Chevrolet Cruze Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I see this scan tool in harbor freights current ad and it makes it sound like you can initialize sensors and re-code modules with it, HF item #62385 $1099 Autel DS709
I'm wondering if it works as advertised and more importantly is a person even able to get module coding from GM, seems like that would not even be possible
with a 20% off coupon this thing could be bought for under $800 which is a lot cheaper than I've seen the newer GM scan tools go for on ebay, so I guess the big question
is what actually do these non GM scanners allow you to do--any of you techs on here played with one ??
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,296 Posts
Seem to be getting by with Torque Pro on my smarter than me smart phone with an iCar bluetooth adapter. Has a power switch on it so can leave it plugged in all the time. Ian Hawkins is updating the program every five minutes. So far the codes are matching what my dealer reads.

With the Harbor Freight thing, think I read you can get computer updates since they change this stuff every five minutes. One thing I do like about Harbor Freight, can return it if you don't like it. Ha, did this more than once.

Care to hear my pet peeves on scanners? If not, stop here.

First thing with OBD I, with a paper clip could read any code, on some, even ABS codes with the ability to reset them. Then the EPA comes along with OBD II starting in the year of 1996, OE's had to follow using the same diagnostic connector, but this is where it stopped. All codes were suppose to be standard, that was tossed out on day one.

All the codes are stored in the ABS, cruise control, BCM, ECM, radio, now electric power steering or whatever, they all go into one really big fat OR gate, so any code will illuminate it. In vehicles like my 88 Supra or my old 92 DeVille, all these codes could be displayed by knowing which buttons to press. With OBD II this became history.

Another very dirty trick the OE's are using is translating codes, so with most generic scanners, you will read a code that is not even in the book. You need that way overpriced OE scanner to read the correct codes. And I feel very strongly that the owner of the vehicle should know exactly why the check engine light is on. Don't know the difference if your gas cap is loose or if your EGR valve is jammed burning up your engine.

To me this is criminal, owners manual says pull over and call your dealer, yeah like on 3:00 AM on a Sunday morning.

With ABS, any manual states that if that light comes on, it will not interfere with normal braking, which is BS by the way. But yet generic scanners refuse to show ABS codes for some liability reason that doesn't make a bit of sense. But its okay for any nitwit to buy and replace any brake parts himself. So what is wrong about showing an ABS code.

Another advantage of an OE scanner is interactive, with this stupid Cruze, the only was to activate the ABS pump for proper bleeding is with a way overpriced scanner., hardly 30 bucks worth of parts in these things.

Just attempts to really kill the even most advanced DIYer.

Why do we, the American buying public put up with this BS?

One thing I loved about electronic engineering it was honest in its own pure natural law way. If I didn't follow all the pure natural laws, that circuit would blow up in my face. It already knows all by itself whether it should work or not. And batting 999.9999 was not good enough, had to be a 1,000, and nothing less.

But with software, you can lie like crazy, and this is exactly what they do.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,718 Posts
To update the modules, GM requires a $360 MDI interface, a laptop and a connection to the Internet. Oh, and a subscription to GM.

Since this $1100 thing is a Windows box with IE and an interface to the car, it certainly seems plausible that could replace a MDI + laptop and can run the GM software on it. But it sure sounds like you're going backwards on the pricing for home use. But if your day job is fixing cars of all makes and types, it could be just the thing.

I really doubt if you can can re-program your car without subscribing to GM. Software copyright and all that.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,296 Posts
Last time I checked, years ago, was $1,500 bucks per year per vehicle for a subscription for code. The only reason why this code was available since all this 1996 BS firmware started, claimed it was cheaper than providing a burnt PROM chip, is that independents were complaining about not being able to get it. It was around 1999 that the California supreme court ruled the OE's had to make it available.

Could have used a cheap USB port to reload the code, but no, also required a way overpriced scanner for the interface, and no such thing as a standard, every automotive manufacturer had their own.

A close friend running a small Ford dealership called me because he thought I was some kind of a computer genius because Ford wanted him to pay $43,000 for a specialized computer, Ha, replied may be a genius, but would need to get my hands on it to see if I could reverse engineer it. But apparently enough dealers complained about this so they dropped the price to more of a reasonable 4,500 bucks.


In regards to copyrights, that firmware is completely worthless for any other application that the specific vehicle it was intended for. Each automotive manufacture had over 125 different versions per model year, it also changed from year to year due to EPA regulations.

This is one case where they got us where they want us. A bit curious as to whether that EPA would at least cover a firmware reload under that 1972 80K mile/8 year emission warranty law, but never ran across this. Did find one dealer willing to reflash my RAM for 80 bucks, but didn't have to use it.

Probably the reason why 3 out of my four vehicles are pre-OBD II, never cared to get into bed with any dealer. Not a darn thing on these other vehicles I can't do myself as long as I can still do it.

Was in Best Buy last Christmas, had a Samsung digital camera on sale from 179 bucks down to 129 bucks. Model WB350F to be precise, as soon as I got it home, recharged the battery, switched it on, said WiFi is available, so typed in my password and was connected. Then it said new firmware was available, so I clicked yes and left it.

Not a darn reason why they can't do this with our automobiles, completely self checking and does it right. But I guess they just love to screw us to death, and they are very good at this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
To update the modules, GM requires a $360 MDI interface, a laptop and a connection to the Internet. Oh, and a subscription to GM.

Since this $1100 thing is a Windows box with IE and an interface to the car, it certainly seems plausible that could replace a MDI + laptop and can run the GM software on it. But it sure sounds like you're going backwards on the pricing for home use. But if your day job is fixing cars of all makes and types, it could be just the thing.

I really doubt if you can can re-program your car without subscribing to GM. Software copyright and all that.
That's about what I thought, works on "most vehicles" Autel is a respected brand though so I thought maybe they have stripped module files and put them in the unit, funny I see the GM tech 2 with candi and latest software on ebay for less than this, so your saying ONLY the midi interface and laptop will re-code the modules ?
I just hate the fact I can not fix my own car and forced to be bent over by a dealer to put "privileged files" on my car, I can see where they would want to protect their investment on the software development AND keep the competition from seeing how they do it (actually not likely another automaker wouldn't be able to bust the code out) I thought the auto makers were put up against the wall to stop restricting us from being able to see the problem, guess the laws have not kept up with the rapidly changing times as far as electronic coding goes
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,718 Posts
so your saying ONLY the midi interface and laptop will re-code the modules ?
MDI. Midi is something else. :grin:

No, I think the critical element is a compatible box that will connect to the car and GM's subscription website at the same time. The MDI will connect a windows box to the car and has the capability needed. But I wouldn't rule out something else along the lines of a cable used to install a tune. As long as the GM software will see it and the device will do the commands asked of it.

We know the Autel is a Windows box and it may have an interface that "looks" like a MDI to GM's website. It may also have built-in functions that eliminate the need to go to GM's website for common things like clearing codes, resetting perimeters or bleeding brakes.

It's entirely possible that one of these adapters will also work in place of a MDI. But I'd want to find someone who says that they've actually done it. Otherwise you could waste a lot of time finding that the GM software either won't see it or it refuses to do certain functions. I've not tried tracking down a less-expensive interface yet, but it's on my list. The GM 3-day subscription is reasonably affordable for an occasional weekend of work.

I wish it were different, but I tend to be the type to deal with the hand dealt rather than go to the powers that be and demand a reshuffle in my favor. We're still better off then the old $2000 Tech 2.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
508 Posts
I've been thinking about buying a Launch CRP 129. It supposed to do ABS, Airbag, and DTC's along with maintenance resets (Audi, BMW...). There are ones right from China that are about $200, though there seems to be some issues with updating the ones direct from China. Has anyone looked into this reader. I've heard they work well but can be a little inconsistent and slow.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,718 Posts
I may have to take that back. The site linked to looks ligit, but it ships from Taiwan. So it might be a knock-off. Certainly the prices I'm seeing elsewhere are higher. Some as high as $1000. At that point, Autel looks like a bargain since it includes the computer. At $500 for the MDI, it might be a toss-up. The Autel might have enough built-in functions that you don't need to subscribe to GM except for the actual flash updates for the car. It's unclear to me if the MDI can do anything without the subscription. That $500 difference will only buy 8-9 weekends.

This seems to be a good write-up on scanners in general. It might be wise to sit down and figure out what features are worth it to you. As long as you have a scanner that can pull codes and run reset procedures, it might be best to leave the re-flashing to the dealers.

I think I'd be leery about the Chinese knock-offs. The quality is all over the place. You certainly wouldn't want to use one to reflash your car. If it fails, it could brick the module.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,718 Posts
Something that might be worth a look-see is scantool.net. OBDLink MX + ScanXL + GM Enhanced add-on looks like it can do quite a bit for $260. Reads a ton of codes and status. I'm not sure what it can do to the car beyond clearing codes, but I'd hope it can do some of the sensor calibration procedures. It doesn't flash modules, but I can live with that at that price.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top