I recently obtained a new code scanner--It's the Creader model 8001 by a company called Launch Tech. I hesitate to call this product a code reader--it is a truly professional diagnostic scanner that can not only read generic OBDII codes, but also proprietary codes from at least 42 different vehicle manufacturers. I've been evaluating it for about a week, and thought a review was in order. Here is the box and what you'll find inside:
The scanner itself seems very well made and rugged, with a nicely cushioned housing. Included in the box is the OBD cable, a USB cable, microSD card reader, and quick start guide that all fits in a nice zippered case. The scanner has a 4" color TFT screen, 4 quick function keys, a D-pad, OK, and escape buttons. On the top of the unit is a DB-15 connector where the OBD cable connects. At the bottom is a microSD slot holding an 8MB microSD card which contains the firmware and diagnostic routines for different vehicles. Next to the slot is a mini USB port for a cable to connect to your computer.
Before using it for the first time there are a couple of things to take care of. The first thing to do is plug the USB cable from the scanner to your computer. At this point the unit will boot up and ask if you want to check on a new version. If you click OK for yes, the unit will go into mass storage mode and look like an external drive on your computer:
The unit can be updated in 2 ways: by removing the microSD card and using the included reader to write the update files directly to the card. Or you can use the USB cable and update the files directly to the scanner.
To download the updated firmware and diags, use the Launch Update Tool:
From here you can see the latest firmware updates, as well as the newest vehicle specific diagnostic files. Launch updates these files regularly as new models come out:
After updating the files, a reboot of the scanner will ask if you want to upgrade, choose OK for yes:
When the scanner boots up, you will see this power up screen:
The scanner will then go the main menu, where your choices are Diagnose, Record Mode, Settings, and Help:
Clicking on Diagnose will bring up two options, OBDII/EOBD and Scan. Choosing OBDII will bring up the generic code reader for any vehicle. Choosing Scan will allow you to scan manufacturer specific codes, like Scion/Toyota:
Next, the Toyota screen will show 3 choices:
Let's choose Diagnose which allows us to check codes relating to the ABS/VSC/Traction Control, Electro-Mechanical Power Steering, or SRS Airbag system:
By choosing ABS, you can look at wheel sensor data live as the vehicle is being driven. If a wheel sensor is bad or acting up, you will see it immediately:
The data refreshes about 2 times a second making it easy to troubleshoot and diagnose most problems. You can check the status of all ABS related switches and see them respond in real time:
Up to 4 different parameters can be graphed during a test drive. Each parameter is shown in a different color. In this example, maximum speed is shown as 69 mph and RPM maxed out at 5032:
Going back to the main menu, if you click on OBDII, the scanner will attempt to communicate with the engine computer using every known protocol. My RAV4 uses the CAN bus 11 bit standard:
Once connected, a menu will allow you to choose to review codes, review live data in the datastream, review freeze frame data, and upload data to a computer or printer:
If you choose Review DTC, you get these choices:
You can also use the 4 buttons on the front panel to go directly to DTC codes, Erase codes, Inspection/Maintenance readiness, or Help. Under the Help menu, you can enter any code and it will look it up, even manufacturer specific codes:
Now, suppose you have saved data that you want to transfer to your computer. Here I have a few sessions from my RAV4 along with several from a 2015 Chevy:
At this point you would connect the scanner to your computer and run the Launch Update Tool again. After entering the serial number of the scanner, you will get the Print Manager option:
Continued in next post....