Review of Total Car Diagnostics Software TOAD OBD

Total Car Diagnostics Review. Scam? Hype? Judge for yourself and write a review below.
Total Car Diagnostics Review. Scam? Hype? Judge for yourself and write a review below. | Source

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.

What one of software in Total OBD & ECU Auto Diagnostics (TOAD) package looks like.
What one of software in Total OBD & ECU Auto Diagnostics (TOAD) package looks like. | Source
Using T.O.A.D on our customers VW GT 2015.
Using T.O.A.D on our customers VW GT 2015. | Source

My Honest Review of TOAD OBD + ELM327 Scanner

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 total OBD & ECU Auto Diagnostics Software (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-knotch. 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 scantools 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....

Please leave your review here! 49 comments

thomas-erty profile image

thomas-erty 12 days ago

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)

trenthent profile image

trenthent 2 months ago from Melbourne, AU

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.)

(update #2)

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 profile image

cdickens342 3 months ago

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 profile image

garyhalbert 3 months ago from New York

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 profile image

ErikMooney 3 months ago

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 products since 2012.

KennethAuto 3 months ago

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 3 months ago

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!!

Total Car Diagnostics Review: Saves you a lot of money, very advanced functions I've not seen in other scanners. 5 months ago

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 6 months ago

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 7 months ago

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 9 months ago

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 11 months ago

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 11 months ago

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 12 months ago

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 13 months ago

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 14 months ago

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 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 14 months ago

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 15 months ago

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 15 months ago

Thank you very much to Total Car Diagnostics team. Short review. 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 15 months ago

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 15 months ago

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 23 months ago

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 23 months ago

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 2 years ago

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 2 years ago

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).

truth-about profile image

truth-about 3 years ago Author

@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 3 years ago

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 3 years ago

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 3 years ago

TOAD obd2 has saved me so much time and money by giving fault code info and being able to clear them. Well recommended.

anonymous 3 years ago

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 3 years ago

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 3 years ago

Not much else to say, Total Car Diagnostics helped me save a few quid on mechanics and I like the trip data.

anonymous 3 years ago

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 3 years ago

Successfully remapped my car. What more could you ask for from a software!

anonymous 3 years ago

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 3 years ago

Love having access to so much data & stats on my car. I didn't realise how much my on board computer was monitoring.

anonymous 3 years ago

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 3 years ago

TOAD does exactly as promised. I can't recommend it more highly.

michale_j 3 years ago

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 3 years ago

Was able to clear off the fault chides and connect to the obd single without any problems.

jenna_roach37 3 years ago

Beats Torque, and just about every Android OBD app on the market, hands down!

carry_b444 3 years ago

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 3 years ago

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 3 years ago

Total Car Diagnostics is highly recommended for their genuine, caring and experienced support. Don't get that much nowdays.

mario_j34 3 years ago

I love TOAD!!! It can help you to let you know what you are driving and how to control it better.

ben_d23 3 years ago

Excellent tool and developer response is swift. Works well on my 2002 Subaru WRX.

carla_santos333 3 years ago

Easy to use and now i can check problems anywhere

johndarwin21 3 years ago

For the price of the software, absolutely brilliant. Does more then ultra-professional OBD1, OBD2 scan tools.

jenny_s42 3 years ago

Well worth the $ Real time data, check & clear codes.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article