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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

What Scan Tool To Buy?

Q: I need a little advice. My code reader is just not getting the job done. I need a scan tool and would like to only spend my money once. What features am I looking for and do you have a recommendation?

- Wes

A: Here’s the first fact that you’ll have to face; you will never spend your money “just once” on any scan tool made today. There is not one scan tool made that will do it all. If there was it would be over $20K for that scan tool and it would still be outdated next year! Whatever you buy plan on paying for software updates if you want to work on next years cars. Plan on whatever scan tool you buy being outdated by the year 2008, unless you plan on buying the updated modules that will allow the scan tool to work with the newer, faster communications systems that are just around the corner. I could start a scan tool museum with the dust collectors I have in storage that won’t work on today’s cars, but if an ’82 Chevy Citation comes into the shop I have at least 2 dust collectors that will rock that vehicle’s computer. But my new scan tool won’t pull even a “bit” of information from that dinosaur. Here’s my recommendation, determine what type/make of vehicles you work on most often. Identify the company that makes the scan tool and software for the selected vehicle manufacturer. These companies often sell their scan tools with a lesser version of software, to someone like you or me, that will open most of the windows when you want to look into the vehicle’s computer. Also budget for annual software updates. There are very few scan tool makers that let you jump or skip a software update. You have to lock into the annual software update thing or they really clobber you when you do update. There is not one fix for your question and you’ll find that the cost of doing computer related work, diagnosis and repair is expensive and hard. But for some wicked strange reason I love it. Best of luck.

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