Scantools and programs

This page is to help you figure out just what it is that you need to pull trouble codes and do diagnostics on your vehicle. We will attempt to provide sources for the programs that will best fit your needs, from simply pulling trouble codes, to indepth diagnostics.
When looking for an OBD2 unit, there are 3 protocals;
VPW (General Motors), PMW (Ford) and ISO9141 (Chrysler).

[ PC Based Scan Tools ] [ Scan Program Hardware & Cables ]
[Palm/Handheld PC Based Scanners ] [ Handheld OBD2 Scanners ]
[ Diagnostic Tools ]

PC Based Scan Tools

VPW, CarBytes & probedownloads

These are very useful programs. The scan program is very basic and does not require an interface, only some connectors and some wires. We have yet to try it out, but it seems to be a nice, inexpensive setup.
OBD Automotive
Diagnostics Homepage

This unit is a basic unit. Which will do VPW, PMW and ISO9141. The site has a free download of the program, but an interface will be required. There is a schematics to build your own or you can purchase the interface from them for around $75 plus shipping costs. There is fairly decent support for this unit, but it is designed as an experimental unit. There are some diagnostics that can be done with this unit. This site is great for hardware purchases though. This is by far the most reasonably priced unit we have found.

CarCode Scan Program This is a full feature program, it has a lot of nifty features and is priced pretty well. For around $200 for all 3 protocals, you end up with a program that can do quite a bit of diagnostics. Can be purchase for one, two or all three protocals.
For more information on this scan program,
see the CarCode Review on the BAT Auto Resources page.

This unit will pull codes and do diagnostics. Has all of the features of the above unit. Can be purchased in one, two or all three protocals. All three protocals is apporximately $489.95
Read our review on this tool.

New Zealand company that offers a PC and Handheld version Code Reader system. The covered systems include EFI (Petrol), EFI (Diesel), ABS, SRS. New Fault Code Reader reads codes from 95% of Asian vehicles. Price is $298.00 (USD) and up depending on the system and options that you choose. Check out our PC version review and check out our Handheld version review.
WIN-STAR An amazing scan program with bi-directional controls.This is a high end European scan program. It has every feature a person could possibly need for Mercedes, BMW and Jaguar.
The release of Digimoto 3.6 holds a feature not found in any existing OBD software applications. Now your car has the ability to speak to you! This newly added functionality gives you the ability to monitor statistics without ever having to look at your display!
Sell scanners for heavy truck and automotive applications. Manufacturer for the Ultra-Link Diagnostic Tool, Tach-Man and Veeder-Root Tachographs, Chartwell charts, Systems-Link Data Bus, Datcon Instruments and S.S. White products.
Read our review on this scanner.

EFIlive V5 is a comprehensive OBD-II scan tool specifically designed for the GM LS1 engine management system. ElmScan acts as an interface between your car and PC. It translates the OBD signals into standard ASCII characters. Now there is a number of free and commercial programs that work with their interfaces.
CarSoft International This is a high end European scan program. It has every feature a person could possibly need for Mercedes, BMW and Jaguar. It ranges in the $800-$1200 range, but is also an information system too.
Palm/Handheld PC Based scanners
The AutoTap scan tool connects the special OBD II plug-in-port on or under the dash of your car or light truck to your Palm PDA. The AutoTap scanner then reads the signals from your vehicle's computer-controlled sensors and displays them right on your Palm.
OBD-II scanner will let you diagnose your car with relative ease at an affordable price. Our technology can be integrated with the latest Microsoft Windows based personal digital assistants (PDA's). The OBD-II scan tool can interact with virtually any vehicle with a OBD-II connector. Now, with the CJP you can detect car troubles at the touch of a button.
Read our review on this tool.
AutoDiag™ Quick capture of diagnostic information for over 40 different electronic systems on a wide range of automobiles.
Read our review on this tool.
Click for VAG diagnostic software
Based in Colorado, Shade Tree Software specializes in automotive diagnostic tools. Their first product, ProDiag, is a PalmOS® based diagnostic tool for VWs, Audis, Seats and Skodas. All the power of factory diagnostic tools in a compact, easy to use and affordable format.
AutoEnginuity Palm OS, Pocket PC or Windows Diagnostic and automotive software.
With AutoEnginuity’s ScanTool you have the ability to view all 11 of the inspection/maintenance system test results. These system tests can also be used to determine if the work performed fixed the problem or whether the vehicle will pass your local OBD-II-based emissions tests.
Auto Com Read fault codes Erase fault codes Read freeze frame data Get real time data (displayed as numbers or graphs) Get monitoring results from oxygen sensors
Auterra scan tool reviewed by BAT Auto

Auterra sells all the accessories to turn your Palm into an OBD II scan tool.
Read our review on this tool.

AutoLogic Pocket OBD, Professional Version, OBD-II interface and software for all vehicles.
Scan Program Hardware & Cables
OBD Automotive Diagnostics Homepage Has most of the hardware needed and at reasonable prices. Well worht checking out.
Andy This site has interfaces and some links to other hardware sites.
WinALDL WinALDL is a program that reads the ALDL data from some supported ECM types.
Multiplex Engineering
OBD & OBD2 connectors and cables
Diagnostic Interface for J-1850 VPW. Diagnostic Interface for J-1850 VPW and PWM. Diagnostic Interface for J-1850 VPW with ISO-9141-2. Diagnostic Interface for J-1850 VPW and PWM with ISO-9141-2. Built to order OBDII cables. OBDII connectors and pins. Diagnostic Interfaces Designed and Built to your Specifications. $50 min. order.
Handheld OBD2 Scanners
UltraLink Heavy truck scanner
Ultra-Link Heavy Truck scanner
This is a scanner for HD diesel applications. A good tool for heavy truck mechanics.
See a review of this scanner. Ultra-Link Review
Scan Tool - Trip Computer - Digital Gauges
Not really a hand held, this is more like an instrument cluster that allows you to visually monitor your vehicle on a digital display at any time.
The integrated Trip Computer provides realtime feedback while simultaneously tracking three sets of trip data. The Digital Gauges give you realtime data for your vehicle and the built-in OBD2 Scan Tool allows you to read trouble codes and diagnose potentially expensive problems before they get out of hand.
Look for a review article by BAT Auto Technical in the near future.
In the $169 range.
Auto X-Ray EZ-Link Scanner This scanner will read and display live sensor information while driving Freeze Frame of data surrounding a trouble code event
Pull Trouble Codes in plain English.
In the $170-$650 range, depending on options.

Snap-On MT2500 Scanner
Displays live data and complete trouble code descriptions for GM, Ford, Chrysler, Jeep and many Asian imports.
In the $2,200 range.
Blue Streak Diagnostic Monitor The BDM is a full-function scanner (with onboard graphic capabilities), a DSO and a multimeter, all packaged in a compact, lightweight platform.
In the $2,000 range

Kal OBD II System Tester
An economical tool for performing generic OBD II system diagnostics on all OBD II compliant vehicles, 1996 to 2002.
In the $400 range.

Actron OBD II Diagnostic Tester
This is a basic handheld scanner.Retrieves and clears all generic OBD II Diagnostic Trouble Codes.
In the $200 range.
Monitor Elite

Info on this scanner is located in a pdf file on OTC's website.
This scanner is in the $980-$1100 range.

Genisys Pathfinder 2001 Deluxe Kit with ABS One of the elite in scantools.
Genisys Pathfinder Deluxe Kit with /98 ABS Software cartidge and ABS vehicle-specific cables. Of course, it includes Pathfinder 2001, Pathfinder II cartridge, cartridge reader, manuals, adapters, domestic vehicle cables, and carrying case.
Stinger OBD II Code Reader Access Generic OBD II trouble codes on ANY 1996 and newer OBD II compliant vehicle. Easy-to-use code reader features: Plug-n-play, no setup, no need to scroll up and down. Trouble code numbers displayed on screen.

Vetronix Tech1A Scanner

The Tech 1A is a cost-effective OBD II compatible tool that provides advanced trouble-shooting capabilities, complete ScanTest capability and also offers Vetronix patented Bi-Directional Control.

Price unknown, as we didn't find any pricing on their site.

EQUUS OBD2 Code Reader

Large easy-to-read LCD screen
Retrieves both Generic (P0) and Manufacturer specific (P1) diagnostic codes.Can link and retrieve codes in less than 10 seconds.
Read our review on this tool.

CarChip reads and stores data from your car's on-board computers, continuously logging driving and engine performance and the ability to monitor any 4 out of 23 user-selectable engine parameters.
Can read and clear OBD2 trouble codes.
See a review of this tool. Davis Instruments' Drive Right® CarChip E/X™
Price is around $150.
Diagnostic Tools

Battery Testing and monitoring.
Read the reviews.........
Batterybug review
Argus AA series Handheld tester review

Quoted from manufacturer's site. "The broad range of Argus products serve the diverse needs of multiple industries by providing clear, accurate, and relevant information about the strength and remaining life in a battery. Our patented testing technologies, Large Pulse Resistance™ and CrankCheck™, are offered in a variety of forms to suit your needs: hand-held testing devices, installed monitoring devices, and battery performance technologies that are embedded in OEM equipment."

What quits first?
Real Time Monitor
O2 Sensor Analyzer

What quits first is a diagnostic tool to aid in finding intermittent problems.Read the review. What quits first Review
Real Time Monitor allows monitoring of the O2 sensor.
Read the review. Real Time Moniter Review
O2 Sensor Analyzer displays the oxygen sensor operation in real time.SIMulates to the ECM, GO RICH or GO LEAN signals, allowing correct operation and reaction time of the ECM to be seen on the oxygen sensor display
Read the review.O2 Sensor Analyzer Review.

Tracerline Products Leak detection diagnostics. There are a couple reviews on their products. Read the reviews.
Leakfinder Bluemax Leak Detection Penlight
Titan Stinger UV/Blue Leak Detection Flashlight
Leakfinder Big EZ leak detection for A/C

FirstLook Engine Diagnostic Sensor
Look for a review article by BAT Auto in the near future.
By mapping the pulse waves generated in the exhaust pipe by the engine FirstLook can be used to quickly spot failures in the engine system. Also by using a trigger you can spot these failures to specific cylinders.
SenX Technology also has a waveform library.