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Thread: Does anyone here know the best aftermarket scan tool, all makes?

  1. #1
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    Does anyone here know the best aftermarket scan tool, all makes?

    My Dad and I have an auto repair shop. We have several scan tools like Star tester, tech 2 and otc genisis. Matco has a new one we were thinking of demoing for a bit to see if better than a Genisis or others.

    Does anyone one here use scan tools for general diagnosis on vehicles up to probably 2013? Which ones do you like the best?

    I run into things like Genisis does not have a misfire by cyl on an 08 HHR or just does not recognize some cars or some modules on a given car. European, Chrysler, and Japanese are our weakest area when resetting modules, throttles, and A/C stuff.
    Any advice will be greatly appreciated!! :-)

  2. #2
    Fuel Injected! brian617's Avatar
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    I use a Snap-On Modis everyday its been a good all around machine, except for the times the bi-directional stuff won't work. Demoed an Autel MaxISYS 908 and was really impressed until I i couldn't connect to an 01 Dodge pickup... Keep in mind not every OEM allows all PIDS displayed to aftermarket machines. Some early OBD11 Ford comes to mind that Mode 6 is required for misfire history.
    89 K1500 Scottsdale 5.7L 5spd 3:42

    Build specs: 97 4 bolt main block 350ci, Eagle rotating assembly with flat tops and 4 valve reliefs, Dart 165cc/67cc Iron Eagle heads, Manely SS valves and springs 110lbs seat @1.7, GM Ram Jet cam 196/206 @.50 .431/.451, stock intake and throttle body, heads and intake gasket matched, Delco EP377 fuel pump @ 22 psi, 427 PCM.

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    I use a Modis Ultra - awesome tool. Had the Genisys and it was a turd.

  4. #4
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    We had a snap on red brick "GARBAGE" and snap on has the CRAPPIEST!!! customer service EVER!!! so I won't buy anything Snap On.. I have a pile of broken Snap On crap that no rep will warrentee, even have to chase them down to get told no.

    Anyway thank for reply, I won't rule it out...I was just having a flash back :-) letting angry speak :-/
    genisis is kind of a turd, but gets us by for what we usually see, I really don't like "just getting by" though!

  5. #5
    Fuel Injected! brian617's Avatar
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    See if you can get an STS or Matco dealer to demo you an Autel MaxiSYS. Pretty sweat machine for the money. Our SnapOn dealer is a PITA too.
    89 K1500 Scottsdale 5.7L 5spd 3:42

    Build specs: 97 4 bolt main block 350ci, Eagle rotating assembly with flat tops and 4 valve reliefs, Dart 165cc/67cc Iron Eagle heads, Manely SS valves and springs 110lbs seat @1.7, GM Ram Jet cam 196/206 @.50 .431/.451, stock intake and throttle body, heads and intake gasket matched, Delco EP377 fuel pump @ 22 psi, 427 PCM.

  6. #6
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    I'll put our names on the list to demo the newest matco.....glad to know I'm not the only 1 thinks that :-)!!!

  7. #7
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    Another vote for the Autel unit. We have 2 and overall, it works quite well, comes with euro software as well as the domestic and asian stuff. For Chryslers, you just buy the Chrysler SPI OBD2 interface and it works fine. One note, it does NOT support GM(or any other that I'm aware of) OBD1 stuff. Works great as an OBD2 tool. It will even relearn Ford PATS key relearning, sadly it does not do the same for GM. But for the price, it's outstanding in my book. Also, if you have the cash, Harbor Freight is a dealer and at last check cost a fraction of what the major tool dealers charge. Somewhere around $1000-1200 if memory serves.

    Buddrow
    If it don't fit force it, if it don't force fit f&%@ it!

  8. #8
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    I don't know the best tool but I have a vote for the worst and it's primarily because I don't like their tech support. I've got a lot of examples but the real frustration started around 2005. Shortly after Dodge started selling Sprinters we ended up with three. We do as much of our own work as possible but our Snap-On scanner didn't support the Sprinter at that time. I figured out, after a *lot* of time, that I could select specific combinations of Mercedes engines, transmissions, and other systems from vehicles never sold in the US to see Sprinter data. When Snappy got close to releasing a Sprinter package they removed this access from the latest scanner updates. I argued with Tech support over and over, with the tech saying I couldn't do what I could do previously despite me having detailed notes for every step. Then I was told they couldn't supply an older version of the software at no cost and in fact, they probably couldn't supply it even if I wanted to pay!!! I had to wait several months for the Sprinter package so that I could buy back the access I previously had.

    Our scanner's been broken more than I think it should be, too. We don't use it a lot, and we take care of it. Last time I sent the scanner out for repair they couldn't duplicate the problem even though I tried to get them to use my notes about exactly how to duplicate the problem. They gave up and sent a new scanner. And they included a new "everything else" just in case! Imagine trying to hand out a new car every time a tough problem came in for repair!!

    The scanner still won't communicate with the SIR system on our 2010 buses. It's now 2015. Support says "It should!" Yes, I say, it should! I have to pay someone else to read codes because my $20k unit that "should" doesn't? Dealer has tried everything I've tried... different scanners, cables, etc. Nope, not an issue with the hardware. Folks at support agree... but no solution so far. "Well, maybe it will be in the next update." What??! You have no idea what's being updated??? I have to keep buying updates in the hopes that you'll mysteriously solve this issue?????

    Every time I've called Snappy support for the scantool I've been left with the feeling that I'm talking with a half-baked surfer that doesn't care one bit about helping solve our problems. I'm not yet ready to invest in another scanner but the time is getting close and I believe I'll be using a "Not Snap-On" brand.

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