Best scan tool in five hundred dollar range?

Alan 55

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For anyone that has an opinion on this topic. What is the best scan tool in the five hundred dollar range? I am somewhat interested in the Autel MK808 which is around $475 dollars but perhaps there are others to consider. The tool would be used on a variety of 1996 and up vehicles. Thanks in advance.
 

HotZ28

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An Actron 9690 can read all ABS/SRS/TRANS codes for about $150.00. Of course, it you want bidirectional functions, the Tech11 is an an option, but much more expensive. What exactly do you want to accomplish with a scanner for the DIYS home repairs?
 
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2007LucerneCXL

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When looking at any of these scanner the most important item is the seller/unit supported by the manufacturer and manufacturer warranty. Lots of items are sold by online storefronts through Amazon, Ebay and Internet where the sold products are not supported by the manufacturer so due diligence on the seller is required. Read all product and seller reviews as some information regarding the product isn't always disclosed.

What other vehicles Ford, Toyota, GM, Audi etc as that may have additional details on how a scan tool would work on other vehicle manufacturers. A Tech2 is good for GM products but useless on anything else, same with some scanners that may work for other vehicle manufacturers but may be a issue on certain years or models.

What functions on scanner are you really in need of? Getting one with lots of buttons on it when a less involved unit may be more cost effective. A all in one scanner for multiple manufacturers may be convenient, but sometimes less expensive manufacturer specific scanners can actually be a better option and have more direct features.

I have a TECH2 clone, full GM dealer service software suite for 1980 - 2009 all makes models along with OBD2 BT which I probably use more on the phantom CEL that show up. Honestly the TECH2 is complete overkill for most and if not use to legacy systems it's a pain.
 

Alan 55

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An Actron 9690 can read all ABS/SRS/TRANS codes for about $150.00. Of course, it you want bidirectional functions, the Tech11 is an an option, but much more expensive. What exactly do you want to accomplish with a scanner for the DIYS home repairs?
Thanks for your message. I have an Actron CP9580A which is a very good scan tool for the money. It is not as capable as the 9690 but it does give me the understanding that Actron has some very good products.
The scan tool that I am looking for would be used on my 2001 Park Avenue, 2009 Nissan Frontier and 2008 Lexus ES350. I am in hopes of more live stream data than my current tool provides. For example, I would like to see the misfire counts on each cylinder. It is true that generic OBD 2 info will only go so far and when manufacturer specific data is needed then a specialized scan tool is needed. When I worked in industry, I had access to a Tech 2, various Snap-on and OTC scanners. Now, as a retired person that access does not exist.
As far as programming a new PCM and things of that nature, that is not my desire. It would be nice to be able to command a power window or fuel pump to operate but now we are talking about a very specific scan tool it seems to me.
There are tons of scan tools available now and I am taking my time to read reviews on various units. The Zurich line from Harbor Freight is sort of interesting in that you can purchase a service plan that would allow a person to obtain a new unit if problems occur. Please continue to share your thoughts if you will.
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Alan 55

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When looking at any of these scanner the most important item is the seller/unit supported by the manufacturer and manufacturer warranty. Lots of items are sold by online storefronts through Amazon, Ebay and Internet where the sold products are not supported by the manufacturer so due diligence on the seller is required. Read all product and seller reviews as some information regarding the product isn't always disclosed.

What other vehicles Ford, Toyota, GM, Audi etc as that may have additional details on how a scan tool would work on other vehicle manufacturers. A Tech2 is good for GM products but useless on anything else, same with some scanners that may work for other vehicle manufacturers but may be a issue on certain years or models.

What functions on scanner are you really in need of? Getting one with lots of buttons on it when a less involved unit may be more cost effective. A all in one scanner for multiple manufacturers may be convenient, but sometimes less expensive manufacturer specific scanners can actually be a better option and have more direct features.

I have a TECH2 clone, full GM dealer service software suite for 1980 - 2009 all makes models along with OBD2 BT which I probably use more on the phantom CEL that show up. Honestly the TECH2 is complete overkill for most and if not use to legacy systems it's a pain.
Thanks for your input. I agree with all that you have written. There are many good YouTube video’s on the topic of scan tool reviews as well as Amazon reviews. I am taking advantage of this information and taking my time. Please see my reply to the previous post as it answers some of your questions. Thanks for your input and please continue if there are other thoughts. Perhaps rather than spending $500 on one scan tool, I would be better served by purchasing two scan tools that would have the specifics needed. GM plus Asian.
 

2007LucerneCXL

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It may serve better and work out on a combined cost to be the same for scanners that are more directed towards a particular vehicle manufacturer. As much as I like the Snap On and other professional shop tools, I still have access to them from others, a case of beer is a heck of lot cheaper than the 4K cost to buying one for the few times I really need it LOL
 

BuickGirlFromMars

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I have a mk808 and a tech 2. as much as i can tell, all functions of the tech 2 are covered by the mk808. But, key thing, Its a LOT more messy to navigate the UI and can be confusing and doesnt play as nice but it may technically be all there.

my tech 2 is funner

the best words i have, yes

If you drive GM, get tech 2. if you have diverse fleet or see other vehicles a lot, get mk808.
 

Alan 55

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I have a mk808 and a tech 2. as much as i can tell, all functions of the tech 2 are covered by the mk808. But, key thing, Its a LOT more messy to navigate the UI and can be confusing and doesnt play as nice but it may technically be all there.

my tech 2 is funner

the best words i have, yes

If you drive GM, get tech 2. if you have diverse fleet or see other vehicles a lot, get mk808.

Thanks for this good information ! Since I have other vehicles to consider, I will need to go the non- tech 2 route.
I am almost sold on the MK808 but wanted to ask about your experience with customer service, updates and so forth. Do you have to pay for updates after a certain point ?
Some scan tool manufacturers, such as Innova have a dedicated customer service line staffed with ASE certified techs to provide assistance. Updates are free or so they say.
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BuickGirlFromMars

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About a year if i recall correctly from the date you subscribe which is done on setupi think autel also has staff but i never used that. the updates rarely ever touch older cars, they all said 2017 and newer when i had it(2018 to late 2019)
ive been using my last updated version on vehicles and its worked fine.

Wouldnt hurt to look at others, bi directional on autel is touchy and spotty af
 
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