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.
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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.