Jaguar and Land rover diagnostic tool advice and opinion. Here are the real experience of a Jaguar XKR 2004 owner:
I noticed these on flea bay recently all being sold from china at around $100 to $110. They come with a cracked version of JLR SDD (mine came with version 141) and include all the config files.
They are a clone of SPX I VIEW, similar to VCM and as I have had already tried a cloned JLR Mangoose pro
lead with a cracked version of JLR SDD with reasonable success, I thought I take a punt on one of these.
The packet arrived 6 days after ordering. The box included 4 discs to setup the JLR SDD software and a further disc for the drivers.
I set it up on a virtual machine image of Windows XP and to my surprise, installed the software and drivers 1st time with no errors. I plugged in the VXDIAG which was recognized straight away and then started JLR SDD which also recognized the lead. Great start I thought, lets plug it into the car!
First time it will not auto read the VIN, I manually entered the VIN which worked, but it then took for ever to get to the main menu screen. I started a diagnostic session and wait about 15 minutes for it to finish scanning the modules. Once finished it could only see 8 out of the 15 or so modules fitted to the car (My cloned JLR Mangoose Pro lead can see 13 out of the 15 modules. But does not have online support). Well, it does work and it still has online support, device driver and firmware updates which is good.
I have recently bought a Foxwell NT510 Jaguar Land Rover hand held scanner and it’s quite good. When you buy the scanner it comes with a vehicle specific scanner module that you download, additional cars cost about $100. My scanner download handles all of the Jaguar and Landrover models. It can read generic codes from a vehicle and it can clear generic codes from a vehicle. It can see all the modules, read all the faults of every module and show live data etc. It does allows me to activate the Wabco modulator to bleed the ABS and do a power bleed. It has a live data menu that allows you to select and plot data on the screen as you drive. I used it for instance to monitor my SVS fault to indicate whether or not the SVS switches are being detected when I depress the brake. You can get them from china with free shipping to the U.S.A for around $155.
My neighbor borrowed the N510 on troubleshooting his Land rover. It does not have any programming functions for our XK8’s or XKR’s but seems to be able to program many things on my neighbor’s Land Rover Discovery!
After playing around with it, the pros are:-
Its fast, convenient to use and can even show live data in a graph mode. It can see all the modules (although it can’t communicate with my L/H headlight, however nothing else can either). I first used it in anger last month to monitor the transmission fluid temperature when changing the old oil.
The cons are:-
It’s not able to program our modules (although it can on Land Rovers) or keys etc.
If you need something just for reading and clearing codes from all the modules and diagnosis from live data, this seems to fit the bill. I just found out that at extra cost, you can download four further different marques onto it making it handy for a semi professional.
The only problem was on a couple of modules, it cant clear the faults and before you all ask, yes I have more money than sense ! The Foxwell NT510 is more than adequate for most home mechanics.
3. Drew Mongoose or JLR Mangoose SDD clone
The correct tool (mongoose lead) to use is made by Drew Industries in the USA and retails for around $500 – $600. You the need to download the latest JLR SDD software but the catch is you need to have a very expensive subscription to Topix to get the necessary config files. This is basically what main dealers use.
To get round this, clone JLR Mangoose SDD
leads are readily available for around $50 and to avoid subscription problems, use an older version of JLR SDD that comes with all the necessary config files built in, no downloads needed. Now the fun begins and gets complicated.
I set up a windows XP virtual image on my modern Dell laptop and although JLR SDD installed fine, it could not see the cloned mongoose lead when plugged in. After much frustration, head scratching and Googling, the problem seemed to be related to USB 3 ports on my laptop that’s not compatible with Windows XP.
If you’re still with me this far, I used my old, antique Toshiba laptop running XP, installed the software and the lead connected with no problems. You have to put the laptops date back to 2012 or else it will come up with an error saying your files are out of date. Also your internet needs to be off to stop anything trying to update itself.
You can do nearly everything a dealer can do except programming keys (as far as I’m aware). It will let you reset the transmission adaptations and even turn on and off dealer options such as chirping when locking and unlocking.
I turned off the break window sensor as every time the weather turns stormy, the alarm goes off.
A big word of advise is DO NOT TRY TO RE-PROGRAM MODULES !!!!! On your head be it!
Also the JLR SDD software is not very user friendly, it takes awhile to learn how to use.
4. iCarsoft i930
I bought this scanner as I had some warning messages on my Jaguar XKR (Air Suspension Fault, Park Brake Fault, Lights not on). While it will clear diagnostic codes, it is not capable of clearing the fault messages on my automobile.
It scans 15 out of 15 modules , then It wont read most modules and if it does read any it wont erase codes off any thing ! It works on some, but not all of the available modules.
I picked up an i930 the other week, so far it also appears to be a p.o.s. says that it’s unable to communicate with half the modules in my XJR, but IDS/SDD with genuine VCM talks fine with them all…
I will not recommend this lead.