Buying Your Next Diagnostic Tablet

Originally published by Brake and Front End, Apr 8, 2024

When you last invested in a diagnostic tablet for your shop, did you consider it a potential gateway to increased revenue? Probably not. It’s likely you viewed it as a necessary expense to keep your business running. However, as the saying goes, opportunities are everywhere; the key is to recognize them. Autel’s MaxiSYS tablets are not just another tool; they are indeed your shop’s gateway to a range of new services and revenue streams.

At the heart of every Autel tool is diagnostics. This is especially true when it comes to the MaxiSYS series of tablets. A substantial segment of Autel’s employees—about 40%—are software engineers. This dedication to improving the efficiency of existing to developing new diagnostics and servicing capabilities shows in the MaxiSYS tablets’ vehicle, system, and subsystem software coverage and its logical and technician-friendly interface. Compatible with U.S., Asian, and European vehicles, 1996 and newer, these tablets enable technicians to complete every level of diagnostics, from automatically scanning all modules for faults, graphing the live data of multiple PIDS, and executing active tests to module coding and adaptations.

Autel tablets are engineered to give technicians advanced-level system access to repair and service the many different vehicle brands that come to their shops every day.

With this significant diagnostics experience, Autel confidently expanded its product line by developing software, parts and toolsets into Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) servicing, Key and Immobilizer Programming, and Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) calibration.

The MaxiSYS TS900, for example, features an embedded antenna that enables it to activate and read all known TPMS sensors and program the Autel programmable dual-frequency 1-Sensor to replace 99% of the TPMS sensors on vehicles today. The TS900 also can activate and read Telsa sensors and the new pre-programmed Tesla-compatible Autel MX-Sensor BLE A001.

Yet, TPMS sensor replacement is just one of the service opportunities afforded by the TS900. It is an advanced bi-directional tablet with the ability to perform Active Tests, Special Functions, and module coding and adaptations. Additionally, an all-systems code reader with Pre- and Post-Scan report generation capabilities makes it a triage favorite.

Such Pre- and Post-Scans are industry standards, with most automakers issuing position statements recommending scans for any vehicle involved in a crash. Identifying the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) safety and convenience systems is an essential feature of the Pre- and Post-Scan reports. This identification is vital as it informs the technician that an ADAS device, such as a camera or radar unit, is present on the vehicle and should be inspected and potentially calibrated.

Responding to the industry’s adoption of ADAS safety systems and vehicle manufacturers’ inclusion of these systems on even their most modest model vehicle lines, Autel developed the first of its ADAS calibration frame systems six years ago. Autel now offers several calibration systems each designed to meet the needs of various types of Autel users.

The Autel MaxiSYS 906Pro and MS 906Pro-TS are mid-range diagnostic and service tablets that can also be upgraded to perform dynamic and static ADAS calibrations. These two tablets are compatible with the MaxiSYS ADAS MA600 mobile frame or the MaxiSYS ADAS IA800 frame, which are both available in Lane Departure Warning (LDW) pattern and target packages or All Systems (LDW, radar, lidar, and Night Vision) packages. Autel leads the industry in ADAS vehicle and system coverage. The MS906 line can also perform as if it was a dedicated battery, starting and charging unit when paired with the optional MaxiBAS BT506, equipped with cable and terminal clamps. This enables the tablet to provide the technician with everything he needs to perform a guided step-by-step testing of the vehicle battery, starter, and alternator, with acceleration and load prompts. The display offers at-a-glance diagnostics including battery State of Health and State of Charge analysis. The unit supports in-vehicle and out-of-vehicle testing of 6- and 12-volt batteries, 100 – 2000CCA passenger vehicle batteries, and testing of 12- and 24- cranking/charging systems. It’s estimated that one in four batteries needs to be replaced, so adding a quick, no-charge, and documentable (share or print) battery test to every vehicle you service might add to increased battery sales, and ensure customer satisfaction.

The tablets offering the most opportunities are the MaxiSYS Ultra series line. The MS Ultra, MS919, and MS909 are the fastest units produced by Autel. A processor as speedy as a 2.3GHz Quad-core Mongoose is essential for efficient scanning and communication with today’s sophisticated vehicles that typically boast more than 80 modules and numerous communication networks including CANFD and Flex Ray. The Ultra series offers the technician module Topology in addition to the standard module listing. This visual representation of the vehicle electrical system is a true diagnostic jumpstart to the final repair.

Ultra Topology

The Ultra series tablets can also perform hybrid and all-electric vehicle analysis with the purchase of the EVDiag kit that includes the software needed to diagnose all systems on these increasing common vehicles and can perform in-depth traction battery analysis.

Both the Ultra and the MS919 come with the MaxiFlash VCMI (a 5-in-One device featuring an enhanced VCI, a J2534 pass-thru programmer, multimeter, waveform generator, a CAN Bus tester, and 4-channel oscilloscope) enabling any technician to take their diagnostics to a new level. The Ultra series, too, is ADAS calibration capable. The Autel MaxiSYS IA900 unit, which can perform four-wheel alignments and all systems ADAS calibration is compatible with the Ultra (software upgrade) and the Ultra ADAS tablets.

As automotive technologies continue to evolve and challenge the industry, Autel remains dedicated to providing technicians with progressive software and tools designed to meet the demands of repairing these sophisticated vehicles. When looking for your shop’s next diagnostic tablet, make sure it’s developed by a company that wants to create value for you today and tomorrow.

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