Is buying a Tech 2 worth it?

Discussion in 'Engine & Drivetrain' started by CountryBoy19, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. CountryBoy19

    CountryBoy19 Full Access Member

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    I do all my maintenance, even transmission rebuilds (albeit I'm no expert there). Having used my brother's snap-on brick to help troubleshoot my 98 Sierra I got accustomed to being able to do more than read gauges and clear codes. But I had to give that back (and he lives over 3 hrs away so it's not easy to borrow) and I don't think it will work on my newer vehicles.

    I'm not a pro mechanic but I know my way around a shop. I don't know a lot about the Tech 2 scanners but it appears they can be had for ~$400 on ebay. I'm just trying to clarify what the benefits are; IE, will the Tech 2 get me what I really think it will?

    I can go for a snap-on brick on ebay for half that price, but the bricks don't do all functions like a Tech 2 right? IE, programming remotes on older cars that don't have user-programmable remotes among many other functions. Right?

    My understanding of the Tech 2 with latest software: The Tech 2 will get me access to every function the GM dealer can do* including 2-way comms (turning on/off transmission solenoids, other solenoids, switches etc) on all GM vehicles from the earliest OBDII all the way up to when they switched to the newer system (2014??). I don't need a computer or subscription to the GM web portal service (can't recall what it's officially called) to use the Tech 2, and I don't have to connect to a PC. Correct? *I realize that some functions will require the subscription like flashing firmware etc. Anything else I should know about getting a Tech 2? I've read a few of the threads on here by guys that bought Tech 2's but I didn't see the functionality and limitations spelled out for idiots like me... The Snap-on red bricks doesn't gain me much because I'm ALL GM and they don't offer every function. Whereas the Tech 2, if it's as I understand, will give me a lot more benefit but I won't be able to do other makes.

    Thanks for any help/assistance understanding the Tech 2.

    I may get my dad/brother to share in the cost, dad is all GM as well except for some of his business vehicles. I think between my brothers and my dad we have over 10 GM vehicles.
     
  2. swathdiver

    swathdiver Full Access Member

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    You got it right. You can control your HVAC actuators, set your TPMS alerts to whatever number you like, test gauges, operate door switches, turn lights on and off, reprogram modules if needs be, run tests on transmission, injectors, coils, etc. You can also record and do graphs and upload them to a PC for better viewing. You'll find trouble codes that you never knew there was a problem for. With TIS2000 software and latest PCMCIA card 33.004, you can program modules up to year 2008 without going online at TIS2WEB. That's just scratching the surface of what it can do too.

    Lots of guys on here have them and lots more should have one!
     
  3. CountryBoy19

    CountryBoy19 Full Access Member

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    Ok, so up to 2008 you get all of the advanced diagnostics etc AND free programming, then 2009-2013/2014 gets advanced diagnostics etc + programming using TIS2WEB (paid)
    Other than make sure it comes with up-to-date software and the cables, adapters, charger etc, are there any other "gotcha's" to watch out for?

    Side question, how deep you alter things in the programming? IE, can you drill down into adjusting things in the transmission without higher level software etc? I'm not familiar with TIS2000 at all, does that allow more than just loading of factory firmware/programming?
     
  4. chevy529

    chevy529 Member

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    Just look for the seller with the highest ratings. Don't order the carrying case as the shipping will be atrocious.
    They seem very eager to satisfy as my TIS2000 disk had a gouge in it and after I brought it to their attention they immediately sent me another.
    They called mine a "tool kit" on the shipping label and undervalued the cost to reduce duty\taxes which was nice.
    Expect to do a lot of reading ... a LOT!
     
  5. swathdiver

    swathdiver Full Access Member

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    As for gotchas, just make sure everything works and go through self-tests. Mine had a bad OBDII adapter and the door for the PCMCIA card slot is backwards or something making the card hard to remove but there is really no reason for me to remove it. Some have modified theirs and posted about it here while others did not have that problem at all.

    You cannot modify your engine's tune or the transmission's. You can test and monitor things and do various diagnostic tests and resets and such. There'a hidden feature called Afterblow that I enabled on my truck. I also used the Tech2 to tell my truck what kind of tires I'm running (Load Range C) and the air pressure I want to run them at so that the warning levels adjust accordingly for LT tires. There's an internal transmission oil life monitor that I reset and if you did major work to your trans it has something that the Tech2 does to reset the learn or adaptive function or procedure, something like that, I forget the nomenclature.

    I like the case and being in the States, did not have Shannon's penalties to pay to get it. :)
     
  6. CountryBoy19

    CountryBoy19 Full Access Member

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    Good info! I think you're talking about the "shift-adapts" that can be reset in the transmission? I read about the door for the PCMCIA card being problematic so I'm already aware that there may be issues there.

    The only vendors selling (on ebay) for reasonable prices right now are already in the states so I doubt there would be much penalty for the carry case. That being said, I hate those large plastic cases. They take up a lot more room than necessary and offer more protection than necessary for a guy that takes care of his tools. I have several Dewalt soft tool-bags that would work great to house all the goods if I got one without a case.

    Thanks again!!! I think I'm going to get one just as soon as I can convince my wife that I need one. It will likely have to be after something goes wrong and I NEED it to diagnose, she will OK the purchase because I can do it myself and save money or pay a shop to do it...

    ETA, found another thread to study up on at another forum. Is there a difference between the "Chinese clones" and the "Chinese Tech 2's coming from the same Vetronix factory as the genuine GM's"?
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
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  7. Galante

    Galante Elite Member Supporting Member

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    Disconnect the battery, pull a few relays, reconnect batt and let it light up... bingo you need a tech2........ lmao
     
  8. swathdiver

    swathdiver Full Access Member

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    They quite literally pay for themselves the first time you really need them. In my home, with three girls and two crazy hounds I need that big case! It also houses all the adapters, self-test pieces and software CDs and such too. To each his own as they say.
     
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  9. chevy529

    chevy529 Member

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    I bought mine from aliexpress.com for ?? $400 CDN plus tax and duty. I believe, and I may be wrong, that any of the Tech2's are Chinese manufactured, mine came with all the "correct" decals of Vetronix, they just weren't applied. Which suggests that all come from the original factory but probably due to contractual obligations cannot be sold as such. At least for the one I bought.

    The PCMCIA card slot door didn't go up enough to easily slide it in but it just needed a little "persuasion" and it popped right in. Still closed after I did it.

    But I too saw a post where a guy had to cut the door to make his go in.

    James. I'm a little jealous you got the case but I just bought a cheap plastic tool box which holds what I need for my vehicle. $18 :p I live in B.C. which for the rest of western Canada means Bring Cash ;)
     
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  10. swathdiver

    swathdiver Full Access Member

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    LOL I'm sure it works just fine and you saved $22 Yankee Dollars!
     
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