Tech 1a vs Tech 2 scan tool
Topic: Tech 1a or Tech 2
The Tech 1 and Tech 1a were made by Vetronix. Tech 1a was a updated version. I would not mess with a Tech 1.
Many cartridges were available. ABS and airbag stuff.
The best Tech 1a cartridge was the dealership ‘mass storage’ one. It could be updated with software. The MSC covered all GM systems. Powertrain, abs, airbag etc..
About 1994. The VIM OBDII interface cable was released.
GM support for the Tech 1a went away about 1996. Vetronix went on making software cartridges until a few years ago.
Currently, the Tech 1a is a obsolete scanner. It can have some use if you obtain a ‘Global OBDII cartridge’.
In 1996, GM introduced the Tech 2. Produced by Hewlett Packard. Interesting, it used Vetronix written software.
The original Tech 2 came with a 10mb picma card. Latter units came with a 32mb card. You want the 32mb card.
At some point, Vetronix bought out the Hewlett Packard production line. Genuine Tech 2 now made by Vetronix and lots of clones by China. A HQ Tech2 China knockoff should be a good option if you have not many budget on it.
With the Tech 2. Gone were the cartridges. The pcima card could be updated electronically.
You can update a Tech 2 by removing the pcima card, install it into an a different updated Tech 2, and tranfer the update to the pcima card.
About 2002. The Tech 2 Candi module was released. Allowed Tech 2 CAN bus access to cars like the 2003 Saturn Ion and Cadillac CTS using CAN.
More..just over a year ago. Bosch bought out Vetronix. The current Tech 2 is a Bosch product. Future Tech 2’s may be green corprate color.
That is, a Tech 1a can go back to 1981 GM cars. A Tech 2 can go back to 1990. A card is available for the Tech 2 to go back to 1981.
What can a Tech 2 do? Codes for all systems. It is also a bidiectional tool. Examples: It can turn on/off fuel injectors for testing, enable EGR valves, enable trans solenoids, etc. In other words, alot.
You can also set vehicle sytem configurations. In my case, I can enter the cluster display and change it. Mine currently shows ‘2001 Cadillac DTS’ on start up. I can also turn on/off the right mirror tilt on back up.
Very, very nice tool to have if you work on GM vehicles.
Forget about 10mb pcima cards. Go with 32mb.
Easy software updates.
Go ahead and get the CANDI module.
Figure around $3000 with CANDI module.
That being said. The Tech 2 is a diagnostic tool. What scares us is the air bag black box forensic tool. The Vetronix / Bosch CDR. The Tech 2 cannot access the crash data. It can be seen here: