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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How important or useful is the live data feature in a scan tool?
 

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To me...it's very important. I also like a 'record' feature, that way I don't crash while driving and trying to watch the screen :)
 

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My scan tool allows me to download the data to my computer.This way i can compare readings if I modify or change anything.It's a very useful tool in my opinion.
 

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Live data is very important. So is the ability to activate switches and alter inputs and outputs. That way you can see what results from turning on or off certain features. For example, my tool will monitor cooling fan operation and I can also turn them on and off so if I have an over heat to diagnose I can find out if the fans are working properly faster than if I had to let the engine fully heat up. Also comes in handy for Evap system diag.
 

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If you are trying to diagnois a problem on a vehicle, live data is imperative. You can see what the vehicle is doing and compare that to what you know it should be doing or what know data shows. It is the easiest way to find an ongoing problem, and extremely helpful in intermittent problems. Since ford came out with live data stream in 1990, I can't tell you how many cars I have fixed with this information, but also have been able to determine when a car does not have a problem.
 

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I originally bought a cheap basic scanner, I now wish I got one with live data.

As soon as I buy a new scanner (this year hopefully) I will list my old one up for sale.
 

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Any recommendations for a software/hardware combo able to run on a netbook?
Anyone use the AutoTap? Feedback?

Thanks,

Larry
 

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I got mine from Autoenginuity.com. They have software for just one manufacturer (Ford, GM ect) or bundles that include imports, they have just about every car on the road today covered.
 

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What brand and part number did you get? I am looking for a more professional type one, right now I have a basic Actron. Actron is good but I wanted something with more options!

I got mine from Autoenginuity.com. They have software for just one manufacturer (Ford, GM ect) or bundles that include imports, they have just about every car on the road today covered.
 

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Mark, I bought the Pro-Line ScanTool Bundle......it covers most cars/trucks foreign & domestic.
If all you want is Ford then get the Enhanced Ford Expansion. Give them a call, the techs are car guys too and very helpful.
 

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While live data is a huge step up from a "code reader", realize that there are several types of live data scanners. The economy one(s) will give you 1 live reading of 1 PCM input. The more advanced ($$) live data scanner(s) will give you several live data feeds simultaneously, of both inputs and outputs.

A huge difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm looking at purchasing one soon so any and all imput is appreciated. It seems every time I rushed into a tool purchase in the past, I didn't get exactly what I wanted or needed. I take my time now. I think I'm leaning towards the stand alone scan tools.
 

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Mark, I bought the Pro-Line ScanTool Bundle......it covers most cars/trucks foreign & domestic.
If all you want is Ford then get the Enhanced Ford Expansion. Give them a call, the techs are car guys too and very helpful.

I use that tool as well Jim. The tech guy is a good friend of mine. Bill was a high tech technician when he was on the bench working. Not very many smarter. The tool is very capable. I run it every day.
 

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Me too Canuck but, it was one heck of a learning curve. Not very intuitive....I can only imagine the amount difficulty a beginner might have. I use the Auto-xray for a quick scan......very easy to use but limited capabilities.
 

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I was just at Sears today and they now have an Actron code reader that reads USA and Canadian codes along with ABS codes, forgot to check if it read live data. Was something like $189 on sale IIRC.
 

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Damn, they are not Mac compatible.

I got mine from Autoenginuity.com. They have software for just one manufacturer (Ford, GM ect) or bundles that include imports, they have just about every car on the road today covered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I got mine from Autoenginuity.com. They have software for just one manufacturer (Ford, GM ect) or bundles that include imports, they have just about every car on the road today covered.
Do you guys run a windows PC version or PDA? Am I correct in thinking it's $250 for the basic scan tool, then around $200 for the expansion packs.
 

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Damn, they are not Mac compatible.
Mark, yes they are....sort of, I run a Mac too with VMWare Fusion.
It's runs native on an Intel Mac, it's not an emulator. Windoz XP runs faster on my Mac than it does on my PC.
 
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