Choosing the right scan tool by ProQuest


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 Choosing the right scan tool
 By Brendan Dooley

      When you’re looking to upgrade your diagnostic equip-
 ment or expand the tools you have available in the shop, your
 first, key, consideration needs to be what you will be working
 on. Once you’re sure why you’re looking at scan tools and
 what you expect them to do for you, than you can better
 single out important features for your workload.

     What to look for                                                $400,” Schaar said.
      “With a primary focus on the variety of vehicles they              “In the mid range are the full-function tools that feature a
 service, vehicle coverage and access to repair information          broad range of vehicle coverage, software that is updateable
 are two of the key features to evaluate,” said Dave Schaar,         via the web, embedded repair information and a wide range
 director of marketing for SPX Service Solutions. “Across the        of diagnostic functions including data recording, graphing,
 wide range of tools on the market, there is an equally wide         bi-directional controls — generally in the $1,000 to $3,000
 range of features and price points.”                                range,” he said.
      Because of the wide range of products and features avail-          “On the high end are the new generation of diagnostic
 able, Schaar recommends any purchase be very carefully              tools that run on either a hand- held tool with large color
 considered for a shop’s intended use.                               touch screens or on a PC, and provide much broader vehicle
      After considering the types of vehicles and repairs coming     coverage and direct access to the online repair information
 into the bays, the buyer should consider customer support           sources, more frequent software updates, J-2534 reprogram-
 first and foremost in evaluating scan tools, said Victor Rivilla,   ming capability and online training programs.” He said these
 marketing manager for Launch Tech USA.                              fall into the over-$5,000 range.
      “The most important feature, albeit one that is hardly ever
 listed, is support,” Rivilla said. “With the increased complex-     Trends to watch
 ity of vehicle diagnoses today, coupled with the increased              It’s the current features in the high-end diagnostics that
 capabilities found in today's scan tools, it is more important      Schaar said buyers need to consider to stay ahead of the
 than ever that proper support is included in the initial pur-       curve.
 chase price.”              
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