What can I do with a Tech 2 scan tool

Answer for ” What can I do with a Tech 2 scan tool?”:

GM Tech 2 is a diagnostic tool for the most part. It can be used to program out/in certain RPO’s in the BCM and can be used to bleed the ABS brake system without introducing air into the system. The extent to which it can be used to tune a C5 corvette is that if you have a PCM Image that will work for your car you can save the current PCM Image and flash the new one you have onto the PCM. It cannot go in and individually change the tuning tables in the PCM as can say either EFI Live or HP Tuners tuning tools. But then those tools cannot touch the BCM either.

If you do or plan to do a lot of diagnostic work on your car it can be a worthwhile tool. Most of the diagnostic charts in the factory service manual assume the availability of a Tech 2. But you have to learn to use the tool like any other computerized diagnostic tool. It has layers and layers of menues to wade through. But in certain diagnostic situations it can be an invaluable tool because it allows you to turn on and off hundreds of computerized settings to aid in the diagnosis process.

GM intentionally dumbed down the capabilities of the Tech 2 to change things to avoid law suits due to an errant technician that changed engine or emissions settings that could result in engine damage or emissions violations.

Good to know: There are many factories working for Tech 2 production, including the genuine from the dealership and the clone by Chinese.

If you are just looking for a decent Tech 2 for use, a working china clone can be a good option. But you should make sure of the quality!

GM tech2 test on 1991 Corvette systems

what is in the menu for a 1991 Corvette systems and a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix SE 3.1L for the same. There are the 2 cars I own. Also what software version as I have seen 33.004 and 33.007 for GM english language. I am assuming I only need the dongle for the PC software if I want to reflash the ECU rather than just maintain the 2 cars. One of the things I don’t see mentioned even in the Bosch manual is the relearn crank sensor on the Pontiac or much about the 91 that the software claims to cover but no mention of bi-directional on the 91 Corvette.

OK, I will have to spend some time to write down all of the menu items just for the 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix. I did capture a screen for that car for what the GM Tech2 calls a Crank Position Variation Relearn.
GM-TECH2-SCANNER-1

Relearn for 2002 Pontiac Gran Prix.

The only vehicles listed under 91 is Saturn, however I have 33.004, so not sure if there is a 33.007 and it covers 91 better. If I enter 92 I have the option of doing diagnostics on a Y body with L98, which is certainly not for a 92.

Perhaps for the 91 Corvette you need a different memory card, like this one.

I wonder if with the CD and dongle it is possible to download the older disc? The ABS and usual emissions stuff is the mot important for me right now on the Pontiac and ABS on the 91 Corvette

With the version of TIS2000 I have the versions supported are 27.010 and 27.012. I have no way see what is on those versions without downgrading my memory card, but would have no way to go back to 33.004.

GM-TECH2-SCANNER-2
GM-TECH2-SCANNER-3

The way to use Tech 2 and Tis 2000 for Service ASR

OK, got some more testing done with the Tech 2 and TIS 2000 program:

Tech 2 View:

GM-TECH2-1
GM-TECH2-2

Computer representation of Tech 2 Screen.

You can control Tech 2 with computer keyboard.

Service Programming System:
GM-TECH2-3

If you forget to put security key in PC.

GM-TECH2-4
GM-TECH2-5

With security key connected.

GM-TECH2-6
GM-TECH2-7

Not actually connected to car.

Software Download:

GM-TECH2-8

Selected Tech 2.

GM-TECH2-9

Do not load as version will be downgraded from the English GM 33.004 I am running.

Snapshot Upload Display:

GM-TECH2-10

Select Upload from Handheld.

GM-TECH2-11

Select Tech 2.

GM-TECH2-12

Upload started.

GM-TECH2-13

Data screen from snapshot.

GM-TECH2-14

Selected parameters for 6 line graph.

Tech 2 limited to 3 parameters for graphing.

GM-TECH2-15

Tech 2 graph from www.obd2tool.com.

GM-TECH2-16

Service ASR on during snapshot capture, went out next time car started.

Tech2 Tool Remote Mode ECU TIS2000 Calibration Update

Here is the step-by-step instruction on programming GM (General Motors) ECUs with Tech2 scanner and SPS (Service Programming System) application in TIS2000.

This article is an overview on how to use the GM Tech 2 Scan Tool to perform GM SPS Programming of calibration file updates for the ECU or any programmable module firmware on the vehicle such as the EBCM, TCM, or Radio that you may want to reflash. Of the different reflash programming approaches, this first video covers Remote Mode between the Tech2 and the Techline terminal PC running TIS 2000. This procedure applies equally to the genuine Tech2 manufactured by Vetronix, HP, or Bosch as it does to any clone or knock-off model from China.

Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-1 Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-2 Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-3 Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-4 Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-5 Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-6

Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-7 Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-8 Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-9 Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-10 Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-11

Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-12 Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-13 Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-14

Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-15 Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-16

Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-17 Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-18 Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-19 Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-20 Tech2-Remote-Mode-ECU-TIS2000-21

Warning: Pay very close attention to the instructions around power cabling and battery readiness as a power fluctuation during an SPS programming procedure can permanently damage a controller module.

TIS2000 was deprecated by GM in early 2008, but was once the primary Techline Information System approach delivered to dealers via DVD media on a quarterly basis. Today we would use the subscription based TIS2Web as part of the ACDelco TDS server based offering to accomplish many of the same tasks, although Tech2 Remote Mode is no longer supported or offerred by TDS for newer vehicles.

Note: be sure your USB to serial adapter device driver is configured for 115200 speed on Windows using Device Manager and that you set the COM port it is assigned to within TIS2000 for communication to be successful between the PC and the Tech2.

Applicable to OBD2 model years 1996 thru early 2008 only, and for all makes under General Motors such as Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Hummer, Saturn, Opel, Vauxhall, and Saab.

GM TECH 2 Diagnostic tool – A quick word before buying on obd2tool

The Tech 2 Scan Tool has been around since the 1980’s.  It has been the flagship diagnostic tool and programing device for many many years.  it continues to be a valuable part of the GM dealership stable because its quick, efficient, and works great!  Now that other diagnostic programs that are, for the most part, only economically  viable for GM dealership technicians to use (like Tech2WIN) the cost of Tech 2 has come down a little bit over years past.  It is because the Tech 2 has been around for as long as it has that it is such a copied and cloned unit.  Couple this to the advent of obd2tool, allowing rip-off artists world wide to sell cloned duplicates, the glut of good people who want to work on their own cars and want a dealership level tool, and technicians who want to upgrade beyond a piece of crap generic scan tool for GM family cars, and what you are left with is a global marketplace where 95% of the stuff being sold here is a clone, or simply someone else’s headache!

All Tech 2’s are not considered equal. Tech 2 gives you unprecedented access to EVERY GM module and controller, provides the best and highest volume of vehicle data, and possesses the most bi-directional functionality of any diagnostic tool for GM family cars. There have been, however, a multitude of manufactures of Tech 2 over the almost 30 years it has been in production.  Very early Vetronix units had solder joint problems which caused random communication failures.  In addition to being an inconvenience, if this occurs during a programing event, you will be left with a garbage controller!  Later models are made by Bosch, who bought Vetronix.  They have cheapened the unit up so much that it is marginally better than a Korean clone.  As a matter of fact, most of the electronics are made in Asia or in Eastern Europe where most of the clones come from. This was done as a cost cutting measure.  The result is a slew of premature failures!  The units that reside in the “middle” time were made and marketed by others like Hewlett Packard and OTC.  These were the most reliable and durable units around.

Tech 2 is not only a diagnostic tool, it is also is capable of programing new and used programmable GM controllers, configuring functionality within modules and updating GM family cars with the most current programing.  You can gain access to programing on GM TIS on WEB website.  With very little effort, and cables that accommodate your type of PC, you can update or install programing in any GM family OBD II or CAN compatible vehicle.  Tech 2 can also be used on SAAB, Holden, Isuzu, even some Toyota vehicles with optional programing available through GM and accessible by anyone for weekly, monthly, or yearly subscription.

A new Tech 2 unit retails for well over $4000.00.  Anyone who tries to sell you a new unit for less is selling you a clone that DOES NOT work on every GM car, IS NOT of any quality and has a high failure rate.  Clone Tech 2’s frequently destroy vehicle control modules, and are a complete and total waste of money!  A lot of people buy a Chinese or Korean clone, and have no idea they have a clone!  If they sell it to you, they didn’t know it was a Chinese or Korean clone.  This is a highly cloned tool and even the original manufacturer(s) built some low quality units.  Make sure of what your buying BEFORE YOU SPEND YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY ON IT. Clone scan tools are very easy to spot if you know exactly what your looking for!  On Tech 2, there are tell-tale signs of a tool being a clone.  Clone units DO NOT print on the unit that it is a clone.  Clone units DO NOT say “made in china” or “made in Korea” or “made in Poland” on them,  They say “Made in the United States.”  The idea is that THEY ARE CLONES and thus are lying to make you think your getting an authentic unit, when instead, your getting a huge piece of crap that is, literally, worth pennies!  There are hundreds of these clones out here on obd2tool being sold by people all over the world.  There are private individuals who buy clones, either discover they have a clone and re-sell it as authentic, or have no idea its a clone and think its authentic.  They have no idea because they bought it, think they couldn’t figure out how to use it (when in reality, it didn’t work) and just re-sell it as authentic.  Either way, intentionally or nu-intentionality, you get stuck with it, and you may or may not know it until it burns out or destroys your cars computer costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars and untold hours and days of misery, just to save a few bucks!

To use a Tech 2 scan tool in this day and age, 90% of all software packages GM offers require a minimum 32 MB memory card.  A 10 MB card, although very useful for backup, data logging and flash programing, is useless for diagnostic programing for North American Operations (NAO), Saab, Isuzu, Suzuki and pretty much any of the other available software packages Tech 2 offers.

If you think that, just because your using a Tech 2 for your personal use, you can buy a cheaper import unit, think again!  I see HUNDREDS of these units thrown on the scrap heap every year.  They cannot be repaired and are non-serviceable.  Not all of these units will accept GM programing, thus cannot be updated.  They are of grossly inferior quality and have an extraordinary failure rate, and damage more cars than I can express to you.
A couple ways to spot a clone:

If the Professional Diagnostic Tool Tech 2 your looking at has no production date on the inside cover for the software card on the top of the scan tool, its a clone.  If there is no date, your looking at a clone!
If the “VOID” warranty sticker is opaque in appearance and difficult to read, its a clone.
If the Tech 2 has little white stickers over the case half’s on each side with the word “VETRONIX” and Chinese symbols denoting a date, its a clone.
Most clones are being sold from Asian or European countries.  Why would anyone be selling an item that was built here, shipped over there, and than put up for sale over there, to ship back here?
Finally, there are PLENTY of people here in the United States selling clones!  They buy a few hundred of them, and un-load them on unsuspecting people calling them “slightly used” or surplus.  If they have very little feedback, or the feedback looks like it was written by a a foreigner, your likely looking at a clone.

90% of the units on obd2tool are being sold by people who are intentionally selling you garbage, import clone units. They don’t print that they ARE clones, but they don’t print that they are NOT clones!  As long as their are ignorant people who are led only by the concept of saving a few pennies, there will always be clone items out here looking for an idiot to mate up with.  Of the other 10%, half of them are selling you a clone are have no idea they are selling you a clone because they have no idea what they have or they are un-loading an early or late domestically built model that they are trying to get off of because it has damaged their car or doesn’t work right most of the time.  Of that last 5% half of them are intentionally trying to rip you off!  You do the math!  Of one hundred Tech 2’s posted on obd2tool, both new and used, maybe 3 to 5 are the genuine article and are high in quality.
If your going to buy something for thousands of dollars, buy it from someone who has the answers, knows the product and has priced it properly.  Please use my experience to educate yourself on what your buying before you go shopping for it, and form your own opinions.  Take advantage of this information to get what you want and get it for a good price.

No matter what you decide to do, thank you for looking in and I hope this information helps you get what you want.

Tech 2 programs Hummer H2 above 2007

Tech 2 Scan Tool on Hummer H2 above 2007… Possible to do programming? what to do in that case?

gm-tech2-scan-tool-1
Yes!

Actually it does the programming just fine on newer than 2007 GM vehicles!

You must:

Pay for an ACDelco TDS subscription for vehicles above 2007 and you would use the CANDI module that comes with many of the Tech2’s for working with CAN bus vehicles. You can subscribe for as little as two days for $55.

https://www.acdelcotds.com/acdelco/action/subscribehome

This is ONLY needed if you want to program or update the software in a module.

ALL of the build in diagnostics and testing for vehicles up to 2013 works without the subscription or the older OBD-II scan tool TIS2000 software. You only need those for doing actual programming. The older TIS2000 software – that is what has the programming was discontinued in 2007. TIS2000 does have the actual programming for all vehicles up to 2007. After 2007 GM went to the TDS system.

You can also:

(for diagnostics and programming)

Get a newer style GM MDI or MDI 2 for diagnostics and programming. The catch with those. They have NO screen or built in software and you must pay for a subscription from from ACDelco TDS to use an MDI.

Other brand units, a very select few can do actual programming and use the pass-through method. NONE have the diagnostics that the actual Tech2 or MDI (with the subscription) will have. Check with Autel and see if they have the full diagnostics and re-calibration for the rear air suspension on a Hummer H2. Not going to happen, there is too little demand for them to hack and reverse engineer that particular bit of code in a Tech2 to figure out the diagnostics and then write programming for that for their tool.

(for programming)

For programming, you also need to have TIS2000 running on a computer or pay GM for a 24 month subscription for their TIS2WEB (Vehicle Programming) for $40 https://www.acdelcotds.com/acdelco/action/subscribehome
The computer will need a serial port for downloading the programming to the Tech2 for programming your vehicle.

How to do programming wit Tech 2:

The way programming works is you connect the Tech2 to the vehicle and tell it you want to program a module.

It interrogates all of the modules on the vehicle for the current versions and the VIN number.

You then connect it to the computer running TIS2000, GlobalTIS or TIS2WEB subscription and select programming in the computer.

It reads the Tech2 for the vehicle info and then presents you with a list of software for all of the modules and shows you which have updated software.

Recommend:

You’d better only do one module at a time which is a good bit more back and forth but safer.

The computer then loads the update to the Tech2. You take that back to the vehicle and connect it and it then programs the module.

The best, most reliable and safest method:

To use a long enough serial cable (its uses 9 pin serial adapters with an ethernet cable to make the cable longer – so you can just use a longer network cable) and do pass-through programming. In that method the process is the same but you leave the Tech2 connected to both the computer and the vehicle at the same time. Once you select programming on the Tech2 then go to the computer and you can immediately update each module right from the computer.

There is a slightly more updated version of standalone TIS2000 floating around on the web which has additional updates that has software updates for vehicles through 2009 as well. I know just using that TIS2000 both GMC truck and 2003 H2 both had a bunch of software updates available to be programmed all of which fix small issues or improve certain aspects.

One example in on the older single compressor air ride like 2003. Those would run and make small adjustments a LOT more often than needed and the software update fixed that.

On the H2 the rear air ride is also one to be very careful of for doing software updates though. For example, 2003 came with the earlier style single compressor but if it were to fail a dealership would replace it with the newer style dual pump compressor. Programming would still think its the original style and would attempt to program it and that would actually cause it to fail. TIS2000, (Global, Web, etc) will warn you about this sort of thing though so just heed all warnings and follow instructions and its fine.

The programming aspect is not needed or required to use the Tech2. The Professional Diagnostic Tool Tech2 still gives you a TON of diagnostics and tests that NO other OBD device has including things like the air ride module, detailed BCM functions, basically you can control and test every computer module in the vehicle.

GM Tech2 testing HVAC actuator motors

tech_2_0

I was looking for an example like Testing GM HVAC with GM Tech2. I have an 08 CTS that has the intermittent ticking mode door actuator. After an accidental battery drain, the passenger side stopped blowing cold air although for the past few months I noticed at times it lagged behind the driver side, temp wise. The driver side had always been fine until after the battery drain. It normally starts out fine with vent temps as low as 37 deg but has begun to fade mainly when the car is started up after cabin temps are already high where it hovers around 70 deg. I plugged in the Tech 2 which I’m still fairly new to and checked the blend doors cautiously as I didn’t want to create more trouble by initiating a test that I did not fully understand.

tech_2_scanner_1

There were no stored codes and the mode door and recirculation door appeared to have functioned normally as the values and air sound in the vents changed when they were commanded. The blend door motors however, both stayed fixed at 51 counts which I believe corresponds to the lowest temp setting of 60 deg they were set at. When I increased the console temp it also increased on the Tech 2 display but the counts did not change and the vent temps seemed to maintain the same bias with the passenger side blowing hot. The counts did not change when the temps were raised for each actuator using the Auto Scan Tool Tech 2 either.

I did not perform the “On/Off” button test that you did here because I was not sure what it would do at the time, but intend to give that a try. I have also read that there is a calibration procedure that can be performed that I need to investigate further. I believe my situation is a combination of both calibration and actuator deterioration being brought to the surface by the recent battery drain.

I appreciate the post: Testing GM HVAC with Tech2
, this is good information that is hard to come by in such a straightforward presentation.?

 

I recommend that you buy gm tech2 on OBD2 website. They are cheap, logistics is fast, and after-sales service is also very good. I have been using it for a year and there is no problem with the quality of the product.

GM Tech 2 works with Hummer Yes or No

This is about GM Tech 2 scan tool for Hummer troubleshooting and programming.

Can I have a cheap Tech 2 for Hummer?
Yep. Both the original and HQ clone can work for your car.

Where can I get a working clone at a good price?

https://www.obd2tool.com/goods-1568-GM+Tech2+GM+Scanner+-CANdi++TIS+(Works+for+GMSAABOPELSUZUKIISUZUHolden).html

Why my Hummer is not shown in the GM vehicle list?
That little short list is incorrect and only shows a few of the earlier than 2007 CAN bus vehicles.

Tech 2 clone for both troubleshooting and programming Hummer?
I’ve used my Tech2 on my 08 many times for troubleshooting not programming
But I think it should be able to program Hummer.

Anyone has good success of Hummer H3?
My H3 has had a CEL on – po452. I checked it with the tech 2. Well it pulls 3 codes, po455 (large evap leak), po442 (small evap leak), and po449 (vent solenoid control).

Tech 2 is possible to program for Hummer H2 above the year 2007… what to do in that case?

Actually it does the programming just fine on newer than 2007 GM vehicles BUT you must pay for an ACDelco TDS subscription for vehicles above 2007 and you would use the CANDI module that comes with many of the Tech2’s for working with CAN bus vehicles. You can subscribe for it.
This is ONLY needed if you want to program or update the software in a module. ALL of the build in diagnostics and testing for vehicles up to 2013 works without the subscription or the older TIS2000 software. You only need those for doing actual programming. The older TIS2000 software – that is what has the programming was discontinued in 2007. TIS2000 does have the actual programming for all vehicles up to 2007. After 2007 GM went to the TDS system.
You can also get a newer style MDI or MDI 2 for diagnostics and programming. The catch with those. They have NO screen or built in software and you must pay for a subscription from from ACDelco TDS to use an MDI.
Other brand units, a very select few can do actual programming and use the pass-through method. NONE have the diagnostics that the actual Tech2 scanner or GM MDI Scan Tool (with the subscription) will have. Check with Autel and see if they have the full diagnostics and re-calibration for the rear air suspension on a Hummer H2. Not going to happen, there is too little demand for them to hack and reverse engineer that particular bit of code in a Tech2 to figure out the diagnostics and then write programming for that for their tool.

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GM Tech2 clone Automated Bleed 2006 C6 Feedback

I just checked my Tech II clone against my 2006 C6. In the ABS section there is an “Automated Bleed” option. In the Radio section there is a “VIN Relearn” option. I’ve never actually used either one, but I bet they work.

The clones are literally running the same software as the Tech II, so they have all the same functions. There are a few caveats: the standard clone power supply will cause the unit to reset if you run the starter motor, apparently, though this can be fixed. Also, operating while tethered to a PC involves a bunch of licensing hacks and other nonsense. But you only need to do that if you want to flash the ECU firmware.

The OBD II Scanner Tech II lets you see (and individually reset) all the DTCs from all the modules. It also has a bunch of special functions and bidirectional capabilities.

It’s great as a standalone diagnostics tool but it isn’t intended to modify ECU parameters like tuning software does. This is a tool for fixing the car, not modifying it.

How to use GM MDI interface for programming

GM has had its newest programming/J2534 Pass Thru device on the market for some years now. A lot has been said about it and I am here to tell you that I have finally taken the plunge into GM MDI in, pretty much, all of its aspects. I decided after taking it into the field for a while, it was time to report what I experienced and how I feel about MDI and its companion programs. It is a formidable diagnostic/programming system that has really benefited me more than it has impeded me. With just a few exceptions, this system has my stamp of approval. let me say right out of the gate that my intent is not to do anything but provide you with information that can be found on any of the literature that GM has provided for Auto Scanner Tool MDI, Tech II WIN and GDS II users. What I am offering you is a slightly more comprehensive report of these facts as I understand them, have experienced. Additionally, I am NOT an engineer before I am a vehicle technician and automotive trainer, thus my approach is view of a technician and trainer. Please feel free to email me with any information you think I may have missed or questions or comments you may have. This is how I continue to have guides like this evolve to help others.

First off, let’s talk about what GM MDI itself. The GM MDI which is an acronym for Multiple Diagnostic Interface. It is a very basic, yet very effective J2534 Pass-Thru unit that General Motors adopted several years ago. This was in lieu of the introduction of the Global Diagnostic System (GDS) and GDS II. This diagnostic software package is needed to be able to diagnose GM’s global A platform vehicles like Camaro, Equinox, Regal, Terrain, Cruze, and even the Volt. These vehicles will not communicate with the Tech II of yesteryear, thus they can neither be diagnosed, nor programmed with a GM Tech II. MDI provides the user with several well marked status lights for connectivity, and functionality. The MDI is also capable of operating wireless and as a network device as it comes from the factory with a removable wireless card. The MDI package also includes a network cable, DLC cable that looks similar to the Tech II DLC but is NOT the same. It comes with a very nice, long USB wire and a nifty connector protector device that prevents wear and damage to the end of the USB wire that connects to MDI. Included in the package is also an AC adapter with plug converters that allow for use worldwide as well as a quick-start CD with instructions and a “birth certificate.” The unit comes to you brand new in a “brain dead” state. This means that you need to start from scratch and download 100% of the software and drivers you need to operate the unit and its attributes. This means that you will need access to TIS to WEB to get this software, or a good reliable source outside of AC Delco. You can go out on places like GarageForum and down load software, but keep in mind that there are BAD people on the internet who sneak malicious software into downloads to steal your information off of your computer.

The MDI allows the user to operate his/her diagnostic programming on PC and use the MDI as its pass thru device and with the GDS II software, do pretty much anything on a Global A platform vehicle. One can, furthermore, program any controller on a Global A GM vehicle with the MDI, with the support of TIS to WEB. You can also program OBD II and all other CAN equipped GM vehicles through any mode you wish. Although there is currently no software flash programming on disc for Global A vehicles, all the flashes must be accessed on the World wide Web, just like all of Chrysler’s flashes, and in just a couple months, Ford will be doing this as well. As you will read, MDI will allow its user to interface with the antiquated, but very useful, TIS2000 program for GM pre-08 applications.

GDS 2 – At first blush, needs more work!

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The software that allows MDI to interface your PC to Global A cars is called GDS II. This program needs A LOT of work! It is not a very user friendly program that does not appear to have the technician in mind. It was clearly designed by engineers who seem to think cars are worked on by other engineers, not technicians. I have always found that the major disconnect between GM’s team that wrote this software and the end user will inevitably be the biggest criticism of this software diagnosing system. The program does not flow well and has a lot of disjointed functionality. Things are often difficult to find within the system and not always in the same places for all applications. Like a bad relationship with a spouse, you eventually settle into the program with experience, but I have not yet reached that point. I will provide more information and examples as I spend more time with GDS II.

Where does this leave Tech II? Lets talk about Tech II WIN

9-2

MDI pretty much leaves the Tech II user in the same boat as the TIS2000 user. Although its still useful, it’s time has passed. For some years, it was necessary to have a Tech II in your stable for the older GM’s with simple CAN and OBD II but this too has clearly passed! Tech II is still useful for GM OBD I cars. For OBD II and newer cars, with the introduction of Tech II WIN, the MDI and your PC can be used to emulate a Tech II WITH CANDi right on your PC at about 100x faster than the old Tech II stand alone. Thus far, I have been able to do just about everything with the Tech II WIN program that I could do with my actual Tech II, but I have to honestly say, I have not yet done every single function on every model. Now you can do pretty much anything with your MDI you could do with your Tech II WIN program on GM NAO and a few other software packages. Tech2WIN will NOT, however, work with ALL the same applications as GM Tech2. Saab, for instance, will NOT work with Tech2Win. With that said….here comes the BAD news.

Tech2WIN is a great service to have, but consider that you dont own it! You just lease it from AC Delco. Once you get Tech2WIN downloaded, unpack the program and install it, there is a lot of stuff you have to do to make it useable. You need to obtain a security license off of TIS on WEB, than download the software package you want to use. It’s a huge hassle at first because the instructions are very poorly written and leave out a few key procedures on how to do this efficiently. You have to, furthermore, update the software every 30 days to keep it functional. Tech2WIN will work stand alone (with no connection to the internet) for only 30 days at a time. After that, you have to go through the update procedure again and download current software. Unlike how you do it with Tech 2 and your 32 Mb memory card, once you download, oh lets say, GM NAO software for Tech2WIN, you will see a counter in the lower right hand side of the screen on the program when you open it. It will begin at 30 and once it runs to 0, you need to get on line and download your software again as it will no longer work. If you are reading this and are thinking “OK so whats the big deal”? The big deal is that the software access package from AC DELCO on TIS to WEB that you need to get this updated software will cost you a minimum of $1400 bucks! You cant subscribe weekly or monthly, or even yearly unless you choose one of their more inclusive packages and get this service. With your old Tech2, you could download a version of Tech2 software and once a new version came out, you just got an annoying screen reminding you that there MIGHT be an update to your software. You can still use 100% of the software despite there being a slightly newer version. You can’t do this with Tech2WIN. Although the program itself is a great product, the cost of keeping it working makes it VERY hard for me to say that it will cause technicians who use Tech2 to flood onto Ebay or Craig’s list to sell off their Tech2’s. The unfortunate thing that will likely occur in time is that GM will begin to only offer updates that will work with Tech2WIN. This may occur simply because the 32 Mb card will soon not be able to hold all the information required to update Tech2. Once this happens, GM is not likely going to spend the money required to put out an updated card for an antiquated scan tool. This is all speculation, however, look to see a lot of good deals on Tech2’s on Ebay once this happens. One little tip I have gotten from my dealership buddies turned out to make a lot of sense. When I bought a used Tech2 on Craig’s list a few years ago, it had a software package from back to 2006 on the 10 Mb Card. I took it and threw it into my box of 10 Mb cards and OBD I cords and forgot about it. When I went to do some work on an 88 suburban, I couldn’t find some of the functions on my Tech2 that had current updating on it. I asked my buddy at the dealership who is pretty tech savvy and he told me that as GM puts out newer software for the latest models that are not Global A platform vehicles, they start pruning off software from the earlier models in the GM NAO software package. If you have access to an older version of NAO or know someone who has an old memory card with outdated software from pre-07, get a cheap 10Mb card, and use the utility on Tech2 and get yourself a copy to keep just in case you have to work on one of those old crusty GM’s. Its because of stuff like this that the 10Mb card is still a useful item as is the good old Tech 2 scan tool.

I can, however, say with some confidence…………………

Tech II is on life support!

9-3

When GM went to the world wide web back in 08 and away from TIS2000, the Tech II’s days became numbered. They have been very nice about making it possible to use Tech II well into the current day, but with the growing number of Global A cars on the road, Tech II is about to find itself on the shelf along with TECH I. The good news for us veterans that In addition to Tech II WIN allowing us to have the comfort of Tech II on our PC, for those of us who still use TIS2000 software, it is about as easy as pie to configure TIS2000 to work as a pass thru unit with TIS2000 directly. What this means is that you can simply put MDI on your menu of units that you are programming with using TIS2000 and program all of the old school GM’s all the way back to OBD II with MDI and TIS2000. Sure, you wont be able to get the most current programing that you can get on line, but when you don’t have access to the internet, and doing an older pre-08 GM family car, you wont be left in a lurch if you have TIS2000 loaded on your PC. Lots of people say “why in the hell would anyone want to use flashes that are over 4 years old on TIS2000? My response is almost always “because not everyone has access to the internet in the front seat of a car on a car lot,” or “some people simply cant afford to buy access to TIS on WEB for the few times they need to replace a late model GM controller.” There are lots of reasons why people need to have flash programing resident to their PC, as opposed to having to go out on line to get it. Than there is the economic reality of the situation folks. Up here in the lawless badlands of Detroit where at least 90% of the cars finding themselves in repair shops are non Global A vehicles, and pre 08 GM’s, TIS2000 is still an extremely useful entity.

The fact that you are reading this means that you are likely looking to invest in such a unit, or already have one and need more background. Keep in mind that for every piece of new technology that comes down the pike, there is gong to be some clown trying to copy it and for less money and sell it to you. This would be just great if they were more up-front about it, but instead, they act like they are selling you an authentic unit, or a BETTER than authentic unit for far less money than an authentic unit. Sure, I have read about lots of folks on GarageForum who use clone FORD VCM units and seem to have great luck with them. For every one of those stories, I hear and see hundreds of others who got a piece of complete garbage from some Ebay rip off artist who sold them on the idea that somehow anything that comes out of China or Korea is something other than crap! Keep in mind that all of those folks who spent money on VCM units out of Asia thinking that they would cheat the system and be able to operate with impunity and for free are now coughing up even more now than they would have before (at least until someone figures out how to rip off the IDS software and un-lock it without paying). It is people like this who cost everyone more money in the long run because Motorcraft, like AC Delco and Witech, will spend millions to protect their software from piracy, and the rest of us will pay for it in higher prices for it. I am the last person in the world that will preach about software piracy as I encourage others to share software, however, with hardware, we are in a completely different boat. Clone hardware is RARELY well worth the investment and 95% of the time, ends up a total loss. Good luck finding the 5% that actually works well and has longevity. The only people who think Chinese or Eastern European Clone tools work well are the people who were stupid enough to buy them and almost always regret it as the solder melts away with nominal use or future program upgrades wont work on them and renders their clone crap useless! I have a clone VCM on my bench right now that actually has mold growing on one of the circuit boards from the acid core solder they used to build it in China. It ate through the laminate on the board and caused a major malfunction after only 6 weeks of use.

Software Sharing, a cheap way out, BUT………………………..

Regarding the download of information from the World Wide Web instead of the reliable source like AC Delco, keep a few things in mind. You can jump onto some of the sites dedicated to diagnostic tools and download software from, what you think are, trusted sources. The fact is that many people end up downloading malicious software that gives others on the web access to your computer. They steal your financial information, software, passwords and personal information right out from under your nose. Consider the piece of diagnostic software that a friend of mine downloaded (Witech) on a forum a couple weeks ago. The software came from a trusted poster, but what he didn’t know was that the poster got it from a questionable source, posted it on the forum, hundreds of people downloaded it, and within a couple weeks, it was on thousands of computers world wide. A quick virus scan found a TON of spywhere on that download that was NOT there from WiTech. It included data mining software, and malware placed within it by dozens of sources. Long story short, there are BAD people doing BAD things on line! Even good people end up spreading some very damaging viruses and software to good people. You need to practice thorough vetting of all software and software sources before introducing these into your PC.

Regrets! I have a few

So, do you really think that there was not going to be any downside to GM MDI and these software packages? Well…..THINK AGAIN! Here we go with the downside for MDI:

As we stated earlier in this article, the biggest detractor to the MDI package, in my opinion, is GDS software! It is not very user frinedly as GM really needed to get some technicians in on the structure of this program before dumping it on us. I know a lot of GM dealership folks who still struggle with thie program.

To fully appreciate the benefits of GM MDI,you MUST have access to TIS to WEB. That means big bucks for this level of access! A year of middle of the road access will cost you about $1600 bucks if you work with GMs regularly. If you’re a daily flyer, better be prepared to spend a little over fifty bucks a week for weekly access.

As stated earlier, to be able to use the Tech II Emulator (Tech II WIN), you must be able to download software updates onto your PC just like you used to do with your Tech II 32 MB memory card. You will need to update your Tech II WIN program using TIS to WEB, and not only will you need to update it, but you will need to update it every month! Once that month times out, you will need to, once again, download the Tech II software you were using to keep Tech II WIN operational. A weekly or monthly TIS on WEB subscription does NOT give you access to Software Download (SWDL) privileges. This will cost you a minimum of $1600 bucks or a buddy who will give you access to TIS on WEB.

In conclusion, I am very happy with my MDI interface, as I have access to TIS on WEB as well as TIS2000 and have become comfortable with the use of Professional Diagnostic Tool Tech II WIN. I program cars for a living, so the cost benefit is in my favor. If you’re a novice, you may want to think twice about trashing or selling your Tech II. The GREAT news for the novice GM person is that I think Tech II will soon be flooding the market at very reasonable rates, now that it is very quickly becoming antiquated. The bad news to us technicians is that MDI clones are already all over the place on EBay so watch your step! Like so many other clone diagnostic tools, the crap coming out of Korea and some out of China are just that…CRAP!

Good Luck and again, if you find that any of my information is not 100% accurate, or have something to add, or just have a question or two, please feel free to Email me. I don’t get paid for posting these guides folks, I do it so I can teach others and also to learn from those who may know more about this than I do. Please consider sharing your knowledge with others as well. Remember that in the end, it’s them vs. us in this business. Companies like GM who take our hard earned tax dollars, rip off their pensioners and cheat their suppliers who they owed money to by declaring bankruptcy un-necessarily, wont bat an eye when it comes to squeezing us independent repair technicians out of the picture. Consider that here on the internet, we have the ability to join forces and support each other in the effort to thwart greedy companies like General Motors. We can only do it if we band together, spread the word and share our resources. Knowledge is the most valuable resource we have so share it with others. You never know what you may get in return!