Hi Graham, @Bartiny
, and all others following the thread,
I too was one of the "Old Skool" generation, Carburettors Points and Condensers were a lot easier to fix back then
I first got into Diagnostics many years ago, think Renault 25 and Renault 5 era, then V6 Safranes etc, because these were some of the first mainstream vehicle electronics, namely their Auto Gearboxes, and my Business partner and I were faced with moving with the times or selling up. So yes, I've been learning and am still learning on a daily basis
for a very long time now
Your Autels will serve you well, and possibly without you knowing, are training you in the art of diagnosing the modern systems, these systems rely on communication with other systems, which, the newer the Car the more communications goes on, this is called CAN Communication
The more complex electronics, the more CAN Buses and communication that vehicle has.
2 Years ago I had the pleasure of owning a 2017 E Class AMG for a while, semi autonomous, an amazing Car, and I was pretty good with diagnostics back then, but when I plugged it into my then brand new new SDS I was blown away by the amount of Electronics, even when compared to my older high end W220 S Class ..................... Amazed . com
A little nugget here for those who do not know this ...................
Say you have a fault in your ME ECU and can access that on an OBD Machine, that fault says CAN Comm Error in xxx module, this does not mean you have a fault on your CAN Bus !
It is telling you you have either lost communication with the "xxx module" or there is a fault in the xxx , so you should look there as the next step, and some communicated faults can and do put other systems into limp mode...............
The rest of this post does not just apply to MB, but all Marques ................
Think ABS Sensor fault, VR Roof won't operate, because it needs to see road speed, so for safety, VR shuts down, roof will not open
There are many many more but this is a common one that lots here have come across
Now as the operators skills progress that is the time when he or she needs to access that xxx module, and should consider up grading the machine they are using for dealer level kit
I have a top of the range Autel generic (generic = reads a lot of different marques), this also does Module Flashing Updates and Version Coding, but again it does not do everything like Dealer Level, which is why I have different Dealer Level kits for all the popular Vehicles that come into the Workshop.
There are lots of less popular Vehicles, Kia, Fiat, Iveco etc and that is why I have my Generics .....................
I have the original Snap On "brick" the MT2500, with every Pod and Lead Kit they ever did, that was my first Machine. Then I upgraded to the Snap On Solus Ultra, along the way I also bought Delphi, because I needed to access ABS on an Iveco Truck, I then found it also did a lot of other stuff that the Snap On didn't.
Last year, instead of up grading to newer Snap On, I went for the top of the range Autel Tablet for various reasons, mainly Snap On is no longer cost effective compared to Autel.
My first Dealer Level kit was 2012 SDS, bought when I started working on fleets of MB's up here, and realised that my other kits were simply not giving me enough
The only 2 Generic Machines I know that are better that Autel hi end are Bosch KTS series and Autologic, and these are usually purchased by huge independent garages and cost upwards of £20k
My Generics allow me to access common systems like ABS, SRS, Engine, Transmission and Instrument Cluster, although a lot of the Instrument Cluster info is unavailable and I would think that applies to your Autels on your MBs, that function on cheaper Machines is more for Service Light interval resets etc
I hope this was useful, and when Forum Members skills with these machines progress, then you will realise what else you need to be able to do to maintain your Vehicles, their are one or 2 guys who have just bitten the bullet and bought SDS and I am very keen to see what they have to say regarding their new purchase .......................
As always, I'm here to help, and will be happy to answer questions etc on Forum, as I'm sure are other guys with similar experience to me on here, it is better to post such questions on Forum rather than PM because then the whole SLK Community benefits
Final bit of info to take in for now .................
Just because a Car has OBD I or II compatibility it still does not mean a Machine will access more than 80% of Codes, even if it can access more Modules, it will still not see ALL Modules, nor ALL Codes, the Dealer Level Kit will.
A £1000 Autel generic is a very good machine, it will do more than the £150 Autel, but it still will not get more than my 80% of 80% which I keep banging on about
LOL, Mel has just bough me a T shirt, it says "Warning, I Can Talk About Cars For Hours"
I better go do some work, busy week ahead
Cheers for now, Dave