Find out if your car is ready to pass emissions. Get the details behind the check engine light. Do all of this at home in your garage without visiting a mechanic when you have one of these scan tools. Let’s look at them both to see which one is best for you.
Actron CP9575 AutoScanner
The backlit display is not as pretty as the one on the Innova scanner, but don’t let that fool you. The Actron CP9575 is a powerful tool in a small but rugged package. Actron, which is a division of Bosch, promotes it as a tool for professionals. It comes ready-to-use with a OBD II DLC cable permanently attached. There’s no battery backup, so it’s slim and light compared to many other scanning tools, and it can be operated with just one hand. It runs off power from the car’s battery. There’s only four buttons and not a lot of menus, so it’s straightforward to use.
The CP9575 can read and clear CAN and OBD II codes on vehicles made in 1996 and later, as well as some from 1994 and 1995. It cannot read SRS or ABS codes. It does read VIN, Cal ID, and CVN on cars from 2000 and later so the VIN doesn’t have to be keyed in first.
It shows whether the car is ready to pass an emissions test and does a state OBD check. The CP9575 shows eleven categories of I/M (Inspection and Maintenance) data, like Oxygen System and Misfire Monitor.It reports DTCs (Diagnostic Trouble Codes) and Pending DTCs from the last drive cycle.
The data appears in real-time and can be frozen on-screen. This is nice since there is no memory to record data or play it back. There is no graphing feature, either, or any way to pass data onto a PC. (The PC is only needed if the user wants to upgrade the software on the scanner.) The lack of these options makes the CP9575 seem primitive compared to the Innova 3100.
More features of the Actron CP9575 AutoScanner
- 1-year limited warranty
- Upgradeable firmware but only with a PC running Windows
- Menus, manual, and definitions are available in English, Spanish, and French
- Comes with no other accessories
- CE certified
INNOVA 3100 Diagnostic Scan Tool/Code Reader with ABS and Battery Backup for OBD2 Vehicles
Compared to the Actron CP9575, the Innova 3100 is packed with features. It is not part of Innova’s official pro line but it would be a handy tool for a technician all the same. The 3100 works for reading and clearing OBD II codes on 1996 and newer cars, and ABS (Anti-Lock Brake) codes on domestic and Toyota vehicles. (The Actron can’t read ABS codes.) The 3100 can’t read SRS codes, but neither can the Actron.
The 3100 has built-in memory and battery backup. Innova offers PC Link software that works on Windows or Mac so the user can export data and keep reports. The tool and its user manuals are readable in English, Spanish, and French. The backlit screen is nicely designed to present twenty piecesof information clearly. It refreshes every 30 seconds.The tool shows definitions for the codes so there’s no need to go look them up. There’s even a three-LED system of red, yellow, and green at the top that reports readiness for an emissions test.
Upgrades, updates, and software are available at Innova’s website. The site will also tell the potential buyer if the 3100 will work for their vehicle.
More features of the Innova 3100 Scan Tool
- 1-year limited warranty
- Comes with DLC and USB cables and a quick reference manual
If you’re not a technician and don’t have a lot of experience with car systems and codes, the Innova 3100 would be a better choice simply because it explains the information it presents.You’d also have access to a lot of helpful extras, like the RepairSolutions website, the PC Link software, and definitions for terms and codes. It also has battery backup and memory to save data for later.
If you are a mechanic and need a scan tool, both of these are good value for the money. You may prefer the Innova because it can read ABS codes.
If you want a basic tool to just get the job done, and would prefer something simple, small, and light that you can use with one hand, the Actron CP9575 might be the tool for you.