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Best OBDII scanner?

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  • Best OBDII scanner?

    I am looking for a great OBDII scanner. I really don't care about guages and dashes. I own a small repair shop and this will be used just for reading codes and diagnostic. I work on basically everything, so compatibility is a big issue. I have a Volvo in right now that can't be read by the Snap On Modis my buddy has. I did a little searching and though I was set, now I have done more and I am more lost than I was :P

    I am looking at a max of $250, anything less would be great. Is the free software very good? I have looked at Autotap, auto enginuity, digimoto, scanXL and Auterra. I have also looked at the free stuff. I am not sure about some of them that make you pay extra for the Make specific info, are there any with that stuff built in to the normal package? If I go with the free stuff I will go with an obdpros scantool.

    Thanks for the help!

  • #2
    Which makes are you generally doing from which modelyears?
    And in what part of the world do you live? USA, Europe or somewhere else?


    • #3
      I live in the USA. I work on pretty much everything, mostly Japanese and US manufacturers though. I do get the occasional Volvo, Audi or BMW through though. Most are '92 - '03 model years, right now, but that will continue to move up. I could work on basically anything out of warranty.

      I know some of the new ABS systems you need to trigger valves to be able to bleed the brakes, any idea if any of them do that?

      I also see that you can get the Auterra software for $70. Does anyone know of it uses an Elm based scan tool?


      • #4
        If you want to work on ABS systems you need something a little bit more sophisticated than free OBD2 software.
        Free OBD2 Software can only access the powertrain - engine and gearbox - and that's it and that from 1996 on, not for 1992 models.
        There are some programs that have extensions, but that will cost more than your budget. You will have to buy an extension for every make you do or want to do.
        Reconsider what your budget has to be. Take a look at a Launch or similar after-market scanner. Just increase the price of repairs a little.


        • #5
          Unfortunately my budget doesn't have much room to flex right now. I just moved in to a new shop and along with that comes a lot more tools and fixtures to buy. Mainly I need a good scanner right now, the other part would be a bonus. If there is something that has add-ons I could buy as I need them to do the ABS or whatever, that would be great. I know these are all set up for OBDII, I already have an OBDI setup. I have an OBDII setup right now too, but it doesn't work on some cars, such as the Volvo I have in right now.

          Basically I want the best setup I can get for $250 and if it is upgradeable to something like I want, even better. Thanks!


          • #6
            For Volvo you need can-bus with support for 29-bits addressing.
            If your current scanner is not capable of doing that I would throw it in the dust-bin.


            • #7
              Right, my current scanner will not do can-bus, that is the whole reason I am looking to upgrade. I think I am leaning towards the auto enginuity. It seems to be upgradeable to a full diagnostic system. The expansion packs aren't cheap, but at least they are available.