The AutoXray EZ-Link Scanner: DIY Diagnostics

On-board diagnostic (OBD) tools are useful, but they can also be expensive. These tools plug directly into your car and tell you where a problem is. Many are so expensive that they are only owned by professional mechanics. However, the AutoXray EZ-Link scanner is more affordable than most; but before you buy it, you have to decide if a lower price means lower quality or not.

Overview

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The AutoXray EZ-Link scanner is commonly purchased as part of the ProPack. This pack comes with the scanner and a series of standardized cables, allowing you to plug it into a variety of cars manufactured after 1996. You also receive an instruction manual and a carrying case.The scanner itself is a small, hand-held device, generally in black. A newer model comes out every few years, but all of them have the same general features. The scanners fit OBD-compliant cars manufactured after 1996.

Review

One of the useful features of the EZ-Link scanners is their ability to plug into your computer. This allows you to download software updates if you have an older scanner version. Since the initial scanner is a mild investment, this feature means that you don’t have to worry about buying a new one for quite some time.The scanner also works with a wide variety of different car models. If you buy the ProPack, you get all of the cables you will ever need. You can buy the cables individually as well, which means you can buy a new cable if a popular car manufacturer decides to change their input method. Since you can use the tool with almost any car, you don’t have to worry about buying a new one when you buy a new vehicle; that’s one less expense to deal with for an already expensive purchase.Finally, the AutoXray scanner is easy to use. It displays descriptions for the OBD codes on its screen, so you don’t have to find a book to look the codes up. If you aren’t a professional mechanic, you probably don’t have all of the codes memorized; having this feature saves you a few steps and ensures that you get straight to fixing the problem.

pros

The AutoXray scanner is simple to use and works well with a wide variety of vehicle platforms. Software updates are regularly available and can be downloaded straight from your computer. If you have an older EZ-Link model that doesn’t have a USB cable, you can purchase an adapter which allows you to hook into a modern computer, effectively ensuring that even older scanners last for years.

cons

Some of the software upgrades cost money. This can be frustrating since it means that you can’t use a tool that you already own. A few older models only work with Windows XP or earlier; since many computers have updated to a more recent operating system, this can render your device obsolete.

AutoXray Ez-Link scanners are affordable and work well with a wide variety of automobiles. Since you can use an older model on a newer vehicle, you save money by purchasing an outdated version and updating the software on it. While it’s still a hefty investment, you only have to pay that money once. If you don’t work on your car yourself, you probably don’t need one; but if you have use for an OBD reader, the AutoXray scanner is a good choice.