Well, this is kind of an open ended question, as there are so many scan tools available, that you need to know what you want to do.
Do you also want to access air bag diagnostics, central control module, and FX3 ride control?????
Please answer this, and then I can proceed.
Best toyou, c4c5
I have the Auto X-Ray. I find it adequate for what I do and can use it on several of my GM cars. The price is also fairly reasonable. I will not do all the things mentioned above though. In the end, I usually don't hook it up to pull a code as it is easier to count blinks. I do use it to monitor the motor while running and for recording data while driving. As far as pulling codes, it's just easier to count
There's several ways to go, but one question you need to answer before you buy is the once c4c5 posed. Also, you need to set your budget.
The high-zoot way to go is a Vetronix Mastertech. This is what I have used since the mid-90s. Just used it today in fact to moniter engine controls on a 2001 Camaro I ran on the dyno this morning.
Next best, IMO, is the Vetronix TECH1A, which from 85-96 was the GM factory-required scan tester.
Both the MT and the T1A are service-trade-grade pieces of equipment with software designed specifically for diagnosing GM ECM/PCMs, chassis computers and body computers.
If you don't care about diagnosing anything other than the engine controls and you already have a notebook PC, Diacom software package is a good choice. I use Diacom as a back-up for all my dyno sessions. Also, there's a software package called AutoTap that may work well, too.
If you don't have a notebook and you don't care about anything other than engine controls diagnostics, then entry-level scanners like the AutoXray are a good choice.
well c4c5, I guess I meant my question to be open ended. I have no immediate need for the tool. I just have that itch to buy one. A few weeks ago I began starting my car and my wife called to me from the garage so I quickly let go of the key (before it actually started). After answering her, I started it and for about 15 seconds I got a "check engine soon" lamp. I would loved to have had a scan tool to snoop and see what caused the lamp. Also I keep dropping in to Chevy dealers and sitting in C5's. I love the information display in the center of the dash.... Currently I have no specific need to look at air bag diagnostics, central control module, or FX3 ride control - Ijust want to. I plan on keeping this car a long time. If I am proficient with a scan tool, then maybe I can help myself a little more then. Maybe a scan tool now and a laptop later on....
To throw another Scanning software in the MIX is EASE,
I have used the Ease software for over a year and like it.. it is Windows based, and works similar to Diacom. I like soe of the features on the Ease like no limit to recording data, configuration of what parameters you want from the list.. or all, It works well on my 89..
I just acquired a handheld scanner which reads out in plain english, no codes just plain talk or in this case display.
I bought the refurbished unit for 89.95, I bought the case with it for 19.95. The unit I bought is for OBD I although they have units for OBD I and OBD II.
PS: This is my first Time, to post on CAC Forum that is, so be gentle!
Glad to have you here and glad as well to see that your C4 is PAID FOR. :L
This is a great place and is pretty self-explanatory when adding images, links, etc.. If you ever need any help, please don't hesitate to ask. Rare81 aka "Bud" aka "Yoda" seems to enjoy working with the image sizing. Hehehe...