Phil’s Auto Clinic State-of-the-Art Equipment and Tooling
The tools pictured here give Phil’s the edge when it comes to accurate and complete diagnosis of sophisticated electronic problems. While many aftermarket shops purchase scan tools that work on a variety of makes, these scan tools are often of limited functionality when it comes to diagnostics of systems other than engine controls. Air Bags, Climate Control, Anti-Lock brakes, and even lighting systems are just a few of the areas where an aftermarket scan tool is just not sufficient to get the job done. On the service of hybrid vehicles in particular, the factory scan tool is just about a requirement.
Like many of the factory scan tools, the Ford IDS is laptop based. VCM stands for Vehicle Communications Module. This tool works on 1996 and newer Fords including the Escape Hybrid and all of the PowerStroke diesels including the brand new 2008 6.4 diesel. It is also the factory tool for Mazda as Mazda and Ford have a close relationship. The tool is updated EVERY DAY via the internet per a $500 a year subscription we have with Ford Motor Company.
This was the Ford factory tool up to 2005. We use it on older Ford vehicle back to 1984.
This is the Factory Chrysler tool up through 2006. It is particularly versatile because it will do Chrysler diagnostics all the way back to 1984. It is also functional on some Mitsubishi models with the Chrysler label. We have now aquired the Chrysler tool specific to models later than 2006 as this tool is no longer able to be updated to the newest communications protocols.
This is our newest scan tool, the Chrysler Star Mobile. It operates on all Chrysler vehicles not covered by the older DRB3 pictured above. It is based on a laptop computer and connects with a network cable. It is capable of doing the latest functions and allows us to diagnose systems that we could not touch before due to the complexity of on-board computer networking.
The Tech 2 scan tool is the Factory scan tool for GM products including the Saturn Vue Hybrid models, plus the new Aura and Yukon Hybrids. It is also functional on the Duramax diesel trucks. We have had this tool since 2001 and have kept it updated regularly at a cost of $1,200 a year. It works on all GM products back to 1992.
The Vetronix (Bosch) MasterTech scan tool is the factory tool for Toyota up to the 2007 year model. It was also the factory tool for Honda up to 2003 and Kia up to 2000 and we have the software for use on these vehicles. Additionally it is functional on Nissan products from 2000-2007 but we are still working on aquiring the factory scan tool for Nissan. The different color cards pictured to the left of the tool are the software cards that change the tool to work on different applications.
The Honda Diagnostic System is a necessity for working on 2004 and up Honda Hybrid vehicles and is a big help in working on all Hondas back to 1992. Using this tool we can reprogram the onboard Honda computer to the latest software updates as well as do diagnostics on every single computer module found on the Honda vehicle. Our Honda Hybrid vehicle has at least 12 different processors to control the many functions on this sophisticated vehicle. Without the proper tooling, diagnosing faults in these various systems is a lot like wandering in the dark.
This is the Nissan Consult 3 scan tool. Like several of the scan tools above, it is based on a laptop and connects to the car by a wireless bluetooth interface device. It allows us to service, diagnose, and reprogram every module on most Nissan vehicles after the 2000 year model, and a few of them before 2000.
Yet another laptop based scan tool, this tool was designed for Hyundai, but with some special modifications it will also work perfectly on the Kia vehicles also (Kia and Hyundai vehicles are not sold by the same dealerships, but are as close as Mercury is to Ford.)
This tool is not a factory tool, but is one of those rare occasions where an aftermarket tool actually works better than the factory tool. It is called the VAG-COM and works on Volkswagon/Audi vehicles. I’m told that dealership technicians prefer it to the factory VW scan tool.
The E-scan, pictured in the laptop on the left, is not a factory scan tool but rather a generic scan tool that is laptop based. Though it is limited to diagnostics on the engine control computer, it has many cool features that make it a highly useful tool for emissions diagnostics.
The Launch X431 is not a factory scan tool but has some amazing abilities for an aftermarket tool. We use it mostly on VW products, but also have found it useful on a number of less popular import vehicles like the Korean Hyundia and Kia models and the Japanese off-brands like Suzuki. It often surprises us with its capability to access and provide information on air bag and ABS modules.