I just finished up doing a transmission swap on my Lexus and got interested in the various OBD programmers that exist in the process.
I will be covering & researching primarily devices that cover cars I own or may work on, so this will not be comprehensive, nor is it meant to be. This post will be updated over time with new information.
Devices I have:
* Mini VCI: These are knockoffs of an Xhorse tool. Unfortunately, the original company no longer exists, as it was driven to bankruptcy by Chinese clones.
Tech: FT232RL or FT232RQ – same chip, different packaging. Very likely to be a clone chip.
There are several versions of the cable floating around, but there are two major distinctions:
V1.4: Most common. Does not support active tests. Can’t program TPMS on newer cars. Cannot be updated. Cost: $20-50
V2.0: Supports active tests. Difficult to find. Many devices that claim to be V2.0 are actually just scams. Cost: $50-$100
Personal experience: Works OK. Sometimes drops connection for no reason. Getting the drivers to work on x64 or windows 10+ can be difficult, but there are plenty of VM images floating around that already have everything set up to go. Good enough for reading/clearing codes and diagnostics. Don’t have to deal with credits or unlocks or any of that.
* VXDIAG VCX NANO Toyota Techstream: Works with both WIFI and USB so you aren’t tethered to the car while working.
Supports: Different flavors for different brands, version I have is Toyota/techstream only.
Cost: $100 for the wifi version
Personal experience: Allscanner requires you to connect to the internet every 60 days to update your license, and always takes 3-4 tries to update before it will settle down. Once you get past that though it’s smooth sailing. Wifi works well, signal is so strong I can pick it up two rooms away. USB works well too. Works with techstream perfectly. Live data, active tests, etc all work. Much faster and more reliable than my VCI cable.
Devices I am researching but have not tried:
* Mongoose: Officially supported cable for Toyota, but is $495. Clone cables do exist but I haven’t looked into them. They may actually be a better solution than mini VCI cables.
* Tactrix Openport 2.0: $169. Clones exist for $20ish but will get fried if they get a firmware update. Requires replacement of some resistors on the board if you get the clone, but supposedly can be updated to the latest firmware then. Reports on compatibility are varied as they seem to be used primarily in the Subaru world, but most techstream functions should work.