This is the kit most of you will be familiar with. The successor to the Tech 1A, Tech 2 is a dealer-level diagnostic tool designed for OBDII Vauxhalls built prior to the arrival of the Astra J. The unit is an improvement over its predecessor in almost every way, from its large user interface to its compatibility with Controller Area Network (CAN) protocols via a dedicated interface module.
Like Tech 1 and Tech 1A, Tech 2 is the most comprehensive diagnostic tool available for the vehicles it covers. Instead of cartridges, the unit makes use of 32MB PCMCIA flash memory cards preloaded with the appropriate software. “Tech 2 is the flagship diagnostic tool and programming device for Vauxhalls built between the mid-1990s all the way through to the arrival of the Astra J,” says Marc. “It covers powertrain, chassis and all body systems, providing bi-directional control when performing diagnostic or calibration exercises, although optional Global TIS software is required for ECU reprogramming. Additionally, Tech 2 can be used on HSV-derived Vauxhalls, including the Monaro and VXR8,” he tells us.
When pairing replacement genuine audio equipment (e.g. upgrading to a full-colour information display and a CD70 head unit with satellite navigation) or replacing the Column Integrated Module (CIM), Tech 2 will be required to ‘pair’ these items to your car. Keep in mind the fact Tech 2 is also required to ‘divorce’ the parts from the original host vehicle. You’ll need car passes and their accompanying security codes to perform these tasks.
Beware of buying a knock-off Tech 2 from China. These units might look appealing when compared to the cost of a well-used Tech 2, but there have been many reports of replicas not behaving like the real deal, with some owners highlighting serious electrical system operating problems after plugging the Chinese kit into their cars.
Independent garages are likely to use non-GM diagnostic tools (such as those sold by Snap-on) catering for a wide variety of vehicles from a high number of manufacturers. While these devices offer great functionality, they’re not as in-depth as genuine GM kit when it comes to detailed programming of a Vauxhall. Stick with the gear we’ve outlined on these pages for the in-depth configuring
of your car.