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Your Humble Administrator
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Discussion Starter #1
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....
 

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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Discussion Starter #2
Review: Creader 8001 Diagnostic Scanner from Launch Tech (cont'd)

After clicking on Print Manager, the ScanPrint utility will appear allowing you do download saved data from the scanner and save it as a text file or print it out:



I am going to give 2 thumbs up to this Creader 8001 scanner. It works exactly as advertised. The only cons I can find is the lack of a comprehensive user's manual, and the fact that the ScanPrint function would not work on my Windows 10 machines. Without a good user's manual, I feel that I've only scratched the surface of what this thing can do. The quick start guide that's provided only gives basic information, mostly about how to update the firmware and diags. The problem with ScanPrint seems to be related to the USB com driver emulation. I don't think the drive was written with a 64-bit OS in mind. But this is just a minor bug and can be fixed in the future. Launch seems to update the firmware and data files regularly.

Now for the cost. Amazon is currently selling the 8001 for less than $115, which is a good value in my opinion. There are other models in the Creader series, some do more, some less. This 8001 model seems to be right in the middle. It gives a lot of bang for the buck.

I'm going to attach a few more screen grabs from the scanner to give a little more idea of what this scanner can do:









 

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This is just a reader correct? In other words I couldn't use it to program in the summer wheel TPS' after swapping them out with the winter tires right?
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Discussion Starter #4
This is just a reader correct? In other words I couldn't use it to program in the summer wheel TPS' after swapping them out with the winter tires right?
Correct. It can do some of the things Techstream can do, but not all of them. It can't program TPMS sensors or keys.
 

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Great Review

Thanks for the review of this scanner. I've been thinking of getting one and this one looks good to me. I don't need it to do everything but if it can do the simple things, that would be good. If I can't fix my car's mechanical problems, I can at least get a good idea of what they really are. That's good info to know BEFORE having a car in the shop. Appreciate the time you put into posting this. Well done! :)
 

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Thank you for all of the effort you put into this review!

It's a shame the scanner doesn't work with Windows 10 machines.
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for all of the effort you put into this review!

It's a shame the scanner doesn't work with Windows 10 machines.
Hopefully when they update the USB driver it will work with Win 10.
 

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I wish I'd seen this review sooner!

Still a good deal at $138.

I noticed that in answering a question, the seller said:

"The software only supports Windows XP, Window 7, Windows 8(enterprise version) and Windows 10 (enterprise version) operating system."

Very few people have the "enterprise version" of Windows 10, but it looks like you can do a lot even without being able to connect to your computer.

My primary concern is actually not reading the codes on the RAV4. Since it's going on 21 years old almost any code reader will suffice. Our other cars are a 1993 Nisson NX2000 and a 2002 Subaru WRX. Again, the more basic code readers I have will work for the WRX.

What I am really interested in is whether it will work on a 2008 Sprinter 3500 cab-chassis. I don't expect anyone here to know, but that's something I need to find out.

I hope so, because this Creader 8001 looks like a nice unit for the money.
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Discussion Starter #10
My primary concern is actually not reading the codes on the RAV4. Since it's going on 21 years old almost any code reader will suffice. Our other cars are a 1993 Nisson NX2000 and a 2002 Subaru WRX. Again, the more basic code readers I have will work for the WRX.

What I am really interested in is whether it will work on a 2008 Sprinter 3500 cab-chassis. I don't expect anyone here to know, but that's something I need to find out.
I just looked at my 8001, and sure enough, it has Mercedes Sprinter listed as one of the options. I've got it updated with the latest codes and firmware from June. The Sprinter engine options are Diesel, Gasoline, or NGT (natural gas). The systems you can diagnose are Airbag, Electronic Stability Program and ABS. Of course on the OBD II side, you can also read engine and emissions codes. You can also retrieve ABS and SRS codes on the WRX with this unit, something the basic code readers cannot do.
 

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I just looked at my 8001, and sure enough, it has Mercedes Sprinter listed as one of the options. I've got it updated with the latest codes and firmware from June. The Sprinter engine options are Diesel, Gasoline, or NGT (natural gas). The systems you can diagnose are Airbag, Electronic Stability Program and ABS. Of course on the OBD II side, you can also read engine and emissions codes. You can also retrieve ABS and SRS codes on the WRX with this unit, something the basic code readers cannot do.
Thanks JuneBug, I really appreciate you taking the time to check that for me.

I'm an electro-mechanical tech, but I've only used basic code readers like the ScanGaugeII or the tool used when reprogramming an ECU. My impression is that Mercedes (and to a lesser extent other auto mfrs) intentionally use proprietary codes that can only be read with Mercedes test equipment that costs something like $20,000.

That's part of the reason I've held off on buying a diagnostic scanner -- I've been led to believe that there are many cases where the code(s) either cannot be read, or worse, will be read incorrectly.

Again, I don't expect you (or anyone here) to be familiar with the Sprinter -- I have a post up over on Sprinter-Source.com -- but have you (or anyone else) run into situations with a RAV4 where the code(s) had to be read at the dealer using their extra-special, top-secret scanner?

Question about the Creader -- I read on Amazon that updates are free. Is that true? Are there any 'gotchas' or strings attached?

The reason I ask is that others, like Autel charge a significant fee, like $100, for updates.

It looks like I will not be able to use the ScanPrint function (unless I purchase a Windows 7 laptop somewhere). Is there anything else that won't work with Windows 10?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Question about the Creader -- I read on Amazon that updates are free. Is that true? Are there any 'gotchas' or strings attached?

The reason I ask is that others, like Autel charge a significant fee, like $100, for updates.

It looks like I will not be able to use the ScanPrint function (unless I purchase a Windows 7 laptop somewhere). Is there anything else that won't work with Windows 10?
Yes, updates are free. When I first got it, I immediately updated it to the February version. The latest version I updated to is from June 29. So they put them out regularly. I find it easier to remove the microSD card and update that--it seems to work faster than plugging the 8001 into the USB as an external drive.

Nope, that's it. The problem is the USB driver--same problem when running Techstream. But with the 8001, the only thing lost is that scanprint function.
 

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Yes, updates are free. When I first got it, I immediately updated it to the February version. The latest version I updated to is from June 29. So they put them out regularly. I find it easier to remove the microSD card and update that--it seems to work faster than plugging the 8001 into the USB as an external drive.

Nope, that's it. The problem is the USB driver--same problem when running Techstream. But with the 8001, the only thing lost is that scanprint function.
I've found the same with cameras -- it's much faster to use the memory card to transfer files.

To be clear, the ScanPrint function is only used to print data and graphs from the Creader, is that correct? Offhand, I can't think of any reason I'd want to do that (although it might come in handy at some point). If not other functions are affected then that's not a big deal.

It's going in the Amazon cart!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
To be clear, the ScanPrint function is only used to print data and graphs from the Creader, is that correct? Offhand, I can't think of any reason I'd want to do that (although it might come in handy at some point). If not other functions are affected then that's not a big deal.
Yep, that's right.
 

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Updates with Windows 10 Home Edition 64 bit

I don't mean to wear you out with questions about Windows 10, but in reading through the Q&As on Amazon, there is some confusion as to whether Windows 10 Home Edition 64 bit (or ANY version of Windows other than EE) can be used to download and install the free updates.

I asked the question on Amazon and received no answer.

I've also emailed Launch twice now with the same question -- no reply.

It seems odd that they would not reply in either case, since they did reply very quickly when I asked them to email me a comparison chart (that is very handy BTW). Also, they seem very good about answering questions on Amazon promptly.

The lack of a reply has me concerned.

I know you said above that you have received updates. Which OS were you using? I apologize if you already said.

I'm guessing from your posts above that Windows 10 Home Edition 64 bit probably will work but after what I read on Amazon -- and the fact that I've gotten nothing but silence from Launch <chirp-chirp> -- I figured I'd better double-check.

The free updates are one of the most attractive features of the Creader, I want to make sure I'll be able to get them.
 

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Does this scanner reads auto transmission fluid temperature?
You might ask over on Amazon.

Despite my difficulty getting a reply to my question from Launch (see post above), most people seem to get answers pretty quickly.

IDK how much it will help, since my experience is with the ScanGauge II, but it is a pretty basic code reader and it will read ATF temp -- depending upon the vehicle. With our Sprinter cab-chassis it works, but it was sort of a hack. MB isn't exactly helpful when it comes to providing information. Someone above my pay grade figured out the magic numbers (3 sets!). I entered them manually and now it reads ATF temp. It's kinda cool to see how ATF temp typically lags coolant temp -- it takes longer to warm up and longer to cool down.

Like I said, the ScanGauge isn't fancy, so I'd guess the Creader 8001 should be able to do the same. Definitely something to confirm with Launch if it is a deal breaker for you.

Their email is: salesonlineus [at] cnlaunch [dot] com
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Discussion Starter #18
Does this scanner reads auto transmission fluid temperature?
No, unfortunately it does not. When I need to read transmission temperature I use Torque on my Android tablet or Techstream with my laptop.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I don't mean to wear you out with questions about Windows 10, but in reading through the Q&As on Amazon, there is some confusion as to whether Windows 10 Home Edition 64 bit (or ANY version of Windows other than EE) can be used to download and install the free updates.

I asked the question on Amazon and received no answer.

I've also emailed Launch twice now with the same question -- no reply.
The operating system is irrelevant. You take the microSD card out of the Creader and using the supplied USB adapter plug it into your computer. You can manually download the new firmware and vehicle data directly to the SD card or you can let the Creader update software do it for you. I found it downloads much faster this way than plugging the Creader into the USB port. I've done this with my Windows 7 laptop, and my Windows 10 machine with no problems.
 

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The operating system is irrelevant. You take the microSD card out of the Creader and using the supplied USB adapter plug it into your computer. You can manually download the new firmware and vehicle data directly to the SD card or you can let the Creader update software do it for you. I found it downloads much faster this way than plugging the Creader into the USB port. I've done this with my Windows 7 laptop, and my Windows 10 machine with no problems.
Excellent, thank you JuneBug.

I became concerned when I saw this answer from Launch Tech on Amazon:

~~~~~

Question: What should i do to update this scan tool?

Answer: Dear friend,

Go to the Launch official website:
http://www.dbscar.com/pad/landingPag...ine8001.action
to download and install the updating tool.
The software only supports Windows XP, Window 7, Windows 8(enterprise version) and Windows 10 (enterprise version) operating system.
Then launch the update tool and download some vehicle software into the micro card on the computer, reinsert the card into the tool and power this tool, you can complete the registration process.
Thanks for your support. see less
By LaunchDirect SELLER on March 8, 2017

~~~~~

Edit: I added the bold text and underlining.
 
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