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Old 09-30-2017, 05:37 AM
EaOutlaw1969 EaOutlaw1969 is offline
Ford Ranger Driver
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 901
Default My Review of TopDon ArtiLink 201

Full disclosure I was contacted like many members here and on other forums and invited to review a newly developed handheld scan tool from TopDon.

I was not paid for this review I was only provided with a free sample from TopDon in exchange for a honest review.

Since I have been in the Automotive industry since 1985 working as a Automotive technician I have seen many diagnostic tools come and go.

Along the way the technology poured into these diagnostic tools has made this simple inexpensive code reader and code clearer into valuable diagnostic tool.

Keep in mind at a suggested retail price from the manufacture of $59.99 this is a entry level tool.

This diagnostic tool can be purchased from Amazon for much less at $34.99 (prices on Amazon change frequently expect the price to increase on this tool )

The TopDon Artilink 201 came to me in a padded envelope in a inexpensive blister pack with a cardboard backing. ( nothing fancy about the packaging )

Included is a USB cable to facilitate firmware-software updates.

I wish this tool came with some sort of protective pouch to store it in as many of my diagnostic tools have. ( this tool is nice enough to want to protect it from the dangers lurking in your tool box )

Out of the packaging this tool requires to be updated before the first use, which was pretty easy once TopDon updated their US website.

I just downloaded the zipped files to my PC in my download folder.

The Scan tool showed up in my PC as a USB drive with two files in it.

These two files get overwritten by the new downloaded files.

Once the new data was installed and connected to our 2016 Mini Cooper the scan tool performed the software update automatically.

This scan tool can be used with the vehicle running or with the key on engine off, depending on the troubleshooting you are doing at the time.

The appearance of the scan tool is much more compact than the hand held scanners I have used in the past yet feels substantial, sturdy and even feels well built.

With the scan tool connected and the key on engine off on our Mini, there is a 4 window color menu where you choose what you want to do with the scan tool.

Navigating the menu is a little awkward since the button layout does not match the screen which causes the cursor to move differently then expected.

Once your used to the layout the tool responds quickly to my input with 0 lag.

I wish the few buttons on the scan tool were back lit but for the price who can complain.

The TopDon Artilink 201 does what it promises on their website in regards to functionality, yet some test may not be available depending on the vehicle your working on.

An example of this is the built in test menu that will test systems like the Evap system would not function on our 2016 Mini.

Yet all the other features work flawlessly.

As mentioned earlier I have my own scan tool purchased just about 2 years ago for around the same price, yet my old scan tool is absolute junk compared to the TopDon ArtiLink 201.

My old scan tool was very slow to respond to my inputs and would not do much more than pull and erase trouble codes, the little live data I could get from it was laughable and not of any use for diagnostics.

Using the TopDon ArtiLink 201 on a modern car like our 2016 Mini I can see how this tool could eliminate some diagnostic test procedures when it comes to a no start condition since it shows fuel pressure at the rail.

Features found in this Scan tool are light years ahead of a scan tool I just purchased two years ago, with this in mind it pays to check for firmware updates for your scan tool or consider an upgrade to a more modern diagnostic tool.

As mentioned this is a entry level diagnostic tool that does have limitations, here is a list of included functions.

Prime Functions
Read DTCs
Clear DTCs
Read MIL
View freeze frame data
I/M readiness monitor status
Display live data stream
O2 sensor data
On-board monitoring test
Read pending codes
Read permanent codes
Read vehicle information
Multilinguil user interface
Internet up gradable

Yet even with the list of prime functions being fairly impressive for a inexpensive scan tool, the list is not a complete list of functions as it has graphing capabilities and other functions found in pro level diagnostic tools.

This being said if I was in the market for a new handheld diagnostic tool and could afford it I would look into getting a higher end pro level tool that gives you access to Transmission codes, pats codes and programming , Body Codes ETC yet a tool at this level one would expect to pay over $1200 dollars

In conclusion the scan tool from TopDon is well worth the asking price and has many features in it that were not expected and I would be happy to purchase one if I needed it.
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2002 Ford Ranger 2 Dr Standard cab 2.3 5 SPD 7.5 373 gears
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