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Scantool Reviews

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19 Jul 2019 08:46 - 06 Aug 2019 15:05 #31951 by Andy.MacFadyen
Scantool Reviews was created by Andy.MacFadyen
If you have bought a new Scantool this is a thread to give us your user experience with it

" Welcome to the 21st"


Last edit: 06 Aug 2019 15:05 by Andy.MacFadyen.

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25 Jul 2019 16:42 #32114 by John Curtis
Replied by John Curtis on topic Scantool Reviews
Launch X431 Pro Mini.
Pretty solid scan tool. Boot time is usually about 1 minute to 1.5 minutes. Bi-directional controls and programming controls are nice. Power balance on Fords and Injector power balance test on GM's have made misfire diagnostics pretty quick in most situations. Manufacturer specific data is really nice when it comes to no starts.

Key programming is nowhere near as good as the old and dusty autel
I dislike the graphing view and the user interface sometimes frustrates me.
I also really dislike that it backs out of everything when you "cancel" on some operations.

Tested on GM, Ford, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Honda, and Chrysler

Thinking out loud always helps me in the process.
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01 Aug 2019 19:29 #32335 by Cheryl
Replied by Cheryl on topic Scantool Reviews
Has anyone used the ats Escan before that Bernie Thomson made? Seems way expensive for a generic scanner that doesn’t do anything but Powertrain work

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02 Aug 2019 09:21 #32355 by Noah
Replied by Noah on topic Scantool Reviews

Cheryl wrote: Has anyone used the ats Escan before that Bernie Thomson made? Seems way expensive for a generic scanner that doesn’t do anything but Powertrain work

The software was on my Verus when I bought it, but since I had the hard drive cloned a few years back it doesn't work anymore, lol. I did try it, but I didn't give it a fair chance in all honesty. I was more interested in learning the Verus.

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06 Aug 2019 08:58 #32536 by Andy_
Replied by Andy_ on topic Scantool Reviews
About a year ago I bought an Autel MaxiSys MS906BT. I had been a skeptic of Autel for a long time, but I was looking for a tool that I could keep on me at all times and quickly plug into a car and get me started on a diagnosis. I wanted something that the OBD2 side was easily accessible for when I do emissions repairs. I wanted to easily see readiness monitors and stuff like that since everyone waits until they need new plates to get this stuff repaired.

I should mention that I am a mechanic for a living. I know not everyone on this forum is, so some of this may seem over the top. Most of the vehicles that I work on, but not all, I have factory tooling for. GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, etc. So my opinion of this tool is somewhat based off of my experience with those.

As far as GM goes, I would consider the Autel quite close to what the Tech 2 is capable of. Some of the special functions I prefer the way the Tech 2 is laid out, but a lot of that is due to the fact that I've been using a Tech 2 for 20 years. In case you aren't familiar with the Tech 2, it is the GM factory scan tool from 1996-some 2013 models. GM had some overlap between the newer MDI and the Tech 2. I would consider Autel strong on GM up to this point.
As far as newer GM products are concerned, I have used the Autel on some, but mostly have stuck to the MDI 2, mostly because I'm familiar with the layout and I'm still getting to know the newer GM products.

For Ford, there are a couple of things I don't like much. The biggest one with me is the data display. When you choose data display on the Autel, it lists all of the possible data for the module. So, for example it would show you every thing that the PCM can possibly show. Sure, that's not a bad thing that they included all of that, but it is A LOT to scroll through. The IDS software, which is the factory Ford software lets you pick and choose what data you want to see before you actually see the data, which is nice, and really helps keep the screen clean. Admittedly, the data display is probably my favorite thing about the IDS.
One glaring omission from the Autel on Ford products is the power balance. It used to be there, but I think this was part of a lawsuit a couple of years ago, so it's not there anymore. Everyone here probably knows that Ford isn't so great about setting a DTC for the misfiring cylinder for quite a long time, so the power balance is a great test in IDS. The plus side is that you can always go into the OBD side of the tool and use Mode$06 to try to find the misfiring cylinder quickly.

On Chrysler vehicles it has worked well. At least on older ones. I have Witech 2, so that's what I use on newer ones anyway. A big thing coming down the road for Chrysler(and probably all others eventually) is the secure gateway. Since I have Witech I haven't bought the 12+8 connector, but it sounds like a total pain to have to remove a radio just to scan a vehicle.

On Asian cars, I have no complaints. Probably the biggest thing on Honda and Toyota that I like about it is that I can command the various evap solenoids and VSV's on while I'm under the car and not have to have a laptop with me like the factory tools. It works well for that.

The OBD side of the tool is nice and laid out in a neat and clean way, easy to scan for DTC's, data is right there and it's easy to see what monitors are available, and which ones have ran.

The version I bought is the 906 because I wanted the smaller size. I didn't buy the J2534 box with it since I mostly use factory tools, and this version didn't come with the TPMS stuff. I just wanted this as a diagnostic tool and that's what I use it for, to get in there and get me what I need. It probably exceeded my expectations for an aftermarket tool that it in this price range. I purchased it from AES Wave and they couldn't have been nicer. I will buy more stuff from them because of it.

I hope this wasn't too long winded, but I just thought I'd give my 2 cents on this tool. Let me know if anyone has any specific questions and I'll try my best to answer.

-Andy
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06 Aug 2019 11:48 #32539 by Andy.MacFadyen
Replied by Andy.MacFadyen on topic Scantool Reviews
I enjoyed your review the Autel 90x family seems to be getting a following.

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08 Aug 2019 09:47 #32602 by Tyler
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Should we consider stickying this one?

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08 Aug 2019 10:44 #32605 by Andy.MacFadyen
Replied by Andy.MacFadyen on topic Scantool Reviews
hi

Tyler wrote: Should we consider stickying this one?


I was waiting to see if it would take off ..... Yes

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08 Aug 2019 11:05 #32607 by Tyler
Replied by Tyler on topic Scantool Reviews
FORScan. Talk about value! :cheer: No other scanner I'm aware of provides this level of functionality for such a ridiculously low price.

forscan.org/home.html

What do you need? A Ford/Lincoln/Mercury/Mazda, a laptop, and an ELM327 adapter. I got mine from Amazon for $20 . There are better and more capable adapters out there, but something this cheap/simple will get you started. Hardware requirements are low, so just about any Windows laptop will do.

It'll pull codes, sure. But FORScan really shines in the more advanced features. Like scan data - not only does it provide live data, it'll allow you to observe data from multiple modules simultaneously. Provided they're on the same network, anyway. The example below is watching data from the ABS, IPC, PCM and Global OBD all at the same time. :woohoo: No other aftermarket scanner I've used allows this.



The PID search function is even better. Say you wanna look at fuel trims? Just type in 'trim' and you get the short list of relevant PIDs:



Mode $06 data is fast an accurate. The MID's and TID's are translated into English and arranged in a comprehensible way. Snap-On users will appreciate this. :lol:



Now here's the really cool part - module resets and programming. It won't do updated calibration, but it can do as-built configurations on many modules. Here's an example of looking at some ABS as-built data:



It'll also do KOEO/KOER Self Tests, as well as ABS bleeding and KAM resets. Just about everything you'll need to fix your Ford/Lincoln/Mercury/Mazda.

The truly upsetting part is all the stuff it'll do, but my Snap-On at 17.4 won't. Like spark duration PIDs, and Power Steering Control Module resets. I've checked - they're not there on the Snappy. Why did I pay for those updates? :angry:

So what does it cost? Besides the laptop and the ELM327 adapter, a FORScan Extended License (which gets you all the cool features) costs... $10/year. Less if you buy multiple years. Plus, they offer a two month free trial to get you started.
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09 Aug 2019 09:23 #32659 by Andy_
Replied by Andy_ on topic Scantool Reviews
Tyler, that is amazing. I've heard of Forscan, but honestly never knew what it was. I can't believe how cheap it is.

I didn't see this mentioned, but can it do any output controls, like vent/purge solenoid, etc? If not, it's still worth it's weight in gold, just curious.

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09 Aug 2019 21:24 #32691 by Tyler
Replied by Tyler on topic Scantool Reviews

Andy_ wrote: I didn't see this mentioned, but can it do any output controls, like vent/purge solenoid, etc? If not, it's still worth it's weight in gold, just curious.


I'm still a bit unsure on that, TBH. :blush: I know it'll do KOEO and KOER tests, which run all the outputs when commanded to. But individual outputs, I don't think so?

I'm unsure because when you select scan data PIDs, there's an option for 'Control', with a relevant list of outputs. But it doesn't work. :angry: Can't tell if it's a bug, or I'm not doing it right.

Speaking of scan data, the graphing data isn't amazing. :( The graphing data is under the Oscilloscope tab. Definitely a bit misleading...

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10 Aug 2019 03:37 - 10 Aug 2019 03:37 #32698 by Andy.MacFadyen
Replied by Andy.MacFadyen on topic Scantool Reviews
The equivalent of Forscan for Fiat and some Chrysler/Jeep branded Fiat. Is MultiEcuScan very powerful and covers all Fiat. Systems I have used it a few times for ABS and power steering issues. I found the graphing of wheel speed sensors is pretty good.
Link to Fiat MultiECUscan website

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Last edit: 10 Aug 2019 03:37 by Andy.MacFadyen.
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08 Sep 2019 12:07 - 08 Sep 2019 12:16 #33475 by Tyler
Replied by Tyler on topic Scantool Reviews
The local Mac Tools guy let me demo his new MDT10, which is a redressed version of the Bosch ADS 625:

www.mactools.com/en-us/Diagnostics-and-T...200/MDT-10-Scan-Tool

I've been very excited to get a hold of one of these since they came out. Thoughts so far:

Pros:

- It fills in the gaps of the Snappy coverage, just like I wanted it to. On my '08 Ford Escape, the Bosch offers a BIG list of bidirectional functions that are nowhere to be found on the Modis. Generator voltage command, EVAP purge/seal, commanded air/fuel ratio, SAS relearn. More data PIDs are there, too, like rear fuel trim and spark duration.

- Enhanced OBD/Global OBD functionality is fantastic. Every Mode $06 MID and TID I've looked at is (pretty) accurately decoded.

- Battery life is surprisingly good. I've kept it running for several hours at a time with no need to recharge. Of course, it's brand new, so who knows how that'll play out over the life of the tool.

- The Automated System Test is a nice function for record keeping purposes. Hit one button, and the tool automatically scans all modules for codes, grabs the VIN, current PCM calibration, checks emissions monitors and all Mode $05/$06 data. All saved data is listed by date and vehicle in an easy to use menu.

File Attachment:

File Name: escapeauto...test.pdf
File Size:1,536 KB


- The big screen is nice. B) The touchscreen takes a bit more force to register a tap than I'm used to, but I feel that's likely intentional to prevent unintended tapping.

- The VCI is a bit heavy and awkward, but works well. DLC light and voltmeter are built in. It can also connect via USB to your laptop to function as a J2534 box (with drivers available from Bosch). Works flawlessly with FORScan. B)

Cons:

- Graphing data is not fantastic. No adjustments can be made for time scaling, which could make glitch capturing a chore. The data buffer is very small compared to Snap-On, so you have to be a bit choosy about when and what you record.

- Saved data cannot be exported or shared off the tool. :angry: Viewable on the tool only. Not a dealbreaker, but disappointing.

- That same Automated System Test takes FOREVER to run. :lol: Even on CAN enabled vehicles, it's not a quick process. In real world terms, you could pull the car in your bay and start the test. Hop out, check the cabin filter, check lights, set the lift, pop the hood for a visual, and BS with your neighbor. When you come back, the test might be done. :P

- The tool can't be put to sleep, and the screen can't be turned off. :angry: It's either fully on, or it's off. This really seems like a missing feature? I get that the tool is intended to live on the charging stand when not in use, but it'd still be nice to switch the screen off to save power.

More to come. Price tag for this one is $5000, so I'm gonna put it to the test before I pull the trigger. Any thoughts/comments/questions you have are welcomed.
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09 Sep 2019 07:38 #33504 by Noah
Replied by Noah on topic Scantool Reviews
I'm interested to hear more of your experience with it.
My impression was that it is a very capable tool that's hard to squeeze the functions out of...
I spent 40 minutes on an Acura with an ABS light and got absolutely no where. I plugged in the Solus and the car was fixed in a matter of minutes.
I felt the same with a friend's Mercedes C class. Sure, it had functions the snap on couldn't touch, but without Mercedes level factory training I didn't know WTF they were. And if I did have factory level training, I'd have factory level tooling!
Just my experience. I really wanted to fall in love with that tool, but it just wasn't meant to be...

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09 Sep 2019 13:48 #33511 by Tyler
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Noah wrote: My impression was that it is a very capable tool that's hard to squeeze the functions out of...

...

Just my experience. I really wanted to fall in love with that tool, but it just wasn't meant to be...


I didn't know you had tried it! :ohmy: Glad to hear your experience wasn't perfect, either. To be fair to the tool, I think you and I (and most of the membership around here) are gonna ask more of the tool than the average shop/technician. More thoughts:

Pros:

- On board wiring diagrams are fantastic. I didn't think I'd care for this feature much? Since the shop has Mitchell and IDFix subscriptions, accessible on my laptop. But they really come in handy. AND they're accessible away from the car, as long as you have internet access.

- Did I mention the voltmeter on the DLC cable? Seriously, I didn't know how much I wanted this feature. SNAP-ON, ARE YOU LISTENING?

Cons

- Getting live data out of a Honda Element today was slooooooow. :( It also likes to throw random PIDs in, even though the car doesn't support them. Did the same thing to my Escape. Didn't really bother me, but a rookie would get thrown off track.

For the same money, I can update the Modis Ultra, get an Autoland for the BMW and Mercs, a Launch Diagun VI for functionality, and still come out ahead.

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09 Sep 2019 17:29 #33516 by Noah
Replied by Noah on topic Scantool Reviews
So much of the extra features require wifi when nearly everything is built into the snap on stuff.
I'm sure that's no problem for many shops, but it is a limitation not the less

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18 Sep 2019 15:33 #33671 by Donut
Replied by Donut on topic Scantool Reviews

Tyler wrote:

Andy_ wrote: I didn't see this mentioned, but can it do any output controls, like vent/purge solenoid, etc? If not, it's still worth it's weight in gold, just curious.


I'm still a bit unsure on that, TBH. :blush: I know it'll do KOEO and KOER tests, which run all the outputs when commanded to. But individual outputs, I don't think so?

I'm unsure because when you select scan data PIDs, there's an option for 'Control', with a relevant list of outputs. But it doesn't work. :angry: Can't tell if it's a bug, or I'm not doing it right.

Speaking of scan data, the graphing data isn't amazing. :( The graphing data is under the Oscilloscope tab. Definitely a bit misleading...


I know it's been over a month, but maybe it's still a mystery!

I spent more time than I should have on a vehicle trying to figure this out myself. I ran out of time to see if any of it worked but there is actually another button on the bottom of the screen, next to the PID options button that's always grayed out that you have to hit. It should come up as 'Control' when hovered over. It'll bring up a menu with the outputs you selected in the other menu that you can either control on/off or duty cycle. Only had a couple minutes but while I was able to find the menu, couldn't get any outputs to actually work. The Forscan forums say the module needs to be put into a diagnostic mode in order to use output commands, which is news to me and am unsure if the Forscan software does that automatically when an output command is sent.

Another step in the right direction. Maybe someone will solve the final piece of the puzzle.

"Don't ever say 'easy' until the check clears."

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