Auto Enginuity Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions - AutoEnginuity

→ I am running Windows 8.1, will the ScanTool work on this Operating System?

Windows 8.1 has been modified, and many USB devices will not work properly. AutoEnginuity uses a certain chip in its security device that has been affected by this change, and systems that use either an external security dongle, or the VCI connector, will work in Enhanced mode by installing the latest version of the ScanTool software (A current subscription is required to download, and install the latest version if you have any enhancements in your system). "Failed to create a new session" is typically the message you will see when the ScanTool program launches. A fix has been implemented by the AutoEnginuity Engineers. This is in version 12.1 (released on 03/18/2014. Previous versions of the ScanTool will not work in Enhanced Mode under Windows 8.1.

→ What laptops and/or requirements do you recommend?

We currently use Toshiba laptops because of previous success and limited issues. They also consistently rank in the "Top 3 Shoot-out" for laptops (as does IBM). We don't recommend older Dells as they have reported USB issues which most USB devices will have issues with (Dell C5xx, C6xx, and D6xx series for example, have issues powering the USB port correctly).
As for features, any laptop that can run Windows 2K, XP, Vista, 7, or Windows 8 will run any of our products.

→ Will I have to buy updates every year to keep the basic ScanTool current?

No. Our OBDII connector was designed on an electrical interface standard that hasn't changed in years. With the advent of new interfaces like CAN, we understand that changes may be required and the unit is field updatable. The software is updated every quarter for any new features that vehicle manufacturers implement and best of all our generic updates are free.

→ What is the update policy for the enhanced options?

The first 12 months of enhanced option updates, from the date of purchase, are free; for another 12 months of updates the cost is 50.00 USD (Item #AC-Single) for one enhancement, 150.00 USD (Item #AC10-1) for two to five enhancements, or one region (Domestic, Asian, or European), 300.00 USD for 6 to 10 expansions (Item #AC10-2), or for a ProLine Bundle; and 450.00 USD for a ProLine bundle with any additional coverage (Item #AC10-3), or more than 10 expansions, per 12 month period. You are not required to purchase updates and can continue to operate the existing enhanced version for as long as you'd like. After a 12 month period the server will only make activation codes for the previous version unless the account is made current. You are also allowed to skip years and are not required to purchase the skipped years when you do choose to update your enhanced options.

The enhanced options update frequency averages 4 times per 12 month period. Unlike most PC-based software that doesn't provide competitive products to the factory tools, our updates include significant amounts of new enhanced coverage for a diverse set of manufacturers. The engineering effort is considerable to implement this constant and diverse new coverage for service professional-level tools; for that reason we are required to charge for our enhanced coverage updates. Comparing our updates cost to the competing manufacturers' factory tool's update cost will reveal our cost structure to be an amazing bargain.

Please note all enhanced option hardware upgrades are not free. Should a new electrical interface be required for new support, we charge the manufacturing cost of the upgrade and the cost of shipping (Item #AC11 and #AC12).

→ What is the activation procedure for the enhanced options?

The process is different for USB and serial versions of the product. USB versions are hardware keyed to the USB connector. Once you purchase an option, a 64-digit code will be sent to you that will be used to activate your new options. That code can then be subsequently installed on as many computers as you like. The serial version gets three activations in a 12 month period. This code is computer-based so any change to the computer setup may require a new activation code. USB-based products activations will arrive with your package so you can be up and running immediately. Adding support to a USB-based product and serial-based products activations are done through email. Please do not call technical support for activation codes, this is only done through email. The process is posted here: Click here for email activation process.

→ Lost, Damaged or Stolen Connector policy

If you lose, or have stolen, the ProLine VCI (or ProLine w/ Security Dongle) connector, this will constitute the loss of the entire product including the enhancements that are associated with it. You will not be able to purchase a replacement connector from us or anywhere else and transfer to it any enhancements from the original connector. The enhancements are tied to and licensed for the serial number of the connector that was originally shipped with the product. Enhancements can’t be transferred from lost or stolen connectors. Damaged connectors can be repaired or replaced and the enhancements from the original connector can then be transferred to the replacement connector as long as the old connector is returned to us. We must receive Identifiable remains of a ProLine VCI or ProLine connector for this replacement and enhancement transfer to be possible.

→ All my enhanced options are activated, but I get no coverage?

There are several "pirated" or "cracked" versions of our products out on the Internet. If you connect to a vehicle and you get nothing more then Generic OBDII--you may have a pirated version. Your "pirated" version is worthless as we provide the Generic support for free with all our scan tool packages. Please don't call our technical support for help resolving your enhanced options giving no coverage. We can only solve this by selling you a working copy of the software.

→ I'm not a professional mechanic, even with AutoEnginuity's scan tool, will I have to take my car to an authorized service center for repairs?

That depends on your skill set and your vehicle's problem. The whole point of our product is to help you figure out what service, if any, your vehicle requires. Whether you are a skilled technician or a Do-It-Yourselfer, AutoEnginuity's scan tool offers you unparalleled access to your vehicle's engine computer so that you can examine system test results and live sensor data. What's more, our User Guide is packed with information that will help you understand engine management and how to use our tool to diagnose the problem. If you don't have the tools or mechanical skills to perform the work, then at least you'll be armed with the knowledge of what the problem really is. In those cases where the Check Engine/Service Engine Soon indicator is illuminated for something as trivial as a loose gas cap, you can prevent the costly and time-consuming trip to an authorized service center without ever turning a wrench.

→ Why not buy a cheap tool to clear the Check Engine/Service Engine Soon indicator or wait for it to go away?

The Check Engine/Service Engine Soon indicator is connected to the engine computer, which constantly senses for faults. Even if you did reset the Check Engine/Service Engine Soon indicator, or wait for the computer to stop sensing the fault, something is wrong. It's unwise to pretend that the fault didn't happen. A potentially serious engine-related issue could strand you on the side of the road and/or cost you a lot more money, because you ignored it or waited until it was too late to service the vehicle. You need the peace of mind that your vehicle is in top operating condition. Even if the problem is trivial, it could affect your vehicle's performance and that's costing you money.

→ Will this reset my Oil or Service Interval light?

Yes and no. First, this is not covered by generic OBDII so the basic unit will not support this. Second, with some vehicles you don't actually need a tool (i.e., late-model Mercedes and Ford-based models use the instrument cluster and Toyotas use the ignition key position and odometer reset button). However, with our enhanced interface options we can reset the service or oil lights for GM, BMW, MINI, Land Rover, early Mercedes, and Audi / VW. Sorry, we do not offer this support for Porshce at this time.

→ Will it reset the ABS or Airbag light?

Yes and no. First, these systems are not covered by generic OBDII so the basic unit will not support this. With our enhanced interface options we do offer this support and in some cases we can even calibrate the passenger seat weight sensors. Finally, in the case of GM, the enhanced GM option can reset the Crank Learn (spanner wrench icon on the cluster).

→ What update rates can I expect?

The biggest variable in this answer is the vehicle. Older cars will do between 4 - 6Hz with generic OBDII. With enhanced protocols it's usually much faster. Later model vehicles that use CAN will show between 6 - 16Hz with generic OBDII. Obviously, enhanced coverage will usually be faster as the proprietary protocols used by vehicle manufacturers allow for multiplexing and broadcast modes not supported by generic OBDII.

→ Can I power my laptop from the vehicle I am testing?

We do not recommend trying to do this even though it is possible with a laptop DC/DC adapter or an AC Inverter connected to the PC power supply . The issue at hand is the design of the power adapter you are trying to use and if it truly is an adapter with an isolated ground circuit. If in doubt or the manufacturer can't tell you, do not use it. The following are two examples of why we do not recommend power adapters: Damaged Connector 1 , Damaged Connector 2.

→ How do I know if my vehicle is OBDII/EOBD compliant?

If your passenger vehicle or light truck was manufactured for sale in the U.S., with the model year of 1996 and newer (and rarely some 1994 and 1995 vehicles), you will have the OBDII interface. EOBD vehicles follow the same rules except new gasoline models became complaint in 2000 and existing models became compliant in 2001. EOBD diesel vehicles start with the 2004 model years. You can also check in the engine compartment for an emissions sticker that will verify your vehicle's compliance.

For vehicle's 1994 and 1995, CARB has provided this list: CARB_OBDII_Compliance.pdf

→ What OBDII/EOBD vehicles does the ScanTool or SpeedTracer not work with?

We will connect to the Duramax, Cummins, and Powerstroke diesel vehicles; however, because their gross vehicle weight exceeds the maximum requirements of the OBDII standard, they are not OBDII compliant and a very limited amount of data and sensors will report with generic OBDII. However, with the enhanced Ford, GM, or Chrysler interfaces, the proprietary powertrain and other systems sensors are available. Check the Software Enhancements page for more details..

→ Will my JDM model work?

Sorry, no, it won't work. Japanese Domestic Market models are manufactured for markets outside of European Union and North American (i.e., Caribbean, Japan, etc.). The JDM models are not compatible with any of our products..

→ What is CAN?

CAN is short for Controller Area Network. It will be the required electrical interface for all vehicles beginning in the model year of 2008. Some vendors began using CAN exclusively in the model year of 2004 (Ford, Jaguar, and Mazda). While other manufacturers implemented it selectively in their vehicles beginning in the 2004 model year (Mercedes, Porsche, SAAB, and Toyota for example).

→ Why do you require USB 2.0 support on Windows 98SE/ME?

Our product supports enhanced interfaces which use USB 2.0 devices. Those devices are discovered using USB 2.0 commands. We first check for their presence and then proceed. Since Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 have this support, it's not necessary.

→ I have an old unit, how can I tell if the unit I purchased has CAN installed in my OBDII connector?

All USB OBDII connectors are pre-built with CAN. The RS-232C version have will eight pins for CAN-enabled version; and six for the non-CAN.

→ I never see the "OBDII Connector Found" message. What am I doing wrong?

In most cases, this is caused by a serial port not operating correctly or there is no power on the vehicle's DLC. Always check that your serial port is not already being used and set to the correct baud rate or faster. (We recommend 115.2k; however, 19.2K is the minimum.) Lastly, check pins 16 (V) and 4 or 5 (GND) for ~12V. If you find no voltage, check the vehicle's DLC fuse. For most Fords and GM vehicles, check the Cigarette Lighter fuse. For most Dodge trucks, check the radio fuse.

→ Which connector do I need for my vehicle? *

Currently, AutoEnginuity is selling only the ST06 ProLine connector. The ST05 OBDII is an older connector, no longer sold. The basic OBDII functionality is the same on both connectors, but in Enhanced Mode, they both perform differently. First, the ST06 ProLine works with all of our enhanced support. The ST05 ODBII connector does not work with all of the enhancements. If you are planning on adding an enhanced interface to your system and would like to know what you should order, or even if you own a system and do not know which connector to use for a specific manufacturer and would like to have a reference chart, please click on this link to find out more.

→ I have Windows Vista / 7, and I want know how to make a debug log file?

The Windows' security model has changed since Window XP, now you will have to enable the ability for software to make a file in the root of the C drive. We prefer to create it there instead of the software directory, because it's easier to get to for most of our non-computer trained customers. If you have a new operating system then Windows XP, click on this link for how to enable debug logging.

→ After updating the software my reports only show unformated text.

.xml files are being handled differently between Internet Explorer 9 and earlier versions. Reports that used to display correctly, display as a continuous line of text in Internet Explorer 9. It is unknown if this will change in the future. Please download this document Restore reports view to be able to view/print your reports correctly.

→ My Laptop only has one USB port.

With the new Security Dongle there aren't enough USB ports to plug in both the Scantool connector and the Security Dongle. You can use a USB Hub to increase the number of available ports. We suggest the Plugable® 2 Port USB 2.0 Hub part # UBS2-2PORT. These are commonly available online for less than $10.

→ End Of Life Notices.

As vehicles continue to evolve, AutoEnginuity strives on supporting the new manufacturer specifications. Due to changes in communications and systems implemented in newer vehicles, the hardware has to change as well to keep up with the pace of the automotive industry. For this reason, some of the connectors have reached their end of life, and we cannot longer support their limited capabilities - The RS-232, or serial connector, as well as the AE Enhanced, and SCI connectors will not operate in newer versions of the software. The ScanTool program has grown over the years, and some of the older versions have also reached their end of life stage. Codes for the software can only be generated for two versions older than the current one. Please consider upgrading your hardware, and updating your software, as activation codes will not be able to be provided for older versions of the software. Contact Technical Support to find out more about upgrading/updating options.

* Last Updated 01/14/2013

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