Tool Review: Innova 5160 CarScan PRO scan tool

Oct. 13, 2017
This scan tool offers a wealth of resources and is fast, too.

The Innova 5160 CarScan PRO scan tool features an all-systems module Network Scan, Active Test and bi-directional controls to perform diagnostic routines, ABS and SRS live data and maintenance system resets for most gas, diesel and hybrid OBD-II vehicles on the road today. Optional OBD-I coverage is available to service model year 1982 to 1995 vehicles. It also features FixAssist technology with patented on-screen code and troubleshooting repair tips, and trip cycle procedures to support technicians in the proper validation of repairs. Users can clearly view and record diagnostic results on the tool’s full-color 3.5” display that provides the convenience to view up to four live data parameters at one time. The 5160 also features battery initialization, as well as steering angle, battery and oil light reset. The 5160 comes with a protective rubber boot and soft storage pouch. The 5160 includes access to the RepairSolutions Pro diagnostic solutions resource, created to help professionals and shops diagnose and repair today’s complex vehicles by providing verified fixes, difficulty ratings, TSBs, step-by-step repair instructions, resource to connect with fellow pros and more.

The Review

It’s amazing the amount of information manufacturers can now pack into one handheld tool. Scan tools have become an indispensable workhorse in automotive repair shops -- and for good reason. They often hold the key to complex diagnostics and troubleshooting. They can point technicians in the right direction and connect them with fellow professionals.   

For reviewer Rip Patel, shop foreman of Laguna Auto Service Center in Laguna Beach, Calif., the Innova 5160 CarScan PRO scan tool offered many useful capabilities. But he was blown away by its speed, and how easy it was to use.

Patel said the 5160 was “Awesome! … [the] quickest scanner in my toolbox.” He added the CarScan PRO is as fast as a code reader, yet as powerful as one of his larger OE scan tools.

Many technicians will be pleased to hear that this scanner is ready to go out-of-the-box, and from Patel’s point of view is “very, very simple to navigate.”

Patel reports the tool comes with a soft grip slip-on cover, LED-lit OBD-II connector and a soft carry case.

He used the included (multilingual) Quick Reference Guide to learn about the tool’s functions. The features he enjoyed the most were the 5160’s “easy-to-understand” emission monitor readiness -- in color, battery and alternator monitor, and oil reset function.

Technicians at Laguna Auto Service Center put the 5160 CarScan PRO to work daily to check monitor readiness on all makes and models prior to performing  smog checks. They also used it to scan generic OBD-II codes on every vehicle with an illuminated MIL, reset oil lamps on oil changes that require a tool to do so, and set steering angle after performing alignments on certain vehicles that require it.

“These are all daily activities,” says Patel. “I use this tool at least five times a day and up to 20, depending on what’s in the shop that day.”

Overall, he was “very impressed” with the scan tool.

“I believe this tool … can keep up with [other] brands us techs are familiar with and spend thousands of dollars on. [In fact] I feel it has more of an advantage … since it is easy to use and offers all the key features you need to get the job done,” Patel says. He compares “learning” a new scan tool to “learning” a new smartphone. In this case, he feels the 5160 “cuts that time down to nothing.”

“I even have my service writer using it to pull DTCs for customers when they’re at the counter and want a better idea of what’s going on,” he adds.

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