan tool have the same functionality on SGW equipped vehicles as they did on non-SGW equipped vehicles?
Yes. Once the SGW has been unlocked through the authentication process, the aftermarket scan tool can perform diagnostics as with non-SGW-equipped FCA tools.