Diagnosing faults in a car back in the old days was a chore and a half. More often than not, you’d have to look straight into the depths of the engine bay. Sometimes, you’ll tear apart entire units and components just to find out that the problem isn’t even there. Thankfully, electronic wizardry has made life that much easier now, especially when you have tools like the iCarsoft CR MAX.
As an OBD reader for automotive diagnostics, could the CR MAX be the best of the bunch? If we take appearances into account, it doesn’t look all that special. But once you peer deep inside, that’s when you realise that there’s a majesty in how it analyses data and error codes. iCarsoft’s latest multi-brand diagnostics tool could be plugged into vehicles by any one of 40 different brands.
From sports cars to lorries, vans to pickup trucks, it can scan quite a lot of them. For £379.00, that sounds like a great deal, no? Well, let’s take a peek and see what else it can do…
Could it stand out in a market that already has a bunch of excellent OBD diagnostic tools? If we….error codes.
As iCarsoft’s latest multi-brand diagnostics tool with a 7-inch LCD capacitive touchscreen & 1024 x 600 quality displays, it can scan through vehicles made across over 40 different marques, from sports cars, vans to pickup trucks. For £379.00, that sounds like a great deal, no? Well, let’s take a peek and see what else can make this device any special…
First and foremost, what can the iCarsoft CR MAX diagnose? As an OBD reader, we’ll need to better understand the limits of what it can – and can’t – scan. Thankfully, it looks like most of the bases that you’ll ever need your OBD scanner to do is covered here. This benefit is multiplied by the fact that the CR MAX could be plugged into so many different models and makes of automobiles.
Since it’s an OBDII device, the iCarsoft CR MAX’s many capabilities as mentioned earlier is thus easily compatible with most vehicles dating back 20 years. Up top, you’ll interface with the CR Max using its responsive, crisp, and clear display. Underneath, there are OBD functions that you’ll be familiar with from other OBD scanners.
One significant upgrade compared to previous iCarsoft devices and similar OBD readers, the CR Max has OTA functionality. This means that the data and diagnostics could be updated in a flash, all thanks to automated over-the-air updates. No longer would you need to plug it into a computer for its library of codes and tests to be refreshed. There are a few other extra tricks up its sleeve, too.
For example, there’s the Freeze Frame system. With this, you can take a snapshot of the vehicle’s operating parameters when, say, the emissions control fails. By screenshotting every variable when the issue occurred, it makes it easier for you to point out the cause. There are also built-in tests for the Evap system, O2 sensors, and more.
- I/M Readiness – A tool to check if the car’s emissions systems are working properly.
- O2 Sensor and Evap System – There are tests and diagnostics for each.
- Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) – You can relearn the throttle control valve values.
- ABS Bleeding – It can release air from the ABS braking system to restore performance.
- Injector Coding – Relearns the injector control parameters.
- Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) – Reprogramming for testing or replacement.
- AFS Head Lamp Reset – Rotate, recalibrate, or keep your adaptive headlights in place.
- Air Suspension – You can reset or recalibrate the electronic air-ride suspension.
- Steering Angle Sensor (SAS) – Recalibrate or relearn.
- Oil Warning Light and Check Engine Light – Reset, as well as resetting the service mileage.
- Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) – You can activate or deactivate them for servicing.
- Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) – Regeneration control to clear away any soot.
- Battery Management System (BMS) – Register a new battery.
- Gearbox Reset – Relearn the ECU and TCU on how to better monitor your driving style.
- A/C Service – Recalibrate the air-conditioning control systems, such as the mass airflow sensors.
- Air Filter – Tools for relearning the filtration system after a service or replacement.
- Fuel Pump – Activation function for when you get a new one.
More Special Service Functions
Plus, there are detailed OBD relearn coverages for each vehicle stored in the CR MAX. This includes detailed on-screen relearn procedures to help expedite the process. Here are just a few examples:
- ‘Gearbox Reset’ to reset transmission adaptive learning DIY, get ECU & TCU worked together by monitoring your driving pattern.
- ‘A/C Service’ for recalibrating the air-conditioning control units, such as the mass airflow system.
- ‘Air Filter’ servicing to relearn the filtration system following a replacement.
- ‘Fuel Pump’ activation function to relearn it when you get a new unit , bleeding of high-pressure fuel circuit ,check Fuel quantity
- ‘Electronic Throttle Control (ETC)’ to relearn the throttle control valve values .
- ‘ABS Bleeding’ to release air from the ABS braking system to restore performance.
- ‘Injector Coding’ to relearn the injector control parameters.
- ‘Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)’ programming for testing and inputting TPMS sensor replacement .
- ‘Head Lamp Reset’ to rotate or recalibrate the adaptive headlights, or to keep them in place.
- ‘Air Suspension’ relearn for the systems to reset electronic air-ride suspensions.
- ‘Steering Angle Sensor (SAS)’ calibration and relearn.
- ‘Oil Warning Light’ or ‘Check Engine Light’ reset, or reset the service mileage.
- ‘Electronic Parking Brake (EPB)’ deactivation and reactivation for servicing.
- ‘Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)’ regeneration control to clear soot.
- ‘Battery Management System (BMS)’ to register a new battery.
- Engine adaption (ECM) for routine maintenance of engine modules like reset or delete the adaptation values, calculate fuel consumption.
- Transmission adaption (TCM): for routine transmission maintenance like reset adaptation values, adjust the oil level.
- Body Stability (BSC) for routine maintenance, reset or delete the adaptation values, start-up the unit.
The Ease Of Use
Through the modified Android operating system, you can have quick and easy access to all of the CR MAX’s functions. It’s no harder to use than your smartphone, making it an approachable device, even in the hands of a novice. As with any OBDII reader, you could, of course, read and clear out error codes. As for the former, the CR Max lets you view the data in a number of different ways.
You could have your intel be presented as a simple text, through graphs, or as a simple analogue output. The information could be streamed live, as well. On top of that, you could use the built-in recording tool to record the live diagnostics data pulled from the car. With a swipe here and a tap there, you’ll soon end up browsing through an entire vehicle’s subsystems and directories.
Other types of data can be pulled in, too. For example, think about examining a vehicle’s service or MOT history. Or, you could scan the vehicle’s VIN to understand more about its past life, and how it was made. As a whole, the only thing the iCarsoft CR MAX can’t do is auto-magically fix your car for you.
Otherwise, it contains anything you need in an OBD reader, and more. If you need a do-it-all OBD reader, the CR MAX is certainly worth a look.