Frequently Asked Questions
I am running Windows 8.1/10, will the ScanTool work on this Operating System?
Windows 8.1 has been modified, and many USB devices will not work properly. AutoEnginuity uses a certain chip in its security device that has been affected by this change, and systems that use either an external security dongle, or the VCI connector, will work in Enhanced mode by installing the latest version of the ScanTool software (A current subscription is required to download, and install the latest version if you have any enhancements in your system). "Failed to create a new session" is typically the message you will see when the ScanTool program launches. A fix has been implemented by the AutoEnginuity Engineers. This is in version 12.1 (released on 03/18/2014. Previous versions of the ScanTool will not work in Enhanced Mode under Windows 8.1.
What laptops and/or requirements do you recommend?
We currently use MSI and Toshiba laptops because of previous success and limited issues. They also consistently rank in the "Top 3 Shoot-out" for laptops (as does IBM). We don't recommend older Dells as they have reported USB issues which most USB devices will have problems with (Dell Latitude C6xxx/D6xxx series, Inspiron 1500/1510/1501 series for example, have issues powering the USB port correctly).
As for features, any laptop that can run Windows 7, 8, or Windows 10 will run any of our products, aside from the ones mentioned before.
Will I have to buy updates every year to keep the basic ScanTool current?
No. Our OBDII connector was designed on an electrical interface standard that hasn't changed in years. With the advent of new interfaces like CAN, we understand that changes may be required and the unit is field updatable. The software is updated every quarter for any new features that vehicle manufacturers implement and best of all our generic updates are free.
What is the update policy for the enhanced options?
The first 12 months of enhanced option updates, from the date of purchase, are free; for another 12 months of updates the cost is 50.00 USD (Item #AC-Single) for one enhancement, 150.00 USD (Item #AC10-1) for two to five enhancements, or one region (Domestic, Asian, or European), 300.00 USD for 6 to 10 expansions (Item #AC10-2), or for a ProLine Bundle; and 450.00 USD for a ProLine bundle with any additional coverage (Item #AC10-3), or more than 10 expansions, per 12 month period. On the Windows-based product, you are not required to purchase updates and can continue to operate the existing enhanced version for as long as you'd like. After a 12-month period, the Activation Server will only make activation codes for the previous version unless the account is made current. You are also allowed to skip years and are not required to purchase the skipped years when you do choose to update your enhanced options.
On iOS and Android-based products, a current subscription is required to operate the tool. Due to the way both platforms are supported by their respective makers, it is not possible to install an older version of the application. Please be aware, the applications may update automatically when the device is connected to the Apple App or Android Play Store Servers.
The enhanced options update frequency averages 4 times per 12-month period. Unlike most PC-based software that doesn't provide competitive products to the factory tools, our updates include significant amounts of new enhanced coverage for a diverse set of manufacturers. The engineering effort is considerable to implement this constant and diverse new coverage for service professional-level tools; for that reason, we are required to charge for our enhanced coverage updates. Comparing our update cost to the competing manufacturers' factory tool's update cost will reveal our cost structure to be an amazing bargain.
Please note all enhanced option hardware upgrades are not free. Should a new electrical interface be required for new support, we charge the manufacturing cost of the upgrade and the cost of shipping (Item #AC12).
What is the activation procedure for the enhanced options?
The process is different for the Scantool OBDII, ProLine and ProLine VCI connectors. The ProLine VCI connectors have the activation codes written into the connector’s memory, while the ProLine and Scantool OBDII connectors have the codes written into the computer’s registry. Once you purchase an option, a 32-digit code will be sent to you that will be used to activate your new options. That code can then subsequently be used to install the product on as many computers as you like if you have the ProLine or Scantool OBDII connectors. On ProLine VCI connectors activation for additional computers is not needed. USB-based products activations will arrive with your package, so you can be up and running immediately. Adding support to an existing system is done as a combination of a website purchase and email response with the download information and codes. Additional Coverage can be purchased via phone as well (a hardware upgrade may be required). Please do not call technical support for activation codes, this is only done through email. The process is posted here:
Click here for the email activation process.
Lost, Damaged or Stolen Connector policy
If you lose or have stolen, the ProLine VCI (or ProLine w/ Security Dongle) connector, this will constitute the loss of the entire product including the enhancements that are associated with it. You will not be able to purchase a replacement connector from us (or anywhere else) and transfer to it any enhancements from the original connector. The enhancements are tied to and licensed for the serial number of the connector that was originally shipped with the product. Enhancements can’t be transferred from lost or stolen connectors. Lost Security Dongles cannot be replaced, and a hardware upgrade is required. Damaged connectors can be repaired or replaced and the enhancements from the original connector can then be transferred to the replacement connector if the old connector is returned to us. We must receive Identifiable remains of a ProLine VCI or ProLine connector for this replacement and enhancement transfer to be possible.
All my enhanced options are activated, but I get no coverage?
There are several "pirated" or "cracked" versions of our products out on the Internet. If you connect to a vehicle and you get nothing more than Generic OBDII--you may have a pirated version. Your "pirated" version is worthless as we provide Generic support for free with all our scan tool packages. Please don't call our technical support for help resolving your enhanced options giving no coverage. We can only solve this by selling you a working copy of the software.
I'm not a professional mechanic, even with AutoEnginuity's scan tool, will I have to take my car to an authorized service center for repairs?
That depends on your skill set and your vehicle's problem. The whole point of our product is to help you figure out what service, if any, your vehicle requires. Whether you are a skilled technician or a Do-It-Yourselfer, AutoEnginuity's scan tool offers you unparalleled access to your vehicle's engine computer so that you can examine system test results and live sensor data. What's more, our User Guide is packed with information that will help you understand engine management and how to use our tool to diagnose the problem. If you don't have the tools or mechanical skills to perform the work, then at least you'll be armed with the knowledge of what the problem really is. In those cases where the Check Engine/Service Engine Soon indicator is illuminated for something as trivial as a loose gas cap, you can prevent the costly and time-consuming trip to an authorized service center without ever turning a wrench.
Why not buy a cheap tool to clear the Check Engine/Service Engine Soon indicator or wait for it to go away?
The Check Engine/Service Engine Soon indicator is connected to the engine computer, which constantly senses for faults. Even if you did reset the Check Engine/Service Engine Soon indicator, or wait for the computer to stop sensing the fault, something is wrong. It's unwise to pretend that the fault didn't happen. A potentially serious engine-related issue could strand you on the side of the road and/or cost you a lot more money because you ignored it or waited until it was too late to service the vehicle. You need the peace of mind that your vehicle is in top operating condition. Even if the problem is trivial, it could affect your vehicle's performance and that's costing you money.
Will this reset my Oil or Service Interval light?
Yes and no. First, this is not covered by generic OBDII so the basic unit will not support this. Second, with some vehicles, you don't actually need a tool (i.e., late-model Mercedes and Ford-based models use the instrument cluster and Toyotas use the ignition key position and odometer reset button). However, with our enhanced interface options we can reset the service or oil lights for GM, BMW, Ferrari, Maserati, MINI, Land Rover, Mercedes, and Audi / VW. Sorry, we do not offer this support for Porsche at this time.
Will it reset the ABS or Airbag light?
Yes and no. First, these systems are not covered by generic OBDII so the basic unit will not support this. With our enhanced interface options we do offer this support and in some cases, we can even calibrate the passenger seat weight sensors.
What update rates can I expect?
The biggest variable in this answer is the vehicle. Older cars will do between 4 - 6Hz with generic OBDII. With enhanced protocols, it's usually much faster. Later model vehicles that use CAN will show between 6 - 16Hz with generic OBDII. Obviously, enhanced coverage will usually be faster as the proprietary protocols used by vehicle manufacturers allow for multiplexing and broadcast modes not supported by generic OBDII.
Can I power my laptop from the vehicle I am testing?
We do not recommend trying to do this even though it is possible with a laptop DC/DC adapter or an AC Inverter connected to the PC power supply. The issue at hand is the design of the power adapter you are trying to use and if it truly is an adapter with an isolated ground circuit. If in doubt or the manufacturer can't tell you, do not use it. The following are two examples of why we do not recommend power adapters: Damaged Connector 1, Damaged Connector 2.
How do I know if my vehicle is OBDII/EOBD compliant?
If your passenger vehicle or light truck was manufactured for sale in the U.S., with a model year of 1996 and newer (and rarely some 1994 and 1995 vehicles), you will have the OBDII interface. EOBD vehicles follow the same rules except new gasoline models became compliant in 2000 and existing models became compliant in 2001. EOBD diesel vehicles start with the 2004 model year. You can also check in the engine compartment for an emissions sticker that will verify your vehicle's compliance.
For vehicles 1994 and 1995, CARB has provided this list: CARB_OBDII_Compliance.pdf
What OBDII/EOBD vehicles does the ScanTool or SpeedTracer not work with?
We will connect to the Duramax, Cummins, and Powerstroke diesel vehicles; however, because their gross vehicle weight exceeds the maximum requirements of the OBDII standard, they are not OBDII compliant and a very limited amount of data and sensors will report with generic OBDII. However, with the enhanced Ford, GM, or Chrysler interfaces, the proprietary powertrain and other systems sensors are available. Check the Software Enhancements page for more details..
Will my JDM model work?
Sorry, no, it won't work. Japanese Domestic Market models are manufactured for markets outside of European Union and North American (i.e., Caribbean, Japan, etc.). The JDM models are not compatible with any of our products.
What is CAN?
CAN is short for Controller Area Network. It is the required electrical interface for all vehicles beginning in the model year 2008. Some vendors began using CAN exclusively in the model year 2004 (Ford, Jaguar, and Mazda). While other manufacturers implemented it selectively in their vehicles beginning in the 2004 model year (Mercedes, Porsche, SAAB, and Toyota for example).
I have an old unit, how can I tell if the unit I purchased has CAN installed in my OBDII connector?
All USB OBDII connectors are pre-built with CAN. The RS-232C version will have eight pins for the CAN-enabled version; and six for the non-CAN.
I never see the "OBDII Connector Found" message. What am I doing wrong?
In most cases, this is caused by a serial port not operating correctly or there is no power on the vehicle's DLC. Always check that your serial port is not already being used and set it to the correct baud rate or faster. (We recommend 115.2k; however, 19.2K is the minimum.) Lastly, check pins 16 (V) and 4 or 5 (GND) for ~12V. If you find no voltage, check the vehicle's DLC fuse. For most Fords and GM vehicles, check the Cigarette Lighter fuse. For most Dodge trucks, check the radio fuse.
Which connector do I need for my vehicle? *
Currently, AutoEnginuity is selling only the ST06 ProLine connector. The ST05 OBDII is an older connector, no longer sold. The basic OBDII functionality is the same on both connectors, but in Enhanced Mode, they both perform differently. First, the ST06 ProLine works with all of our enhanced support. The ST05 ODBII connector does not work with all of the enhancements. If you are planning on adding an enhanced interface to your system and would like to know what you should order, or even if you own a system and do not know which connector to use for a specific manufacturer and would like to have a reference chart, please click on this link to find out more.
I have Windows Vista / 7, and I want to know how to make a debug log file?
The Windows' security model has changed since Windows XP, now you will have to enable the ability for software to make a file in the root of the C drive. We prefer to create it there instead of the software directory because it's easier to get to for most of our non-computer-trained customers. If you have a new operating system than Windows XP, click on this link for how to enable debug logging.
After updating the software my reports only show unformatted text.
.xml files are being handled differently between Internet Explorer 9 and earlier versions. Reports that used to display correctly, display as a continuous line of text in Internet Explorer 9. It is unknown if this will change in the future. Please download this document Restore reports view to be able to view/print your reports correctly.
The ProLine VCI+ connector (200xxx series) is available in a wireless version. The Wi-Fi version of the hardware is required for use on the iPad/iPhone and the upcoming Android release. The Wi-Fi version is included with all SP01 Proline and SP02 ProLine w/European bundles and is an option on all other systems. Older hardware: Scantool OBDII, Proline, ProLine VCI (100xxx series) can be upgraded to the new Wi-Fi hardware, please call in to get pricing. The Wi-Fi connector is not Bluetooth and is compliant with the 802.11b/g/n protocols and will be set up as an ad-hoc network connection.
My Laptop only has one USB port.
Pertains to the older systems using the Proline connector using the Security Dongle. This does not apply to current systems using the ProLine VCI connectors. With the Security Dongle, there aren't enough USB ports to plug in both the Scantool connector and the Security Dongle. You can use a USB Hub to increase the number of available ports. We suggest the Plugable® 2 Port USB 2.0 Hub part # UBS2-2PORT. These are commonly available online for less than $10.
End Of Life Notices.
As vehicles continue to evolve, AutoEnginuity strives on supporting the new manufacturer specifications. Due to changes in communications and systems implemented in newer vehicles, the hardware has to change as well to keep up with the pace of the automotive industry. For this reason, some of the connectors have reached their end of life, and we can no longer support their limited capabilities - The RS-232, or serial connector, as well as the AE Enhanced, and SCI connectors, will not operate in newer versions of the software. The ScanTool program has grown over the years, and some of the older versions have also reached their end-of-life stage. Codes for the software can only be generated for two versions older than the current one. Please consider upgrading your hardware, and updating your software, as activation codes will not be able to be provided for older versions of the software. Contact Technical Support to find out more about upgrading/updating options.
AE Enhanced, SCI and RS-232 (Serial) connectors will not operate in versions newer than 9.0 of the software.
Scantool OBDII USB connectors will run up to the current version (16.x), though the enhancements are generally limited to 95 – ‘03 Ford-based vehicles only.
ProLine Connector (without Security Dongle) The ProLine connector without the Security Dongle (no longer available) will not work on versions 10.0 or later.
ProLine Connector (with Security Dongle) The ProLine connector with the Security Dongle (no longer available) will not work on versions 16.0 or later. Version 15.21 is the last stable version for this hardware. Version 12.1 is required for Windows 8.1 and 10.
* Last Updated 05/01/2023