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[Closed] Which diagnostic scan tool should I buy?

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10
Topic starter

 

 

Top diagnostic scan tools:

  1. ThinkCar ThinkOBD 100 ($25)
  2. Bluedriver ($120)
  3. Autel MaxiDiag MD808 Pro ($340)
  4. XTool D7 ($478)

 

Scotty's recommendations: Amazon

 

 

Page Contents:

 

 

13 Answers
2
Topic starter

Under $100

On regular cars, 90% of the time, a regular OBDII scanner is all that you need, such as the $25 ThinkCar ThinkOBD 100.

Pros:  Provides Live Data and Freeze Frame Data, I/M Readiness Monitors (Smog), O2 Sensor Test, EVAP System Test (Mode 8), On-board Monitor Test, Free lifetime software updates

 

Cons:  Not a full-system scanner,  Not a bi-directional scanner, Tethered (tool connected to OBDII via cable),  New startup company (will they be around in the future?)

 

Link to company site for more info: verify coverage and specific functions (you need) for your vehicle with the manufacturer before ordering https://thinkcarus.com/products/thinkobd-100


Additionally, consider the $40 Ancel AD410.

Pros:  Provides Live Data and Freeze Frame Data, I/M Readiness Monitors (Smog), O2 Sensor Test, EVAP System Test (Mode 8), On-board Monitor Test, Free lifetime software updates

 

Cons:  Not a full-system scanner,  Not a bi-directional scanner, Tethered (tool connected to OBDII via cable)

 

Link to company site for more info: verify coverage and specific functions (you need) for your vehicle with the manufacturer before ordering

https://www.anceltech.com/product/detail?id=1083195059194556416



For under $100 Scotty has also recommended the CGSULIT scan tools.  The CGSULIT SC301 can be purchased on Amazon for about $50 and provides live data recording capability. 

 

Scotty’s YouTube Review of the CGSULIT SC204 (very similar):

 

Pros:  Provides Live Data and Freeze Frame Data, I/M Readiness Monitors (Smog), Mode 6 Data, Free lifetime software updates

 

Cons: Not a full-system scanner,  Not a bi-directional scanner, Tethered (tool connected to OBDII via cable), While firmware upgrades are supposed to be included there have been none yet and the upgrade software for PC is partly in Chinese even if you select English as the language.

 

Link to company site for more info: verify coverage and specific functions (you need) for your vehicle with the manufacturer before ordering

https://www.cgsulit.com/?c=msg&id=45

2
Topic starter

$100-$250

At this price bracket, the $120 Bluedriver easily comes to mind and works with your smart phone.  Be sure to buy direct from Bluedriver to make sure you are getting the latest firmware and not getting scammed (e.g. clones, etc).

Also, see here for vehicle coverage:  scroll down to “Will Bluedriver work with my vehicle?”

https://www.bluedriver.com/support

 

YouTube Review of Bluedriver by Chris Fix:

 

 

Scotty’s YouTube Review:

 

Pros:  Does everything as the sub-$100 tools mentioned above (including free lifetime updates) + OBDII dongle pairs with your phone (no cable!) + Enhanced Codes (such as ARS, Airbag, Transmission, etc.) + Excellent technical support

 

Cons:  Not a full-system scanner (may not even give transmission temperature),  Not a bi-directional scanner 

 

Link to company site for more info:  verify coverage and specific functions (you need) for your vehicle with the manufacturer before ordering

https://us.bluedriver.com/pages/bluedriver


Probably the best bang for the buck that also blows the competition away while providing bi-directional capability (which is unheard of for scan tools in this price bracket or even in the next bracket up) is the $159 XTools A30D and $219 A30M.

 

A30D Link:  Xtool's only official store is on Amazon ($159)

https://www.amazon.com/XTOOL-Bi-Directional-Wireless-Diagnostic-Services/dp/B098NC47SX?ref_=ast_sto_dp


A30D Pros
:  Does everything as the Bluedriver including ABS Bleeding, Oil Reset, Injector Coding, Airbag Repair, TPMS Reset, BMS Reset, EPB Rest, DPF Reset, SAS Reset, Tooth Learning, Transmission Matching + full-system scanner + bi-directional capability (such as EVAP Tests, Compression Test, turn on/off radiator fan, A/C Clutch On/Off, Fuel Pump, Window/Mirror/Door Lock Test, Pump and Value Tests, Interior & exterior lights Test, Sound horn Test, etc);  lifetime free software updates 

 

A30D Cons:  Very slow processing;  All the features for the money sounds too good to be true - might this product overpromise but under deliver?;  Company and entire support infrastructure based in China so any technical support or warranty claims (like sending back the hardware) will involve back and forth with staff in China; as a newcomer, it's not clear if XTools will always be around

 

A30M Link:  Xtool's only official store is on Amazon ($219)

https://www.amazon.com/XTOOL-Wireless-Bi-Directional-Diagnostics-Services/dp/B09KT9XNML?ref_=ast_sto_dp

 

YouTube Review of A30M tool by Toyota Master Technician The Car Care Nut (scroll to 14:51 in video):

 

A30M Pros:  Does everything as the A30D + even more services  

 

A30M Cons:  same as A30D including being very slow 


For XTool full capability with your vehicle as well as which services and bi-directional capabilities are supported, e-mail xtoolonline@outlook.com

2
Topic starter

$250-$500

$250+ starts to get you into scan tools that can scan all systems/modules on a vehicle.  It’s what we call a full-system scanner.  For the most part, software updates are still lifetime free, but that's not true for all scan tools in this price bracket.  You will have to check on the manufacturer's website or confirm with the manufacturer's dealer.  These software updates are more than just bug fixes and provide functionality and capabilities (including services) for certain manufacturer’s vehicles, as well as adding all the new model year vehicles.


The $269 
Foxwell NT-624 Elite is a decent all-system scanner.

Pros:  Does everything as the sub-$250 tools mentioned above (including free lifetime updates) + full-system scan + also works with OBD I vehicles (very rare feature) + 4.3” TFT color screen + oil service reset + electronic park brake coverage 

 

Cons: Tethered (tool connected to OBDII via cable), Not a bi-directional scanner, does not provide comprehensive list of service functions

 

Link to company site for more info: verify coverage and specific functions (you need) for your vehicle with the manufacturer before ordering

https://www.foxwelltech.us/product-detail-606.html


At $340 the Autel MaxiDiag MD808 Pro is a handheld scan tool which scans all computer modules and does everything a $375 Tablet Autel MX808 (described later) can do except it offers fewer service functions (see link below to see difference between the MD808 and MX808) - if you need some of those service functions then you step up to the MX808 (plus it’s a tablet, easier to see/read).  However, the MD808 Pro comes with free lifetime updates unlike the MX808 (where it is free for one year only).  See link: https://www.aeswave.com/MaxiDiag-MD808-Pro-p9591.html  

For vehicle coverage, enter that tool here to see if your car(s) is covered:

https://www.autel.com/vehicle-coverage/coverage2

 

YouTube Review of MD808 Pro (compares against the Autel MaxiCom MK808 which is essentially the same as the MaxiCheck MX808 mentioned down below):


Pros
: Does everything as the sub-$250 tools mentioned above (including free lifetime updates) + full-system scan + 4.0” LCD screen + Oil Service Reset + Battery Registration Reset + Diesel Particulate Service + Reset Steering Angle Sensor Functionality + Relearn Parking Brake Pad after replacement + Reset Service Mileage and Service Intervals + Turn Off ECU Brake Warning Light;  well-established company in North American for decades with strong authorized dealer network and technical support (if something happens to the unit and you have to send back worst-case, you don't have to deal with technical support in China)

 

Cons: Tethered (tool connected to OBDII via cable, Not a bi-directional scanner, still does not provide comprehensive list of service functions

 

Link to company site for more info: verify coverage and specific functions (you need) for your vehicle with the manufacturer before ordering

https://www.autel.com/c/www/mk2/3216.jhtml


Before buying from Autel
, read this: https://carkiller.com/scottykilmer/postid/226864/


If you need some bi-directional ability, then consider the $410 Innova 5610 (non RS is fine) - these is the same one that Scotty has used in some videos (except his said RS but it’s the same thing).  As expected at this price point this tool scans every module on the car.  

To be safe, check to see all the features it can perform for your vehicle: scroll down to ‘Coverage Checker’ down below on that page and select the tool and your vehicle.

https://www.innova.com/collections/all/products/carscan-pro-5610#fullFeatureContent

It also tells you which bi-directional services it can perform.

In case you wonder the difference between the non-RS and RS, see email response below from Innova when I asked them:

“The 5160RS and 5610 are the exact same tools in features and coverage, but just have different colors. You can purchase the 5160RS off Amazon.  I do not know why the prices are different, even though these tools are the same except for colors. The 5610 is less expensive.“

 

YouTube Video from Innova on the 5610:


Pros
:  Does everything as the sub-$250 tools mentioned above (including free lifetime updates) + full-system scan + Bi-directional Active Test  (rare at this price point) + Ability to use dealership level re-learn procedures to complete repairs or maintenance + EPB/ABS Brake Bleeding/Caliper Service/Brake Pad Life + TPMS + Oil Light Reset + Oil Level and Oil Life + Read Hybrid Battery Cell Voltage + Battery/Charging System Test + BMS/Battery Reset and Initialization + Special Reset Functions (SAS, DPF Regen, etc.) + OBD 1 Coverage (very rare);   Distributed from facilities in the U.S. and Canada, all Innova products are researched, developed and designed at the company’s headquarters in Irvine, California (so you are not dealing with a Chinese company);  Now available at autoparts chain stores such as AutoZone, O'Reilly's, Canadian Tire, Advance Auto Parts, Napa (both United States and Canada), Blain's Farm and Fleet, CarQuest, LordCo Auto Parts, Sears, Summit Racing Equipment, Auto Value Auto Parts

 

Cons:  Tethered (tool connected to OBDII via cable), still does not provide comprehensive list of service functions and full bi-directional capability (need to spend more money to get one of those tools),  still a fairly new company (12 years old) but they should be around for a while (at the least they could get bought up in the future);  free lifetime software updates are very few and far between


Link to company site for more info
: verify coverage and specific functions (you need) for your vehicle with the manufacturer before ordering

https://www.innova.com/collections/all/products/carscan-pro-5610#fullFeatureContent

 

Before buying from Innova, read this:
https://carkiller.com/scottykilmer/postid/226867/


Another tool for consideration is the $375 Autel Maxicheck MX808.  It will scan all the available computers modules in a car similar to the above MD808 Pro and the far more expensive MS906BT.  However, it does not have bi-directional control, but again most of us won’t need that, unless you get very serious about fixing cars.

You can go here to see if your vehicle is listed and what the tool covers:   first select MX808 and see what is scans, then try the MS906BT and see if it scans any additional modules:   https://www.autel.com/vehicle-coverage/coverage2 <

If you do buy a scan tool at these higher price points, it is recommended to buy from one of the company’s authorized dealers if you care about support, service, and warranty, and to make sure you don’t get scammed.

link to tool (if interested in the MX808): https://www.autel.com/mk2/3223.jhtml

One place I recommend buying MX808 from:  they are an authorized Autel dealer I’ve bought from before:

https://www.aeswave.com/MaxiCheck-mx808-Scan-Tool-p9590.html

 

YouTube Review of MaxiCom MK808 (essentially same as the MX808, but MX808 is the supported North American model so get that instead if you live in North America):


Pros
:  Cheapest touchscreen tablet around;  Does everything as the Autel MaxiDiag MD808 Pro + Powered by Android Operating System + faster processor and more memory + Basic TPMS Functions +  Brake Bleed + Immobilizer Keys + Throttle + Injector + Suspension + Change Tire Size + 7.0” LCD touchscreen (biggest screen size at this price point, easy to read data) + Supports some bidirectional (new feature for 2022!) + Compatible with Videoscope (new feature for 2022!);   well-established company in North American for decades with strong authorized dealer network and technical support (if something happens to the unit and you have to send back worst-case, you don't have to deal with technical support in China)

 

Cons: Tethered (tool connected to OBDII via cable), Not a full bi-directional scanner (despite supporting some features for 2022), still does not provide comprehensive list of service functions, free software update for one year only - after that you can still use the scanner but you can’t download updates (unless you pay $125/year)

 

Link to company site for more info: verify coverage and specific functions (you need) for your vehicle with the manufacturer before ordering

https://www.autel.com/c/www/mk2/3223.jhtml


Before buying from Autel
, read this: https://carkiller.com/scottykilmer/postid/226864/


Finally to round out this section, at $478, the XTool D7 easily blows the competition in this price bracket out of the water with extensive bi-directional and service capability similar to scan tools costing 2x, 3x, even 5x as much.  This is easily a top pick for the DIYer who wants to do a bit more than their regular scanner allows.  For a more in-depth D7 review see under the “$500-$1000” section.

2
Topic starter

$500-$1,000

 

Scan tools in this price range do everything the sub-$500 tools can do but also start incorporating bi-directional capability.  They tend to all be touchscreen tablet based and have more memory, storage, and processing power and consequently a little faster than the cheaper scan tools.  However, free lifetime software updates are no longer offered.  Most manufacturers usually offer one year of free software updates, and beyond that you have to pay a yearly fee to keep it up to date.  Generally, the more expensive the tool the more expensive the yearly fees will be.  HOWEVER, EVEN IF YOU DON'T UPGRADE AND PAY THE YEARLY FEE YOU CAN STILL USE THE TOOL:  You just won’t get the latest updates which includes bug fixes and sometimes unlocks more features and capability for certain manufacturer’s vehicles;  and of course you won’t be able to connect to all the new model year cars.

 

The $700 Innova 7111 - now reduced in price on their Amazon direct store to $600 - is a tablet scan tool for those that like bigger screens and being able to scroll/read better.  This tool allows for both tethered (cable) and Bluetooth connection (kind of convenient if you are road testing and don’t want a cable dangling over your leg).

Link to tool:

https://www.innova.com/collections/all/products/smart-diagnostic-system-obd2-tablet-7111

 

Services/Features for your vehicle (coverage) see below:

https://www.innova.com/collections/all/products/smart-diagnostic-system-obd2-tablet-7111#shopify-section-coverage-template

 

Pros:  Does everything as the Innova 5610 + bigger screen size + faster processor and more memory + wireless capability (no need for cable);  Free lifetime software updates (like all Innova products);  Distributed from facilities in the U.S. and Canada, all Innova products are researched, developed and designed at the company’s headquarters in Irvine, California (so you are not dealing with a Chinese company);  Now available at autoparts chain stores such as AutoZone, O'Reilly's, Canadian Tire, Advance Auto Parts, Napa (both United States and Canada), Blain's Farm and Fleet, CarQuest, LordCo Auto Parts, Sears, Summit Racing Equipment, Auto Value Auto Parts

 

Cons:  Same features and coverage as the cheaper 5610, just that the 5610 is the handheld version while the 7111 is the tablet version;  does not have the option to use OBDI adaptors that the 5610 does;   cannot program any modules;  free lifetime software updates are very few and far between

 

Before buying from Innova, read this:
https://carkiller.com/scottykilmer/postid/226867/


Amongst bi-directional tools, when it comes to functionality for the money, it is hard to beat XTool D7 ($478), D8 ($699-$769), and A80 ($849).  As a newcomer and based in China, they blow the competition out of the water in terms of features for the price point.

 

D7 Link:  Xtool's only official store is on Amazon ($478)

https://www.amazon.com/XTOOL-Automotive-Diagnostic-Bi-Directional-Programming/dp/B098LF38DS?ref_=ast_sto_dp

 

YouTube Review of D7 tool by Toyota Master Technician The Car Care Nut:

 


D7 Pros
:  Does everything as the $250-$500 tools + the Unbeatable Price for its capability! + the 7.0" LCD touchscreen + based on Android operating system + faster processor and more memory + more bidirectional capabilities (including EVAP Test, Fuel Pump Test, Fuel Injector Test, Cycling A/C Clutch On/Off, Cooling Fan Test, EGR Test, Window/Door Locks, etc.) + Key Fob Programming (very rare feature for any scan tool under $1,000) + Cam/Crank Sensors Relearn, Idle Relearn, Zero-Point Calibration, Fuel Trim Reset, etc. + Works with 8+12 Cable Adapter (Package NOT Included) to support Chrysler 2018 and later vehicles + Works with CAN FD Adapter (Package NOT Included) to support for GM/GMC/Cadillac/Chevrolet/Buick Cars after 2020 + 2-year hardware warranty + 3-year free software updates (after 3-years the renewal is $99/year, which still beats the competition like Autel)

 

D7 ConsCannot perform reflash/reprogram new computer/ECUs;  All the features for the money sounds too good to be true - might this product overpromise but under deliver?;  Tethered (tool connected to OBDII via cable);  Company and entire support infrastructure based in China so any technical support or warranty claims (like sending back the hardware) will involve back and forth with staff in China; as a newcomer, it's not clear if XTools will always be around

 

For full capability with your vehicle as well as which services and bi-directional capabilities are supported, e-mail xtoolonline@outlook.com


XTool D8 Link:  Xtool's only official store is on Amazon

(Wired version - $699)

https://www.amazon.com/XTOOL-Diagnostic-Diagnostics-Bi-Directional-Programming/dp/B098L7ZD4K?ref_=ast_sto_dp

(Wireless version - $769)

https://www.amazon.com/XTOOL-Automotive-Bi-Directional-Diagnostics-Programming/dp/B09N969V84?ref_=ast_sto_dp

 

YouTube Review of D8 tool by Toyota Master Technician The Car Care Nut:

 

Scotty’s D8 YouTube Review:

 

Another Mechanic YouTube Review:

 


D8 Pros
:  Does everything as the D7 + ECU coding + 8MP camera + faster processor than D7 + 2x more memory than D7 + 2.5x larger battery than D7 (longer life) + bigger screen size than D7 (8.0" vs 7.0") + Wireless connection (BlueTooth) + more bidirectional capabilities;  still an Unbeatable Price for its capability!;  2-year hardware warranty + 3-year free software updates (after 3-years the renewal is $99/year, which still beats the competition like Autel)

 

D8 Cons:  Cannot perform reflash/reprogram new computer/ECUs;  All the features for the money sounds too good to be true - might this product overpromise but under deliver?;  Company and entire support infrastructure based in China so any technical support or warranty claims (like sending back the hardware) will involve back and forth with staff in China; as a newcomer, it's not clear if XTools will always be around

 

For full capability with your vehicle as well as which services and bi-directional capabilities are supported, e-mail xtoolonline@outlook.com


XTool A80 Link:  Xtool's only official store is on Amazon ($849)

https://www.amazon.com/XTOOL-Diagnostic-Bi-Directional-Diagnostics-Programming/dp/B09PYMMH86?ref_=ast_sto_dp

 

A80 Pros:  Does everything as the D8 + comes with connector package to meet the diagnostic needs of older cars without OBD-16 port 

 

A80 Cons:  All the features for the money sounds too good to be true - might this product overpromise but under deliver?;  Company and entire support infrastructure based in China so any technical support or warranty claims (like sending back the hardware) will involve back and forth with staff in China; as a newcomer, it's not clear if XTools will always be around

 

For full capability with your vehicle as well as which services and bi-directional capabilities are supported, e-mail xtoolonline@outlook.com

2
Topic starter

$1,000-$1,500

 

If you need even more capability than any of the tools above as well as a comprehensive set of bi-directional ability (remember, the more you pay the more vehicle coverage you have and the more you can do with the tool as well as having more processing power and speed), then you will need to spend over $1,000 (in some cases, well past this amount).  These tools are truly computers with large memory, storage, processing speed and meant for professional mechanics and shops with high throughput.  Most of these tools have one year of free software updates and hardware warranty, beyond which you will have to pay an exorbitant yearly fee to continually stay up to date.  However, even without paying the fee, you can still use the tool but you just won't get the updates of course as well as the newer model year vehicles (which include bug fixes and in some cases unlocks more capability with a manufacturer's vehicles).  Here, we will focus on a select few "attainable" tools with target price <$1,500.  Anything above that is beyond the scope of this page.

 

For $1,150 the  Maxisys MS906S is a solid choice, which replaces the (as of 2022) discontinued Maxisys MS906BT. 

Link to tool:  MaxiSYS MS906S | Autel

 

Where to buy (recommended authorized dealer):

https://www.aeswave.com/Autel-MaxiSYS-MS906s-with-1-yr-Updates-and-Warranty-p10098.html

 

Vehicle Coverage:   https://www.auteltech.com/vehicle-coverage/coverage2

 

YouTube Review of MS906BT (predecessor to MS906S):  MS906S is essentially identical to this

 


Pros
:  Can do similar things as the XTools D8 and A80 and like those tools based on Android operating system with similar memory, processor, battery specs including the screen size (8.0" LCD touchscreen) and 8MP Camera;  Wireless connection to OBD2;  Provides ADAS calibration capability;  Supports oscilloscope and inspection camera hardware (sold by Autel separately);  Includes connector adaptor kit (for Honda-3,  Nissan-14,  Mitsubishi/Hyundai-12+16,  Kia-20,  Mercedes Benz-38,  BMW-20,  VW/AUDI-2+2,  GM/Daewoo-12,  and Chrysler-16);   well-established company in North American for decades with strong authorized dealer network and technical support (if something happens to the unit and you have to send back worst-case, you don't have to deal with technical support in China)

 

Cons:  Xtools D7, D8, and A80 exist, which offer similar capability but for much cheaper price;  Does not perform ECU Programming;  One year hardware warranty + one year of free software updates (after one year is up you can still use the tool, but any software updates or hardware repair will require renewal which is $495/year


Before buying from Autel
, read this: https://carkiller.com/scottykilmer/postid/226864/


Another solid pick is from a company called Launch with their $1,200 X-431 Turbo.

 

Link to ToolX-431 TURBO | Launch Tech USA

 

Where to buy (authorized dealer list)WHERE TO BUY | Launch Tech USA

***highly recommended buying from authorized dealer http://www.aeswave.com at https://www.aeswave.com/Turbo-Diagnostic-Tablet-301190659-p10103.html

 

Vehicle Coverage:

Vehicle Coverage Inquiry (x431.com)

 

Comparison with other Launch X-431 Scan Tools:

Launch X-431 Turbo (301190659) Android-based scan tool tablet (aeswave.com)

 

Youtube Review of Launch X-431 Turbo:


Pros
:  Similar capability as Autel MS906S;  8.0" LCD Touchscreen;  Wireless connection to OBD2;  Provides ADAS calibration capability;  allows for add-on modules (videoscope, immobilizer, TPMS, battery tester all sold by Launch);  has strong dealer network and support in North America

 

Cons:  Xtools D7, D8, and A80 exist, which offer similar capability but for much cheaper price;  Less memory and smaller battery size than the Autel MS906S, XTools D8 and A80;  Does not perform ECU Programming;  One year hardware warranty + one year of free software updates (after one year is up you can still use the tool, but any software updates or hardware repair will require renewal which is $549/year)


Before buying from Launch
, read this: https://carkiller.com/scottykilmer/postid/231479/


A discussion of $1,000+ scan tool would be incomplete without mention of the $1,197 Thinkcar ThinkTool Pros.

 

Link to tool: https://thinkcarus.com/products/obd2-scanner-vehicle-diagnostic-tool-thinkcar-thinktool-pros?_pos=1&_sid=ec313082b&_ss=r

 

Vehicle Coverage:

https://h5.thinkcar.com/coveragetk/all?type=thinkcar

 

Where to buy?  At Thinkcar’s website direct:

 

Pine Hollow Auto Diagnostics YouTube Review of Thinktool Pros:  they compare with the much cheaper Launch Diagun V which unfortunately is not available nor sold (by authorized dealers) for the North American market

 

 

Scotty’s usage of Thinktool Pros on customer vehicle:  fast forward to 3:28 in video

 

 

 

Pros: Similar capability as Autel MS906S but with bigger touchscreen (10” vs 8”);   Contains intelligent diagnostic system topology diagram which allows you to see a diagram of all available systems on the vehicle and which have faults/issues (very cool feature);  company was started and has office in the United States so getting technical support and help should be easier than other companies (like XTool) where everything is based in China.

 

Cons: Xtools D7, D8, and A80 exist, which offer similar capability but for much cheaper price;  smaller battery than competition in this bracket including much cheaper XTool D8 and A80; One year hardware warranty + one year of free software updates (after one year is up you can still use the tool, but any software updates or hardware repair will require renewal which is $499/year)


The final tool in this price bracket worthy of consideration is the $1,170 TOPDON Phoenix Plus.

 

Link to tool:  TOPDON has official Amazon store, in addition to a network of authorized dealers 

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091BQNR3S?th=1&linkCode=sl1&tag=ahmedibraheem-20&linkId=4c843c9fd76793c9e10583d57a236e20&language=en_US&ref_=as_li_ss_tl

 

Toyota Master Mechanic Car Care Nut Youtube  Review:  scroll to 1:40 below

 

 

Pros: Similar capability as Autel MS906S + bigger screen (10.0” LCD touchscreen) + Contains intelligent diagnostic system topology diagram which allows you to see a diagram of all available systems on the vehicle and which have faults/issues (very cool feature);  Non-16 pin Connectors & Cables Kit: enable to work on non-OBDII vehicles;  1-year hardware warranty and 2-year free software updates (After this period, you need to pay $545/year for renewals but don’t worry, you won’t lose the functionalities of the last update installed even if the software is not renewed.)

 

Cons: Xtools D7, D8, and A80 exist, which offer similar capability but for much cheaper price and extra year of free software updates;  fairly new company (launched in 2017) so they have not proven themselves yet

 

For detailed vehicle coverage and functions, please check the below link for more information: https://www.topdon.com/pages/support-diagnostic-tool   If you have any other questions, please contact technical support at support@topdon.com.

2
Topic starter

Scan Tools For Professional Mechanics 

 

Toyota Master Technician reviews 4 “professional grade” scan tools (Top Don Phoenix Plus,  Thinkcar Thinktool Pro,  Xtool D8, and Snapon Apollo D9).

 

0
Topic starter

A Note About Autel products

A warning about Autel.  They do not sell directly on Amazon nor is Amazon even an authorized distributor/dealer for Autel.  Buyer Beware.

I also got this e-mail from Autel North America on supported North American versions (Scotty’s Tool page lists some that are NOT North American versions, buyer beware):

“The list of authorized diagnostic tablets [in North America] is short.

MX808
MX808TS
TS608
MS906BT
MS906TS
MS908 (includes the P, S, and S Pro)
Elite
MS909
MS919
Ultra
IM508
IM608

Anything that is MP or MK is not a US tool. Also the above tools can be sold by unAuthorized US dealers but will NOT receive warranty or support from Autel US. They will also not be able to bypass the security gateway in 2018+ Chrylser vehicles.“

To avoid yourself potential headache if you buy Autel, just stick to the official recognized North American models and buy from their authorized dealer list, to avoid getting a counterfeit unit or even a unit that works initially buy months later fails - and now you are stuck sending back to China and dealing with their customer service (on your dime potentially).

List of authorized dealers:

https://www.auteltech.com/c/www/wheretobuy.jhtml

***My recommendation for dealer:  www.aeswave.com

These guys are technical, know their stuff, easy to work with, and a mom&pop shop - I have bought several tools and products from them;  any technical issues they cleared up fairly quickly.  I prefer to buy from them than from Walmart or Tirerack:  while they are authorized dealers also (make sure if you order from Walmart that the seller is indeed Walmart and not someone else) if you have a technical issue good luck talking to someone (nontechnical) at those places.

 

0
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A Note About Innova products

If you buy the Innova scan tools it is recommended to buy from them direct on their store to get the latest firmware, or from one of their authorized dealers, and to not get scammed.  Innova signed a deal and is now available at autoparts chain stores such as AutoZone, O'Reilly's, Canadian Tire, Advance Auto Parts, Napa (both United States and Canada), Blain's Farm and Fleet, CarQuest, LordCo Auto Parts, Sears, Summit Racing Equipment, Auto Value Auto Parts

https://www.innova.com/collections/all

Innova also has an Amazon store and sells directly there (unlike other scan tool companies like Autel and Launch).  Here is a link an Innova representative sent me:

https://www.amazon.com/stores/Innova/page/D502C5AA-22A7-4ACF-ACDE-06AE731C1CD9?ref_=ast_bln

 

The software updates for ALL Innova products includes bug fixes, updates to include more functionality and services for your vehicle, also newer model year vehicles and are FREE (lifetime free).  However, their software updates are very few and far between.  Per Scotty, that’s generally true for smaller companies and especially if they offer the updates for free where they are not making money (and therefore less motivated to keep updating on a regular basis).  Even though with other companies you pay an annual fee per year for updates (beyond the first “free” year) at least you get more frequent (and quality) updates.  Of course, if you are a DIYer and not running a shop you can always get by without the updates as long as your tool does what you need it to and there’s no persistent crashes or big bugs (that a software update would address).

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A Note About Launch Scan Tools

If you plan on buying a Launch scan tool (example the $750 Launch Diagun V) realize some of the models sold on Amazon are not for the North American market.  Also, Launch does not sell directly on Amazon or Ebay in the first place, and neither of those companies are authorized dealers for Launch (the same applies for Autel scan tools).  Their Amazon store is not theirs!   Here is an e-mail I got from LaunchTech USA recently:

“Unfortunately the  DIAGUN V    is not manufactured for the North American market and as such Launch Tech USA does not sell or support it. If you would like a tool for the North American market please go to launchtechusa.com and look under products then go to WHERE TO BUY for our authorized US dealers. 

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Please contact either the seller or the appropriate Launch office for support. 

 

All of the above information is for tools supported by Launch Tech USA, we do not sell direct, or online from eBay or Amazon. Should you buy a tool that way it will be for an overseas model not supported by us. What that means is if you needed a software update, the tool needed a repair for some reason or you wanted information about the tool we would not be able to help you asthe software is written differently for each region our company serves. You would have to contact whoever sold it to you for support. In addition the tools will never work well on US spec vehicles as the tools from overseas were not designed to work with US vehicles. To find an authorized dealer go to launchtechusa.com and look under distributors to get a genuine US spec tool.”

That being said, if you are still in the market for a Launch scan tool, I can personally vouch for http://www.aeswave.com who is an authorized distributor for Launch in North America.

You will find their selection of Launch tools here:
 
 
If you are going to spend big money on a scan tool, it’s important to do it right and not get scammed, even if it means spending more money upfront.  The last thing you want is a $750 paperweight after a few months or a year.
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Scan Tool 101:  How to Use a Scan Tool

 

Scotty’s tutorial:

 

 

Scan Tool Basic Parameters and what they mean:

1.)   https://scanneranswers.com/read-live-data-from-obd-ii-scan-tools/

2.)   https://www.motor.com/magazine-summary/interpreting-generic-scan-data-march-2005/

3.) http://www.smogtechinstitute.com/smogtech/images/PDFs/OBDIIDataInterpretation.pdf

4.)  Interpreting short and long term fuel trim:

https://trade.mechanic.com.au/news/understanding-short-term-and-long-term-fuel-trims1

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A Note About Free Lifetime Updates

Here is Scotty’s warning about companies that offer free lifetime software updates:

“I find the Inova scanners to be good scanners but they're updating process pretty much is total crap. That's a problem with a lot of smaller tool companies. They really don't want to spend money on upgrading software and stuff where they don't make any money. Take my fancy scan tools. For example, I have to pay money each year to get updates so they do decent updates. But if they're free pretty much most of the tool companies with free updates, they're either crap or they don't even do them.”

Source: https://carkiller.com/scottykilmer/qa/how-to-update-an-innova-scanner/

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There are 4 main categories of scanners:

  • OBDII - These scanners are the cheapest and the most basic. They're used to check what code has triggered a check engine light, about 85% of the time (unless it's a high-tech car) it's all you need.
  • 4 System Scanners - These go a bit further and "enhance" the basic OBD-II capabilities with the ability to do an in-depth scan of additional systems (usually ECM, ABS, SRS and AT).
  • ALL System Scanners - These are already serious scanners and have the ability to access a lot of different systems in addition to regular OBDII, IMO, these are the best value for money.
  • Bi-Directional Scanners - If you do serious diagnosis, these can scan all of the systems, do procedures and testing of components, these are what diagnostic professionals need.

 

Scotty's Advice for Picking a Scan Tool:

 

 

THE TOOLS LISTED ON THIS PAGE ARE INTENDED FOR THE NORTH AMERICAN MARKET.  Models for the North American market will not necessarily be available or sold in other parts of the world.  For your region of the world, you will have to contact the manufacturer and see which models are supported there.  The converse also holds true:  models sold in the rest of the world are not necessarily supported in North America.

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