The Launch CRP123 is a professional quality OBD2 scanner and diagnostic tool. More than just a basic error code reader, this scan tool can run system tests for ABS, SRS and engine components and act as a useful all in one too, for a mechanic and their workshop.
This scan tool is a budget device, but offers excellent functionality and build quality that mean it performs much higher than its price point suggests. In this review of the Launch CRP 123, we’ll give a good and informative overview of this scan tool, so that you can make an informed decision as to whether it is the right device for you.
After the general overview, the review will touch on the compatibility of this scan tool, as well as delving deeper into its functionality. At the end of the review we’ll outline the key features of the CRP123 Launch scanner, and give our final verdict.
The Launch CRP 123 is an OBD2 scanner that can be used as a code reader, to understand and clear error codes, as well as a general servicing tool. The CRP 123 is easy to use thanks to intuitive design and software, and will likely save you lots of time and money in labour costs in your workshop.
As code readers, Launch scanners always perform well. This particular device, the Launch CRP 123, reads codes fast and accurately and makes it easy to clear the trouble codes once you have completed the repair. It reads codes for systems such as ABS and SRS, and reports back on what the problem is, giving the mechanic a good understanding of what needs to be done to fix the issue. You can also use the Launch CRP 123 to turn off the check engine light once you’ve finished doing repairs, which is definitely a useful feature.
Aside from being able to read and clear codes and turn off the check engine light, the Launch CRP 123 offers quite a few different service functions to assist you during vehicle servicing. The first of these is live data. Live data gives you a list of different vehicle statistics that change in real time. You just plug in the scan tool to your vehicle and the live data is easily displayed. This will usually show things like fuel trims, intake air temperature, throttle position and engine RPM. Live data is great for servicing and makes everything a lot easier.
Live data is complemented by the CRP123’s freeze frame function. The freeze frame function can capture data at a specific moment in time, such as when you start to press the throttle, and give live data readings at the point. Freeze frame data is ideal for helping a mechanic isolate an issue in the engine or car systems, and again saves a lot of time during servicing jobs. Even better, the Launch CRP123 can graph this live data and freeze frame information in a clear and simple way. These graphs can be saved and overlayed on one another to compare and contrast different states.
The interface of this scan tool is extremely easy to use and user friendly. Even if you’re a DIY beginner, you’ll have no problems making use of this Launch OBD2 scanner and its great features. The screen is very clear and easy to read, with large lettering and spaced out readings. This screen is a high quality TFT color screen, which makes it nice and bright and suitable for all lighting conditions and times of the day. This Launch OBD scan tool is controlled via an intuitive thumbpad and directional pad layout. You could think of this as acting like a gaming controller, so is obviously very simple and intuitive to use.
The TFT color screen is protected by a durable and strong plastic housing, to prevent any damage to the screen during any accidental drops. The plastic housing also has rubber accents to help with grip, which is ideal if you’re operating the device while wearing gloves. Since the screen isn’t a touch screen, you can wear gloves whilst operating the device. This is actually an unexpected advantage of the Launch CRP123 over more much more expensive touch screen models.
The Launch CRP123 comes with a one year warranty included. This is a great feature, and protects you from manufacturer defects or issues with build quality. If you do start to notice any defects during the first two years, it’s a simple process to return the scan tool, and Launch will replace it free of charge. This just offers you a bit of peace of mind and will ensure that you aren’t taking any risks when you buy this Launch code reader and scanner.
Another great inclusion from Launch technologies is their update system. Launch say that you can update the Launch CRP123 for free for the lifetime of the device. This is impressive, especially at this price point. Regular updates will ensure that your scanner doesn’t become obsolete, when you’d have to buy a new scan tool. Updates usually include bug fixes, improved functionality and also increase the number of vehicles that are compatible with the Launch scanner.
So as a general overview, the Launch CRP123 is a solid code reader and scanner at its impressively low price point. It does all the usual modes of OBD2 diagnostics, and is also very easy to use and suitable for all competency levels. For the next part of this Launch review, we’ll look more closely at the Launch’s features, as well as its vehicle compatibility.
The Launch CRP123 is compatible with nearly all OBD2 vehicles that were built after 2005. This coverage is pretty good for an affordable scanner such as this offering from Launch. A wide range of vehicle compatibility is important as it will ensure that you as a mechanic can deal with whatever is placed in front of you. You never know what’s going to come through the workshop doors next.
It’s important to remember that the Launch CRP123 is an OBD2 diagnostic tool. This means that it is compatible with OBD2 vehicles only. If you want to scan an OBD1 compatible vehicle, then you’ll most likely need to get a second scanner for those cars. OBD1 cars are those built in 1995 or earlier.
The Launch is compatible with a range of car brands from the United States, Europe and Asia car markets. It has particularly good coverage for cars built in Europe and Asia especially. You’ll be able to use the Launch CRP123 on nearly every occasion, and it’s very unlikely to let you down with vehicles that it can’t cover.
For its price, this Launch CRP123 OBD2 scanner has excellent functionality and competes with scan tools that have a much higher price tag. In this section of the review we’ll go through a few of these features in a bit more depth.
Read and Clear Error Codes
The Launch CRP123 OBD2 scanner is a solid code reader. Being able to read and clear error codes is a common feature of all good OBD2 scanners. Having said that, the Launch does it effortlessly. It reads codes accurately and clears them quickly. It also explains what the error code means, so that you get straight to fixing the problem.
Ultimately having a good code reader saves the mechanic a lot of time because he would otherwise be spending it looking up error codes online and trying to find out what they mean. This method is fine, but in the busy workshop there isn’t much time to waste!
ABS Systems Test
This Launch scanner has an effective ABS systems test function that helps you understand any problems with anti lock brake system. The OBD2 scanner can perform initial diagnostics on the ABS system which will highlight any thing that isn’t behaving as expected in the system.
You can also run an SRS test using the Launch CRP123 OBD2 scanner. SRS is basically the airbag and seatbelt system, so obviously it’s very important to make sure these are working correctly before getting the car back on the road. The Launch tech scan tool can read SRS error codes and point you in the direction of any issues within the SRS system. Again, this is much quicker than doing everything manually. The ABS, SRS, transmission and other system tests are all similar to each other on this Launch device.
The real time data stream is a big feature of the Launch CRP123 OBD2 scanner. All great OBD2 diagnostics tools will have a data stream feature, and it is up there with the most useful things that a scanner can offer mechanics in their workshops.
The data stream will report on a variety of different engine components and will help you know whether or not your engine is running correctly and efficiently and display lots of vehicle information. It will display readings for fuel trims, which let you know whether or not you are using too much fuel, engine RPM and much more.
It can also be used for rough calculations about emissions, using your vehicle’s oxygen sensors, which are placed before and after the catalytic converter. This is an interesting way to see how pure the air is that is being passed out of the car’s exhaust.
A stand out feature of the Launch CRP123 OBD2 scanner is its data graphing capabilities. You wouldn’t really expect data graphing from a budget OBD scanner like the Launch, so to have it here is a fantastic inclusion. Data graphing displays the data stream with an intuitive layout, so that it’s easy to see progressions in the readings, or the effects of pressing the throttle pedal for example.
The data graphing can also be combined with the Launch scanner’s freeze frame technology. This technology can capture freeze data readings from a variety of test modes, from a particular moment in time. For example, you might want to freeze a frame of data when the throttle is not being compressed and a frame where it is being compressed, and then compare the two. Using the data graph you can lay these frames on top of one another for easy direct comparison.
The software that runs on the Launch CRP 123 is very simple and easy to use. It isn’t overcomplicated by unnecessary menus and it’s quick to find any function that you want to perform. It’s fast and responsive with no frustrating lag.
This great software is paired with the CRP 123’s unique joystick and directional pad design, which make navigating through the already simple menus even more of a breeze. The scanner really is a joy to use and is a breath of fresh air amongst a lot of overly complex and confusing scan tools.
It’s this simplicity that makes the Launch CRP 123 accessible to beginners, but just because it is easy to understand doesn’t mean that it isn’t powerful. In the right hands this scan tool can compete with a lot of OBD2 scanners that command a much higher price tag.
The Launch CRP123 OBD2 scanner has a very compact design. It measures 9.2 x 7.8 x 1.7 inches, which is much smaller than most OBD2 scan tools. The advantage is that the CRP 123 is extremely portable and can be easily taken out on the road or to answer a breakdown call.
Moreover, the device only weighs 1.4 pounds which is impressively low. Launch haven’t sacrificed on build quality to achieve these numbers though. The CRP 123 has a rugged and strong exterior, built with a solid plastic material. The casing also has rubber accents to improve grip on the device. The bottom line is that the Launch CRP 123 won’t be getting damaged easily.
Real Time Data Stream
The real time data streaming that the Launch CRP 123 offers is perhaps its best and most useful feature. The data stream lets mechanics look deep into an engine’s performance and makes it a lot easier for them to diagnose any potential issues with the vehicle.
This feature is even better when it’s paired up with the graph feature, which displays the data stream on a pair of axes for easy data interpretation and comparison.
Free Life-Time Updates
When you buy a Launch CRP 123, they throw in free software updates for the whole lifetime of the device. This is a great inclusion, and is a good reason to pick the CRP 123 over some similar scanners that don’t include updates.
The update ensure that the device isn’t going to become obsolete after you buy it. The updates themselves usually include bug fixes and optimisation of certain features. Launch have a great customer service team, and listen to the feedback of mechanics in order to make their products even better. The update is completed via the included USB cable.
The updates will also often add more vehicles to the compatibility list. This only makes the Launch CRP 123 an even more versatile tool, and an even more effective addition to any great workshop.
1 Year warranty
The included 1 year guarantee is a very welcome addition that Launch include in the package. The warranty protects the buyer from any defects that the product might have before you even start using it, such as manufacturing defects.
You’re also protected if the CRP 123 starts to show some defects as you continue to use it. The guarantee of course won’t cover any damage you accidentally do to the scanner yourself, but it will cover things like a lack of quality in the building and materials of the device for example.
Great, compact design
The Launch CRP123 OBD2 scanner weighs only 1.4 pounds and measures only 9.2 x 7.8 x 1.7 inches, so it’s easy to slide into your pocket during the day. Alternatively you can take this device out on the road for long journeys, or use it to respond to repair calls. The portability of the Launch CRP 123 makes it a very versatile code reader and scanner indeed.
Good vehicle coverage
The Launch CRP 123 is compatible with impressive range of vehicle makes and car models and you’re unlikely to come across a vehicle that the CRP 123 is going to struggle with anything that is wheeled into the workshop. The range of test modes that the scanner can complete are available on all the vehicles too.
Overall, the Launch CRP 123 is an excellent budget OBD2 scanner that offers a great variety of test modes at a very competitive price point. Whether you want to clear ABS, SRS, transmission or other error codes, the Launch CRP 123 makes it all easy and simple. You can also used some advanced features such as live stream data that really elevate this scan tool to a professional quality scanner.
The Launch CRP 123 has a great design and runs intuitive software. There’s hardly anything not to like with this little scanner! We definitely recommend the Launch CRP 123 for anyone interested in an entry-level yet powerful OBD2 code reading scan tool.
Like the CRP 123, the X431 is another great scan tool made by Launch technologies. Launch are known for their great diagnostic tools that are excellent at code reading SRS errors and offer solid coverage of vehicles. The review above talks all about the CRP 123, and you can get a good flavour of what Launch are all about.
The CRP123 works with a cable that plugs straight into your vehicle’s OBD2 port. This simple technology allows a lot of interaction between the scanner and the vehicle, and you get a lot of information about the engine and other vehicle functions.
For more information about the CRP 123’s functions, have a read of our review above.