Automotive Scanner Comparison OTC's and Snap On
By Dennis Bandy Copyright ©
Which scan tool is right for you? This all depends on the features that are important to you. For basic code reading with the definition displayed, code clearing and low cost, it is very hard to beat a basic code reader. Most basic OBD II code readers will read OBD II generic engine or power train trouble codes on 1996 and newer vehicles. Even if your repair shop has a more expensive scan tool like the OTC Genisys, OTC Pegisys or the Snap On Modis or Snap On Verus, it's more convenient to have a basic code reader handy for doing quick checks and for clearing the code after a repair without chasing down the shop's scan tool.
For getting into other diagnostic trouble codes, like for ABS (Anti Lock Brakes) and SRS (Safety Restraint Systems) a basic code reader will not do the job, a more comprehensive scan tool will be needed. The latest trend in premium automotive scan tools is for them to be wireless, not requiring the interface cable to be attached to the OBD II connector and to have Internet connection capability. With more repair information becoming available on-line all the time, adding Internet capability is a logical step. When faced with an unfamiliar fault code or drivability problem, auto technicians are no longer forced to struggle in diagnosing it alone or limited to seeking advice from only the other technicians in their shop. Also training information, automotive forums, wiring diagrams, software updates, Indentifix, auto repair manual information and vehicle TSB's (Technical Service Bulletins) can be accessed on the web, with the capability of these new Internet ready scan tools. Most auto repair shops work on different makes of vehicles, therefore a scan tool that has a wide range of applications makes the most sense as opposed to Dealer specific scan tools. For example the Tech 2 scan tool will have much more capability for Chevrolet vehicles, but won't provide much access to other makes of vehicles beyond Global OBD 2 power train codes. And having the dealer specific scan tool for each different manufacturer would be very pricey, especially when considering the cost of keeping all of them updated. The new generation of scan tools below are different than many of the scan tools of the past in that they have more features. All the scan tools compared besides having wireless vehicle interface and wireless Internet capability, have color touch screens for navigation.
Snap On Verus is Snap On's new wireless scan tool. Snap On is an excellent choice for repair shops that can afford the $8,895 price tag. Domestic and Asian coverage is included at this price. The European software update and Euro connector kit is not included.
OTC Pegisys is OTC's new wireless scan tool. The Pegisys is also a very good choice for repair shops that require the capability of working on many makes of vehicles. The $4,995 investment is substantially less than the Snap On Verus. Domestic and Asian are included with free Domestic and Asian updates included for one year from the time of purchase. Like with Snap On, Euro is an additional update. 2013 Update -OTC Genisys now has a Touch Screen scan tool called the Genisys Touch that has Internet capability that allows search for online resources for pattern failures, TSB's and more right from the scan tool.
Launch X431Tool is a fairly new scan tool to the US, but is very popular in other parts of the world. At the $3,999 price tag, the Launch scan tool is sure to become a very popular scan tool in the states as it is in the UK and Europe. It comes with Domestic, Asian and European software and free updates as often as you like for one year, updates are accessed from their website.
Q: What else can you tell about the Genisys and the new OTC Pegisys?
A: The new OTC Genisys is still an excellent value for general repair shops, the Pegisys is the next generation diagnostic scan tool for shops that want wireless and Internet capability, see this auto tool blog post for additional information.
Q: Do you have the scanner that Chevrolet dealers and the military use for Hummers?
A: Yes, OTC makes the scanner called the Tech 2, it has the most comprehensive capabilities for Chevrolet and other GM vehicles like the Hummer.
Q: What scan tool will work for a 1994 Olds 98 with a obd 2 aldl most scanners I've found starts obd 2 from 1996 up? Will the otc 3499 work with these vehicles 1990 Corvette, 1994 Olds 98, 1997 Lincoln Town car?
A: The OBD II functionality generally started in 1996. However, some vehicle manufacturers started to include the OBD II connector in some models prior to 1996, before it was required by the US Government. Some models were granted a grace period so they were allowed to continue using OBD I for a short time. Keep in mind the OBD II connector and the GM ALDL (Assembly Line Diagnostics Link) connector look similar, so don't force the connector on, just in case it doesn't match up. Also any vehicle with the OBD II connector prior to 96 may not provide complete function or have all the information that a full fledged OBD 2 system would include. There should be an ALDL connector (on a 94 Olds 98), if needed this could also be used as long as you have the OBD I connector in your scan tool kit. In addition to getting a scan tool that works for older vehicles, choose a scan tool that will work on newer ones that have CAN (Controlled Area Network) which is required on all vehicles manufactured from 2008 and later. Keep in mind that scan tools are limited by the car manufacturer's willingness to allow access to info. For example, any scan tool used on the same year Ford, GM and Chrysler will show slightly different data due to the different vehicle engine control software systems. And some of the data, due to OBD 2 standardization will be the same. The OTC 3499 scanner has the older OBD I connectors, the OBD II connector and works on vehicles that use CAN protocol.
Q: I'm considering a Genisys scan tool. What advantage does the Genisys otc 3696 scanner have over the otc 3499?
A: The OTC 3696 is designed to access other vehicle systems in addition to Powertrain Codes like Safety Restraint Systems, Anti Lock Brake Systems, Body Control Module and Climate Control. If you only need to access P-Codes and data the OTC 3499 will serve well. If you want the extra functions mentioned above the Genisys OTC 3696 is the best choice. Also, for a limited time we have a great deal on the OTC 3484 in a refurbished, like new Genisys scan tool, it comes with the 3.0 operating system with 2008 Domestic and Asian software. This is the best deal we have on a Genisys scan tool, plus you can use a discount coupon for an even better deal and it also has free shipping. The OTC Genisys is the most popular scan tool for most independent auto repair shops due to its wide range of functions and low cost.
We have two sources of more information on the tools and repairs that matter most to our readers. See the DenLors Auto Tool Blog and our most recent car repair/tool article site Blog/WiseAutoTools.com.
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