Jump to content
CaddyInfo Cadillac Forum

Scanner Tool: Actron CP9580, Equus 3160, or...


Recommended Posts

Anyone with experience with the Actron CP9580, the Equus Innova 3160, or other OBD II scanner tools please speak up. I'm looking to buy one *today* if I can get some decent feedback. My needs are

  • My current cars, 1997 ETC and 1999 Pontiac Gran Am GT with 3.4 liter V6 HO, must be covered.
  • My almost certain future car, a 2005-2008 V-series, CTS or STS, must be covered.
  • I have to have live readout of PCM data such as miss count on individual cylinders to watch what is going on with an occasional miss, etc.
  • I will want to page through modes 1-9 of OBD data.
  • It must show plots of waveforms on HO2 sensors including the cat monitoring sensors.
  • It must show TCS codes. I'm not enamored of any scan tool that doesn't read all the codes from all modules. My A/C and DIC can do that for free, and I expect it of a scan tool that costs $200 or more.
  • I must be able to update the software in the future in case I get a later model car.

I don't care if it is hand-held or is just an OBD cable with interface to USB with a software DVD for my laptop. I won't use it often, but when I do use it I will use it long and hard.

Browsing around, I find that the best ones seem to be the Actron CP9580 and the Equus Innova 3160, but both fall short as reviewed by working dealer techs; that's OK but I don't know what that really means. I want to be able to go through the FSM procedures that involve use of the Tech II for the 1997 Cadillac ETC, 1999 Pontiac Grand Am, and 2005-2008 model years Cadillac V-Series. Auto X-Ray has some promising units but they don't cover my 1997 Cadillac, just 2002 and later models, mainly.

It would be very nice, but not absolutely necessary, to be able to program the PCM for performance, e.g. modify the presets for the spark advance and mixture curves.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I've turned up OBDLink SX on ScanTool.net, which is an OBD II interface box with OBD II cable and USB interface, with software for a laptop. The software is modular, with mix-and-match to your needs and budget. For the advanced base software, the GM pack, and their ScanMaster and DashCommand plug-ins, it's just over $400, compared to under $200 for the Acton and Equus - but it seems to have a lot more capability and a far better user interface on a laptop as opposed to an LCD display and some buttons, and may be able to program the presets in the PCM spark advance and mixture curves, which, I'm pretty sure the Acton and Equus can't do.

Comments???

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's all over. After extensive research and a lot of looking on ScanTool.net, I found comparison charts for their scan tools and their software, and decided on their OBDLink SX (which puts the interface right on the OBD connector, and has only a USB interface), their ScanXL Professional premium software, and the GM add-on. For those who might want to look at these things with less agony than I did, here are some links:

Scan Tool comparison chart:

Software comparison chart for their software:

ScanTool.net and other software that will run using their scan tools:

Scroll down to ScanMaster, DashCommand, and TouchScan OBD for software that will use touch-screen capabilities of the iPad and other tablet computers. I don't need or want that because I want to use it on my notebook and the USB cable is just fine with me. It's also $50 less expensive than the brick with separate OBD and USB cables or optional ($$) WiFi or Bluetooth interface. A pro or tech might want that.

ScanTool.net also offers all-in-one scan tools like the Actron and Equus, WiFi and Bluetooth interfaces to your notebook, smart phone, tablet computer, etc. They also sell modules and chips for people who want to build their own OBD interface, and they even have a PCM emulator for testing your own designs as you build them. They even tell you how to compile software for your own scan tool (use mingw or Linux).

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please let us know your user experience also. I like this type of gadget. I had the Harrison R&D CANSCAN that I used for years, but recently got HPTuners which coincidentally of course does DTCs and acts as a datalogger for a variety of parameters. My target is to understand the exact efficiency by getting real-world numbers from the temp sensors before/after the intercooler on the V.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

Follow me on: Twitter Instagram Youtube

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great info Jim. Thanks for sharing your research. Looking forward to hearing your evaluation of this package.

Posted Image

There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used the OBDLink SX and the Scan XL Professional software with the GM plug-in to chase down a miss in my car. It threw a P0300 the day before the analyzer OBD to USB link arrived (the software was already downloaded) so I had a freeze frame waiting. Within a few minutes I found that 95% of the misses were on cylinder no. 6 and most of the rest were on cylinder no. 7, and a check with the shop manual showed that these were both on coil no. 4. I immediately made an appointment with my (new) mechanic to get the coils changed the next day.

When we changed all four of the coils, coil no. 4 arced visibly as we started the car. We then ordered a new coil, plus a set of wires and plugs. When I saw the wires, I realized that they were about 1 mm skinnier than the OEM wires. They had many broken-down spots, particularly the one for cylinder no. 6. They were off-brand and clearly not OEM quality. They were put on with the Jasper in 2006 but clearly weren't part of the Jasper installation kit. They went 35,000 miles. The plugs were fine, but my attitude about Nortstar spark plugs is that you don't put an old one back in unless you have the anti-sieze and dielectric grease for the boot handy and know how to use them, so I cast no tears at replacing them.

Time between receipt of the OBDLink and resolution of a month-long problem with a miss: 18 hours, including scheduling the work and waiting for parts.

I guess that's a recommendation. Those who will use the analzyer a lot might want to consider the OBDLink (without the SX) which is an OBD connector and cable with a brick that has a USB connection but also provision for WiFi or Bluetooth hookup to your computer. A Bluetooth dongle (Bluetooth adapter that plugs into a USB port) will allow the computer to be anywhere in (or near) the car. Also the brick can take AA cells, which, if installed, keep the connection when you start the car, etc.

The OBDLink people tell me that if I use the OBDLink brick with the WiFi option to hook to my laptop, I won't need a dongle but I won't be able to also access my home network. I need my home network because my printer is on it. If you have a printer that you can hook to your laptop or you don't need a printer then WiFi may be simpler because you don't need the dongle.

I bought a 150 Watt power inverter off a bubble pack in a RiteAid drug store for $40. It plugs in the cigar lighter socket and powers the laptop from the car, which gives a brigher screen than the laptop battery management allows without power - and you will want the brighter screen if you work in daylight. I keep it with the OBDLink cable but will take it with me on road trips.

I notice that the ScanXL Professional software has separate modes for measuring performance. Although it doesn't have on-board accelerometers, it can use the car's speed sensor to get you data on 0-60 and quarter mile runs, so this thing may provide the functionality of the G-Tech or Auto Meter, albeit far more cumbersome. But, it gets the vehicle weight from the VIN number (with data from the GM add-on) and torque, hp and other data from the OBD link. The whole record is available when the run is over to print out, including plots and such. I would just keep the data up while I drove home and my home network connected on the WiFi to print it out. I haven't used this yet but I will in the next few weeks.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any of the setups that have the capability to datalog could -- if you datalog the drive, and part of the drive is at 0 mph, and then accelerate to 60+ mph, you can examine that part of the graph for the time delta. One nice thing the performancebox software for use with their datalogs does is it will scan the datalog for 0-60 runs (or other selectable events), then show an index of run results, and let me select which one I want on the main data window. But if you look at my graphs they are simply speed vs time, which you should be able to create from any datalog, and then you can pickout the intermediate values as well.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

Follow me on: Twitter Instagram Youtube

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any of the setups that have the capability to datalog could -- if you datalog the drive, and part of the drive is at 0 mph, and then accelerate to 60+ mph, you can examine that part of the graph for the time delta. One nice thing the performancebox software for use with their datalogs does is it will scan the datalog for 0-60 runs (or other selectable events), then show an index of run results, and let me select which one I want on the main data window. But if you look at my graphs they are simply speed vs time, which you should be able to create from any datalog, and then you can pickout the intermediate values as well.

Thanks Bruce...

I will check that out... :)

Posted Image
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know you are welcome to borrow my performancebox also. But good to see what you can do with the gadgets you have.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

Follow me on: Twitter Instagram Youtube

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Scan XL Professional software with the GM plug-in has a number of tabs, each of which has a set of icons. The tabs are labeled things like "Freeze Frame," "Trouble Codes," "Performance" etc. Each tab shows a set of icons that invoke different modes and screens, from dashboard to tables of dynamically changing data to spark advance maps that update as you drive. There are only two icons under "Performance," 0-60 and quarter-mile. The on-screen blurb is that these measure and plot horsepower, torque, and other parameters, and that ECT, IAT, MAP, and other sensor data is available. You can store a data set and load it back up later when you get home for examination, plotting, printing, exporting, etc.

I need to give the car a rest and a good drive to clear out the cat from a month with the miss before I make some runs but I will do some next weekend, if I can find a place that is safe and legal.

I'll look for a way of storing tuning presets to the PCM in the Scan XL Professional screens but I do not think that this is there in the software as-is. I may need to get an additional add-on because I don't see anything on this on the web site but the link and the software are bi-directional so the capability is there. And, performance tuning is one of the target capabilities of Scan XL Professional.

Scan XL is operated with just the mouse once the software is set up. Even most options are available as check boxes. I use an old Logitech RF trackball that I have had for years, but a dedicated slide-changer(about $50) would probably be better (I use my existing RF trackball as a slide changer, too).

I looked up FlashScan V2 with GM Tuning and it's $798 in a hand-held, stand-alone unit. OBDLink SX is $50 (the brick is $150 with just USB, more for either Bluetooth or WiFi add-ons) and Scan XL Professional with the GM add-on is $220. But the FlashScan does write tuning pre-sets. That's not important to me at this point because my L.A. dealer did that when my car was a few months old, but I will want it eventually. I would expect that I can find (or write) and add-on that does it for a lot less than the difference in price. Differences, at first blush:

  • Scan XL does not have the ability to write tuning pre-sets out of the box; FlashScan V2 does.
  • Scan XL provides vast quantities of data and can write them on your laptop because it's resident on your laptop. FlashScan can download data through a USB link.
  • Scan XL provides real-time graphing capabilities because it's resident on your laptop. FlashScan provides full-featured graphing capabilities on its LCD screen onr later on your laptop.
  • Scan XL supports troubleshooting as Job One with two full-featured performance modes, 0-60 mph (data measurement to speed) and quarter-mile (data measurement to distance). FlashScan provides full-featured data recording and plotting for just about any commonly used performance benchmark.
  • Physically, Scan XL is an OBD cable with USB (or, optionally, Bluetooth or WiFi) interface to your computer. I add an RF mouse and a power inverter to give the brighter screen and allow extended use in the car without concern for the battery in the laptop. FlashScan is a brick with two cables OBD and USB) with a keypad, and needs a laptop to function - similar to the Scan XL configuration using the OBDLink brick with default (included) USB interface. The FlashScan can operate stand-alone to read and clear codes.
  • Both can use auxiliary sensors such as wideband HO2 sensors.
  • Licensing for Scan XL is for the software and GM add-on; the OBDLink hardware is simply sold. Licensing of FlashScan is incremental, complex, and expensive.

The bottom line: FlashScan is riding the horse right now as the standard of the performance tuning community (offered by Lingfelter and other top-line tuning and performance houses) as well as the fleet community, particularly diesel fleets. OBDLink with Scan XL is targeted to the individual DIY user or the garage tech for use on any car that comes in the door for troubleshooting, with an excellent performance mode, but no built-in way to store performance tuning pre-sets in the PCM. Except for writing to the PCM, they are mostly equivalent except that FlashScan has a stand-alone code reader and code reset mode.

The FlashScan web site, EFI Live, is

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...