The manual is well written but has a lot of information so you will have to refer to it if you only use the scanner occasionally or when using more advanced features. I would suggest that you download the PDF version of the manual from the manufacturer's site to keep just in case you lose the hard copy manual. In fact, I download the manual for all things that I buy that require a manual and that has come in very handy.
In actual use, the equus 3130 innova diagnostic code scanner is very easy to use once you understand it's operation although you will probably forget some of the more advanced procedures. I plugged it in and pressed the correct button and, in a few seconds, it told me that no DTCs were present. I then played around with live data, etc., and it worked very well. If you are just reading DTCs, it is very easy to use but then you really don't need a scanner with this many features.
The case that comes with the unit is a very nice soft case although it would have been better if it came with a blow-molded case that allowed you to store the cables in another compartment so the connectors don't scratch the scanner. But that's a small point. Again, the soft case is very nice.
I only have a couple very minor complaints so far and one of them has nothing to do with the tool itself. I used Amazon's free shipping option and, to my delight, the scanner arrived much sooner than their system said it would be delivered. I received it in three or four days. However, the packing wasn't ideal. The scanner itself comes in a very nice box that I almost hate to throw away but it was placed in a larger shipping box with no packing material in it so the inner box could bounce around in the outer box. That's not good for electronic devices, of course. Fortunately , no damage was done. My other complaint is one that others have mentioned in their reviews - that is, that the scanner comes with an archaic parallel connector on the PC end of the PC cable. Luckily, I happen to have a parallel port on my old PC but many people don't. Of course, you can buy a parallel to USB adapter cable but it's unfortunate that the scanner doesn't have a USB cable or at least include the adapter cable with the scanner. On the other hand, you may not want to connect it to your PC anyway. I did load up the software that comes with the scanner and it appears that it may be helpful but I don't think it's absolutely necessary to get good service from the scanner. That brings me to one last point: I have read in other reviews that you can get firmware updates from the manufacturer's site when the scanner is connected to your PC but I have been unable to find anything about those updates on the website. I do, however, see that I can upgrade the tool so it reads some ABS codes but that's another thing. At this point, I'm not sure if you can get non-ABS updates or not. I will contact the manufacturer about that. It would make sense to be able to get such updates, though, because I would imagine that new cars may have new manufacturer specific codes from time to time and the scanner should "know" about those codes.
All-in-all, I think it's a fine tool that will be of most value to the professional or experienced home mechanic. It won't do what extremely expensive scanners will do but it will do more than most people will require. It seems to be a very good value for someone like myself and that's why I chose it after researching many different scanners.
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NOTE: I am adding this note several weeks after my original review because I found a problem with the equus scan tool which other owners should be aware of and also because of what I believe to be poor customer support from the manufacturer. The button (green) that turns the scanner on and off is supposed to have to be pressed for several seconds to turn it on. That makes sense because that would help to prevent turning it on by accident. However, the button turns on instantly at the slightest touch and it is not recessed into the housing to prevent it being accidentally turned on. That's a problem because it can (and will) be turned on just from handling the soft case normally. It really does turn on inadvertently too. Even if you put the scanner face down in the case, it may still turn on just from the button touching the back of the case. It did for me. I don't know if this is a defect with my specific scanner or not but you may want to check yours out. I found my scanner turned on in the case several times after I had zipped it up and opened it again. For that reason, I'm going to store it with the batteries removed. One other thing that may be of interest to potential buyers of this product: I filled out the proper online technical support form at the manufacturer's website to ask about the button problem and also to ask if there are firmware updates available for the scanner (I do have their software installed on my PC.) I know there is an Anti-lock brake UPGRADE available, but some of the material at the manufacturer's website and also in reviews here suggest that you may be able to download firmware updates to the tool as well. However, I couldn't find any option to do that at the website so I asked technical support if firmware updates are available and, if so, how I would get them. Unfortunately, they never bothered to respond to my questions. In fact, they didn't even bother to acknowledge receiving them even though I filled out the proper online technical support form. For that reason, and also because of the button problem, I have changed my rating from five stars to four stars. It's not a good sign when a company does not bother to respond to customers.
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