Review – Creader 4001 OBD2 Scanner

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September 6, 2017 by quirkyuncle@gmail.com

The Creader 4001 OBD2 Scanner is a compact, low-cost OBD2 scanner well suited for the home mechanic. It has capabilities typically found in scanners available for more than twice the price.


This review contains:


Overview

The Creader 4001 OBD2 Scanner has all the features that you would expect for a basic OBD2 scanner, as well as several other more advanced functions. It will allow you to diagnose problems with your car that have triggered the check engine light, without leaving your home.

The Creader 4001 lets you: scan codes, clear codes, and monitor vehicle operation. It reads both the generic diagnostic codes used by all OBD2 compliant vehicles and some codes that are manufacturer specific. The Creader 4001 can also help you determine if your vehicle is ready for emissions testing and if it will pass the test based on information stored by your vehicle’s onboard computer.

The Creader 4001 provides comprehensive reference information about each diagnostic code, allowing you to determine the exact cause of a problem and order the correct parts. Using the information the scanner provides, you can look up additional information about the diagnostic codes online for additional information about a code for your specific vehicle.

The Creader 4001 also allows you to clear the trouble codes, to see if have you fixed a problem.

Note: Clearing codes will not fix a problem unless you have done the appropriate corrective action. Clearing codes sets a flag in your vehicle’s computer that will prevent the car from passing emissions tests until the computer recalibrates. You will need to drive the vehicle a certain distance after clearing a code to make sure that no problem codes appear.

You can order a Creader 4001 from Amazon.com.


Features

The Creader 4001 OBD2 Scanner supports the following features:

  • Reads OBD2 and selected manufacturer diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), both stored and pending
  • Clears DTCs from the vehicle’s computer
  • Monitors vehicle operation and reads vehicle information
  • Determines readiness for emissions testing
  • Provides DTC search and reference
  • Online update of diagnostic information
  • Multinational support (language and units)


Preparing for first use

The Creader 4001 works straight out of the box. The scanner is fully functional with no need to register or update it.

If you want to update the diagnostic code information in your Creader 4001 to the latest level, follow the instructions in Launch Creader 4001 Language Change Process (this document includes a link to download the update tool).

Note: Creader 4001 update requires a computer running the Windows operating system that has a USB port.


Using the scanner

All functions other than Diagnose can be viewed when the Creader 4001 is connected to the USB port of a computer or to a USB power source, such as a cellphone charger. This allows the Creader 4001 to be used when disconnected from the OBD2 port on your vehicle, so you can research problems that have been detected and learn more about using the scanning tool.

Scanner controls:

All Creader 4001 functions are controlled using the keypad.

4001 keypad

The arrow keys let you scroll through content displayed on the screen and make selections. The other two keys let you perform specific functions:

Enter key
The ENTER key confirms a selection.
Back key
The BACK key moves you back one level.

At the bottom of some scanner screens, the buttons are shown indicating the keys that are available for use – keys shown in BLACK are currently functional, keys shown in GREY are currently disabled.

Note: If the Creader 4001 does not start when connected to USB power or to an OBD2 port, press the BACK key.

To use the scanner

  1. Connect the Creader 4001 cable to the OBD2 port on your vehicle. This connector is usually under the dashboard on the driver’s side and might be behind an access panel. The following photograph shows a typical OBD2 connector.

    OBD2 connector
  2. Turn on the vehicle. The Creader 4001 receives power as soon it is physically connected to the OBD2 port on your vehicle, but cannot establish communication until the vehicle is turned on. You can read codes with the key in the run position (engine off), but the car must be running to monitor vehicle operation.
    4001 start
  3. Select the desired Creader 4001 function from those described below.
    4001 main menu

Navigation and feature descriptions

Operating the Creader 4001 is simple and the menus are easy to navigate.

  • Diagnose

    Selecting this option initiates a data connection to your vehicle. There are several communications protocols used by OBD2. The Creader 4001 will attempt each method until a connection is established. If the scanner is unable to connect, a message will be displayed with additional instructions.

    4001 connecting

    A monitor status screen is shown after the connection established, showing general information. The most important information on this screen are: MIL status which displays the condition of the check engine light and DTCs in this ECU which indicates the number of trouble codes that have been detected.

    4001 status

    Press ENTER to view the diagnostic menu.

    4001 diagnostic menu

    • Read Codes
      Displays any fault codes that are stored or pending for your vehicle. (Pending codes will eventually become stored codes, if the problem continues.)
    • Erase Codes
      Clears all emissions and diagnostic codes. Clearing codes alone will not fix a problem. Clearing codes will also set a flag in your vehicle’s computer that will prevent it from passing emissions tests until the system recalibrates.
    • I/M Readiness

      Indicates whether the vehicle is ready for emissions testing.

      • Since DTCs cleared

        Measurements made since DTC codes were last cleared. If the vehicle has not been driven far enough for it to recalibrate, INC will be shown for parameters that require additional information. The vehicle must be driven until these items indicate OK. The distance is typically 50 miles or 30 minutes of operation.

      • This Drive Cycle

        Measurements made since the last time the ignition key was turned on.

    • Data Stream

      Provides real-time monitoring of vehicle sensors and function.

      • View All Items

        Shows readings for all monitored items.

      • Select Items

        Allows you to select the specific sensors and functions you want to view, generating a shorter list that is easier to navigate. Use the UP/DOWN arrows to highlight an item, press ENTER to select, and press BACK to see the list of selected items.

      • View Graphic Items

        Allows selection of a single item to monitor over time in graphical form, allowing changes to be visually monitored. Use the UP/DOWN arrows to highlight an item, press ENTER to select, and press BACK to see the graph for the selected item.

    • Freeze Frame

      For vehicles that support this function, the Creader 4001 captures a snapshot in time of vehicle operating parameters for later analysis.

    • Vehicle Information

      Displays your vehicle identification number (VIN) and calibration IDs.

  • DTC Lookup

    Using the arrow keys, input a trouble code to look up; then, press ENTER. If the diagnostic code is specific to a manufacturer, you will be asked to select a manufacturer from the list to get further information.

    4001 dtc lookup

  • Tool Setup

    Selects language and units of measure to be used by your OBD2 scanner.

  • Help
    • About OBD
      • What is OBD?

        Discusses what OBD is and how it works.

      • OBD-II Modes

        Discusses all of the OBD2 operating modes and the information that each mode provides.

      • Vehicle Coverage

        Discusses which vehicles are covered by OBD2 and a bit of OBD history.

    • About Datastream

      Provides detailed information about the 49 different datastreams that the scanner can monitor.

    • Tool Information

      Lists the hardware and software versions of your OBD2 scanner and the URL where you can access support information on the internet.

    • Service Information

      Lists the email address where you can address service inquiries for your OBD2 scanner.


    Impressions

    I liked the Creader 4001. It is easy to use, performs the most used diagnostic functions, and is compact enough to keep in the car, just in case you need it while travelling. Having the tool in my car has made me a hero amongst my coworkers, allowing me to diagnose their car problems in the parking lot at work, and saving them costly trips to an auto mechanic.


    Conclusion

    The Creader 4001 is a worthwhile purchase. The price is very reasonable and it supports a strong feature set. Owning this tool will save you enough time and money to quickly offset its cost.

    You can order a Creader 4001 from Amazon.com.

    Did you find this posting useful? Did it save you time or money? If so, consider making a donation.


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