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Innova 3160 Scanner : Buyers Guide & Reviews

The Innova 3160 is an OBD2 scan tool that is used primarily to conduct vehicle diagnostics. The 3160 is a professional quality diagnostic tool that is built with the commercial workshop in mind. Whether you need an effective code reader, or want a device that will run a variety of diagnostics on your vehicles, this scan tool could be what you’re looking for. In this Innova 3160 review, we aim to give a good run down of the product, so that you can make an informed decision whether it’s the right tool for you and your workshop.

The first part of the Innova 3160 review will be a general overview of the product that will outline some of its main features. After that the review will go over the Innova’s vehicle coverage and more in depth into its functionality. Finally this Innova 3160 review will highlight the scan tool’s key features and we’ll give our verdict on whether or not we’d recommend this device to mechanics and professionals.

Product Overview

The Innova 3160 is a high quality diagnostic scan tool that is an effective code reader and also has plenty of functions that a mechanic can make use of during vehicle servicing. As a code reader, the Innova 3160 can quickly and accurately read error codes from across the ABS, SRS and transmission systems. Once you’ve completed any repairs, the scan tool can also clear the trouble codes to reset the systems. Although reading and clearing codes is expected from an OBD2 scanner, this OBD2 Innova device completes this function efficiently and impressively.

As well as being able to read and clear ABS and SRS codes, this Innova 3160 diagnostic scan tool can also turn off any warning lights that appear on the dashboard. For example, the scanner will be able to turn off the check engine light when it illuminates. This is a useful feature since it means that the mechanic is able to reset the warning lights after they’ve completed a repair. This is important since you don’t want to be driving a car around with the check engine light on after the repair has been done. As well as being able to turn off the check engine light, the Innova 3160 can also disable the reset oil light as well as the tire pressure monitor light.

The Innova 3160 also has a live data function. Live data is a feature seen on a lot of the best OBD2 scan tools around, and provides real time data for OBD2 vehicles. Live data is useful since the mechanic can see how their vehicle is operating in real time, which makes it much easier for them to locate the causes of any issues.

The live data stream will include readings for things such as fuel trims, air intake temperatures, engine RPM and throttle position. The best thing about live data is that the technician can use vehicle components and see what effect that it has on the live data. For example the mechanic could press the accelerator pedal whilst the OBD2 tool is plugged in, and be able to see how the throttle position reading responds.

The live data is supplement by the graphing function that is included on the Innova 3160. The graphing function displays the live data in an easy to read format, so that you can see how the live data is changing over time. Graphs can also be laid over one another in order to compare vehicle performance in different states.

The graphing is taken even further by the Innova 3160 freeze frame data function. Freeze frame data allows the user to save a snapshot of live data onto the device so that it can be brought up later. This is good for graphing as it means the data from the freeze frame can be displayed next to new data. For example you could have freeze frame data for when the accelerator pedal is being pressed, and compare it to when the pedal isn’t being touched.

An interesting and innovative feature of the Innova 3160 is its Emissions Readiness test. The Emissions Readiness test tells the mechanic how likely a vehicle is to pass an emissions test. It gives either a red, amber or green light depending on how well the emissions system is functioning. It does this by examining the oxygen sensors, which are placed on either side of the catalytic converter. If the catalytic converter is working well, then you’ll get the green light. This will help the mechanic make sure that they don’t waste time and money on an emissions test only for the vehicle to fail.

The Innova 3160 can be operated in English, French and Spanish. The device also comes with access to a repair solutions website, and the Innova can direct to the correct webpage for your repair. This means that the Innova code reader can understand trouble codes, and then give the mechanic an idea of what kind of repair needs to be done. This feature is pretty impressive and is rarely seen amongst diagnostic scan tools.

The scan tool is very intuitive and easy to use. It has a bright backlit screen that is easy to read in all lighting conditions. It is rugged and built out of durable materials, so is very unlikely to break in an accidental drop in the workshop. The screen is operated by a number of large panel style keys. These keys are easy to press and can even be used accurately whilst wearing gloves.

Overall, the Innova 3160 has an impressive range of features that mean it stands out amongst other scan tools at its price point. It is a great scan tool with ABS, SRS and live data capabilities. The next part of the Innova 3160 review will discuss its vehicle coverage and take a deeper dive into its functionality.

Compatibility

The Innova 3160 diagnostic scan tool is an OBD2 compatible device. This means that it can only read data for OBD2 vehicles. OBD2 vehicles are usually cars and commercial vehicles that are made in 1996 and newer. Cars built in 1995 or earlier are compatible with OBD1 devices. There is an optional upgrade that can add OBD1 compatibility to the Innova 3160 which we would recommend if you think that you’ll be dealing with a mixture of OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles in your workshop.

The scan tool is compatible with nearly all OBD2 vehicles. It covers vehicles from foreign and domestic markets, specifically cars and vans from Europe, Asia and the US.

Having a good range of vehicle coverage is essential for an OBD scan tool. As a mechanic you never know what kind of vehicle is going to drive into the workshop next, so you need a device that is best equipped to deal with the widest range of vehicles. The fact that you can upgrade the Innova 3160 to include OBD1 is an interesting feature as well.

Functionality

This part of the review will go more in depth into some of the features that were briefly outlined in the product overview.

Read and clear error codes

Like all other Innova scan tools and a lot of scanners from other brands, the Innova 3160 is an effective code reader. Being a code reader means that the scan tool can recognise trouble codes coming from various vehicle systems, such as the ABS, SRS and transmission. After recognising the codes, the Innova 3160 will let the mechanic know where the problem is originating from, giving them a good idea of how to begin a repair. Furthermore, the Innova will signpost towards a web page that can assist in the repair.

The Innova 3160 is able to read and erase error codes on all the OBD2 cars that it is compatible with. The Innova can read and erase codes at a fast rate whilst maintaining an impressive level of accuracy. It is this performance that separates it from the competition as a high quality code reader. Clearing ABS and SRS codes is a breeze with the 3160.

System Test

The Innova 3160 is able to run diagnostic tests on various vehicle systems other than the typical ABS, SRS and transmission tests. For example, the Innova can run a battery charging system test. This is quite a unique feature for a code reader and again is something that sets it apart from the competition. This system test checks the battery system is recharging properly and is a good place to start if a customer is complaining about their battery going flat.

There is also an interesting emissions function included on the Innova 3160. The Emissions Readiness test is the ideal feature to make use of when preparing a vehicle for a full emissions investigation. The test will either give a red, amber or green light depending on how efficient the emissions system and particularly the catalytic converter are operating. This is an easy method to confirm whether or not it is going to be worth sinking time and money into an emissions examination.

Live Data

The live data capabilities of the Innova 3160 are perhaps its best and most useful features. Being able to see how a vehicle is operating in real time is extremely valuable information, and can often take loads of time off any repair. This is because it’s much easier to see where an issue is occurring, when you are given a list of data that covers nearly all of the key vehicle systems, such as the ABS and SRS systems.

The live data focusses on things such as fuel trims, which tells you how efficiently your engine is using fuel, and other values such as air intake temperature. Nearly all of the things that the live data can report will be able to help the mechanic to spot any problems with their vehicle. Although the live data won’t suggest any fixes, it is great when used as an indicator that highlights issues or potential problems.

The Innova 3160 also has a graphing function that works in tandem with the live data stream. The graphing function displays the live data in an easy to read manner and you can see how the vehicle’s systems are changing and developing over time. For example you can set up the graphing function to display data from the Anti Lock braking systems, and then see how the graph changes when you activate the brake pedal. This is a really effective way to find any issues with the anti lock brakes, and the graphing is equally as useful for the other live data readings.

Turn off warning light

Another classic OBD feature that the Innova 3160 diagnostic scan device makes use of is being able to deactivate vehicle warning lights, such as the check engine light. This is a really key function since it lets the mechanic turn off any warning lights after they have finished a repair. This is also a safety issue as you don’t want to fix a car and then drive around with the check engine light still activated since you won’t know when a problem develops.

The Innova 3160 will also deactivate the reset oil lamp and the tire pressure monitoring warning light.

Software

The Innova 3160 is underpinned by a solid bit of software. The menu system is very easy to navigate and all functions are responsive and accurate. There’s nothing worse than a scanner with lag, which severely slows down any repair sessions. Luckily that is absolutely not the case here.

This software can be regularly updated for free via Innova’s website. The updates are easily completed by plugging a USB cable from the Innova 3160 into a computer. The updates usually bring bug fixes that ensure the device continues to run smoothly. Additionally they often add in new features and testing capabilities. Finally the updates will add more vehicles to the compatibility list, ultimately making the Innova 3160 an even more versatile code reader than it already is.

The software is controlled via the large panel buttons underneath the screen. These buttons are very easy to use and can even be operated while the user is wearing gloves. This is actually quite a nice result, and is actually an advantage that this device holds over a touchscreen scan tool. Having to remove gloves every time to operate a tool can become annoying.

Languages

The Innova scanner is a tri-lingual device, specifically operating in English, French and Spanish. This just increases the usability of the device even further. All the menus can be changed between the languages and all the translations are accurate and well done. This is a thoughtful feature, and is ideal if you have multiple people in your workshop that speak different languages. The inclusion of English, French and Spanish means more people in your workshop will be able to operate the device.

Key Features

Trouble code clearing

The 3160 can read and clear trouble codes with ease, and does it as well as any other scan tools on the market today.

Diagnostics

The wide range of diagnostics that can be don eon this scan tool is very impressive. Not only does the Innova read ABS and SRS codes, but it can also turn off the reset oil light and make use of freeze frame and live data technologies.

Emissions

The Emissions Readying test is an innovative and unique feature that we haven’t seen across any other similarly priced scan tools. The Innova 3160 diagnostic tool will display either a red, amber or green image depending on how efficient your catalytic converter is operating.

Vehicle Coverage

The Innova 3160 has excellent vehicle coverage across a wide range of car makes and brands from the foreign and domestic markets. This means you’ll be able to read and clear ABS and SRS codes on nearly all cars that come into the workshop. The base model of the Innova 3160 is only compatible with cars that were built in 1996 and newer, which are known as OBD2. However, there is an optional upgrade that adds support for OBD1 vehicles, or vehicles built before 1995. If you are going to be working with older vehicles, make sure to look out for this upgrade.

User Interface

The user interface of the Innova 3160 is intuitive and extremely easy to use. All you need to do is make sure that you are regularly updating your device to ensure that is working as effectively and efficiently as possible.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for scan tool with ABS, SRS and live data functionality, then you don’t need to look much further than the Innova 3160. Whether you want to clear ABS and SRS codes, turn off the oil light, or make sure that your emissions system is operating as expected, then the Innova will have you covered. We definitely recommend the Innova to anyone looking for a reliable and high quality scan tool.

FAQs

How to use the Innova 3160G:

The Innova 3160G is the latest version of the 3160 and is used in very similar way to the older model. You simply plug the device into your vehicle’s OBD port and you’ll be able to read ABS and SRS codes, as well as perform system tests straight away. Have a look at our review of the 3160 from Innova above to get a better understanding of what the device can do.

How do I update my Innova scan tool?

Updating your Innova tool is as simple as plugging your Innova into the computer via the included USB cable, and then going to the Innova website to download the update. For my information about what’s usually included in the update, have a look at our review of an Innova scanning tool above.

Are there are differences between the Innova 3160 & 3160g scan tools?

There are a few differences between these two Innova devices. Firstly, the Innova 3160 is slightly more compact than the 3160G. Also, the 3160G boasts a color screen whilst the 3160’s screen is black and white. Finally, the 3160 is a little heavier than the 3160G. Check out our 3160 review for more information about the device. The review can be found at the start of this page.

Innova 3160
Innova 3160 OBD2 Scanner
4.54.5 / 5
It is one of the popular brands considered as a diagnostic tool for vehicles.
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