Re: Ease or AutoTap diagnostic software ?
EASE have recently split their product into a 'home' and a 'professional'
line. The 'professional' version enables more and more modules in the
software package, depending on how much you are willing to pay. It even
seems to offer multiple protocol capabilities for more than one automaker.
But I don't think that even the full-fledged version comes anywhere near the
full set of capabilities of the OTC or similar costly equipment.
The home 'version' has two levels. For an extra couple hundred bucks they
allow accessing the O2 sensor data (is that 'mode 7'?), recording a data
stream of unlimited duration and running the KOEO, KOER on-demand tests.
Still no cylinder balance or any bi-directional capabilities (probably a
liability issue for them). I have had this version for years and it served
me well. Thought several times of upgrading to at least gain access to some
body and chassis function, like ABS or A/C. First it wasn't even available,
then it was hundreds of dollars extra and still 'read only', finally they
moved all that to the really expensive 'professional' line.
1) You have to go through several 'lawyer' screens, full of warnings each
time you start the software.
2) They have an annoying copy protection method, which requires installing
the software, then calling them (during east coast business hours, of
course) with some number that it generates, obtaining another number from
them and typing it in before anything will work. You will have to do this
again if your computer crashes and the software needs to be re-installed
and, obviously when you change computers.
3) Things might have improved recently, but the user interface that I have
is very clunky, confusing, and does not follow any MS Windows conventions.
Unless you use it frequently, you will be wondering "how do I get this
screen to show up?" each time you try to do something.
4) Last time I looked, the PC interface of their box was still RS-232
(serial port) only. Most newer laptops don't have serial ports anymore, so
you'll need yet another box to go between your car and your computer (and
install the driver to support it). Inexpensive, but annoying.