: I bought OBDLink Scan Tool



M.A.C
09-01-10, 04:39 PM
I just bought OBDLink scan tool with the WiFi option from scantool.net (http://www.scantool.net/scan-tools/pc-based/obdlink.html). It cost me $190, not including shipping. I didn't buy ScanXL software with the "GM Enhanced Add-on" but I probably will if I'm happy with OBDLink. I just want to see how it works before I spend more money. I've been researching scanners for quite a while and finally came to the conclusion that OBDLink is a best buy. I was also considering the Equus 3160 Innova for $200 but I figured it was not much less than OBDLink, which has WiFi and everything else the 3160 has. I will be able to use WiFi and remote start to run diagnostics from inside my home instead of having to bring my laptop outside. Once I get OBDLink I'll post how well it works. It's coming by Fedex overnight so hopefully I'll have it before Friday.

BaTu
09-01-10, 07:29 PM
You didn't consider the AutoEnginuity?

I'm not sure what the WiFi is all about though...... You want to scan and perform tests on your car but from inside the house? - What's that all about? ;)

How about other system tests? There are So many sub-systems that will display codes (even the radio & nav) will the enhanced package do all those?

M.A.C
09-01-10, 08:59 PM
You didn't consider the AutoEnginuity?

I'm not sure what the WiFi is all about though...... You want to scan and perform tests on your car but from inside the house? - What's that all about? ;)

How about other system tests? There are So many sub-systems that will display codes (even the radio & nav) will the enhanced package do all those?

To begin, I’m no expert and I'm not here to bash AutoEnginuity ("AI"). I don't know enough about what goes into making OBD II scan tools to be rendering technical opinions.

However, that said, from what I understand, AI uses proprietary software and therefore it limits software options to its proprietary application. On the other hand, OBDLink can be used with any OBDII compliant software from the basic to more advanced ScanXL. The manufacturer of OBDLink, scantool.net ("ST"), boasts that it can be used with more software than any other scan tool. Also, ST provides lifetime firmware upgrades. Also, OBDLink can do everything AI can do, including read manufacturer specific codes--but this option will cost another $89. With purchase of ScanXL software, it's possible to do data logging to spot intermittent problems.

The basic OBDLink that I purchased is $99.95, which comes with OBDWize as bundled software. Pricing of AI is $249.95 compared to OBDLink with ScanXL Professional at $229.95. I don't know how advanced AI software is but I'm guessing that it's just as advanced as the professional version of ScanXL.

Also, both AI and OBDLink require separate purchases to enable capability to read manufacturer specific codes, such as for GM, Ford, etc. To this end, AI charges another $229.95 for the GM enhancement with CAN D, while ST charges $79.95. OBDLink supports both CAN and ISO protocols.

Because I ordered OBDLink with WiFI, I paid $190, which does not include ScanXL software or the GM enhancement.

dkozloski
09-01-10, 10:38 PM
Two bits says that all you get is engine codes and no body, transmission, or ABS codes.

M.A.C
09-01-10, 11:30 PM
Two bits says that all you get is engine codes and no body, transmission, or ABS codes.
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying.

Are you saying OBDLink is not capable or are you saying the package I ordered will not provide body, transmission or ABS codes?

If you believe OBDLink is limited to generic codes, you would be wrong. If I spend another $180 I can buy both ScanXL software and the GM Enhanced Diagnostic Add-on, which will allow OBDLink to read the following GM codes (http://www.palmerperformance.com/support/supported_vehicles/gm_enhanced.php).

BaTu
09-02-10, 04:25 PM
I honestly don't know a lot about the OBDLink (btw you know your car is Not OBD-II, it's Can-Bus) but from your link, with the enhanced sw, it looks like a pretty comprehensive reader...

BUT to compare it with the capabilities of the AE, is Apples/Oranges ;)

The AE does pretty much everything (not ALL, but pretty close) the Tech-II the dealerships use, will do. It's Much more than a reader, it's a test center that will preform Many tests and settings (cylinder contribution, "buzz" test injectors, TPS, etc) as well as the graphs, tracking, recording, & freeze frame.

When I got mine I was amazed to read about things like perdle tests and how "crank speed" was different than R.P.M. :D

M.A.C
09-02-10, 06:44 PM
I honestly don't know a lot about the OBDLink (btw you know your car is Not OBD-II, it's Can-Bus) but from your link, with the enhanced sw, it looks like a pretty comprehensive reader...

BUT to compare it with the capabilities of the AE, is Apples/Oranges ;)

The AE does pretty much everything (not ALL, but pretty close) the Tech-II the dealerships use, will do. It's Much more than a reader, it's a test center that will preform Many tests and settings (cylinder contribution, "buzz" test injectors, TPS, etc) as well as the graphs, tracking, recording, & freeze frame.

When I got mine I was amazed to read about things like perdle tests and how "crank speed" was different than R.P.M. :D

All cars built after January 1, 1996 by law have OBD-II systems. OBD-II simply refers to reporting capability. However, CAN or CAN-bus refers to the communications protocol being used. GM's vehicles are OBD-II compliant using the J1850 VPW bus and have an OBD II connector.

As far as your comparison of AE vs. OBDLink, if you would like to list those things which AE can do that OBDLink cannot, I would be interested.

BaTu
09-02-10, 07:19 PM
All cars built after January 1, 1996 by law have OBD-II systems. OBD-II simply refers to reporting capability. However, CAN or CAN-bus refers to the communications protocol being used. GM's vehicles are OBD-II compliant using the J1850 VPW bus and have an OBD II connector.

As far as your comparison of AE vs. OBDLink, if you would like to list those things which AE can do that OBDLink cannot, I would be interested.

Boy, I wouldn't know where to begin.....

It's not going to test or mod, just read. The "enhancements" link you posted talked about Engine, Trans, Fuel Pump, Abs, & Airbag.

That's about 1/3 of the subsystems you car has. Did you ever have one of the older STSs that would display codes in the DIC? There are suspension (including the MagRide) codes, Nav, Radio, CC, Traction, PS, and even the Memory Seats have codes :) I'm sure a dz. more I can't think of...

It's fully twice the price, but, that's 1/2 off if you don't buy the ScanXL (which you're just wasting your money with the OBDLink Generic alone because you can get a non-upgradeable reader for less than $30)

I guess it depends what it is you're after..... Your light comes on and you want to know what's going on, 90% of the time a generic will be all you need to know where to start looking.

BUT if you want a diagnostic tool you just can't get more bang for the buck than with the AE. The Snap-On, MAC, or Tech-II are all a thousand dollars more...

M.A.C
09-02-10, 10:00 PM
Boy, I wouldn't know where to begin.....

It's not going to test or mod, just read. The "enhancements" link you posted talked about Engine, Trans, Fuel Pump, Abs, & Airbag.

That's about 1/3 of the subsystems you car has. Did you ever have one of the older STSs that would display codes in the DIC? There are suspension (including the MagRide) codes, Nav, Radio, CC, Traction, PS, and even the Memory Seats have codes :) I'm sure a dz. more I can't think of...

It's fully twice the price, but, that's 1/2 off if you don't buy the ScanXL (which you're just wasting your money with the OBDLink Generic alone because you can get a non-upgradeable reader for less than $30)

I guess it depends what it is you're after..... Your light comes on and you want to know what's going on, 90% of the time a generic will be all you need to know where to start looking.

BUT if you want a diagnostic tool you just can't get more bang for the buck than with the AE. The Snap-On, MAC, or Tech-II are all a thousand dollars more...

How much did your AE setup cost you?

Did you buy the enhanced GM upgrade?

M.A.C
09-02-10, 10:12 PM
I used OBDLink for the first time tonight without a problem. The only current code I have is that I need to change transmission fluid. I'll make an appointment soon as possible for that. I didn't get the WiFi to work but instead used the direct link. I didn't feel like messing around setting WiFi up for communications. I'll deal with it over the weekend. There is a lot that I need to learn but the basic code reading and clearing was easy. I had the MIL light on because of the transmission code. So I cleared it. Then I drove a bit and rescanned for codes but all is clear. I set the parameters to read transmission codes and the change fluid warning set again.

BaTu
09-03-10, 07:28 PM
I actually didn't buy the AE with my Caddy in mind.....

I have an '02 7 liter diesel F350 pickup and it has a TON of esoteric, Ford only, diesel only, codes. In fact, an OBD-II scanner is pretty much completely useless. Within the Ford diesel community, it's just accepted that the AE is the Only way to go. It even more closely mimics the Factory Ford Scanner in it's capabilities.

Several years ago my wive decided she was a PT Cruiser person (we're on our fourth...).

So, my driveway is an American car soup ;) Ford-GM-Chrysler.... AND I'm kind of an extremest (I like fireworks, so now I shoot them professionally all over the state - I like guns, I became a Machine Gun Dealer - I like sports cars, I'm buying/selling the 12cly Italians) :D

It came time to buy a scanner. I went for the "Big 3" Enhanced AE package for $600 (I know,,,, overboard - but that's me...)

Now I'm the KING of my all friends scanner needs!

Long Story, but that's how I ended-up getting what I did...

EChas3
09-03-10, 10:10 PM
Wi-Fi would be nice for the convenience of real-time data while driving plus the ability to just fold the laptop & stash in back.

M.A.C
09-03-10, 11:15 PM
Wi-Fi would be nice for the convenience of real-time data while driving plus the ability to just fold the laptop & stash in back.
I just tried the WiFi tonight and it worked without a problem from at least 90 ft. away. This was just a basic check to see if it has any distance capability and apparently it does. Next I'll check to see if WiFi will work while my laptop is inside my home. OBDLink also has a blue tooth option which is advertised to work up to 330 ft. away. If WiFi works only half that, I'll be happy.

steveo3355
09-07-10, 09:36 PM
Look at NEXTECH i have over 50k worth of oem scanners and i use the hell out of my CARMAN the best over all tool you can buy. Or just buy a Tech 2 for 1500 bucks or less don't pay more then that.

Midnight
09-08-10, 10:31 AM
Sorry for the hijack, I'll make it brief... Do all those non-engine codes mentioned above (transmission, suspension, navigation, etc) light some lamp, or can some of them just be set without the driver knowing? I mean I can't imagine the check engine lamp comes on if the Nav system is having issues... Yet if it were I'd like to know about it. Otherwise I might just learn to live with something that's not quite right (and might get worse).

In other words, does it make sense to have a dealer (or a buddy with a nice scanner that reads this stuff) look for "hidden" codes that might be set that don't otherwise show up?

Thanks :)

ccclarke
09-08-10, 11:55 AM
For the XLR, (which uses OBD2 and GMLAN buses) the MIL (Multi-Function Indicator) lamp will illuminate for powertrain-related faults. The DIC will display messages related to the suspension, ride control, fuel system, etc. If you want to really look deep into the car for body-related functions like door switch activation, memory settings, individual lamp tests for switches and indicators, you need to use a Tech 2. OBD 2 is great for powertrain issues, but the majority of the problems my car has experienced are body- related, so I bought a Tech 2. Once I plug it in, it runs a full vehicle diagnostic test in less than ten minutes. Any problem areas can be checked out in greater detail. I can activate valves in the hydraulic system for the folding top, HUD test patterns, and a bunch of other functions since the Tech 2 communicates bi-directionally with the vehicle. Fun stuff.

Choice of a scan tool really depends on how deep you want to look and affordability. Powertrain code pullers run around $200 and a Tech 2 for about ten times more.

CC

BaTu
09-08-10, 06:50 PM
It doesn't make sense to me to purchase a Tech-2..... :(

The AE will pull all those body codes and do most of the "tests" a Tech-2 will do for 1/3 (or more) of the money.

Not only that! BUT remember with a Tech-2 you're GM ONLY....

Again, for the $600 I'm not only doing Tech-2, but the factory Ford & Chrysler diagnostic machines too.....

ccclarke
09-08-10, 10:16 PM
It all depends on what you need a scan tool for. If you're repairing a lot of different models, whether professionally or as an owner, you probably have the right tool for your needs. If you've been exploring the innards of your STS, then you know how complex the later model cars are. The XLR is mind-boggling in it's complexity. It's technology is supposed to be transparent to the operator --but not so much for the technician who has to work on them. If a less-expensive tool were available, the dealerships would be all over them.

I have a pair of Cadillacs and wanted the most comprehensive tool available. If I replace certain parts, I need to be able to program the new one. I'm able to tell when the part was manufactured as well what rev of programming it's at so I know if it's an upgrade. If my top is acting up, I want to know exactly why. By using the same tool the dealership uses I can dig just as deep and determine in advance if I'm in over my head or perform the repairs myself. Price isn't the issue. Capability is. Your milage may vary.
CC