Ease or AutoTap diagnostic software ?

There's two ODBII software packages that seem comparable in price, AutoTap and Ease Diagnostics. Both are PC based. I'd like some input on both if
possible. I'm just an old backyard mechanic and not a professional. If anyone used either of those, I'd appreciate your comments.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@snet.net says...

I have an AutoTap, which comes with a proprietary baud/protocol converter pod. It's basically a read-only device which can clear error codes, but won't program things like transmission shift points or spedometer calibration. The basic package works well enough, but beware of their "free" upgrade which locks the pod to work with only one serial number software. I'd rate it as satisfactory, not impressive - it did the job I bought it for, but I might try something else next time around.
Not familiar with the other one.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
AutoEnginuity is spoken of quite highly in some other forums.... Sorry, I'm not familiar with any of them but I can mention some of the features to look for.
Another poster has mentioned proprietary capabilities... this allows you to access other modules on the network. On some, there is only the PCM but on yet others there can be many modules (a late model Windstar would have as many as seven)..
The ability to read datastream.... this is the PID data you may have read about. Deciphering PID data can be a little tricky at times.... if a sensor has more than one PID, we should monitor all the PIDs for that sensor (if it is suspect) to enable us to decide if the readings are rational.
Active command mode is next to nirvana. With this feature, we can command the module to operate an output to see if the module can perform the task. There are other uses for this function as well.
I'm not sure if some of the other test modes that the factory tools have is available on any of these... The ability to read MODE Data, cylinder contribution testing and relative compression testing. All of these are handy features at one point or another. There is also the possibility that once the other DIYers in your neighbourhood find you have a decent scan tool, you will become almost too popular.
Being able to reprogram the module(s) may or may not be a desirable function. While easy, it is still possible to fudge a reflash (the latest program calibration for Fords is available at motocraft.com) and render the module "stupid". Special techniques and information are required to recover from one of these incidents. Also, if the module is brought up to the latest and greatest calibration level and you decide that you preferred the way the old calibration performed, there s no turning back the clock.
HTH

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
EASE have recently split their product into a 'home' and a 'professional' line. The 'professional' version enables more and more modules in the software package, depending on how much you are willing to pay. It even seems to offer multiple protocol capabilities for more than one automaker. But I don't think that even the full-fledged version comes anywhere near the full set of capabilities of the OTC or similar costly equipment.
The home 'version' has two levels. For an extra couple hundred bucks they allow accessing the O2 sensor data (is that 'mode 7'?), recording a data stream of unlimited duration and running the KOEO, KOER on-demand tests. Still no cylinder balance or any bi-directional capabilities (probably a liability issue for them). I have had this version for years and it served me well. Thought several times of upgrading to at least gain access to some body and chassis function, like ABS or A/C. First it wasn't even available, then it was hundreds of dollars extra and still 'read only', finally they moved all that to the really expensive 'professional' line.
Caveats: 1) You have to go through several 'lawyer' screens, full of warnings each time you start the software. 2) They have an annoying copy protection method, which requires installing the software, then calling them (during east coast business hours, of course) with some number that it generates, obtaining another number from them and typing it in before anything will work. You will have to do this again if your computer crashes and the software needs to be re-installed and, obviously when you change computers. 3) Things might have improved recently, but the user interface that I have is very clunky, confusing, and does not follow any MS Windows conventions. Unless you use it frequently, you will be wondering "how do I get this screen to show up?" each time you try to do something. 4) Last time I looked, the PC interface of their box was still RS-232 (serial port) only. Most newer laptops don't have serial ports anymore, so you'll need yet another box to go between your car and your computer (and install the driver to support it). Inexpensive, but annoying.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.