Scan Tool Review: KIA/Hyundai/Mitsubishi
This month we look at KIA, Hyundai and Mitsubishi
Though they are South Korea’s oldest car manufacturer, KIA has only been selling cars in the United States since about 1994. As a result, they are in the unique position of having a near-100 percent OBD-II lineup and almost no “OBD-I only” scan tool. The KIA tester was the original tool for KIAs and it was simply a Mastertech MT3100 borrowed from Hyundai with KIA-specific information. The KIA tester became end of life in 2001, and offered no key or module programming.
The HiScan was implemented in 1998, after Hyundai acquired a 51 percent stake in KIA during a bankruptcy sale. Built by Carmen, the HiScan is a powerful scan tool and has very good coverage for the few pre-OBD-I models, as well as excellent OBD-II coverage up until 2007. Module and key programming are no problem with an updated HiScan.
The KIA Global Diagnostic System (GDS) is built by GIT Korea and is a laptop-based (Toughbook) scan tool that uses a vehicle communication module (VCM) interface. The GDS offers coverage for all years of KIA from 1994 to present. Key and module programming are accessed by going to KIA’s service website (www.kiatechinfo.com). The GDS is the best option to have if you are a KIA tech who wants complete capability on all systems.
Because they have been in the States longer, Hyundai has a few scan tools that predate the KIA tools. Hyundai’s early scan tool duties were split between the MUT, a Mitsubishi OBD-I tool, the Snap-on MT2500 and the Mastertech MT3100. My research was unable to determine when the MUT became end of life, but it appears to only have been viable for a few years. Both the Snap-on MT2500 and Mastertech MT3100 offered coverage up until 2001. Neither tool offered module or key programming.
Like KIA, the Carmen HiScan was implemented in the late ’90s and offered module and key programming from a reliable platform. Coverage includes all OBD-I and OBD-II up until 2007.
The Hyundai GDS is built by GIT Korea and is a laptop-based (Toughbook) scan tool that uses a VCM interface. The GDS offers coverage for all years of Hyundai from 1986 to present. Key and module programming are accessed by going to Hyundai’s service websites (http://www.hma service.com or http://www. hyundaitechinfo.com). Any technician looking for complete coverage on Hyundai needs to have a GDS in their stable.
An important note on KIA and Hyundai, even though they share common tool platforms, they run their own software. A technician wishing to work on both will need separate GDS platforms and separate manufacturer support for programming.
Mitsubishi was easily one of the hardest of the manufacturers to find information on. My research found Mitsubishi has had three tools to date, the MUT, MUT2 and MUT3. Unfortunately, there is little information available for the MUT and MUT2; however, the MUT3 is currently the dealer-level tool for Mitsubishi. It is a laptop-based platform that uses a VCM interface. Module and key programming with a Mitsubishi subscription can be obtained at http://www.mitsubishi techinfo.com. There are rumors that Mitsubishi is gearing up to introduce a new tool in the next year. For now, the MUT3 is the tool to have if you want full competence on Mitsubishi.
Editor’s Note: To read more about scan tools, be sure to visit ASA’s new Scan Tool Resource Center at www.scantoolresource.com.