'Some' is a cute understatement, Jim. When I originally bought their
product, EASE (which is not cheap to begin with) wanted $500 for the upgrade
to 'body and chassis'. And that was for 'read only', unable to purge the ABS
pump or move the AC blend door. These days they don't even offer this
capability on their 'consumer' products. Nobody that I know sells a
bidirectional-capable scanner to the general public. Not because of
development cost or the extra hardware, but due to the lawyer factor - hit
the wrong key, drive yourself into the garage wall and put us out of
business with a $10M jury award. If the automakers followed such philosophy,
cars would only be sold to professional drivers, for ten times what they
cost now, and after signing a 100-page long release. Sometimes I wonder how
those who make jacks or lugnut wrenches have survived until now...
The first fully capable scanner that I can install on my laptop for under
$1000 gets my money. Come on guys, it's just a bit of code and a $10
interface box. Any takers?
I do have to admit that some of these tools are very powerful and there are
many that could get themselves into deep doo-doo with some of the features.
Even in our shop I have the choice between the WDS, the NGS, the NGS+, the
PDS and the Standard Motor Products BDM (purchased for some of my "all make"
government inspections). Depending on what my task is, I choose my "weapon"
For my own take (given your statements on product liability... which I agree
with), I feel a consumer should at least desire a scan tool capable of
reading and clearing codes from all of his vehicles modules (the clearing
part came with some trepidation) and realize that the ability to monitor PID
data can help immensely with diagnostics... active command modes do need to
be understood to avoid causing damage (some components can be damaged from
holding duty cycles too high for too long and personal or innocent injury
can come from commanding a condition at the wrong time).
With that being said, I would stress to those looking at purchasing any sort
of scan device that there is a very real need to understand EXACTLY what it
is that they are doing. If it were all as simple as many seem to think, I
would be waiting for the buzzer on the french fry machine and living in a
one room walk up.....
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