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OE Scan tools vs. Snap On, etc.


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We do use Snap-On equipment and some Bosch scanners. The aftermarket tools are definitely getting better, but the factory tools are still the best. The difference is not so much in the engine management areas where much of the info is mandated by the EPA, but we see more holes in airbags, body control modules, HVAC controls, VSC, ABS etc. Many of the OE's have made there tools and subscription much more affordable. Initial software purchase seems to be $3,000 to $4,000 per manufacturer. Most domestic and Asian platforms will run $1,000 to $2,000 per year for subscriptions to the manufacturers site for reprogramming etc. We put several makes on 1 laptop to save some hardware cost.

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I am leaning more towards OEM scanners. Haven't bought one YET but I believe its headed that way. I find a lot that I cant do because of the limitations of my snappy scanner. Have been looking at the Launch. If it does all it says it will then a factory tool may not be necessary. The real factor is at what cost do we equip the shop to cover "everthing"? Selling the test time is tough. Now do you raise your test rates to cover the added expense OR will the factory tool make the test so much easier that it would improve the test time. Would you have a tech trained on each tool or all trained on every tool? Going from a DRB to a STAR SCAN to a TECH2 could cause a bit of a drag as each tool works differently. The expense along with the updates makes it very costly!

Launch is absolute junk. Slow and almost unusable. At least from my experiences.

 

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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OE is the way to go. Only use generic (snap-on, autel etc) in order to get a quick look at what’s going on then switch to the OE tool if need be. We have multiple lines OE and they have become more reasonable to afford.

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I have 12 scanners right now. Half are manufacturer scanners. What I can do with the manufacturer scanners far exceeds any of the aftermarket ones.

 

The big issue is, that I tend to forget what is available on one and not on another. Old age I guess. LOL

I have found some of the diagnostic steps tend to be written for info that is only found on the manufacturers scanners. Although there are times when the type of info is put into different terms from one scanner to the next.

 

Example, if you were looking for the exact voltage on a Chrysler 3 wire A/C transducer the factory scanner has it but you have to dig around to find it, but the Master tech pops it up very quickly... and in volts not in resistance values. (At least the last time I look for it) Then there are the times I'm programming something and I'll use an aftermarket scanner and the dang thing will get you right up to the very last step and then leave ya stranded. (hate that)

 

All in all, until such time as the aftermarket gets it together and has ALL info for one vehicle the manufacture level scanner still has them beat.

 

I figure when some of these models get older all that info will be out there for the aftermarket scanner builders, because... the manufacturer will have moved onto a new more sophisticated scanner and won't care who's fixing their older models.

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Perhaps we could connect the dots in this thread, with the thread about aftermarket parts not being up to par, and come to the conclusion aftermarket is cheap. Or that you get what you pay for. :rolleyes:

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mmotley,

I'm not ready to agree with that conclusion ...yet.

I do believe that you get what you pay for, but there are many aftermarket parts that I find superior to OE parts. We've replaced many OE wheel bearings, ball joints and tie rods at very low mileage. We use NAPA Adaptive One brake pads and get longer life out of them than the OE pads.

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  • 1 month later...

I ha a snap on verdict. Horrible. Snappy wants me to upgrade to a verus. I have a ford ids. Should I be going most oe scan tools. Has anyone ran into the need of tools for direct injection engines?

I've got an old modis that's been upgraded regularly and does everything I need except for flash capabilities. No need for a diesel specific tool unless you specialize in heavy diesel.

 

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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I agree that factory scan tools are the best. With that said I own an Autel scanner which is fully updated and a 4 channel OTC lab scope. I also have a smoke machine. I can pull codes from all modules on pretty much any car and use identifix to get a testing procedure. Most anything that a factory scanner can do can be done with a scope. It takes longer and requires more effort for sure but we can test pretty much anything. Flashing new computers or modules is one thing we can't err don't want to do. The amount of money we lose by sending cars to a dealer for programming new computers is so minimal it's not worth investing in all the different scanners and investing the time to master each one. Don't get me wrong I get frustrated knowing I don't have the best tool for the job sometimes but investing in other areas nets a much greater return on investment.

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I can honestly say that I am thoroughly disappointed / disgusted with Strap-On and other brands as they all have Huge holes / gaps in them.
The Verus DSO/DVM is a real bad joke. Utterly useless for measuring Mv and negative voltages. (reverse polarity)
Has anyone tried to measure a distributor with 3 hall effect sensors in it with this pos?
I have a '88 Toyota Soarer with a 1G-GTEU 2.0 Twin Turbo (Yamaha engine) in my shop now that I am tracking down no injector pulse... It was made for the Jap market; It is Not a North American vehicle by any stretch of the imagination and information for this beast is virtually non-existent. Nothing in this car ever came over here.
Even the Dealer said "Good Luck!" when I asked about parts availability.

I have learned that if you want true diagnostic capabilities you need to piece together OE tools with high quality dedicated specialty tools.

All-In-One tools leave much to be desired and often are a huge waste of money.

Despite the mandates for OEM's to 'standardize' and make certain data available, they still hold the keys to the kingdom and are playing a money game that penalizes independents for competing.

The OEM's are regenerating the revenue lost to independents by hammering us with proprietary fees.
i.e.; We are forced to buy special tools to work with their proprietary websites and vehicles in addition to subscription access fees and software & firmware updates.

Sure there are standards and mandate compliance, but anything above generic data access with bidirectional support costs us big time.

Technicians cannot afford to invest in everything that is required and that leaves us footing the bill and wincing every time an over priced piece of equipment heads out of the office to the service bay.

In my area, even the 'Specialty Shops' are still working on everything because families and their friends that are referred have multiple makes and models. The public still expects their trusty mechanic to fix everything and anything.
Case in point: The Toyota Soarer I have to manually trace old school style.
Mind you that I am the poor guy who gets these rejects directly from other shops who throw their hands up.

Edited by rjbradlow
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I ha a snap on verdict. Horrible. Snappy wants me to upgrade to a verus. I have a ford ids. Should I be going most oe scan tools. Has anyone ran into the need of tools for direct injection engines?

 

I've got an old modis that's been upgraded regularly and does everything I need except for flash capabilities. No need for a diesel specific tool unless you specialize in heavy diesel.

 

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

 

Uh -- em -- ncautoshop... FYI:

Ford has a new line of Turbocharged Direct Injection GAS engines called Ecoboost.

They are GDI (Non-Turbo) and GTDI (Turbo) engines.

1.0, 1.5, 1.6, 2.0, & 3.5L -- Only the 2.0 comes GDI & GDTI, the rest are GTDI.

 

Furthermore they are late to the scene as other manufacturers have been direct injecting gas for a long time now.

 

Direct Gas Injection was invented in 1902 for Aircraft engines and later by Bosch for Automotive in 1952...

The 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL is the first production sports car to use direct gas injection.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline_direct_injection

 

http://www.bosch-automotivetechnology.com/en/de/powertrain/powertrain_systems_for_passenger_cars_1/direct_gasoline_injection/direct_gasoline_injection_23.html

 

http://delphi.com/manufacturers/auto/powertrain/gas/ems/gdi/

Edited by rjbradlow
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Uh -- em -- ncautoshop... FYI:

Ford has a new line of Turbocharged Direct Injection GAS engines called Ecoboost.

They are GDI (Non-Turbo) and GTDI (Turbo) engines.

1.0, 1.5, 1.6, 2.0, & 3.5L -- Only the 2.0 comes GDI & GDTI, the rest are GTDI.

 

Furthermore they are late to the scene as other manufacturers have been direct injecting gas for a long time now.

 

Direct Gas Injection was invented in 1902 for Aircraft engines and later by Bosch for Automotive in 1952...

The 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL is the first production sports car to use direct gas injection.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline_direct_injection

 

http://www.bosch-automotivetechnology.com/en/de/powertrain/powertrain_systems_for_passenger_cars_1/direct_gasoline_injection/direct_gasoline_injection_23.html

 

http://delphi.com/manufacturers/auto/powertrain/gas/ems/gdi/

I understand that however in most cases users are speaking of diesel applications when inquiring on scan tools. My comment still rings true, no need for specific scan tools.

 

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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We recently purchased a Snap On Solus Ultra.  We have an OTC Genisys with System 5.0 as well and the Snap On seems to have  much more information than the Genisys.  I don't think there are any aftermarket scan tools that don't have some holes in coverage though.....

This leads me to another question. What effects will the right to repair changes make in the scan tool area? The manufacturers obviously want the scan tools with their capabilities to be expensive and stand alone systems, or we would have already seen more laptop/mobile based software and generic interfaces. Maybe we should start a thread on the right to repair issues.

 

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  • 2 months later...

I had a 2004 jaguar x type in today with a door adjar light on the dash. My updated to 13.4 snapon solus would not tell me which door was adjar, almost every other vehicle I am able to get this info out of the scan tool.

 

Would the autel maxidas give this info? Harbor freight had them online for about $899 a month ago. I heard from other shops the autel was more geared for euro makes. Any experience from any members?

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It is tough to stay competitive as a general repair shop with the vehicles that are on the road today. There is tons of new technology in cars and if you don't have a make specific scanner you will always be limited. As for the Autel, it is a pretty neat multi-purpose scanner and definitely has a good amount of functions for Euro makes that is left out on a lot of the other swiss army knife scanners out there.

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  • 2 months later...

We have Verus pro for most of the things we need to do. I think it's a great all around tool especially with the last two updates that made it faster. Sometimes I'm actually surprised at what it can do. I love that I have 4 channels of scope with such great sampling rate even when using all 4 channels. It is pricey.

We also have launch for some of the things snap on didn't do before but now it's catching up fast.

We have bow gt1 and Mercedes star 3. For gm if we need something that we can't do with Verus we use passthru J2534 and subscribe for whatever time we need it for. Same with some other manufacturers. I don't see myself switching to all oem any time soon.

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OE vs. Aftermarket scanners

 

Last week I had an old customer come in with a Jeep that his son had put larger tires on. The speedo was off and he wanted to know if I could reset it. I said sure. I tried my Mastertech on it, mainly because that year car (a 99') is what I use to set the pinion factor and VIN when I change out the PCM's. Well, well... wouldn't ya know it. It would not allow me to change the pinion factor because I wasn't changing the PCM. Seems the scanner is only set up to change it if I change the PCM. Kinda ticked me off. Had to go back and get the DRB.

 

Grrrr. Another situation where the aftermarket scanner isn't up to par with the manufacturers scanner. Lesson learned.

And yes... I tried several times to do it, I could see the pinion factor, but it wouldn't allow me to change it no matter what button (or choice of &*%$ words) I tried. I'm hoping it was just me and I missed a step somewhere...but I doubt. Anybody else run across this problem?

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