Should I Buy A Diagnostic Scan Tool?

Q. I am considering buying a diagnostic scan tool to help with the diagnosing and repairing of my car. I have looked at a couple and was wondering about the type that interfaces with my iPhone, are these any good?

A. I have been trying out two units; one is from Actron, called U-Scan and the other is from Lemur Monitors, called BlueDriver. Both of these units have the ability to wirelessly read and clear diagnostic trouble codes using an Android or iPhone. The BlueDriver unit allows the user to generate vehicle specific information such as code definition, possible causes and repair recommendations. Accessing the BlueDriver repair database allows 5 free repair reports, and then it’s only 99 cents for 5 additional reports. I also like the feature that tells you if all of the emissions monitors are set so that the car can be tested at state smog inspections. The U-Scan tool can also connect to Actron’s CodeConnect database with millions of top reported fixes that can tell you what is wrong with your vehicle. Both of these tools offer plenty of DIY’er information, certainly not to the extent of a bi-directional scan tool used at a professional shop, but for less than $100, these tools can certainly be very helpful and save you money. I would recommend either tool for home use as well as a spare tool scan tool for a professional shop.

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