Code reader ad­vice

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Diagnostics Doctor -

Q: In the past you have rec­om­mended the Foxwell range of code read­ers and I plan to buy one based on this. I’m only a keen am­a­teur so don’t need the full bells-and-whis­tles type, so it’s a choice be­tween the NT201 and NT301. I can see no dif­fer­ence be­tween their re­spec­tive specs apart from the lat­ter hav­ing a slightly larger screen. Is this the only dif­fer­ence? Or is there more that I haven’t been able to suss out? Gary Mills

A: The ba­sic func­tions of the two Foxwell code read­ers are quite sim­i­lar, how­ever the NT301 has a few func­tions which the NT201 does not. The NT301 has more con­trol keys and al­lows the codes to be scrolled back and forth, as op­posed to the NT201 which can sim­ply go back to the pre­vi­ous screen. The dis­play on the NT301 is not only larger, but also su­pe­rior in re­gard to qual­ity. The ma­chine it­self is also heav­ier and more solid in its feel.

In terms of op­er­a­tion, the NT201 car­ries out seven generic OBD sys­tem tests, while the NT301 car­ries out nine, the ex­tra two be­ing ‘Mo­d­ules Present’ and ‘Com­po­nent Test’. The NT301 also has a longer menu, cov­er­ing DTC look-up, re­view and the abil­ity to print data via a com­pat­i­ble de­vice.

Both machines can read and erase data, and also dis­play live data and ren­der it in a graph form. How­ever, the NT301 can also record data, al­low­ing you to take a test-drive and then look back on the data stored dur­ing the jour­ney; this can be help­ful to di­ag­nose more elu­sive prob­lems. It also has an 02 mon­i­tor test.

Al­though the NT301 is the more costly ma­chine, I be­lieve that the ex­tra fea­tures do jus­tify the ad­di­tional ex­pense.

The NT201 and NT301 code read­ers.

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