The next-generation handheld diagnostic scan tool from Nexiq Technologies – Pro-Link iQ – features a large color display that technicians navigate using a touch-sensitive screen. The Pro-Link iQ is designed to allow technicians to read engine and other system diagnostic codes from a single hardware and software platform, rather than using many proprietary systems from different manufacturers.
According to Tom Kotenko, director of Nexiq Technologies – which is owned by Snap-On – the company jointly developed the new tool with Menlo Innovations and conducted extensive field work and research in its development and design. Kotenko says they went from “high-end OEM dealers to municipal garages” in their research with technicians and shop owners.
“We want the Pro-Link iQ to give technicians everything they’ve asked for, since they’re the ones who are using the product daily,” Kotenko says. “Their input is essential to the current and future success of the product. We believe that with their help, we’ve created a tool they’ll be eager to use – a scanner that simplifies vehicle diagnostics and makes the process more productive, efficient and accurate.”
The 2.5-pound device comes preloaded with several OE engine application data sets, Kotenko says. The standard heavy-duty software is the SAE J-1587 communications protocol, which uses basic nonproprietary information. The other systems include coverage for Caterpillar Bridge and Acert engines, Detroit Diesel DDEC III/IV and V, International midrange and OBD II light- and medium-duty trucks. Technicians have a free trial of five uses for each application and need to purchase an access code for use beyond that limit.
“It is ready for tomorrow and beyond, and is 2010-capable,” Kotenko says. Regarding the engine makes not loaded in the system, Kotenko says they are working on agreements with those OEMs.
The Pro-Link iQ has a rugged design made for use in the shop environment. Kotenko says that in product testing, the device was dropped from a height of six feet with “little or no effect.”
The full-color touchscreen measures 8.4 inches, and the system can be updated through the Internet, Kotenko says. It has an internal 40-gigabyte hard drive that is the “same as used in an iPod,” he says.
The Pro-Link iQ begins shipping today and will be available exclusively through Snap-On franchises until May 8, after which it will be available through all Nexiq distributors. The device has a list price of $2,550, which Kotenko says may make it cost-prohibitive to technicians; that’s why the company is more focused on targeting shops.