This is a review for a Equus 3030 by Innova (a US company based in California), which is another basic OBD2 diagnostic scanner.
At around $50, I felt that it was worth trying out on my truck to see how it coped with identifying any Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC).
For the OBD2 scanner to function, the usual rule of thumb is that the vehicle needs to be manufactured 1996 onwards (consult the vehicle user manual if you’re not sure).It came with all the usual bits & pieces like a USB lead to hook up to a PC/laptop, CD-rom and a manual.
What did I think of this scanner? After using it for several months, I’ve written my thoughts below:
Still cheap for a mid-range scanner, (less than the cost of a trip to a garage)
Features a large LCD display with a decent blue backlight
An excellent function is definitely the indicator light on the front which lets you know whenever there is an emissions problem for state inspections.
Quick start-up and reads codes in seconds.
Made quite well, and is quite sturdy compared to other OBD2 scanners in the $20 – $60 price range
Lack of internet connection won’t enable the user to look up any codes
You have to download and install the Syslink software that was not included with this model
The actual handbook that is included with the item is actually a quick start type. Just about all it really does is provide a short summary of this system. Therefore so short it’s mostly practically worthless.
Despite installing the driver on the PC, a handful of users have mentioned that their PCs won’t recognize the unit, thus are unable to access the database of diagnostic codes on the PC or online. Also some users have had bad experience with the technical (software) department at Innova. Users affected by this problem have simply written down the codes, and then Google them (plenty on free online websites with codes – see my article here).
On the Innova internet site, you can obtain the Advance Report in which it gives a more in depth report on the diagnostic codes for approximately $15. Now this might be ok if you come to a dead end after searching on Google, but most folks get the answer via forums and save their money. Possibly a rip-off for this price.
So in summary. It’s still a relatively cheap unit that has some extra features like the emission lights. All of the downsides that I found with this OBD-2 model are mostly to do with Innova’s flaky software (at the time of writing) that comes on the CD-rom. One can only hope that Innova gets their act together on this front, then this item would be 100% perfect for anyone wishing to diagnose vehicle problems.
But as long as you have access to the internet, even a 20 minute search for a few codes yielded me enough to inform me of the problems. Then with the info I was able to either attempt a repair at home, or felt more comfortable dealing with a garage mechanic. Just a quick note on dealing with a dealership/garage, just let them tell you what the problem is. You can then gauge the honesty of that person. If for instance you knew that the check engine light was on due to a faulty fuel pump, but the mechanic told you that the engine needed a complete overhaul, then make your excuses and find another garage!
Feel free to provide a comment below, but please note that even with good intentions, I cannot provide customer/technical support!