I love performance cars. I also own a side business servicing cars. In our industry, the word about various OBD/OBD2 diagnostic tools spreads quickly. Literally nothing is hidden.
Eventually, I learned of the Total OBD & ECU Auto Diagnostics (TOAD) scanner by Total Car Diagnostics. This happened after my frustrating experience with LAUNCH X43, which just doesn't go deep enough. Customers always came back with further vehicle issues.
I needed something more powerful. Now, despite Total Car Diagnostics' popularity in magazines and radio infomercials, I already knew about them. I took no notice of what sounded like hype, which they certainly did and still do (no office to Total Car Diagnostics crew).
Knowing they're in Byron Bay, I called them up. I was impressed that they had more technical knowledge than I did. They didn't even want me to buy TOAD, because I already had an OBD launch scanner.
I bought it anyway out of curiosity and genuine need. After using TOAD Total OBD & ECU Auto Diagnostics Software, I decided to write a subjective review.
I've had Total Car Diagnostics support team on my side and used TOAD successfully on 1,640+ cars in my car repair shop since April 2011.
My Honest Review of TOAD OBD2 Software for Windows
The simple, yet powerful OBD1 & OBD2 scanners and ECU chip tuning package still amaze me with their I'm writing this review as Total Car Diagnostics deserves it.
They dedicated three full hours on the phone helping me with a cylinder misfire issue on a customer's vehicle, plus an additional five full months of free support. We exchanged at least 250 emails.
For starters, their offer is definitely not a scam. Over the last five years, I've fixed at least 8,000+ cars, working as a European and American vehicles mechanic.
I also do chip-tuning on the side. My average quote is around $2,500 to improve BHP (brake horse power) or cut fuel savings by 7-13%.
I use my two favorite car tools, AutoCom for diagnostics and Alientech KESSv2, for chip-tuning and ECU reprogramming.
I also use RossTech VAGCOM, which for VAG cars is top-notch compared to anything out there!
I highly recommend VAGCOM as a complement to TOAD OBD for car enthusiasts or technicians who solely deal with Audi, VW, Skoda, and seat vehicles.
They both complement one another since Total Car Diagnostics specializes in Engine/Transmission and does that better than absolutely any company out there right now while VAGCOM VCDS digs into every other manufacturer system.
My frustration with most scan tools (including AutoCom) is that their main focus is on DTC codes.
If, for example, you have a cylinder misfire, that's all the information you'll get: a cylinder misfire DTC fault code. Of course, there's more to it as any experienced scan tool user knows.
However, TOAD OBD2 Scanner takes it to the next level. Without boring you with details:
- It makes everything easy to understand.
- It goes deeper into Engine/Transmission analysis then I ever thought was possible.
- It makes it a lot simpler to pinpoint problems that remain unseen with traditional scanners, including SnapOn, Autel, Launch (which is one of the highest grade OBD/OBD2/OBDII scanners in the world).
- The most-used feature in my workshop is the ability to place multiple graphs side to side in the software. Each measure different PID's. This allows me to easily pinpoint a malfunctioning pattern in misfires and many other erratic/regular patterns I see with customer cars.
- The car chip editor software is also top-notch. Basically it's an advanced HEX editor specifically designed for vehicle maps. You'll still need a tuner like KESS v2 in order to download/upload map to and from the car.
- If you're decently familiar with installing drivers on Windows or pairing Bluetooth device, then you'll be fine. I had no issues. Total Car Diagnostics support center has step-by-step help article for tons of situations.
In summary, we use TOAD in conjunction with other scan tools here in the shop. There is no "best" out there, from the point of view of this mechanic that deals with many cars and purposes. They all have their strengths and weaknesses.
Should you get it? In short: Yes. It easily rivals top high-end professional scanners and provides. in some cases, more useful information than you can work with.
Also, I don't think it takes away business from mechanics. It only makes the transactions more fair and honest.
Consumers (ordinary car owners) will always needs us mechanics anyway, so it's a win-win for consumers and mechanics.
It may allow consumers to fix problems themselves, because they'll know what the problem is, but this also means they can seek out car shops that will fix the job for the best price.
Please share you own experiences, complaints, feedback and reviews about Total Car Diagnostics and their products, below....
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Please leave your review here!
Car Tech Kings (author) from Australia on November 26, 2020:
i started to use Toad-pro software, but i have problems. I can not clear the trouble codes, just for temporary, about for 30 seconds, after coming back again. This is the P2463, DPF problem.
I have Mazda6, 95kW 2.2 diesel, European 2008-2012 model year. I see only the base dates, same as what i can see with free android software. I need the DPF pressure, EGR position values.
How can i get them? And possibile to test the EGR?
We checked the DPF pressure 1000 km before, it was 10 Pa on idle. I think the DPF filter is clean, car was strong,economy, i use 95% on motorway. Now the ECU reduce the power, very economy, just difficult to overtake.
Suspecting problem has to be physically fixed else sensor immediately detects fault again. Meanwhile, the scanner functionality is decent and returns many PID variables several other competing scantools have failed to provide.
Car Tech Kings (author) from Australia on September 24, 2020:
Not a review but a question. Does TOAD scanner + ELM327 combo read most of Toyota ECU from OBD2 (specifically Hilux FJ and Land Cruiser 200 engines from 2008 to 2015) without taking it off ?
Do functions such as:
Speed and rpm unlock
CRASH Srs light remove
And for other manufacturers (Hyundai, Nissan any GM).
Car Tech Kings (author) from Australia on September 04, 2020:
Customer review: very useful. awesome capabilities to extract, reset, and define codes. Does quite a bit for such a low cost compared to most high end type obd software/scanner combinations than are very expensive. TOAD Pro has paid for it self already in less than 3 months.
Brady Mcfadden on July 12, 2020:
I've plugged in to a Mitsubishi Triton 4d56, and a Land Rover Discovery 4, read and cleared codes on both. I'm really happy with TOAD-Pro.
True on June 26, 2020:
Bought it recently, received in time. BUT, with no software or instructions to download it! Contacted them BUT, did not care a bit to respond with instructions.... Only, asked to not cancel the transaction with the bank!
In the end, bought the Original cable which let's you use their software Ross-Tech VCDS. That worked and saved me more than $4000.
Esme Palmer on May 21, 2020:
I would like the Pro version of Toad. I recently purchased your ELM327 Bluetooth and I am able to connect and do diagnostics on my truck with green lights on both ECU and diagnostics. The software has already shown me a issue causing my truck to run too rich. I woud like to also use this on my 2007 Honda Odyssey. Great software. Thanks.
Oran Ray on April 15, 2020:
So far, I like TOAD very much and would like to download the Pro Add-on. Above, I entered data for just one of my cars. I also have a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer and a 2007 Ford Focus. It would be great if the software was compatible with those cars as well as the Honda Civic Hybrid that I also entered.
Junaid Larsen on March 22, 2020:
Yes TOAD is working fine, however would like any and/or all PID/MAP/DTC & ECU Files for a 2003 GM/Cheverolet 1500 Suburban LT FFV* equipped with LS series 5.3L Vortec L59 Flex-Fuel [Z-type].
The included tuning software doesn't have. Thus have to manually extra via kess/k-tag.
Otherwise totalcardiagnostics are in overal knowledable with technical matters.
Meanwhile, at least 4 obd companies have gone out of business. While totalcar dudes keep going.
Thus I encourage other reviewers, you can review all you want. But what really shows if someone is still going despite the unavoidable angry customers who are super happy to post online. It's same story in our workshop.
You have 100 happy customers. Literally not a single promotes us. But 1 really unhappy customer, has motivation like a tornado to make irresponsible remarks based on his childlish emotions.
Abul Coffey on February 12, 2020:
I own a workshop mainly a lot Jdm__Euro's (turbocharged) __ Usd__ so practically I've worked & built a lot off performance & turbocharged conversion from NA to plus T'.
I have many tuning softwares like stand alone emu/ecu like Nistune..... EVOSCAN.....HALTEC.....LINK but the customer has to have the standalone ecu's which most new customer don't know much about mods/tuning/diagnostics
old VAG COM (that's only basic stuff no map/chip tune...only diagnosed & setting stuff....but that's old now as Ross Tech now updated to VCDS)
But I noticed TOAD Software has the extra software to Tune/ Fuel maps--Timing maps that can alter the factory ecu for mild performance mods to unlock the factory parameters.......Also it has a lot more than others diagnosed software out in the market now.
I Also have the $12k G-Pro Scan II that I use for diagnostics & basic functions & all that As it connects to all vehicle manufacturers.
But I am very interested to see how TOADS compare to the top quality tools.
Tymon Roy on January 15, 2020:
I am close to retirement and I have purchased 33 cars to rebuild for High School kids. Mostly Mustangs, Camaros, Jeeps, and Silverado Pickups. Not is exceptional shape but I can fix them up and get them in good shape.
Kids in High School need cars that have good tires, brakes, and get good gas mileage (the Silverados have 350s in them so they fail the gas mileage).
My target sale price is $3000 because parents consider that a disposable car price for a first car and kids working after school can usually swing that somehow.
I'm not trying to get much over the purchase price and repair parts. I already have two that need working on.
A 2006 Toyota Solara, and my Ford F-350 that pulls my car trailer and my Farm goose-neck trailer.
I've used your toad pro software and pleased so far in terms of pointing out issues for fixing before selling the car.
Conna Bruce on December 19, 2019:
We'd like to confirm software connects fine to all of our vehicles. Resets codes and TOAD software diagnosed a misfire already, did a drive test and data log.
Liam Anthony on October 30, 2019:
The ELM327 OBDII interface connected to my Windows 10 laptop (USB) and also found the protocol to connect to my 2018 Honda Clarity hybrid. It connected to four ECU's: Energy Ctrl, Drive motor, Start/Gen Ctrl and PCM-Power. Since I am not having any problems, nor have I had any, it found no DTC's.
The ELM327 also connected to my 2007 Honda Pilot successfully. I will also try the cars of both my sons.
NathanialHorton443 on October 13, 2019:
have a SEAT IBIZA 2013. My airbags have been deployed as a result my steering also stopped working and the seat belts got locked. I have had my airbags replaced as well as the steering pump. However the steering is still not working properly. The mechanic said it's just an issue of calibration. Which product do you recommend for my SEAT IBIZA 2013? I would like to calibrate steering and erase airbag light on dashboard and check if there are any other faulty issues.
Shelby Ortega on September 18, 2019:
I’ve already linked the software to the cars and am satisfied so far. I am interested in remapping all of my cars in the near future also.
Marc Hussain on August 29, 2019:
I wonder if:
1. Toad pro enables special functions such as immobilizer registering keis, ABS, Airbag etc.
2. supports individual modules and sub-systems tests
3. supports relays and electronic components' tests
4. supports operational tests of individual sensors (e.g. particular O2 sensors), catalytic converters, etc.
5. it is at OE level and whether or not is it comparable to SSMIII with regards to Subaru and similar with regard to other brands
6. it uses wireless communication as well (WiFi or BT/BLE) or only wired (USB)
TanvirGoodman on August 07, 2019:
it works great thankyou im very happy with toad and amazed buy its price and pro addon is working better then i ever expected im very pleased
Jade Chandler on July 04, 2019:
After 6 years, i'm suprised toad-pro software is still going strong. Seen at least 7 car websites disappear overnight. Totalcardiagnostics still active. Anyway leaving this comment for others to hopefully see these guys surely realiable go-to people for obd-related vehicle diagnostics.
reader342 on June 06, 2019:
Arrived late. Local post issue. But the software works really well. High quality USB cable. And not china junk like already used from eBay obd sellers. Too bad TOAD PRO isn't more known. Seems market is saturated with scanners left and right but they're all basically copying each other.
Zoran434 on May 12, 2019:
Just thought I would drop you a line to let you know that I received the ELM327 this week and downloaded the TOAD software. This weekend I used the software to diagnose an intermittent misfire problem on a 2003 Ford Ranger which turned out to be a resistive coil wire. Following the fix on the Ford, I dug into a nagging vehicle surging issue on my wife’s 2011 GMC Acadia. That turned out to be a potentiometer deadspot issue with the Accelerator Position sensor that I could only find with the Toad strip chart logger.
I am very impressed with this software and would highly recommend your product to anyone who is looking for a low cost vehicle diagnostics tool. This tool in just 2 days saved me hours of time and I look forward to using this product on other vehicles going forward. This was the best $127 I have spent in a long time.
Thanks again and feel free to post my comments above on your website.
ettiene on April 24, 2019:
I have a elm diagnostic scanner with the cd and I cant activate it I have to use shareware and demo programs so the thing is actually useless then I should have bought a Delphi or a snooper that works without any hastles first time
rodneystrings on April 04, 2019:
Heads up about my Total Car Diagnostics experience with their TOAD obd scanner: I have been having problems with my car and my brothers car as well. We always wanted a decent code reader that goes a little beyond then just read codes. I was so excited when I found TOAD! Despite a few bad reviews, I decided to take a chance. I am happy to say that for the price, it does everything I need it to do and I have experienced no problems with it at all. I am now fixing everything on my car that I can and I don't have to worry if a mechanic is trying to rip me off. I am extremely satisfied with this product and I couldn't be happier!.
Johann on March 11, 2019:
TOAD OBD2 scanner gave me an informative visual presentation of my new (just replaced) Bosc Oxygen Sensor's output which let me determine that it was also faulty. A great scantol and fun to work with on your Windows tablet...at lot of bang for the buck. Certainly more user friendly than most obd2 software I've used in past on Mac, Android and Windows.
Also found total car diagnostic support to be top shelf and free! SEriously, can't ask for more then these people.
anaon34 on February 06, 2019:
Excellent for what you pay for it!! Total Car Diagnostics TOAD-OBD works well on Windows 10 and cheap ELM327 cable I got off eBay.
car tuner and diagnosis mechanic from LA on January 16, 2019:
This product is awesome. It is much better than I expected. It was easy to use and my car runs much better now. I used the TOAD tuning software tune with my 2012 BMW. Also had to buy actual tuner hardware (as TOAD includes software and not car chip tuning hardware) and wow what a difference. I also turned off the AFM (automatic fuel management) which basically puts the care in 4 cylinder mode. Anyone who has AFM knows how awful it is. Throttle response and all around driveability are much improved. Great product and caring folks at totalcardiagnostics.com support.
sharletroee on December 19, 2018:
After 5 car related scanner companies have disapointed, gone offline and nowhere to be seen, Total car diagnostics is clearly the winner with support and honesty staying in business, despite the negative reviews.
I'd rather be with company that is around for years, then with these quick profit knock offs, without a single complaint, yet within 1-2 years, they disappear, change name and open a new shop. Scammers!
Thus I'm glad Total car diagnotsics is around. Yes, TOAD obd software and elm327 obd2 scanner is still working since purchasing in 2010 (8 years ago). Now that's a true car company that deserves someone like me taking 5 min to write this review and let others know. Since it's clear, unahppy customers love to write, yet happy customers never bother posting reviews.
Automotive Corporate on November 07, 2018:
The depth of what you can do with TOAD is immense, yet it's main OBD software is incredibly easy to use. I ran into a couple questions and emailed Total Car Diagnostics support. Alex was quick to respond and very helpful. I Highly Recommend! The only thing it wont is reset (besides Ford/Mazda) is Airbag or ESP lights. Shame other than that it resets most common MAF and Throttle problem sensors in Seconds.
LuckyToday on October 18, 2018:
Got the Total Car Diagnostics TOAD product. Refunded it as found that VAGCOM is much better for VW. They refunded, so I bought their VAGCOM RossTech on the site. Used it for a week. And works like original RossTech VAG scanner.
I was always skeptical about buying one of the usual OBD reader units locally because they were either expensive or were missing certain features. For the price of the VAG-COM/VCDS, you can't go wrong. Right out of the box, setting it up was without a hitch.
Revealed 5 codes that I already was aware of and another I wasn't. There's much more data available for viewing and monitoring. Now I'm on my way to repairing the car without guessing and wasting time & money!
Erikcharely on September 27, 2018:
All my cars are over 10 years old so it is not uncommon to get a check engine light mulfunction.
I have had these checked by local mechanic (who doesn't charge to read the faults, unlike the dealer) but so far - none of the codes have been for anything really serious, mostly random misfires.
Having the Total car diagnostics OBD2 scan tool and it's software allows me to check the codes myself so I am not at the mercy of the mechanic and clear them if it is nothing serious.
I could have purchased a cheaper diagnostic tool off Amazon with a lot less features but I wanted one that would tell me in plain English what the code means (rather than having to look up a code number) and one that would read more than generic Engine codes as is common in marketplace amongst car readers.
I also didn’t want a bulky unit and cord. And since this works through Windows software (on tablet/laptop), the TOAD-Scan software is up to date. Looks good. Stable as rock. I haven’t checked out all the features yet but so far I am very glad to have purchased this one.
Erick Junior Henry on August 27, 2018:
Most decent car software out there designed with care and "technician in mind". I own a Elm327 Bluetooth adapter purchased about 2 month before deciding to also get Toad-Scan.
Because the OBDDoctor software was too basic So needed something which exceeds a $10 basic code reader.
In overall, the obd app on Windows laptop has turned laptop into often used equipment. Using TOAD-scan on it, it's done everything that I had hoped it would do and has become invaluable. It's actually silly for any car owner not to any at least some kind of basic OBD2 scanner or diagnostics reader. It will save you anxiety and money
Every car I've plugged into Toadscan does it's job very satisfying. I began out with the LITE version. Found that it worked so well I got the paid PRO version. These programmers are excellent at their knowledge of reading vehicle's modern and complex ECU's.
williamhenry-c from AU on August 09, 2018:
So I choose to do a some research. Had just replaced the unworking battery in vehicle after removing it from winter storage. This resulted computer to reset and thus the "not ready" state. I learned that almost all cars have a "drive cycle" that needs to be completed in order to get codes to reset.
I would say Total-car-diagnostics is wise choice for someone who doesn't know a lot but wants to figure things out for themselves. For the price, it can't be beat. This literally saved me hundreds of dollars compared to having my dealer fix/diagnose the problem. And yes, after completing the drive cycle 3 times, everything reset, became "ready" and I passed inspection.
staphan43 on June 21, 2018:
The best 8 ive ever spent with my vehicle's career together! Total Car Diagnostics TOAD obd software easily diagnosed the problem that caused my truck's check engine light to come on, and just as easily turned the light off!
Software saved me over $1,000 in un-necessary repairs, and allowed the truck to pass inspection. Some states red flag vehicles with a recently reset system, this unit covers it's tracks by letting the scanner know when the system is "ready" for inspection. Would have rated 6 out of 5, if it were possible.
Also gives the owner a heads-up on problems, before they take the vehicle to a mechanic.
Brendan on June 03, 2018:
Why can i not access any other systems other than engine Ecu on any car i have tried, Please
Tom Saw from Perth Australia on May 31, 2018:
Wife and I sent away for the TOAD CAN OBD II OBD2 Scanner Tool by Total Car Diagnostics and have already used it a couple of times! We recently bought a car for our son that not long after purchase had problems!
Shortly after purchasing this used car, my son decides to test out the turbo feature in the car and since then has stopped working.
Acquaintance suggested we purchase the Total OBD & ECU Auto Diagnostics Scanner Tool. While I was completely skeptical because who buys a scanner that will actually work and give a non-mechanic or untrained professional code detecting problems in a car, right? This one actually worked I'm elated to say!
My son recently purchased the part that is supposed to fix the problem and while now that is fixed, the Total OBD & ECU Auto Diagnostics scanner tool detected that there now is an electrical short in the transmission!
While I doesn't help us fix the problem, this is certainly a great tool to have because it helps you make basic decisions as to whether or not the car needs a professional mechanic or shop to fix it!
We would highly recommend the tool for anyone who is not only handy enough to fix basic car problems but who doesn't mind having a little knowledge in their arsenal.
warren09 on May 03, 2018:
The dealership wants $212 to tell me why my "check engine" light came on. When I got to the dealership I was told that I would have to wait 45 minutes before a technician would become available, and this was after I made an appointment! So I went home and ordered Total Car Diagnostics' TOAD kit. I used it and discovered that the problem was a loose gas cap. So, I saved $115 right off the bat and probably avoided a big service bill to clear the error code off the dash screen. Now I have the scanner for whenever an error code pops up. So my totalcardiagnostics review is both grateful and wise.
Leon K from Berlin, Germany on April 02, 2018:
Bought it around Feb 2018. Probably the only OBD2 package you'll ever need, as far as I know per research. The MIL engine check light on car's dash was turned on suddenly. So I stopped by the Mazda dealership to see what the issue could poentially be. Of course, was notified there would be a $105 fee if I wanted them to extract the code which would not have covered any labor or parts if situation requiered it. I decided to leave and ordered the Toad scanner after Googling for various obd2 readers/scanners. Their EMS took longer then expected. But arrived after 10 days.
I read the quick instructions, hokked one end to car's obd port and other to laptop's usb port, as instructed. Sure enough a code appeared by hitting "Scan" button in TOAD-Scan software. It even had a description of what the code meant and which part most likely would have to be replaced. I did some additional research on the web and figured out what I had to replace in order to get rid of the MIL check engine light.
Would certainly recommend this product for anyone needing to pull codes when that check engine light comes on. Save yourself some money! Get the parts yourself and maybe even do the labor on your own if you're able to!
aaron423 on March 03, 2018:
I bought this for the reason of finding why my car failed the smog check because one of the monitors is not ready according to the mechanic and to know if it is ready after following the driving cycle. I should have read the car manual first because it can tell what is the problem and if the car has all the monitors ready by watching the engine light on indicator when one turns the ignition switch to the 2nd position.
Anyway after some months of using Total Car Diagnostic obd2 scanner, I can say that...
It probably saved me hundreds of dollars, and maybe saved me from selling the car. Perhaps anyone who is even slightly handy with car repairs needs to have this, so that they are not ripped off by mechanics. My 2006 Accord had a "check engine" light, and it was due for inspection.
TOAD told me exactly what was wrong just by connecting it to the car OBD port (the connection is near/below the steering wheel), and hooking other end to laptops USB port, then launching the TOAD software, and pressing "Auto-Connect" button.
AFter software detected few faults, I was able to type in the issues it found into google, find the right part to fix the issue. Turned out to be a front Oxygen sensor, ordered the part online.
It took 10 minutes to replace. After that, used TOAD again to "reset" the error, and the "Check Engine" Light went away. Remember, you cannot just take the car in for inspection after the "Check Engine" Light goes away, because the computer will show "Not Ready", and the car will fail inspection.
You need to drive the car after that on the highway for about 3 days (depending on the car) before all its systems are tested by the car's own computer. If the "Check Engine" Light stays off, and TOAD software shows that the car is ready for inspection, then you can take it in.
Randy Gauge on December 24, 2017:
Ordered this product since my cars are all very old. Some of them as far as 1999 so they keep showing up with the MIL check engine lights. Product is a great help. It instantly tells me what is wrong with my car and I thought I may need to read its online manual properly before using but honestly all I had to do was to plug to car, to PC and launch the TOAD-Scan OBD2 software.
It was super simple to get the diagnostics for what was wrong with my car. I would say this is a must have for all car owners. Saved me the trip to the garage. In the past 4 months I had to go to a garage twice to check up what was wrong with my car just because of the engine light. Now before i go there I know exactly whats wrong with my car and what needs repair.
This now also protects me as my garage guy cannot just make me do stuff that my car does not need. My car is hardly worth 1k and sometimes fixing it costs almost half its value.
charles341 on November 12, 2017:
Mentioning my experience here seeing it's got other reviews. I just installed and began using Total Car Diagnostics VAGCOM and TOAD Scanner side-by-side couple of days ago, and I've yet to explore all the options that they both offer. Especially VAGCOM.
The amount of info Total OBD ECU Diagnostics software provides about my Jeep is almost overwhelming! It's greatto say the least!
The instant gas mileage feature has me experimenting with the way I drive in an attempt to increase my mileage. The Jeep is pretty new so I've also written down all the readings and readouts from the app to use as a baseline if something goes wrong.
I also like that the customizable screens, gauges, and meters are already all set up for you. BAsically they give you choice to decide which readouts you want to add to the screen. That's great for control freaks who get their jollies from personal customization, but I like simply touching a button on my screen and having it already all set up for me.
The reason that I'd give TOAD 4 out of 5 stars is that it doesn't recognize my specific make and model of vehicle so I had to buy the "generic" car version. I could understand this if I owned a foreign make of vehicle but my vehicle is a Jeep Patriot; A Chrysler product for Petes sake!
You can buy this software specifically for just about any model of Ford or Toyota but not a Chrysler product? Anyway, still good.
Thomas M Probst on October 01, 2017:
My experience of it. It's great product for the price! It does a lot of the same things that professional scanners do. I didn't have any problems learning how to use it, however I am a tech so I have experience using OBD2 scanners.
It's pretty basic in terms of usage. There's instructions giving you options as you go along, kind of like "yes or no" type stuff. In other words, if you're not a tech, you can still use TOAD, as long as you know what you're looking at. Also get updates for it for free.
Keep in mind, this isn't a $3000 OBD2 scanner, so it does have it's limitations. But it shows PIDs and does self diagnostics in addition to showing codes. In my opinion, it's well worth the investment.
Marshall Brain from London, UK on August 24, 2017:
Very knowledgeable and trusted folks in the OBD2 scanners industry. Fast online support service. Only ones who were able to properly answer obd2 comparability questions accurately, that even local mechanics were stumbled by. Impressive people, seeing too much in this industry through the years.
pekka v on July 18, 2017:
interresting product, now i will be able to fly to the moon in my old cadillac srx- 2008. my ”check engine” lamp has been on for a while now and i want to see if i can fix this just the software way. When my usual mechanic turned the light out it came on again after 70 miles and it has been ever since. That is because the car has less than 3900 miles on it, and i do belive its the honest milage. Two things tells me so, i bought the car from the original dealer and the guy who drove it for eight years is a priest and the car has been serviced at the dealer since new. I have no noice from the motor and the engine runs smooth so im confident of either one of two things, either it is a software issue or a sensor is busted. Well see.
Ordered the product today, both bluetooth and cable for $177, if it works it will be a bargain and i will sell the software to a mechanic i know for the same price i payed for it and i will still be able to use it and i will be able to take the cost of $177 on my company, basicly ive,,,,,,,you know.
To be continued
Simon Wiks from Melbourne, Australia on May 31, 2017:
Found this Googling for some info on TotalCarDiagnostics website to see if I can trust them. After good recommendations I bought their VAGCOM unit. And thought it's worth sharing (if this is correct place).
Totally surprised by their VAGCOM 12! Worked better than I expected and certainly same as original RossTech. Long story short, my airbag, anti-skid, and tpms lights were enabled when
I removed my seats to replace the carpet due to a water leak in the sunroof drain. Instead of getting punched in the gut at a dealer service center to get it resolved, I had a couple of other alternatives. I could opt $300 for the proven original ross tech unit, or take the gamble for $67 for this all-in-one Total Car Diagnostics VAGCOM version.
I agree with the previous reviewers regarding the included instructions are very thorough, so it really leaves nothing to question. Straight forward. Plug and get it done. I did Airbag scan, and reset it instatensouly. Whereas previous tools like Xtool Vag402 failed.
Heck, it was a bonus to get the unit to enable the backup camera option for the navigation unit (RNS315)!!! So now all I need to do is find the oem backup camera kit and we're in business. Worth every penny!
I've been recommended Total by 3 colleges. But always like to still do my own research. In overall, they're the real deal.
davidfrankling09 on April 04, 2017:
If bought their TOAD software from website, and so far works great on Win 10. There are quite a few manufacturers selling different car scanners. But don't be fooled by them. I've tried over 12, and all are junk. I work in the automotive industry and have the opportunity to try Total Car Diagnostics tools on a wide selection of vehicles both models/years/make. I found the electronics within Total Car Diagnostics ELM327 scan tools to be top notch, way faster and stable then cheap ones on eBAy. Both their ELM327 WIFI and ELM327 BLuetooth function perfect even with my scan program set to fastest communication. I have tried TOAD on a 2003 Hyundai Elantra, a 2006 Toyota Tundra, a 2001 BMW 328i, a 2000 Mazda Protege', a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban, a 2008 Cadillac DTS, a 1999 Honda Civic and a 2011 Toyota Tundra. All had perfect communication and read the VIN# on all vehicles. This was a wide enough range of vehicles to deem this scan tool functional on all vehicles. Thanks for a great product.
Gerald on March 12, 2017:
Just finished reading your posts on the TOAD. Real honest input.A pal from Georgia US installed the toad on my laptop for me. I am a garage owner in Ghana Africa doing basically auto ac repairs and general electricals and will love to know more from the guys at TOAD. Can you link me up to them? My guy's has since left for the US. Email is email@example.com
warriorjohn on February 02, 2017:
In my 4 months experience, TOAD is a must tool if you have numerous cars and like to keep up on their performance. I am not a mechanic and have used this to diagnose issues on numerous vehicles. Family of 3 Volvo's and 1 Audi and this has worked great on them all, I really like that I can pull codes and know what is going on with the cars prior to sending them off to the autoshop. I do what ever maintenance I can at home but know my limits. I recommend Total Car Diagnostics scanners to any "Shade Tree Mechanic" that is looking for a great diagnostics tool.
Thomas Erty on October 14, 2016:
TOAD-OBD is simply a brilliant idea! Other then that, I'm sadly having issues staying connected to my ODB devices in my car - I thinking my ODB port is faulty. One annoyance I can think of is redoing the profiles if you are changing devices, any chance of allowing profiles to be backed up to the users google drive and then restored if they uninstall or have a new device? (Also contacted Totalcardiagnostics support about this)
Terry Hills from Melbourne, AU on August 15, 2016:
Had Total Car Diagnostics T.O.A.D scanner for about a month so far and I love it,
It does everything the MaxiDas and the high end Snap-on scanner do for less then a quarter of the price.
They always have new updates, which i consider a very good thing.
The only downside to TOAD OBD software is that it will take some getting used to, actually it has so many features, I got overwhelmed at first. Ffor example, if you want to check the ECU, it will be listed as Diagnostics tab. For Freeze frame, under Freeze Frame tab, and so on. Has many tabs. I was thinking "What am I going to do with all this information??".
I have used Total OBD & ECU Auto Diagnostics (or TOAD for short) on 2001 Mercedes S500 (W220 body) and it performed a comprehensive scan even Merc manufacturer OEM scanner didn't find. I didn't even know the car had so much data under "Engine".
Overall im very happy with TotalCarDiagnostics support, updates and genuine customer concern. Highly recommend it. It's not all hype. Actually hype lives up to it's claims, especially considering the price.
------So far had the TOAD OBD2 scanner for about 6 month and I am happy with it, no major problems and as I mentioned earlier the only annoyance is quantity of info is overwhelming sometimes. I have used it on many different car models and it worked great on all of them. There is also ECU programming software in TOAD package, meaning it contains advanced HEX editing software to edit car's ECU data. However you will still need to buy seperate tuner kit that can download/upload car data to computer. Tuner I got is around $250. TOAD scans all cars made after 1996 (at least for us here in USA. IT's different in each country. Example in Australia it's for cars made after 2006.)
Had the scanner for a couple of years now, still works excellent, updates are still free, years later. So is support. So they certainly are "lifetime".
cdickens342 on July 25, 2016:
A little difficult but worth the money. Already diagnosed a fault and fixed it and have only had it a month. Cool features too.
Chip Tuning aspect of TOAD is rocket science and not for everyone. So don't think tuning is something easy. It really is like computer programming.
Regarding OBDII diagnostics, only suggestion is Would be great to add manufacturer specific error codes and coding, for example BMW. Already contacted TotalCarDiagnostics support. Awaiting their reply...
garyhalbert from New York on July 16, 2016:
Great OBD2 software developers. I've used their scanners many times to read and clear codes. And also bought TOAD from them. I just wished it had the capability to modify settings (shift points, idle rpm, etc) without resorting to HEX mode. It's more of a read only application if you don't know chiptuning. But aside from that, it does give all the real time data you could want and more.
ErikMooney on July 11, 2016:
I have read other reviews on the web before getting involved with Total Car Diagnostics company. Obviously to check for scams, experiences, reviews, rippoffs and anything else I could find by other members. Once I sensed a green light - I got Total OBD & ECU Auto Diagnostics package.
I bought it mainly because the MIL (check engine light) has been coming on in my car lately, and me going to Autozone twice with no code error, it's frustrating.
So I end up buying a new gas cap just to slowly troubleshoot/cross eliminate possible issues. The new gas cap was worth it, whether the MIL light is about it or not. But since I bought the gas cap and this gadget at the same time, I was able to plug this one in (thanks for all the reviews, I was able to get pass the link error issue, my car's engine has to be turned on to scan properly, or else, it will keep showing link error).
And VOILA! I got a DTC error right away. WOW! What else can I say??? Now at least, I have a better clue how to fix/find the possible solutions to it. And erasing the code is super easy! For this price, you can't go wrong! I'd recommend this to all my friends/families in a heartbeat.
I was also able to scan without starting the car. Just turn the ignition switch to the ON position, and TOAD works like a charm. I must be doing it hastily the first time that I was getting link error, and decided to just start the car and it worked both ways. But it's best not to start the car, IMO.
Source: my own experience and usage using TotalCarDiagnostics.com products since 2012.
KennethAuto on July 04, 2016:
I am a big fan of this software, as it helps me understand what my car needs in terms of service and maintenance. TOAD is unquestionably powerful as it allows you a deep insight into your vehicle. Keep the good work up and thank you Total Car Diagnostics.
It's also a must have for mechanics, besides just home users. It doesn't matter if you're a backyard mechanic or a professional, this app is indispensable. Paired with their high quality ELM327 or cheap on on eBay, TOAD outperforms a $300 tool, making it accessible to everyone. This is the best tool I've got in my toolbox, bar none.
Tyran Todd on July 04, 2016:
Love it! This software is reading codes and data that even my mechanic could not get on his $14k machine. Saved me a ton of money guessing on issues. Thank you for a great software Total Car Diagnostics team!!
Smith Gordon Auto Repair on June 23, 2016:
For me, TOAD-OBD does a great job of telling me what I need to know to keep your car running good. It just needs a few more features though. Total Car Diagnostics, please expand TOAD's mode 6 diagnostics layout, it doesnt give much info as to what component it goes to. Once you add this i will bump my rating from 4 to 5/5! Ive been using TOAD and communicating with Total Car Diagnostics support for 5 months now of my 97 ford explorer 5.0. Has saved me money. Definitely a genuine team with vast knowledge of diagnostics and chiptuning.
Smith Gordon Auto Repairs on June 23, 2016:
For me, TOAD-OBD does a great job of telling me what I need to know to keep your my running good, it just needs a few more features; TotalCarDiagnostics, please expand TOAD's mode 6 diagnostics layout!!! It doesnt give much info as to what component it goes to. Once you add this i will bump my rating from 4 to 5/5! Ive been in contact with Total Car Diagnostics support for 5 months now of my 97 ford explorer 5.0. Has saved me money. Thanks to them and their vast knowledge within diagnostics and chiptuning field.
Total Car Diagnostics Review: Saves you a lot of money, very advanced functions I've not seen in other scanners. on May 18, 2016:
I purchased this package 5 months ago, and I can honestly say Total Car Diagnostics TOAD OBD (Total OBD & ECU Auto Diagnostics) obd2 software works, does what it claims and certainly one of the better tools I've used compared to (won't mention name for respect of company)! I plan to use this while offroading to check engine usage and loads in extreme conditions, and am recommending this to anyone with a love of extreme wheeling.
Gregory on April 11, 2016:
TOAD OBD does exactly what it says, using a $10 eBay adapter and have had no issues at all... If you do any work on your car at all or want to see real-time data, this software is for you. Forget those Android apps. This is light years ahead!!
Clive Jordan on March 05, 2016:
The TOAD CAN OBD II OBD2 Scanner Tool works Fantastic ! I have several older vehicles that have the check engine light on, and also have a few of my Sons friends that had the same problem. We hooked up the Total OBD & ECU Auto Diagnostics Scanner Tool and it pulls up all the codes that are causing your car or truck to display the check engine light. Every code that comes up on the scanner lets you know what part or sensor is throwing a code.
That way it takes all of the guess work out of installing different parts or sensors on your Vehicle that nothing is wrong with. This allows you to see the exact part or sensor that is bad. For the small price you pay for this scanner you can save yourself a lot of headaches buying unneeded parts, and all the work installing them.
The TOAD Scanner allows you to do it right the first time just like a mechanic shop would do ! I received my TOAD Scanner with Prompt and Courteous service from Total Car Diagnostics. I have purchased several items from TOAD, and everything I have purchased from them has been TOP QUALITY items !! I would Very Highly Recommend the TOAD CAN OBD II OBD2 Scanner Tool to everyone that has a vehicle made after 1998 that is showing a Check Engine Light.
This is really a well made scanner that is sure to save you a lot of time and money in repairs. I am a Amazon reviewer and I receive a discount on the items I purchase in exchange for my HONEST review. I do NOT allow the discount I receive change the way I review any product ! I am just like everyone else and depend on other peoples HONEST review to help me decide whether or not I purchase a product as well.
From testing several TotalCarDiagnostics products I can honestly say that TOAD is a name you can trust we you purchase a product from them. I do not know them personally but have been lucky enough to review their items ! I would very much like to thank Total Car Diagnostics for allowing me to review their products ! I hope I have answered any questions you may have had about this Check Engine Light Scanner from Total Car Diagnostics.
TOAD Scanner purchaser on January 18, 2016:
Purchased Total OBD & ECU Auto Diagnostics from Auto Exposition in Melbourne. Excited, opened it. Hooked up to car. And instantly connected to BMW X6 2016. Very fast (about 10x per second) refresh rate with ELM327 USB cable that comes with.
City Classics Auto Repair on November 29, 2015:
Total OBD & ECU Auto Diagnostics scanner works perfect! Simple and easy. It's more reliable then the $800+ OBD2 readers out there. I use this and works real well with my 2005 BMW z3.
Total OBD & ECU Auto Diagnostics reviewed on November 22, 2015:
I've only owned Total OBD & ECU Auto Diagnostics by Total Car Diagnostics for few weeks, and already extracted over a dozen fault codes from my own vehicle (2001 Volvo S60 Sedan) and a couple coworkers (Volkswagen Passat 2.0 turbo 2006, 2006 Dodge Ram SRT-10, 2005 Hyundai Elantra FX). I found ELM327 Bluetooth scanner and TOAD Windows software is surprisingly straight forward to use and clearly see how it it ends up saving you hundreds of dollars for maintenance fees. It also isn't a novelty, but a serious tool capable of powerful results. So if you're a reader of this, get it ONLY if you're at least a car enthusiast.
TOAD - Total OBD & ECU AUTO DIAGNOSTISCS review on October 26, 2015:
My review of: Total OBD & ECU AUTO DIAGNOSTISCS (or TOAD for short). It basically a collection of several high quality software used to diagnose, scan, tune your car. Most applications are for specific cars. However the main software "TOAD-Scanner", is what you'll most likely use for all your cars. Regarding tuning, it's complicated. Don't think it's a walk in the park. It's like computer programming. So be prepared to either skip ECU chip tuning, or get dedicated, head down and learn it. Because you can make lot of bucks tuning cars for others through TOAD. Larry. Ordinary mechanic of 20+ years.
Much better then handheld OBD-II Scantools on October 01, 2015:
Thank you very much to Total Car Diagnostics team. They've been been most helpful, courteous and prompt. I have enjoyed using your product over my handheld OBD-II Snapon scantool, and will recommend you guys to my car club members! Only downside, it doesn't do ABS & Airbag. Then again I understand those 2 parameters are only available on manufacturer specific scanners. However TOAD's ability to go deeper inside the Engine/Transmission systems is simply unmatched in any scanner I've used throughout my career.
Totalcardiagnostics review on August 14, 2015:
Totalcardiagnostic support is friendly, very informative and know their stuff! I used Toad OBD scanner on my car to determine the error codes for the check engine light, and was able to turn the check engine light off with this tool once I knew what was wrong. It was bigger than I expected it to be, being about the size of a computer mouse. I would highly recommend getting involved with TotalCarDiagnostics.com and their car enhancing/diagnostic products as an investment, and knowing yourself what's wrong with the car AT ALL TIMES; instead of some auto place maybe reading it wrong or making you buy the wrong part. Not a scam, just a useful product that does the job.
HRM Auto Reviewers on August 09, 2015:
Simple TOAD review- having these codes can save you a lot of grief and money and it is not costly and it is easy to use. The code I needed was on TotalCarDiagnosticsDOTcom website, but there are tons of places on the WEB to look the codes up, even for your car model, and get all sorts of practical advice.
Also, you can find where to hook it up on you car on the web. Do this first, as if you do not know where to find it on your car exactly you can waste time and contortions. I found out my code was really minor, and it is a big relief knowing I do not have to rush the car in for a repair. Also, if you find it is major, you know you need to get your car in fast. Plus, it will arm you with knowledge and help you not get ripped off!
I have a good honest mechanic now, but when I was younger I did not and this could have saved me a lot of time and money! Directions on install are also easy to follow.
Generally TOAD is a well designed OBD diagnostic kit and after buying it, you do not have to waste money on the more expensive ones around.....
Bonny Grey on August 02, 2015:
I saved a lot of money when I was able to clear my GM check engine light using this tool. I bought it because I suspected the check engine light came on because I had not tightened my gas cap sufficiently after filling the car with gas. The check engine light stayed on, however, and I was told that it would cost me $200 just to check to see whether there was a vapor leak somewhere. I was also staring at the cost of repair if there was indeed a problem.
In an earlier experience with a similar situation the dealer replaced the check engine light itself for a cool $500. Total OBD & ECU Audo Diagnostics TOAD tool reset the check engine light, which enabled me to determine whether my original hunch was correct or if something else was the matter with the car, in which case the check engine light would come back on.
Everything was fine (and has been for many months). I saved myself at least $200, perhaps more, and I now have the peace of mind of being able to use this tool to diagnose whatever other problem might be taking place with the car via vehicles OBD2 port and TOAD OBD scanner. I am not a mechanic but if a problem ever takes place again I can go to the mechanic with basic knowledge about the problem, and I can reset false negatives with this tool.
Much more powerful then handheld OBD2 Scantools on July 27, 2015:
Thank you very much to Total Car Diagnostics team. Short review. TotalCarDiagnostics.com has been been most helpful, courteous and prompt. I have enjoyed using your product over my handheld OBD2 Snapon scantool, and will recommend you guys to my car club members! Only downside, it doesn't do ABS & Airbag. Then again I understand those 2 parameters are only available on manufacturer specific scanners. However TOAD's ability to go deeper inside the Engine/Transmission systems is simply unmatched in any scanner I've used throughout my career. 5 thumbs up.
Manny UK on July 26, 2015:
The best $127 that ive ever spent in my life! TOAD OBD easily diagnosed the problem that caused my truck's check engine light to come on, and just as easily turned the light off! TOAD saved me over $1200 in un-necessary repairs, and allowed the truck to pass inspection. Some states red flag vehicles with a recently reset system, this unit covers it's tracks by letting the scanner know when the system is "ready" for inspection. Would have rated 6 out of 5, if it were possible. Also gives the owner a heads-up on problems, before they take the vehicle to a mechanic.
Frank on July 13, 2015:
Simple, Easy, Affordable, + + + a whole lot more... Have used TOAD on my Surface Pro 3 several times. It was able to help me identify troubled codes and either fix my car problems on my own or take it to a mechanic with the specific problem in mind to fix. It also clears the codes. reads Live Data, tells you exactly what your car is doing or what its NOT doing. This is one app that every driver should have. Its affordable and can save a lot of money as well as stress inn fixing a problem. Definitely will recommend to others
toyota-rep on November 29, 2014:
Works brilliantly, helped fix several problems and helped me understand the true running costs for my car. Also demonstrates how maintenance can make small improvements in efficiency. TOAD is truly the best scantool I've used to date.
jonahthancar on November 29, 2014:
The dealers & some mechanics charge $260 (x many more in future) just to hook it up to their "equipment" to get the same information you can obtain...for a lot less. My total investment $197 for life.
stevegates644 on October 25, 2014:
Still great after 4 years of use! I got Total Car Diagnostics software & a cheap adapter on eBay. So far no problems with the adapter & together they saved me over $3,000 over the last 4 years!
Rodneyford3 on October 25, 2014:
I have too much to say about so much data that I can now see. It has lifted the veil of mystery on many things that I've guessed at and now I know them instead. Finding out my 2000 Chevy Prizm had 59.5 HP hurt, but I bought it to be sure of mechanical problems and now I have 90.1 HP. For 165k miles not bad. Makes me wonder since my car is upgraded what the real HP was on a new one. They said 125 HP. I think not. Lol (125 HP due to a 2000 engine).
Car Tech Kings (author) from Australia on October 17, 2013:
@dickot: dickot: Impossible to be shared. Software uses your Computer CPU ID to generate unique key, and is manually and remotely activated/deactivated for every person. Eitherway, just buy it man! The dudes deserve credit for the hard work.
devin-tarnasky-7: I believe modifying rev-limiter/speedometer is not what TOAD does. Ask them at their site.
dickot on October 17, 2013:
someone please share this software so that I can download it, a torrent file, mega, doesn't matter, I just need it :)
devin-tarnasky-7 on May 27, 2013:
Can this software be used to remove a rev limiter or re-calibrate a speedometer? I'm seriously considering buying this software but can't find those 2 answers anywhere?
anonymous on April 06, 2013:
TOAD obd2 has saved me so much time and money by giving fault code info and being able to clear them. Well recommended.
anonymous on April 06, 2013:
Love Total Car Diagnostics and their TOAD software. I've used it on my vehicle and my customers vehicles as well. Does a great job. Been using it for a while and love the live data feature. Comes in handy when looking non fault code setting problems such as a bad crank sensor.
anonymous on April 06, 2013:
I'm no mechanic but TOAD OBD scan tool seems to perform on par with most costly obd-ii scanners. TOAD will pay itself in one scan if you have a check engine light.
anonymous on April 06, 2013:
Not much else to say, Total Car Diagnostics helped me save a few quid on mechanics and I like the trip data.
anonymous on April 06, 2013:
I work in the auto parts industry and you can't buy a obd unit that does half TOAD does and the price wow under $100 you got a better product than you can buy at your local auto parts store that you would pay at least $1,000 and more !
anonymous on April 06, 2013:
Successfully remapped my car. What more could you ask for from a software!
anonymous on April 06, 2013:
Have used this with success on two different vehicles so far to read codes and clear them. Just remember to remove adapter when done.
ben_drake on April 06, 2013:
Love having access to so much data & stats on my car. I didn't realise how much my on board computer was monitoring.
anonymous on April 06, 2013:
I use TOAD all the time, I work at a Mercedes semi truck dealer as a mechanic. To check codes on my vehicle and friends and faimly, wish they made one fir semi trucks..
garry_v on April 05, 2013:
TOAD does exactly as promised. I can't recommend it more highly.
michale_j on April 05, 2013:
Best software I have ever bought that is car related! Code reader is great too, brings you straight to a web page that explains the code.
benny_carson on April 04, 2013:
Was able to clear off the fault chides and connect to the obd single without any problems.
jenna_roach37 on April 04, 2013:
Beats Torque, and just about every Android OBD app on the market, hands down!
carry_b444 on April 03, 2013:
Got the ELM327 Bluetooth + TOAD option. This software is wild. I am blown away at the number of options and configurable areas of the app. Stuff like being able to share screenshots, upload data to the web, car manufacturer plugins, etc. It just goes to show that the dev really put time, effort, and thought into the app. Absolutely well done. I am impressed. Now I need to learn what all this engine data means! lol
charlie_crest on April 03, 2013:
TOAD + ELM327 does what it says! Real time data works great with my 1998 Civic. I bought the most popular adapter on A mazon for about $30 USD and have had no issues so far
harry_monza on April 03, 2013:
Total Car Diagnostics is highly recommended for their genuine, caring and experienced support. Don't get that much nowdays.
mario_j34 on April 02, 2013:
I love TOAD!!! It can help you to let you know what you are driving and how to control it better.
ben_d23 on April 02, 2013:
Excellent tool and developer response is swift. Works well on my 2002 Subaru WRX.
carla_santos333 on April 02, 2013:
Easy to use and now i can check problems anywhere
johndarwin21 on April 02, 2013:
For the price of the software, absolutely brilliant. Does more then ultra-professional OBD1, OBD2 scan tools.
jenny_s42 on April 02, 2013:
Well worth the $ Real time data, check & clear codes.