Best Bi-Directional scan tool for the money?

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Mar 2, 2004
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I've posted about looking for a scan tool a while back that could do more advanced features than a cheap OBD2 code reader, like ABS and TCM codes.

After pondering it further, I think I'm going to pony up more money for a bi-directional scan tool and do this right the first time. No sense in spending a couple hundred bucks, and regret it when I encounter something it won't do.

What would you guys consider the most fully featured bi-directional scan tool in the $800 price range? I could go as high as $1,000 if there's some compelling reason or features that are missing on the $800 units. Or is there a reason to look at the cheap(er) $450 range? Looking for most bang for the buck here. I think I could recoup the cost pretty quick, not only working on my own vehicles, but perhaps take on some work on the side.

The Launch X431 line of scan tools (avail on Amazon and elsewhere) seem to get great reviews, but there's a lot of different sub-models at various price points, and I'm not familiar enough with them, so wondering if anyone has any suggestions or experience with these or other brands.
 
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I've posted about looking for a scan tool a while back that could do more advanced features than a cheap OBD2 code reader, like ABS and TCM codes.

After pondering it further, I think I'm going to pony up more money for a bi-directional scan tool and do this right the first time. No sense in spending a couple hundred bucks, and regret it when I encounter something it won't do.

What would you guys consider the most fully featured bi-directional scan tool in the $800 price range? I could go as high as $1,000 if there's some compelling reason or features that are missing on the $800 units. Or is there a reason to look at the cheap(er) $450 range? Looking for most bang for the buck here. I think I could recoup the cost pretty quick, not only working on my own vehicles, but perhaps take on some work on the side.

The Launch X431 line of scan tools (avail on Amazon and elsewhere) seem to get great reviews, but there's a lot of different sub-models at various price points, and I'm not familiar enough with them, so wondering if anyone has any suggestions or experience with these or other brands.
The Launch X431 Pro Mini is well liked amongst Ferrari and Maserati owners... Perhaps of little importance to many, here, but the functions in the Launch allow some rather complicated manipulations and settings and hydraulic fluid air-purges of the F1/CambioCorsa/DuoSelect/MCShift single automated clutch paddle-shifted manual gearboxes. It effectively gave DIYers the ability to NEVER see the dealerships ever again. Significant, what-with service costs for these cars.
 
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92saturnsl2

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XTool D8 is affordable.
Didn't know about the XTool, thanks for that. They have a D9, presumably a newer version but also an extra $300 or so. Any benefits to the newer one? Seems the tablet specs haven't changed dramatically.

From what I have researched, the most popular (affordable) ones are Autel, Launch & XTool. The latest versions are all around $1k. The D8 just might be the sweet spot for bang/buck ratio, and it has free 3-year update. Just curious what I might be missing out on if I chose that over the D9.
 
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Good luck. I've been trying to make the same decision. It's like playing some sort of game. This one has this, but not this, and so on.
 
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I have the D8 for about a year. I opened and updated.......................I think my cars know I have a scanner so they behave.
I watched a Toyota Youtube guy (The car care nut) reviewing the D7 and D8. I suggest you watch that.
 

92saturnsl2

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I'm definitely leaning toward the D8 or D9, but I'm not sure I'll get an extra $400+ out of the D9, for what I do (hobby / DIY / small jobs). Seems the hardware hasn't changed between the two, so I feel the D8 would be the better value.

I've read that XTool's support is pretty stellar, I sent them an E-mail asking for them to clarify what features I'll be missing out on if I choose D8 over D9. They also have a D9 pro which is even more money, but the Amazon answer (from the mfg) says this: "D9 Pro can perform ECU programming on BMW, Benz, VW, offline ECU programming on Ford, Mazda. D9 can not." That's a steep price to pay (extra $500+) for ECU programming on some makes, something I definitely don't need.

What sealed the deal for me was 3 years free upgrade (vs Autel & Launch), and the upgrades are less expensive. Plus their support has a good reputation, and that can't be a bad thing.
 

92saturnsl2

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XTool's customer support was very quick to respond, less than 24 hours. Here's the features the D9 brings to the table compared to the D8:

D9
1. DoIP (compatible with BMW E/F/G Chassis, Jaguar, Land Rover vehicle makes) & RP1210 Protocols.
2. Topology Mapping.
3. 35+ Service Functions. [compared to 31+ service functions for the D8; they weren't specific what those added functions are]

The tablet/device specs are the same, except you get a 9.7" screen with the D9 vs. an 8" screen with the D8.

I concluded the D9 is not worth the extra money. I was hoping for better device specs with the D9, but it's still the same Android 5 based tablet running on the same hardware. Resolution is the same, so the larger screen isn't really a benefit unless you have bad eyes and need things bigger.

I asked if there was any promotions, and they offered 10 different freebies I could choose from if I purchased one. Most were $20 accessories like OBD2 cable extension, Chrysler 8+12 connector cable, screen protector, Endoscope camera, etc. The best value was an additional year of free software updates, so that's what I chose. I plan on purchasing the Bluetooth version (about $60 more) if they're willing to give me the extra year update with it.
 
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I went with Innova 5610, ~$300, as suggested previously on bitog, also similar as the Zurich ZR15 from Harbor Freight.
Comparison here. And I doubt the 5610rs model is anything different, the link says it is, but I think the case is different in some have an RS, but function wise you might have to delve into that more as Innova only has the 5610 model on their web site.

I previously owned an Innova so being familiar with it I thought would help learning the enhanced functions, but mostly I am just checking for misfires so haven't delved into it much more, found it at the Pawn shop for ~$150.

I previously tried a ~$99 Bluetooth device from eBay, worked with my tablet - no smart phone here, but it was not working correctly and returned, it did have lots of functions and you could add in more cars makes, but it was like they were writing the code for it as my complaints were received, which got frustrating. The other I didn't like was it seemed you had to go through their service to use it, though I don't recall was specifically necessary, but that's how I remember it.

I'd prefer a device that works on it's own, but I don't mind updating, though I leaned it was once that the updates can exceed the memory of the device, not sure if that still applies.

Your right on to research this before excessively spending on something that could be had for less, seems advertising can make comparing prices more confusing. I think ~$400 would be my budget, the graphing is where I'd want a bigger screen and practice is the advice I remember so you can use all the function of whatever you got.
 
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easydiag with diagzone software

or just stop being broke and buy one of the expensive launches and throw it in the garbage when it’s time to update
 
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92saturnsl2

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I pulled the trigger on a XTool D8 w/ Bluetooth. The bluetooth version was $30 more (after a $40 amazon coupon was applied), $772 after KY sales tax, but being able to take the scanner with me under the hood or other areas of the car, I think it's money well spent.

Weird how these Chinese sellers work, I had to contact an entirely different E-mail address to inquire about the BT version and whether I'd still get the additional 1-year free update (total of 4 years). I guess they're two different sellers, but both offered the additional year update to me with purchase.

I should receive it Tuesday and will report back how it works. First item on the agenda is to scan some stability system codes on my 2007 Chrysler (have the ESP/BAS & traction control lights on) that I can't do with my cheap ELM327 bluetooth scanner.
 

wtd

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southwest Mo.
I went with Innova 5610, ~$300, as suggested previously on bitog, also similar as the Zurich ZR15 from Harbor Freight.
Comparison here. And I doubt the 5610rs model is anything different, the link says it is, but I think the case is different in some have an RS, but function wise you might have to delve into that more as Innova only has the 5610 model on their web site.

I previously owned an Innova so being familiar with it I thought would help learning the enhanced functions, but mostly I am just checking for misfires so haven't delved into it much more, found it at the Pawn shop for ~$150.

I previously tried a ~$99 Bluetooth device from eBay, worked with my tablet - no smart phone here, but it was not working correctly and returned, it did have lots of functions and you could add in more cars makes, but it was like they were writing the code for it as my complaints were received, which got frustrating. The other I didn't like was it seemed you had to go through their service to use it, though I don't recall was specifically necessary, but that's how I remember it.

I'd prefer a device that works on it's own, but I don't mind updating, though I leaned it was once that the updates can exceed the memory of the device, not sure if that still applies.

Your right on to research this before excessively spending on something that could be had for less, seems advertising can make comparing prices more confusing. I think ~$400 would be my budget, the graphing is where I'd want a bigger screen and practice is the advice I remember so you can use all the function of whatever you got.
Hopefully yours won't quit updating. I bought my 5610 new in 2020 and was able to update it once and now it won't update at all for some reason. The RS2 updater recognizes the tool when I have it hooked to the computer but it never shows an update available even though I'm two updates behind now. I have to send it in to Innova to get it updated which is a hassle and I have to pay for shipping even though this thing has free lifetime updates.
 
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I pulled the trigger on a XTool D8 w/ Bluetooth. The bluetooth version was $30 more (after a $40 amazon coupon was applied), $772 after KY sales tax, but being able to take the scanner with me under the hood or other areas of the car, I think it's money well spent.

Weird how these Chinese sellers work, I had to contact an entirely different E-mail address to inquire about the BT version and whether I'd still get the additional 1-year free update (total of 4 years). I guess they're two different sellers, but both offered the additional year update to me with purchase.

I should receive it Tuesday and will report back how it works. First item on the agenda is to scan some stability system codes on my 2007 Chrysler (have the ESP/BAS & traction control lights on) that I can't do with my cheap ELM327 bluetooth scanner.
Make sure you update it once it arrives; there's been a lot of updates on that unit just this month alone!
 
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