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Auto techs who’ve heard the above from customers, rejoice! This week Mac Tools announced a car data recorder that plugs into vehicles’ OBDII data plug and records the entire OBDII data set in a continuous 24-hour loop. Jack this sucker in, send the customer out for a drive, and when they come back you’ve got software access to everything the car knows about the issue.

Mac says this will help diagnose problems that aren’t around long enough to illuminate the check engine light — the bane of the pro tech crowd.

To analyze the data, Mac points buyers to the OEM’s PC-based client software package, which is available for free download. Our quick glance at the software showed some pretty handy screens, including the ability to graph data over time.

Parents take note: speed is one of the data types this device records. You could totally use this to bust your 16-year-old with a speed fetish. As always, you’ll need to contact your local truck-based Mac distributor for pricing and details.


16 Responses to But It Only Makes That Sound When You’re Not Around!

  1. Jim German says:

    Shame everything ODBII related costs way more than it should. Be this is about $500.

  2. techieman33 says:

    Sounds just like the car chip, which has been out for a few years

  3. Pencilneck says:

    I think these things are over rated… if a car is screwing up and no DTC is flagged, so you pop one of these things in and then send the customer out, they return 3 days later stating that yesterday it messed up… now you get to go digging though a hay stack looking for a needle.

    What if the issue isn’t something monitored by OBDII? VW and Audi products have a fuel pump relay that supply power to the injectors and other inputs and outputs on the engine. The way things are set up, the fuel pump relay isn’t monitored by OBDII. The engine can outright die and OBD won’t show anything. But if you scan the car using the factory scan tool (or VAG COM by Ross Tech), you will see a bunch of short to ground DTCs for all the inputs and outputs.

    OBD is very generic IMHO. I work on VWs and rarely, if ever, use the OBDII when scanning a car, I’m using the factory VAG protocol and I’d guess most other product lines have their own types of protocols that go way beyond OBDII.

  4. B2Me says:

    Again, Mac trying to take credit for something they got somewhere else, slapped a Mac decal on it and jacked the price up 200%.

  5. Adrian says:

    I won’t go near anything mac sells. their distributors are never in business long enough to provide any support nor do they warranty anything electronic or with a motor. I’d also be afraid of the software I’d have to load on my computer just to read this gizmo. I agree with techieman33…this is probably the same Davis Car Chip relabeled for Mac and no doubt 3x the price for mac’s never can find “service”.

  6. Fred says:

    Is MAC a part of Stanley?

  7. Old Donn says:

    Aside to Fred. Stanley’s the parent company for MAC and Proto. Think MAC dealers are hard to find now? According to an earlier post, MAC’s CEO quit and isn’t being replaced. Proto will absorb the company and the MAC name will disappear in a few years. What happens then will be anybody’s guess.

  8. Mac Man Bill says:

    Stanley own’s Mac Tools. If you go to the stanley website, you’ll see that Mac is one of the divisons of Mac. Mac salaried employees get a paycheck from Stanley Works. Mac’s got a new CEO but doubtful he’ll ever get this company back on it’s feet unless he really shakes up and gets rid of dead weight in Westerville, OH. Most of the HQ folks are still stuck in the 80’s believing things were as good as when they were distributors – with a salary!

    But, the overall mobile tool industry has been on a steady decline with higher gas prices, smarter technicians and the internet. I hope to be gone before the end of the year and back to a real job with a regular paycheck and some bennies. Hey, I made it for eight years…thats about three times the normal Mac tenure.

  9. GarageRanger says:

    My mac guy wanted me to try one out which meant loading the software on my PC. Well, instead, it crashed my computer so I’ll never now. Now he owes me a computer repair bill of about $400.

  10. CJ's says:

    Same here… the software crashed my computer. Mac guy gave us their tech folks to help solve the problem but they said I’d have to call the company that makes it for them. The number they gave me is “not in service…”

  11. Rick says:

    Sells for $79 (on truck account) $58 cash & carry, still not all it’s cracked up to be. Had problems loading the software and its very quirky. Pass on this one.

  12. Mac Man Bill says:

    I backed off pushing these after learning the local auto part stores sell the identical unit at much less than our “MSRP” price. $79 is the Manufacturers “Suggested” Retail Price (MSRP) so it’s not set in stone. Just like the sticker price on a new or used car…it CAN be negotiated.

    You can get software support from their website at http://www.crecorder.com/

  13. jammer says:

    I bought this tool from my MAC dealer for about $85.00 and was very impressed! Had no problems with the software and install was a breeze. I’ve already cleared up 3 issues with customers cars that my big bad Snap-on over priced scanner missed. I think the guys in the above comments have issues with MAC that go back to there childhood! thanks for reading..shop owner for over 35 years…..

  14. Cray says:

    Couldn’t tell you…had one…never really worked well. Lost our mac man shortly after I bought it. Could not get any customer service from Mac. They kept giving me the number of the local district manager who they just laid off…then told me they didn’t make the product so to call the manufacturer…who is in China…

  15. i ‘m a mechanic in the auto maintenance factory here in China, we compare Crecorder with Cprobox, and Carchip Pro, and i ‘m now using Cprobox’s SCrecorder for my customers’. it ‘s working fine ,and save a lot,

  16. it ‘s just telling the truth… who know it

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