The Actron CP9580 Auto Scanner with CodeConnect is one of the most popular and cost-effective scan tools on the market at the moment.
If you're in the market for an automotive scan tool that can read LIVE DATA, this might be the one to fill your needs.
Contents of this tutorial:
NOTE: The Actron CP9580 has been superceded by the Actron CP9680 AUTOSCANNER Plus.
Let me jump into the most important features of this tool right off the bat:
This scan tool will help you read diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) and let you see Live Data from the PCM on OBD II equipped vehicles (which means vehicles that are 1995 and newer). You'll also be able to read ABS diagnostic trouble codes on select 1995 and newer GM, Ford, and Chrysler vehicles.
You'll be able to check the status of the I/M Readiness Monitors to see if the have been set or not. As you may already know, if they're not set... you'll have to drive the vehicle some miles to get them to complete before going or returning to the State Emission's Inspection Station.
If you've ever wondered what I/M stands for, it's part of the phrase Enhanced Inspection and Maintenance.
Reads Generic codes and more importantly Manufacturer Specific codes. The Manufacturer Specific codes are the ones that really give you the info to find the problem.
Diagnostic Trouble Code Definitions with CodeConnect. Which means that you get a detailed description of the code being displayed and the most popular fixes to solve the diagnostic trouble code.
CodeConnect is a really handy feature that's not available in any other type of scan tool (of this price range). It's almost like having an experienced tech (within limits, of course) give you his or her opinion on what the solution might be for the trouble code that just popped up.
For the advanced DIY'er or automotive tech, you can capture and display freeze frame data that will help you pinpoint and troubleshoot problems.
In my opinion, this is one of the most people friendly generic scan tools I have used. With some scan tools, it feels like you need a training course to use it... not the Actron CP9580.
The cable is long enough, that you'll be able to take the scan tool into the engine compartment (to view Live Data, etc) without complications (see photo below).