MECHANICS HELP Need new scanner

LO23M8B

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Hi everyone. What are you mechanics using for scanners these days. I guess I need a new one and I need to be able to read the sensors values. I need a good one but I really just do my own cars anymore, so I don't want to pay 2 grand or more. Thanks for the help.
 

leechris81

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I teach auto mechanics in a high school center. I have been using snap-on scanners for a majority of my career but a few years back we picked up an Autel unit and I rarely touch anything else now. Updates are simple, the data PIDS are better and more plentiful, and there are more functions. All of this for a $2000 tool compared to $8000 counterpart (some are more than that). They have some options that are less expensive if you don’t need all the TPMS software. Their website gives a great breakdown of all the models and their features then you can shop and buy from a lot of different places. Mine is also Bluetooth so there’s no cable in the way, but also easy to leave the connector in the DLC. Just my opinion.
 

royslead

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I've had and used many, including the Autel, Launch, Snap On, and cheaper Actron platforms. All have been pretty good. Least impressed with Snap On's pricey, required updates. I have a Solus that is virtually useless beyond 2013,for that reason. Though it works very well for nearly anything prior. When the shop needed a good platform for non Molar vehicles my research led to a Launch model. It served us very well and was under $1300. This was probably four years ago or better.
 

'68cuda416

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I teach auto mechanics in a high school center. I have been using snap-on scanners for a majority of my career but a few years back we picked up an Autel unit and I rarely touch anything else now. Updates are simple, the data PIDS are better and more plentiful, and there are more functions. All of this for a $2000 tool compared to $8000 counterpart (some are more than that). They have some options that are less expensive if you don’t need all the TPMS software. Their website gives a great breakdown of all the models and their features then you can shop and buy from a lot of different places. Mine is also Bluetooth so there’s no cable in the way, but also easy to leave the connector in the DLC. Just my opinion.
Would agree for the most part with this assessment as both the Autel and the Snap On will be plenty adequate for what your needs are, the part about pricing I don't think is relevant to you since your stated use is for your own cars and so use will be lesser of a high volume shop and so my suggestion would be to buy a clean used unit off eBAY or sometimes the tool truck guys have a trade in but it doesn't sound like you need the latest update and as current as the year will go criteria so save a few bucks and get an older, lightly used version and you will be able to do everything you need to do.
 

'68cuda416

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Hi everyone. What are you mechanics using for scanners these days. I guess I need a new one and I need to be able to read the sensors values. I need a good one but I really just do my own cars anymore, so I don't want to pay 2 grand or more. Thanks for the help.
What cars do you own?
 

toolmanmike

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I sold OTC/Bosch scan tools for decades. Bosch works with the car manufacturers to design software and data base for their tools unlike Snappy who just reverse engineer's other tools to pirate the software and data.
Most of the scan tools now days are pretty good. The less expensive tools give you generic OBD2 codes (generic not manufacturer or model specific) Many include ABS, electronic steering and the like. THey may not allow for bidirectional features though. (resetting parameters) but may allow turning off oil change reminders and tire monitor warnings.
Most of the units will read live data if that's what you are looking for. Just pay attention to what it does by the features on the manufacturers website or the packaging.
 
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'68cuda416

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I sold OTC/Bosch scan tools for decades. Bosch works with the car manufacturers to design software and data base for their tools unlike Snappy who just reverse engineer's other tools to pirate the software and data.
Most of the scan tools now days are pretty good. The less expensive tools give you generic OBD2 codes (generic not manufacturer or model specific) Many include ABS, electronic steering and the like. THey may not allow for bidirectional features though. (resetting parameters) but may allow turning off oil change reminders and tire monitor warnings.
Most of the more expensive units will read live data if that's what you are looking for. Just pay attention to what it does by the features on the manufacturers website or the packaging.
I don't agree at all with your statement
 

'68cuda416

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I removed "more expensive" from a statement. :poke::poke::lol:
I can only speak from a user status versus a reseller status so there is that, lol, but since I know from actual experience and own aftermarket scan tools along with all the OE scan tools outside of Mercedes, Jag, Porsche and Volvo and I use them daily for my business I feel that my statements about what would be appropriate for the OP's needs are and a clean, lightly used, older model even scan tool whether it be Snap On or Autel or even Launch or Bosch would be more than the average guy needs. I find the Snap On tool to be very accurate and mimic the OE software extremely well since I own both and can compare in real life, and the Autel does offer some security functions that the Snap On doesn't along with better Euro trash functionality but I have no idea if he needs Euro trash functionality.
 

LO23M8B

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I can only speak from a user status versus a reseller status so there is that, lol, but since I know from actual experience and own aftermarket scan tools along with all the OE scan tools outside of Mercedes, Jag, Porsche and Volvo and I use them daily for my business I feel that my statements about what would be appropriate for the OP's needs are and a clean, lightly used, older model even scan tool whether it be Snap On or Autel or even Launch or Bosch would be more than the average guy needs. I find the Snap On tool to be very accurate and mimic the OE software extremely well since I own both and can compare in real life, and the Autel does offer some security functions that the Snap On doesn't along with better Euro trash functionality but I have no idea if he needs Euro trash functionality.
I have Subarus also.
 

'68cuda416

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2020 Dodge Caravan/ 2012 Impala + more.
So a variety.....well anyway I think you have multiple options of which all will do what your needs are. Snap On, Autel, Launch, maybe Bosch but irregardless I would get a clean, used one preferably. It is true that the Snap On software updates are pricey but if you find one that's updated current then will probably suffice you for a few years without needing to worry about buying any updates. Autel is a great tool for the money, been years since I owned and used a Launch or Bosch and they are ok but nowhere near as popular and or available to find used like off of Ebay or something.
 

LO23M8B

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If I could find a good used one I'd buy it. But I'm looking at the Autel MK808BT. Any thoughts?
 

'68cuda416

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If I could find a good used one I'd buy it. But I'm looking at the Autel MK808BT. Any thoughts?
I just looked at it's capabilities and I think it would be fine......it shows to have system tests and bi directional controls along with obviously data and DTC functionality
 

LO23M8B

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I just looked at it's capabilities and I think it would be fine......it shows to have system tests and bi directional controls along with obviously data and DTC functionality
Thanks. I have an old Tech2 but it just worked on the GM models. Nice unit but just too old now. I never had it updated just good up to 2002 I purchased the candi and 16 mb card but never installed them and now I don't even know how. Any ideas how to upgrade it?
 

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I have a snap on solus legend. updated to 1st qtr 2022. Their update fee is ridiculous.it was cheaper to trade my previous one than to update it. That was another solus, about 2 years old. They have a subscription service that winds up being about 1/2 the price of any one update and they come out 3-4 times a year, with subscription service you can update as often as you want while you are subscribed. They want $11/week for thay on the truck account. I don't.
Snap on has 2-3 other scanners as well, I think the main difference is the amount of online troubleshooting each offers.

I have had a few scanners over the years, starting with an old pro link that was obsolete when I got it, never did get to work on anything with that one.

I'll tell of the ones that I have had in between later.
But for now my question is for those who have a Launch or an Autel. I have seen them in the automotive trade magazines like "Brake&Front End", "UnderCar Digest" and other such magazines that service shops get/ but I have never been able to lay eyes on one or hold one on my hands. And when I have issues, I need help "now" being a fleet mechanic for the state. And if I can't see any Launch or Autel on display anywhere, and can't try one out, I have no idea if they will do what I need.
I've spent money on tools that I have never been able to use (money wasted). and with what a good scanner costs I definitely can't throw money away. That alone has kept me from considering one. Where is tech support? How do I update? How often needed? Costs how much to do?
I also have a small "code reader" like the parts stores sell. Ok just to pull a code real quick like. Not much good for reading parameters and "what the sensors are actually saying/doing".
 

LO23M8B

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I tried to call Autel the other day I was on hold for 20 minutes before I hung up. I don't know if they have a special number for scanner owners, but I'll try again tomorrow.
 

Tooljunkie

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I have a snapon solus edge. $70 cdn monthly to keep it updated. Its almost like i have paid for it twice. Losing interest in troubleshooting the newer models as its getting worse year after year. Cancelled my subscription a couple months ago. There are a few app based scan tools, some do live data. Havent tried any so no opinion there.

i will likely end up selling the solus, and getting a cheap one that works with my phone. Time will tell. my old mac taskmaster rarely comes out, think its good up to 15 and does pre-95 stuff.
 

volaredon

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My last scanner was an Edge. Now I have the successor, the Legend. Out of the blue one day the snapon guy came in and asked if I might be interested ya trade in/trade up. $600 and my Edge for a new Legend, which was just over 1/2 of the price of the update. I bought the Edge Brand New from him like not quite 2 years prior and never did update it. I guess I was 4 updates "behind" but it would have cost me only 1 "update fee" as if that was supposed to be cheap or something, at a grand to "catch me up".
I'd only had 1 vehicle in that time that I couldn't pull any data on, only read codes and once I got that code and started looking the problem was easy to fix. Squirrel chewing damage.
Anyway the next time I had another truck that new in after I got the Legend, I quickly saw that I could pull info up that the Edge wouldn't. Had I had that update in the edge, it would have. It wasn't a function of newer scanner vs older one but of newer update vs older.
I remember when I got my original red Brick. It was never supposed to go obsolete, it was supposed to be forever update able. But "forever" ended in 2008.
I had an original Solus I'd bought used and when I did so was told it had the "newest possible update" for that scanner at 2014 in it already. Well I could "cheat" it for some things I couldn't for everything. If I didn't lie to it and tell the scanner I was working on a 2014, it reverted back to 1985-1990 since the year digit for 80s vehicles and 2010-decade vehicles was the same...... Huh so I had to get a newer version to do anything newer than 2014. He had a big sale on the "last 2" Solus Edge scanners someone found collecting dust in a warehouse and the "higher ups" wanted their guys to "blow em out" so I paid $2600 for that one, which was about 40% less than I'd been told back when I bought that used Solus that the edge was selling for. Then traded for the Legend for another $600 not quite 2 years later.
 
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