Launch X431 : Buyers Guide & Reviews

The Launch X431 Pro is an OBD2 diagnostic scanner designed to be used in the professional workshop. As an OBD2 scanner, the Launch X431 is packed with features to assist with vehicle servicing and repairs. This Launch X431 review will give a comprehensive overview of the scan tool and will ensure that you can make an informed decision as to whether this is the right device for you and your workshop.

There are a few different models of the Launch X431, but in this review, we’re going to focus on the Launch X431 Pro Mini. The other similar models are the Launch X431 V+, and the X431 VIII.

The first part of the review will give a general overview of the scan tool, then will go more in depth into the Launch X431 compatibility, functionality and key features. Finally, we’ll give our verdict on the diagnostic scanner at the end.

Product Overview

Launch Technologies have been producing high quality OBD2 scanners for nearly 3 decades now, and the Launch X431 Pro Mini is no exception. OBD tools are best known for being able to read and clear vehicle trouble codes, and the X431 does this very well. It reads error codes quickly and accurately, and the scan tool can then be used to clear the trouble codes when the repairs have been completed. It is expected that a scan tool will be able to read and clear codes effectively, but you can’t say that the Launch X431 doesn’t do this feature well.

The Launch X431 is a bi-directional scan tool, which means the scanner can send information to the vehicle as well as receive information. The advantage of a bi-directional scanner is that it allows the mechanic to run active tests. Active testing is where the mechanic can control vehicle functions directly from the OBD2 scanner, without touching any parts of the vehicle. For example, you can command the actuators to perform functions, which you wouldn’t be able to do without a bidirectional scan tool. Active tests are a great way to highlight any issues in the engine, and a simple way to run complex diagnostics.

The X431 can run tests on all systems of the vehicle. This is great since it means you have an all in one device, and don’t have to purchase separate tools to deal with each vehicle system. The scan tool can diagnose problems with systems such as the transmission, fuel injection and emissions levels. These are just a couple of examples: the X431 has extensive all systems coverage

A really great and innovative feature that is included on the Launch X431 Pro Mini is its key programming feature. This allows you to programme a new set of keys to the vehicle. This is an essential task if your keys get stolen as you’ll want to change the programming on the car so that the stolen keys can’t open it, and of course you’ll want your new keys to be able to open the doors. This is quite a rare tool for a diagnostic scan tool, and it’s unique features like key programming that set the X431 Launch device apart from the competition.

The X431 also supports ECU coding. ECU coding allows the mechanic to recode parts of the car’s CPU and alter some of its functions. This could be useful for a few reasons. Firstly, you might want to code in a new component that has been added to the vehicle, so that it can function properly within the car’s systems. Secondly, you can use ECU coding to adjust the actuators and tune the vehicle to perform the way you or the customer want it to.

Finally you can adjust the response of the some of the vehicle’s electronics. For example, you could change how many times the indicator flashes when activated, or recode the CPU so that pressing a certain button on the key fob winds the wing-mirrors in. The possibilities with ECU coding are practically endless and including this feature of the Launch X431 code reader is a big plus for the device.

The Launch X431 Pro Mini is a compact and very portable scan tool. This is ideal if you need to take your scanner out to respond to a call, or just want to be able to slip it into your pocket during the day. It weighs around 7.45 pounds and it measures 15.9 x 11.9 x 4.2 inches. It’s basically the same size and weight as a modern smartphone. It also runs on a smartphone operating system:

The scanner is underpinned by an Android operating system. Android make software for a huge number of different smartphones, tablets and professional tools, so you know that you’ll be able to rely on this software all the time. It works quickly and is completely lag free so won’t be causing any frustration in the workshop.

The operating system can be updated regularly, and Launch include two years free updates when you buy the device. Having these updates is great, and will make sure that the device won’t become out of date soon after you buy it. These updates often include bug fixes for various functions, and will often add more vehicles and makes to the compatibility list.

If you want even more peace of mind, the Launch X431 Pro Mini comes with a one year warranty, so you’re protected against any manufacturing defects or issues with build quality. Your scanner will be replaced free of charge if you do have any issues that aren’t your fault.

Compatibility

The Launch X431 Pro Mini has an excellent level of vehicle coverage and it is compatible with vehicle models and car makes from across the globe. In fact, the Launch X431 Pros Mini is compatible with over 150 different car manufacturers from the European, Asian and American car markets. This is quite a staggering level of coverage, and you’ll struggle to beat it with any other OBD2 scanner.

Compatibility and vehicle coverage is important since the wider the number of vehicles that can pair with the device, the more you’ll be able to use your scan tool. This ultimately saves you more time and money. You don’t want to buy an expensive scanner only to find out you can only use it once in a while, with only a few makes and models.

This Launch scanner will give you the confidence to know that whatever is wheeled into the workshop, you’ll have a good chance of being able to work on it and repair it. This is ideal for the mechanic that is dealing with lots of different vehicle brands throughout their working day.

Functionality

The Launch Pro X431 Mini comes with a huge range of features that make it stand out as one of the best scan tools in its price bracket. Nearly all OBD2 scanners can do basic functions such as code reading and turning off the Oil reset light, so it’s important that a device has some extra functions that it can offer to the professional mechanic. This part of the Launch X431 review article will talk about some of the Launch X431 Mini’s functionality.

Bi Directional Tool

The Launch X431 is a BiDirectional tool. This means that it can send information to a vehicle’s system, as well as receive diagnostic readings back from the car. This is an excellent feature, and can be used in a variety of ways to take your servicing to the next level.

For example, the Launch X431 can be used to command actuators to perform specific tasks, such as turning the fuel pump on and off or opening the throttle. This is particularly useful since it means mechanics can control their vehicles, without having to touch any of the pedals or interior buttons. This is turn means you can get up close with the actual vehicle components, and command them using the Launch X431 and watch to see how they respond.

The BiDirectional features of the Launch X431 Mini are pretty impressive, particularly so when you consider the tool’s low, almost budget price point.

Wireless Functionality

The Launch X431 Pros Mini comes with a bluetooth adapter that plugs straight into the OBD port of your vehicle. The X431 can then pair up with this adapter and use OBD functions to test vehicle systems wirelessly. This bluetooth technology really makes the X431 easy to use and ensures you have the maximum freedom to move around the car when you’re performing fixes. Usually an OBD tool plugs into the port via a cable, which can get in the way and be quite annoying.

The connection is always strong and you won’t experience any lag between the transmitter and your X431. The functions are still performed as quickly and accurately as they would be via a wired connection.

Auto VIN Technology

The X431 has autoVIN technology, which means that it will automatically detect the make and model of the car you are servicing as soon as you connect up the device. This means you don’t have to manually set up anything. Typing in makes and models and age by hand can be pretty time consuming, and the Auto VIN will ultimately save you time and therefore money in the long run.

ECU Coding

The X431’s ECU coding feature allows a technician to re-programme a variety of elements of a car’s CPU. You can adjust how the actuators are set up, as well as change some of the electronic systems. ECU coding gives you a lot of freedom and basically lets you tune and set up the car however you or the client desires.

For example you can alter how many times the indicator blinks after you activate it, or alter how the stop/start system is working. You can even do things like change the noise and volume of vehicle chimes or do some injector coding. It is worth noting that although ECU coding is very easy to use on the X431, it’s important that you really do some research and know what you’re doing. One wrong move can void warranties and potentially remove important safety features from the car.

Key Programming

A great and useful feature that the X431 supports is Key programming. This is ideal if you or client has lost their car keys and wants to change the coding on the vehicle locks so that the thief will not be able to access the car. This feature is also used to programme new keys to replace the stolen ones.

This is quite an advanced it of functionality, so to have it on the X431 Mini is quite impressive. It’s definitely a useful feature for the workshop.

All Systems Diagnosis

The Launch X431 Pros Mini can read trouble codes from across all vehicle systems. Whether you want to diagnose issues with the ABS, SRS, transmission, fuel system or much more, the X431 will be able to help. It quickly reads error codes from these systems and gives you a concise description of what the problem with that system could be. After you’ve completed the repair, you can then use the Launch tech X431 to clear the error code and move on to the next one.

Live Data Stream

This Launch scan tool has a live data stream function which allows the user to see vehicles statistics and readings in real time. The live data stream includes readings for fuel trims, oxygen sensors, throttle position and engine RPM. The best thing about live data is that you can see how the vehicle responds under certain conditions. For example you can press the throttle whilst looking at the data stream to see where any problems are arising.

The live data feature is paired with freeze frame technology, which lets you save a snapshot of vehicle data from a single moment in time. This could be the moment you start to press the accelerator for example. You can then overlay this information with other freeze frames to compare data.

Free Updates

Launch throw in two years free update as part of the package. Each free update will address any bugs with the Android 7.1 software and also add functionality and extra vehicle compatibilities. Having a free update regularly means that the Launch X431 is not going to become obsolete. Each update is completed easily over wi fi.

Key Features

Wide System Coverage

The Launch X431 has a wide range of system coverage for components such as ABS, SRS and the Steering Angle Sensor. The Launch X431 can read and clear trouble odes across these systems and also do things like turn off the check engine light.

Anti-theft

The key re-programming feature on this Launch X431 is the perfect tool if you lose your car keys and need to recode the locks so that the car can’t also be stolen. You can also use this to programme new keys.

Freeze frame

Freeze frame technology is included on the Launch X431 and lets the user capture data from a specific moment in time, so that it can be compared with other data.

Compact design

The Launch X431 Mini has a compact design that make it ultra portable and able to slip into a back pocket. The design is also great in general, with a bright lcd color screen that is protected by a durable plastic shell.

User interface

The interface, which runs on Android 7.1, is extremely easy to use and understand. This just makes your servicing quicker and easier. The 2 years free update inclusion means you can do a regular software update to keep your Launch X431 fully functional.

The Verdict

Overall, the Launch X431 is an excellent OBD2 scanner, especially at its competitive price point. The wide range of coverage over lots of car models make this device perfect for mechanics or car owners who are dealing with lots of different vehicles. The 2 years free update feature also ensures that the Launch X431 will stay up to date for a long time into the future.

FAQs

Is the Launch X431 any good?

The Launch X431 Mini is an excellent scan tool that is sure to impress car owners and mechanics alike. Whether you need to prepare your vehicle for ABS bleeding or just run an Oil reset service, the Launch X431 is bound to have you covered. It has a wide range of coverage over car models and is very easy to use. Have a look at our review above for more information about the Launch X431 Pro.

What can the Launch X431 do?

The Launch X431 Pro has an impressive range of features that make it a great choice for your workshop. It can prepare your car for ABS bleeding, display a data comparison chart, service the body control module, run a variety of tests modes on the ABS system and much more!

Which is better: Launch VS Autel?

Both companies produce some of the best OBD2 scanners on the market. Launch scanners and Autel ones are always well built, have good coverage over vehicle models, have solid functionality and are easy to use. Have a look at the review of the Launch X431 above for a taste of a great OBD2 scan tool.

What is the best scan tool on the market?

There are lots of great scan tools on the market today, but there are a few considerations you have to make to decide which one is best for you. The Launch X431 Pros Mini is an excellent, easy to use choice from Launch Tech USA and we have a review this X431 pro mini device above.

Launch X431
Launch X431 OBD2 Scanner
4.54.5 / 5
It is one of the popular brands considered as a diagnostic tool for vehicles.
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