iCarsoft CR Pro+

I’ve got an USB-OBD2 adapter and BMW’s INPA software, but when I got my W211, I needed something else to be able to diagnose the car. It became obvious pretty quickly that a system from iCarsoft would probably be the most cost-effective solution.

They offer several consumer-oriented devices. The cheaper ones are single-brand only. Others cover only European vehicles, but I wanted something that could be used universally. Here the CR Pro+ appeared to be the best option. There’s also a CR Max, but this seems to offer essentially the same functions, only with a bigger touchscreen interface.

The CR Pro+ does not have a touchscreen, but is controlled by buttons instead. It is powered either via USB (micro USB cable included) or from the OBD2 port. The software is contained on a micro SD card, updates can be downloaded for free.

The diagnostic functionality essentially has two modes: Reading standard OBD2 codes, and reading manufacturer-specific codes from all onboard systems. The latter is something that cheaper OBD2 tools usually don’t offer. All diagnostics can be stored for later review. You can also display live data and reset service counters.

It does however make sense to always read both the generic OBD2 codes and the manufacturer-specific codes. When diagnosing a faulty ignition coil, the Mercedes-specific fault code had a somewhat ambiguous text stating that either cylinder 3 or 5 might be affected, whereas the OBD2 P-code specifically mentioned cylinder 5. I’ve tried finding a list of Mercedes codes with more detailed explanations, but haven’t succeeded so far. Apparently you need the Mercedes WIS system for full code explanation.

I find the CR Pro+ very easy to use for simple diagnostic task. I haven’t taken a dive into the full functionality yet. It is also possible to modify adaptations and calibrations of many systems, and this is where it really outperforms simpler OBD2 readers that can only read and clear error codes.

So should you get the CR Pro+ or one of iCarsoft’s other offerings? I think that if you want to do your own maintenance and repairs on a car built during the last 25 years, there’s really no way to do so without at least some basic OBD2 reading capability. iCarsoft has a good reputation and a large range of products to cater to your needs. The CR Pro+ is one of the top-of-the-line products, but you can save money by getting a single-brand model or one with reduced functionality instead.


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