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Vehicle Explorer Car Code Diagnostic Kit Review

This Enhanced Scan Tool automotive diagnostics kit created by Alex Peper is comprised of 2 parts; Car Code (software) component and Vehicle Explorer (tool) component. The diagnostic kit is available as a COM (DB9 serial) port kit or with an optional USB adapter. The Vehicle Explorer had to be manufactured as a COM (serial) port tool according to Alex, to accommodate the ability to retrieve all enhanced data from certain auto manufacturers’ vehicles such as the European and Asian manufacturers from 1996 to 2004.

This diagnostic kit currently works on operating systems as old as Windows v3.1 to current. It is easy to install both the software and the tool.  The screen size is limited because of the programming language; however, it is very functional and easy to understand. The included software help file addresses most concerns that professionals will want to understand better. The logging function is great for playback to capture intermittent problems.

After the installation, go into your com ports under device manager to identify what com port is associated with your tool. Then open up the software interface, choose options, then gateway, then interface and set the com port numbers. This is the only time you should have to do this, but it makes it quicker for the diagnostic kit to interface with the vehicle on subsequent testing.

car code com port setup

The diagnostic kit can perform all the normal tasks associated with scan tools and software. It can access all modes 1 to 9 for enhanced data and present that to the user, including diagnostic monitors and graphing up to 3 sensors (PIDs) either along the normal X axis or the Y axis. Vertical scrolling of the PIDs is required to view all the sensors because of the limiting interface size and since this is accessing the enhanced data from the vehicle.

car code data screen

car code diagnostic monitors screen

Presently it can request trouble codes if available on networks for the crash data recorder (CDR), airbag (SRS), antilock brakes (ABS), HVAC, and other non-emission systems. This capability includes vehicles such as GM 1998 to 2004 models with the Class-2 VPW network. The 1996 to 2003 Ford PWM protocol and the 2000-2004 Dodge Chrysler using the VPW network are also covered.

car code diagnostic trouble codes screen

A rather unique function of scan tool is the ability to view network messages between computers on VPW and PWM network vehicles. This function can help when the professional has a network that is so busy with communications messages that most resources are consumed causing driveability problems that do not really exist simply because the network can’t communicate properly. It has the ability to graph sensors (PIDs) like other professional quality automotive diagnostic software or kits.

There have not been any new developments in the kit or software in past, and there was supposed to be an update in September 2013, this date passed without any updates. We understand there are some rather significant changes in the works that will make this an even more important diagnostic kit for the professional when it is finalized. There is speculation of a cross platform kit that would present professionals and enthusiasts that use operating systems other than Microsoft the ability to have a quality product at a very reasonable cost.

Even with the limitations described above, this diagnostic kit is the enhanced data scan tool diagnostic kit that every professional and enthusiast should have available to use when they have one of those cars with problems that demand bi-directional controls.

A simple discussion of this software without understanding the background of the developer is really a disservice to both the developer and the customer. Reading of Mr. Peper’s bio on his site  is extremely impressive as to the sheer number of projects and industry standards that have been brought forth by this person.

He has poured considerable knowledge and expertise into bringing forth an enhanced data automotive diagnostic kit at an incredibly low price. He has excelled at giving the professional a quality product that has functions available only in products like the Bosch that cost over $10,000.00 and has done this at a suggested retail price of only $250.

Mr. Peper has given the industry the ability to have an enhanced data diagnostics kit for about 10% of the cost of comparable kits like the Auto Enginuity. This kit is highly recommended to professionals and enthusiasts.

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Comparing our 2X80S with competitors

Controls Data Corruption
Improved Data Speed
Enhanced Software Included
Phone Tablet PDA Capable
Multiple PC Applications
Multiple Phone Tablet PDA Applications
2 Wheel Vehicle Applications
Component Specs
OBD Training
Legacy OS Support
  Yes or Included           No or not included              Some or limited
All above information is based on published information as of 01/2015 or products purchsed to confirm

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