J2534 Tools

m.mcmillen

Gold Supporter
#1
There was a bit of a discussion started on another thread about J2534 tools. I have one and it works pretty well. You just need pretty decent laptop to run it. I have the Cardaq Plus 2 made by Drewtech. It is kind of pricy but I work on so many different makes of cars, it is worth it to me. They do have some other versions called the "Mongoose" which they sell for a specific make of cars.

I am able to use mine to run Tech2Win which is a Tech 2 emulator and it also will run the Tech2 replacement, GDS2. I have also used it to run Honda's OEM scan tool software, HDS. I know it will work for several others but that's all I've used it for on as of now.

The law right now requires all manufacturers to make flashing emissions related modules available to anyone outside of the dealership. The good thing about GM is that through J2534, they allow the flashing of all modules which is great.

Here is the link that shows who allows what. http://www.drewtech.com/technician/index.html

There is a new law that is going into effect or has already that requires all manufacturers to make everything available. I think it only applies to 2018 and on model year vehicles which will help me out since we have a lot of newer vehicles at work. The thought of taking anything to the dealer really bothers me. I would rather just do it all myself.
 
#2
I just ordered one from Ali so it will take some time to get here. Will be interesting. Glad to know that it works with all modules.

From what I saw, Tech2Win is a subscription based program, which can be quite pricey. Is it also available from "other" sources?
 
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m.mcmillen

m.mcmillen

Gold Supporter
#3
Yes, tech2win and gds2 are available elsewhere.

What did you order? Not all tools work with GDS2. I had the original cardaq plus and upgraded to the cardaq plus 2 because the older version didn’t support GDS2.
 
#4

southsidesmoka

Silver Supporter
#5
Embarrassingly, I got a cheap one. Said it supported TIS and was "newest" version.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New...851.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.f9834c4dBWCAki

Will be cool to be able to do stuff without having to drag out the Tech 2 all the time.
So..let me try and clear any confusion I've gathered on my own surmission....is one of these inexpensive, economical J2534 adapters available on AliExpress (similar or identical to the one in the link provided) capable of running with TIS2Web? Like you said @Mooseman , it would be delightful to not have to break out the ol' trusty Tech 2 for everything. :2thumbsup: Now - here's the killer...if it is compatible with TIS2Web, will it flash modules or is this strictly for code scanning? Trying to stay ahead in the DIY GM-mechanic fame...thanks for your attention, my brothers. :tiphat:

- southsidesmoka
 
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m.mcmillen

m.mcmillen

Gold Supporter
#7
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#8
And for Canucks:
https://www.amazon.ca/VXDIAG-Tech2Win-Diagnostic-Programming-System/dp/B074365Q6H/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1537115256&sr=8-1&keywords=vxdiag&dpID=41FJJVRDa%2BL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
@Mooseman ... Just to doubly confirm... The J2534 Mini VCI Device at this next link for the Toyota Vehicles... WILL work on GM Vehicles if the User follows the Instructions and chooses the J2534 Device at the right selection screen as shown in this Video?
That is a definite maybe. As I said, I went cheap. This basic J2534 might only do emissions related modules. I can be the guinea pig for that one. If it does work for all modules, it would be a cheap alternative. Failed to read that it says Toyota TIS :redface:

And here I thought that J2534 was supposed to be a "standard". We shall see.

That video is pretty bang on except for a few things. Since when that video was done, the subscriptions have changed. Support for Win10 is there now and they skipped Win8 entirely. They also added to specs that you need a minimum Core I3 system but I can attest that I was able to use a Celeron laptop. Once I get my benchtop setup put together, I'll be experimenting using old and new laptops. My 8 year old AMD laptop with Firefox seems to work as I was able to get to SPS no problem.
 
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m.mcmillen

m.mcmillen

Gold Supporter
#9
On the bright side, it looks like it comes with Techstream so, if you have a Toyota or know someone that does, you’ll be all set. And you’re not out much money.

I do have the Ford version of the VCX nano like I found on Amazon. I’ll try it out sometime with GM programming and tech2win and see if it works. I will be traveling a lot this week so I may not have a chance until next weekend.
 

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
#10
As for any need to "Pull The Fuses"... I'm guessing that anything on the Databus that does not actually Turn Off when the Key is switched Off and removed ...but rather goes to sleep gradually and thus, might be adversely affected during Module Programming such as the HVAC Environmental Controls and the Radio/Security/Keyless Control Modules. And when using any flavor of Windows... turning off Windows Defender is probably also a good idea to prevent security interrupts when the Bi-Directional updates are engaged at full tilt.

If I get one of these VXDIAG Nano Devices...

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074365Q6H/?tag=gmtnation-20

VXDIAG.jpg


....I'll get the USB Wired Flavor and on the Hard Line Wired Internet Port... I'll spool out a decent length of Class 5 - (4) Pair Twisted Cabling and dummy up the two Clear Plastic RJ-45 Connectors to run that cable from my (16) Port Switch... all the way out to where I have the GMs parked in and around the driveway... with length to spare. I would not want to wind up "Making Bricks" out of any PCMs during the tests of this clever and inexpensive equipment due to the vagaries of suffering any Weak Wireless Signalling. This seems like Cheap Insurance against such problems.
 
#11
From what I can tell, SPS downloads the firmware and then installs it to the module. We're not talking about a large amount of data here. As soon as I hit the Next button, the download bar is done instantly and the install begins. I have no problem or fear using WiFi for the connection to SPS. And ACDelco system specs and software requirements even say that you should use a virus scanner. All the skinny is here:
https://gsi-cs.ext.gm.com/userguides/Aftermarket Infrastructure Guideline v1.0.pdf

What I can say though is that I find that their specs are pretty high for what this software does. It looks like it was ported from the old Tis2000 to Java. Mine worked fine on a Celeron Win10 laptop and was even able to load it, but not actually update a module, on my 8 year old AMD laptop on Win7. But as mentioned in the video, you should disable sleep mode and the screensaver, use AC and not the battery and have a good charged battery in the vehicle. In the past, they said to not use a battery charger so I don't agree with the video on that.
 
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m.mcmillen

m.mcmillen

Gold Supporter
#12
I use WI-FI when do updates. I've even done it using my cell phone as a hotspot. I have never had any problems.

As far a pulling fuses go, I don't think it is a big issue anymore. I did some updates on a 2016 Express 3500 last week and it didn't say anything about pulling fuses for anything. It did say that if there were problems with the HVAC module to simply cycle the power. When I did my Trailblazer, I believe that is said to pull the fuses for the HVAC and the ABS.

Also worth mentioning, is that I have done updates using my Mac with Windows 7 installed on a vmware virtual machine. You don't have to go out and buy a dedicated laptop for those that use a Mac.
 

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
#13
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m.mcmillen

m.mcmillen

Gold Supporter
#14
Battery stability is important and I completely agree with not using a standard battery charger. But, battery maintainers are kind of pricy. I use a booster pack (not one of those pocket sized ones) like this one : https://www.tooltopia.com/solar-es5000.aspx Just be sure that it has a full charge when you start. I have even in the past used jumper cables hooked to another car for some extra juice. Make sure that they are good, heavy duty jumper cables.
 

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
#15
This is a pretty good Overview and Un-Boxing of a Brand New Solar ES5000 Booster-Pac you mentioned just now... and my question is ...Did you attach the Black and Red Clamps to the Truck Battery Posts... or use the Cigarette Lighter option he describes here to maintain your optimal 12 VDC Power during the Programming?

 
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m.mcmillen

m.mcmillen

Gold Supporter
#16
I connect it right to the battery with the clamps. The cigarette lighter doesn't carry enough amps. The big thing they don't want to happen is a voltage drop and then have a flashing failure. When flashing a PCM on something that has electric fans, it will usually cycle the fans a couple of times. Two fans starting on high is a pretty good load on a battery. If the battery is kind of weak, you have trouble.

This booster pack works great for jumpstarts by the way. I live up in Wisconsin and work for a small university. I do a lot of jumpstarts for the students here in the winter and it hasn't let me down yet.
 

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