Otc Evolve Diagnostic Tool 58458e6d5eb83 58dd1e36281a6

Tool Review: OTC Evolve

May 12, 2017
The reviewer says this diagnostic tool allows him to diagnose a problem with a vehicle without having to use a computer to look up additional information.

The OTC Evolve diagnostic tool can diagnose more than 25,000 vehicle systems and 58,000 vehicle ECU combinations using Bravo 3.0 software and a fast Android operating system. Capabilities also include performing more than 11,000 actuation tests and more than 1,400 adjustment tests. In addition, the OTC Evolve enables a streamlined diagnostic process for any issues that a technician may encounter. The ruggedized tablet features a 10.4" optically bonded screen, providing visibility in most conditions, including direct sunlight. Dual Wi-Fi architecture means a dedicated Wi-Fi connection to the included J2534-compliant wireless VCI with simultaneous internet connection to the shop, so technicians can move freely to check and test components while still being connected to the vehicle. The diagnostic kit includes a tablet docking station and backpack for storage.

The review

Any opportunity to diagnose and fix a problem with a vehicle without stepping away from it is a welcome one for the vast majority of automotive technicians.

For Matthew Skundrich, owner of Orlando, Fla.-based Mobile Advanced Diagnostics & Programming, employing the OTC Evolve diagnostic tool gave him the ability to view certain websites and gather the appropriate information he needed to conduct a variety of repairs “at the fender,” thus saving him significant time.

“For example, I can get full wiring diagrams, find out how to add a keyless remote, or determine the fluid capacity of the transmission -- just off the tool,” says Skundrich. “This allows me to work faster by not having to move to a computer to look up the information I need.”

Upon using the OTC Evolve for the first time, Skundrich was left quite impressed by the tool’s 10.4” screen.

“The screen is unlike that of any tool I own,” he says. “The quality of the display is unmatched. Even in direct sunlight, you can read it.”

Skundrich also cites the value of the OTC Evolve’s “automated system test” in helping him diagnose problems with vehicles. He says he runs the test as a first step of sorts in addressing any issue, as it not only scans all modules but also displays OBD-II data on the same screen. Furthermore, if he so requires it, Skundrich can print the results of the test to help with his diagnostic work.

When tasked with setting up the tool prior to its first use, Skundrich says the process ended up being quite simple. All that was required of him was opening the box, turning on the unit and following the necessary screen prompts.

“It [guides you to register] the tool once you connect it to Wi-Fi,” he says. “Then you just have to connect it to power and let it update (if necessary).”

The tool also came packed with a docking station, a cable holder and more.

“The vehicle communication interface (VCI) it comes with not only is wireless, but it is J2534,” says Skundrich. “This is nice because, with a separate laptop and the OEM J2534 software, I can program.”

An avid user of Apple products and owner of an iPhone, Skundrich says he was initially a bit concerned about using the OTC Evolve because of its Android operating system.

“I had never used Android anything,” he explains. “However, the Bravo 3.0 software was simple to use and operate, and the icons are labeled and provide guidance.”

Skundrich notes that he appreciates the tool’s ability to help him program Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS) keys, and do both injector balance testing and automated EVAP testing. He also says the fact he can get full wiring diagrams is one the most beneficial functions for streamlining the tool’s use during diagnosis.

According to Skundrich, the OTC Evolve can be used for a wide range of different repairs on vehicles.

“Everything from basic oil change resets to module setups after programming, along with diagnostics,” he says. “On Fords, it has one of the best power balances, and it seems like the Bosch engineers improved on the integrated diagnostic system (IDS) feature some. On the GM, it runs the sensing diagnostic module (SDM) setup that sometimes fails when in the service programming system (SPS) menu, because of code.”

Though he appreciated a number of features and functions of the OTC Evolve, Skundrich notes he wished the tool did not require the use of a special cable to connect to the VCI, when not using the tool wirelessly.

“While the tool is robust, this connect has straight, small metal pins that scare me,” he says, adding that he also wished the tool offered a longer battery life than the four hours it provided him.

Overall, however, Skundrich says the OTC Evolve diagnostic tool does the job.

“This tool allows a technician to fix the car at the fender, saving (him or her) time,” he adds.

About the Author

Mike Schmidt

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