Mid-Level Scan Tool. What are you using?

Soulpower

Original poster
Member
Apr 15, 2023
4
Canada
Hi,

I'm new here, got redirected while researching for a Do it "All" budget mid-level scan tool to work on my vehicles and glad i did, great source of information so far.
I currently use a cheap Vgate Vs890 i believe, is not a bad little tool for the basic things.

I am looking to get a better scan tool (tablet style) but like everything else, so easy to fall into the rabbit hole and now I have been looking in the +/-$300range. I'd love to get a Pro level one but at this point i think is overkill. On the other hand I like to have things and be prepared for when the occasion arises.

My Question is:

What do you guys use?
Pros/Cons? Limitations?
Would you buy something different today?
Bidirectional?

until now my research has lead me to this scan tools:
Topdon 600/600s
Thinkcar S4 or SR6 or S7plus
Xtool inplus508s
Ancel Fx3000

runner-ups: Foxwell NT604e, Launch 129X(hard to figured out with one is the original and not a copy)

a bit overbudget: TopDon AD800BT, Autel M808....

This are the vehicles I'm planning on working as soon as i get the new scan tool:
2020 Jetta (nothing wrong)
2009 Avalanche ( a few lights on the dash) p0430 + ABS + Parking brake + Stabilitrack + Traction Control + TPMS... i just bought the truck and i plan to bring it back to like "new" condition
2005 Jeep (Transmission is acting up and battery drain)
1998 Camaro Z28 ( It has been parked in the "garage" for 4years now and i want to bring it back to life) (nothing wrong before i stored it) I have it since new, is lightly modified and it has been reprogrammed with Hptuners.

thanks in advance guys!!
Cheers
 

mrrsm

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TollKeeper

Supporting Donor
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Dec 3, 2011
8,160
Brighton, CO
At the 300 dollar level, and including a German car... I cant recommend anything in that price range.

@mrrsm just did a whole thread about a Autel model that will do all 3 quite well, but its a bit more than the 300.

If you were talking about GM only, depending on year, then its going to be the Tech2.. But with multi manufactures involved, it changes things quite a bit.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,497
Ottawa, ON
For GM though, I'm moving away from recommending the Tech 2 since it's no longer supported for reprogramming modules using the ACDelco TDS and only works up to 2013 at all. I'd go with an MDI clone instead.
 
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Soulpower

Original poster
Member
Apr 15, 2023
4
Canada
Thanks mrrsm,

I've watched hours of Youtube content from different creators including ericthecarguy and ScannerDanner. I'm actually ordering the book from SD and really considering joining SD Premium.
But I'm still unsure of which tool to get! specially since some reviews seem a bit bias (sponsor) sometimes.
 

Soulpower

Original poster
Member
Apr 15, 2023
4
Canada
At the 300 dollar level, and including a German car... I cant recommend anything in that price range.

@mrrsm just did a whole thread about a Autel model that will do all 3 quite well, but its a bit more than the 300.

If you were talking about GM only, depending on year, then its going to be the Tech2.. But with multi manufactures involved, it changes things quite a bit.
Thanks TollKeeper,

What would you recommend if I'd increase the budget?
or if we take the German car out of the equation. (since is still under warranty and get serviced at VW)

What is a good price range for a "decent" mid-level prosumer scan tool?
 

Soulpower

Original poster
Member
Apr 15, 2023
4
Canada
For GM though, I'm moving away from recommending the Tech 2 since it's no longer supported for reprogramming modules using the ACDelco TDS and only works up to 2013 at all. I'd go with an MDI clone instead.
Thanks Mooseman,

I'll look into the MDI clone, but is only GM right?
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,497
Ottawa, ON
Thanks Mooseman,

I'll look into the MDI clone, but is only GM right?
That is correct. You would need that or another pass-through type if you want to do module programming.
 

TollKeeper

Supporting Donor
Member
Dec 3, 2011
8,160
Brighton, CO
Thanks Mooseman,

I'll look into the MDI clone, but is only GM right?
Since you are wanting to do multiple vehicle brands, Autel 908 Pro, or as @mrrsm has shown just recently, the Autel 708 or 808 pro.

Mind you I dont have any of them, but all my vehicles are 2013 or older, and are all GM, so the Tech2 does exactly what I need.. For now.
 

cope1980

Member
Mar 27, 2022
62
USA
I know this is a little bit of an older thread, but I am currently looking at the XTOOL D7. Everything I have read and seen about it, I think it is the way to go. Current price online as of 9/24/23 is $329 with free shipping.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,497
Ottawa, ON
I looked it up on Amazon.ca and it's $539CAD here. Reviews seem good however this one stood out:

The GOOD: So the D7 with all the updates installed actually has some great features that are well worth having.

The BAD: Unfortunately, it wouldn't do just a regular OBD scan on one of my vehicles (which I have never had a problem with on any other code reader). Tech support worked on the problem but it took nearly two weeks going back and forth... at one point they sent an update that screwed everything up and I had to reset it ---

I am however, glad this happened because when I reset the device, I noticed there was only a barebones Android system on it. There was absolutely NO diagnostic software on it whatsoever. It ALL had to be downloaded again... Eventually they got it to work with my vehicle, which was great.

THE REASON I AM RETURNING IT: When I asked Tech support what happens if I have to reset my device after the 3 year subscription is up? I asked if I can download all of the updates up until that date, or will I have to buy a subscription to get my device to work again?

The answer is you will have to pay to get the Diagnostic software up and running again.


So what is to stop them from sending a faulty update before your subscription expires?

I just can't get behind the idea that there is NO OBD software included on the device whatsoever and wont be at the mercy of Xtool or a subscription.

It really is too bad, because once the device was working right, it sure does a lot, but I think I will find something else with lifetime updates at least..

Hope this helps some make their decision because it was a dealbreaker for me.

Final update: The support team got back to me and asked me to test another update which should fix all the problems. Unfortunately it came after my return window closed so I wasn't able to.

Another positive is that they sent me a free gift which was a pretty cool bluetooth odb reader dongle.

Anyhow, I would give the service and support 5 stars --- but the lack of software built in the device is still othersome to me.

I am raising my rating to 4 stars however since the service was outstanding and I will consider a different xtool product..
So if the company disapears, like a lot of these Chinese brands, and you need to reset it, you're screwed. Unless there's a way to get a hacked update and side load it, I'd pass.
 
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cope1980

Member
Mar 27, 2022
62
USA
I looked it up on Amazon.ca and it's $539CAD here. Reviews seem good however this one stood out:


So if the company disapears, like a lot of these Chinese brands, and you need to reset it, you're screwed. Unless there's a way to get a hacked update and side load it, I'd pass.
I'm not tech savvy at all. Maybe there is a way to copy the software as a backup?

However, for the price point, and my current situation, I am willing to gamble. I really need a
bi-directional scanner and the multiple vehicle brands will be helpful for family members also.
 

mrrsm

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Oct 22, 2015
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Check Out The Latest Entry HERE:

 

gmonly

Member
Feb 14, 2023
14
USA
I have the ACNEL X6 Tab its the same as the Foxwell NT809 I paid $300 new. It does about everything I need it to do now. Don't get the Launch ones, they cost every month to update them on the cars after the 3 months trial, I fell for it, the guy said it was free to upgrade the apps, then Launch wanted me to pay for the updates. In my opinion, the best one to get is the pro version of what you choose, you want one that will do about everything, no sense in buying one every time you come to another problem the one you have doesn't cover, it would be smarter to spend the extra now, then a lot more later.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,497
Ottawa, ON
Check Out The Latest Entry HERE:

Uh, the very first image in that thread says it's no longer supported as of Dec.2017. So this is useless for any vehicle newer than 2017. And it's more expensive than the XTool D7 which has 3 years of free updates and $99 per year after that.
 

cope1980

Member
Mar 27, 2022
62
USA
I am going back and forth with the XTOOL D7 and the Tech 2.

1) I know that the Tech 2 will for sure access what I am immediately need to do.

2) I do not know that the XTOOL will, for sure, do what I need to do.

* I need to access the transmission to diagnose a low line pressure situation with a slipping 1-2 upshift. I intend to make a transmission thread, but I would like to have some solid diagnostic info first.

3) We are eventually going to replace our Envoy and have no idea what brand the replacement will be.

4) XTOOL "should" cover multiple vehicles

5) Tech 2 is only GM up to a certain year model?

6) Family members have GM, Ford and Dodge vehicles, and I would like to help them if and when needed.

7) Price of the scanner is crucial. We are in a very tight financial position.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,497
Ottawa, ON
The Tech 2 is usable only up to 2013 vehicles and, of course, only GM. If you can get it really cheap, it will do what you want for the years it can cover.
 

TJBaker57

Member
Aug 16, 2015
2,907
Colorado
* I need to access the transmission to diagnose a low line pressure situation with a slipping 1-2 upshift. I intend to make a transmission thread, but I would like to have some solid diagnostic info first.


If you are looking to read data, not do any module programming, you already have the hardware needed for that. When it comes to the OBD2 protocol running on your Envoy there is no special hardware in a Tech 2 or other such device that is fundamentally different than your OBD2 adapter. Your OBD2 adapter has all the functionality required.

What the expensive tools bring is software and proprietary informations licensed from the vehicle manufacturer. That is where the money goes.

Apps like Torque Pro and Car Scanner Pro come with a limited set of data parameters plus the apps have the ability to add more user-entered data parameters. These are normally vehicle or mnnufacturer specific generally come from communities such as gmtnation.

So for your transmission issue we can see a handful of data parameters. On my own 2002 4.2 4L60E I display Torque Converter Clutch slippage value, the TCC PWM value, the transmission fluid temperature, the status of the fluid pressure switches ABCP, and ABC, the current TAP cell, and the reference and actual fluid pressure solenoid currents. I can also call up the various current TAP cell values.
 
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