Scan Tool Review: Nissan/Infiniti, Subaru, Isuzu, Suzuki

This month, we touch on some of the smaller (in the U.S. market) Japanese manufacturers: Nissan/Infiniti, Subaru, Isuzu and Suzuki.


Nissan’s early computers used the Engine Computer Control System (ECCS), which was integrated into the electronic control module (ECM) with a series of lights in the ECM that indicated a concern when a test mode switch was selected. The ECCS Checker tool basically allowed a tech to remote view the lights to make diagnostic testing easier.

The CONSULT (Computerized On-Board System Universal Tester) scan tool was Nissan/Infiniti’s first traditional scanner handling all post ECCS controllers with OBD-I and providing a very limited role on OBD-II up through 1997. It was replaced by the Vetronix-built CONSULT2, which became Nissan’s flagship scanner through 2007. The CONSULT2 offered complete Nissan and Infiniti coverage through 2008, and allowed the user to program any programmable module or security keys.

Nissan technical information and programming subscriptions can be purchased through: home.aspx. Infiniti information and programming subscriptions can be purchased by visiting

In 2006, the CONSULT3 was released. PC-based (Toughbook), it marked Nissan’s entrance to the laptop with interface race. A fully capable tool, the CONSULT3 offers graphing, as well as programming for all modules and keys. This platform was replaced by the CONSULT3+, which – like the CONSULT3 – used a Cannon-built interface and Panasonic Toughbook laptop. Both the CONSULT3 and CONSULT3+ models do not support OBD-I coverage. The CONSULT3+ is the most current tool and should be the tool for any shop looking to work on OBD-II Nissan/Infiniti.

A special thank you to Nissan North America Inc. for helping with research for this article.


Subaru is one of the simpler vehicle lines to understand. Basically, all of Subaru’s tools are some variation of the “Subaru Select Monitor” Versions 1, 2 and 3. The first version was only capable on OBD-I and the first two years of OBD-II. The second version (SSM2) offers coverage through 2006, including OBD-I. It also offers a built-in oscilloscope; however, this tool is a slow-to-use platform that will have little value to most technicians.

The SSM3 is the current Subaru tool and offers complete coverage for OBD-II from 1996, but does not offer coverage for OBD-I. The SSM3 is not available to the independent repair sector. Instead, Subaru has made available a nearly identical tool called the HDS 3000. Like the SSM3, the HDS 3000 is a Hitachi-built tool that includes CAN coverage and complete programming capabilities when coupled with Subaru information and programming subscriptions purchased through: http://techinfo.

The HDS 3000 is not available directly through Subaru so purchase inquiries should be made with Bluestreak, Subaru’s authorized reseller, at


No longer sold in the U.S., the Isuzu lineup pretty much starts and ends with the Tech1a and the Tech 2. Subscriptions can be purchased at and a Tech2 with an Isuzu card will give a technician complete coverage on any issue. Isuzu truck subscriptions can be purchased at


Like General Motors Co., Suzuki utilized the Tech1a and Tech2 platforms until 2008. The Tech1a only functions for OBD-I systems and the Tech2 was a fully functional tool that included OBD-I and OBD-II coverage up to 2008.

Any 2009 and newer scanning and programming is accomplished with the Suzuki SDT tool and a Suzuki subscription purchased at Key programming requires a special cable and SDRM approval. A technician looking to be fully competent on all years of Suzuki will need to have a Tech2 and an SDT.