I am looking to purchase a diagnostic tester that can be used on a variety of cars/trucks. All are newer than 1996. I not only want to be able to read the codes but reset them as well if required. I have a 2000 Jaguar S-Type, a 1997 Buick Century, a 2007 Chevy Impala, a 2001 HD2500 Chevy Truck and a 1996 Dodge Intrepid (includes wife & kids vehicles) and a 2000 Daewoo Lanos (my tinker car). I am not a mechanic so I don't need to spend a gazillion dollars on one. I just want a good basic one that I can use well into the future. Suggestions on brand and where to buy?
The computer language changed, thanks to your government idiots, around the 2004 model year so the older scanners won't work on your 2007 model. I use the Chrysler DRB3. Because it is the newer version, it only works back to 1998 models. With a plug-in card, it will work back to '94 models and that card lets it work on all brands of cars starting with '96 models, but that is only for emissions-related stuff meaning engine sensors and switches. A different card lets it work on all Chrysler products back to 1983 models. It is bidirectional too meaning you can turn things on and off by pressing buttons on the scanner. That is real useful when you want to turn on a relay or motor or injector.
You might look at the Tech2 which I think is what they use at GM dealerships. Those cost less than the DRB3 but don't do as much. A lot of people are buying the Genysis which sounds like a good all around choice. It will access anti-lock brakes, air bag, and Body Computers unlike most other scanners. Snapon has four scanners too but their stuff is expensive and like GM, they've figured out ways to squeeze more money from you after you buy their products.
You might check on eBay for a good used scanner. Mechanics have to constantly upgrade their systems to remain current and like computers, their old ones become obsolete quickly but still work fine.