Recomendations for mid priced scan tools

07-28-2007, 09:38 AM
First off, I'm surprised there aren't more entries in this section.

I'm looking for a mid priced scan tool for OBD II only (no need for OBD I or CAN). I don't want just a 'reader', but want to stay under say $700-$800. Actron & Auto XRay comes to mind, but they arewned by the same company now. Just what is the difference between the two lines since SPX owns both?

I understand all these lower cost scanners will just read the PCM codes since all other are propritary for each manufacture since those aren't emission related and aren't required under Federal guidelines (correct me if I'm wrong here).

I found this lower cost model (imported). Anyone know anything about it?;

To read all monitors/systems, what does one have to shell out?

08-06-2007, 08:33 PM
Do not buy anything made by and owned by SPX.They treat their customers like crap and my father went through this on a Robinair A/C machine.They would not warranty his A/C machine and eliminated his records owning this machine.SPX makes piece of junk equipment and this A/C machine was one.

08-07-2007, 07:30 AM
Thanks for the reply, but it sounds as another "I'll never buy a XXXXXX again" customers. Would you go into more specifics?
My experiance with thier tech support (especially with Auto XRay/Actron has been excellant. With OTC I would say good at least. Both owned by SPX.

08-09-2007, 04:32 PM
All SPX makes is junk,expecially Robinair.My father had problems with it since day one,SPX would not do anything about it and treated him like crap.My father talks bad about SPX since he had problems with his Robinair A/C machine.The best scantool is made by Vetrnonix bought by Bosch.Their reps come out if you have a computer related problem and will answer it on the phone right away and Vetronix is ahead of everyone.

08-10-2007, 07:55 AM
Their reps come out if you have a computer related problem For $3-$7k I would hope so. :uhoh:
I'm talking about tools in the $300 price range. Not really any kind of comparision...............

BTW, the 3499 is made by Actron.

10-02-2007, 05:39 PM
hey man check this out i have it for my palm it's great for the price.

10-03-2007, 08:13 AM
First off, this isn't my first scan tool. I have (for sale) a Auto XRay OBDI tool which was nice since it was internally powered as opposed to relying on a separate power cord to the cigerate lighter (which is a poor electrical connection for anything AFAIC). That allowed to view the data away from the vehicle. This appears to be the norm for all OBDII scan tools of today.

I first tried the 3130. It is imported (no surprise) that can be had for $170 from many sources. It is ODBII only which shouldn't be a problem for Joe Average and even for a small independent shop that doesn't work on pre 1995 vehicles. You save money to forgo the OBDI and all the cables and adapters that are needed. Unlike OBDII where there is one connector (for the most part), OBDI had 4 ot 5.

Equus 3130:
1. Short learning curve,
2. PC software is decent, if not outstanding for a low cost tool,
3. Price
4. Fairly easy to use,
5. Ability to see if monitors have reset without hunting through a menn.
6. Printout form that allows further input from the owner to hand to a mechanic.

1. Only shows 15-17 parameters,
2. Only a 5 line display,
3. ISO (older Chrysler) protocol is very slow to update,
4. Manual needs work.
5. Imported,
6. Slower serial port.

Because of the limited number of parameters that this tool reads, I question the value of it considering for $100 less, a simple code reader that can reset codes might surfice as long as it has the ability to show if the monitors have been reset. (You need to know this before you take it in for a yearly inspection depending on where you are located.)
I'm not sure why, but for a 2000 Dodge, the update time is slow. I know it is the slowest of the 5 protocols, but with this vehicle, it was a issue. The OTC didn't have any real issue here.

OTC ScanPro 3499:
1. Made in USA (AFAIK),
2. OBDI and OBDII with all cables and adapters,
3. Carrying case,
4. Real time graph (thought resolution could be better),
5. Close to 100 combined parameters are read out,
6. 15 line display,
7. Reads xmission codes (cheapest one that has this feature),
8. Made and supported by Actron, not OTC,
8. Faster USB port,
9. Chrysler ISO protocol is much faster.

1. Useless PC software. Only a crude text printout (see comments),
2. 2 1/2x the price of the 3130 (though I have seen it selling for over $600),
3. Somewhat confusing menu. The tool has to re-establish the protcol everytime you change modes from within the menu,
4. Steeper learning curve,
5. Many items buried within the menu,
6. Bulky interface cable with a large connector between the main cable and the OBDII jumper,
7. Confusing button layout. Doesn't have the standard center 'enter' or return buttons.
8. Last, but not least, there is no reference for those damn hexidecimal codes! :twisted:

I know I will get an argument here, but here is my viewpoint on the software 'Con':
I was so impressed with the PC software of the cheaper 3130, I was dissappointed with this model. It falls flat on it's face. Here is a tool that has a ton on information available, including graphs, and all you get is a single collumn printout in a crude text form, that can be as many as 40 pages. What the hell are these people thinking?
Come on now. Get someone to write a decent program, or make it open source and let others write one to bring the data to paper where others can look it over. It's much easier to look over printed material than it is to look at a small LCD screen.

The menu needs a re-work. Example, one has to 'hunt' to see if all the monitors have been reset if a 'erase codes' procedure has been done. With the 3130 it's right there. The 'standard' (at least on remote controls for consumer home theater equipment) up/down, left/right with a center 'enter' arrangement is missing. There is a enter button, but it is off to the right above the 'return' button. Both are poorly labeled.
That 'personilized' button, I can't figure out how to use it.

Dave Hughes
10-03-2007, 03:07 PM
Here's a list of scan tools (,Price:na&logic=And&Description=Scan%20Tool) for comparison shopping

12-23-2008, 10:06 PM
Welcome to AF sara1221 !

Please look at the post dates before bringing up old threads .
Especialy to sell crap, this is closed!

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