An Overview of Continental Autodiagnos Pro
Here we’ll take a cursory peek at Continental’s Autodiagnos Pro diagnostic scan tool. The tool is designed to provide fast diagnostics, real-time data updates, fault codes and code descriptions, PIDs with the ability to graph data and functions in multiple ways to support diagnosis, and live streaming data, with the ability to play back data at any time during diagnosis.
When I use the word “tool,” the only hardware involved is the VCI, which plugs into the vehicle DLC and either a tablet, laptop or PC. (You can use your own device or purchase the optional Microsoft tablet.) The system is subscription-based.
The complete package we obtained included:
- A DLC connector (VCI – vehicle communication interface) with a USB cable and authorization code card;
- Microsoft Surface Go tablet, tablet instructions and a charging module and cable;
- USB 3.1 Gen1 cable (right angle USB type-C cable); and
- A protective rear cover with built-in Velcro hand strap (included if you buy the Microsoft tablet).
Upon unpacking, I first charged the tablet battery by plugging in the charger (attached to the tablet with a “Surface Connect” cable). After obtaining a full charge, I turned the tablet on and followed the tablet instructions to connect the tablet to my shop’s Wi-Fi. Note: the Microsoft tablet is optional. The Autodiagnos Pro will also work with a laptop computer.
An activation code, obtained when you purchase the subscription, is required. In my case this was provided. The on-screen form requires a username (email address) and password of your choosing. I will admit I had a few problems logging on, but with the help of Continental’s tech help (via phone), that was straightened out. (I blame myself, as I’m not exactly the slickest computer-savvy person.) In short, if I can use this platform, anybody can. Once you get the hang of using this tool, it becomes exponentially user-friendly.
The optional tablet we received features a built-in kickstand, useful if the protective cover is not installed. Once the tablet is snapped into the rear cover, the kickstand is no longer available. The top of the cover features a storage channel for a pen or pointer (not included). A handy Velcro strap on the rear allows you to secure it to your hand or a mounting location, and the strap base rotates in a positive-click ratcheting motion to hold the tablet steady at any angle.
Once I was able to sign in, navigation was surprisingly easy. With the VCI connected to the vehicle, a wealth of info is readily available.
Note: Mode selection includes Mode 1 – data display, Mode 2 – freeze frame, Mode 1 – system readiness, Modes 3, 4, 7 – diagnostic trouble, Mode 6 – test results, Mode 8 – output control functions, Mode 9 – vehicle information and service triage. (Service triage is a HTML file that will be automatically generated and can be printed directly from the launched browser window, saved local, minimized for later review or e-mailed. The report will save the following information: OBD2 Mode 03, 07, A DTCs including that status and failure type bytes, OBD2 Mode 6 on-board monitoring test results for specific monitored systems and OBD2 Mode 1 sensor value check.)
Just as a doctor performs an initial assessment of patient health, a handy “service drive triage” feature provides a comprehensive picture of vehicle health — not only DTCs, but also critical data such as fuel trim and emissions inspection readiness. Data is available in list, graph and gauge formats.
When the VCI (DLC) is connected, the VCI features LED lights that flash to indicate connection. When the VCI lights blink in blue, this indicates the VCI is connected. You have a choice of connecting via Bluetooth or USB. Once connected, the VCI automatically identifies the VIN, and the system knows how the vehicle is equipped and optioned.
Once you’re fired up and see the initial selection screen, first touch the selection on the left marked “vehicle wide scan.” When you select DTCs, any set codes are displayed. Detail selection shows all modules in the vehicle. Any modules with a problem show a red indicator.
The system provides detailed information on a staggering and incredibly comprehensive array of vehicle modules and systems, depending on how the specific vehicle is equipped. A few examples include the powertrain control module, transmission control module, and drivetrain control module, as well as hands-free module, power liftgate and steering angle sensor These are merely examples. All systems featured in the vehicle will be listed.
By selecting a system/module icon, an increasing level of detail is instantly made available, aiding you in narrowing down any specific problem.
Instead of being bogged down by viewing areas that you may want to skip, the user has total control of what is seen on the display and how it’s seen. Real-time streaming OBD2 scan data is displayed in easy to follow layouts. In addition to providing full, no-holds-barred scanning/diagnostic information, advanced features include ABS bleeding instructions for specific vehicles, crankshaft position relearn, full data display and system test capabilities. The user is able to easily view parameters in gauge or graph formats. A multi-graphing feature allows you to view multiple parameters as superimposed images, making it easy to spot anomalies.
Granted, when I started to use the system, I was admittedly a bit apprehensive and expected a long and painful learning curve (as I mentioned earlier, I’m not exactly a whiz when it comes to electronic devices). To my delight, I found it far easier to use and navigate than I had feared. The more I played with it, the more comfy I became and I started to actually have fun. After all, when a tool of any type works beyond your expectations, and you enjoy working with it, life is good.