Thank you for all the great informationWelcome Aboard!
I bought the BlueDriver Pro for $100 for my OBD2 LT1. So far, I like it. Did have some connectivity issues at first as in it would connect once and not connect again unless I scanned our Hyundai or Toyota, then it would connect right up for one session. I updated the firmware and it not only connects every time, it connects faster too. It does the "Repair Reports" which is one of the reasons I leaned towards it, and honestly, that's the biggest let down. Before the update, I couldn't access the Reports, and after the update I could, but so far, the ONE code I have says "not a common code" and gives me the option of creating the report for others. Going back to my historical codes, I had one for the brake switch which the "Repair Report" said the solution was to replace the switch, and yeah, that would work, but the actual solution was to adjust the switch which you would unknowingly do upon replacement. As for scanning, it goes as deep as your computer will let it. I have 3 OBD2 vehicles here. A '96, '04, and '18. The newer the vehicle, the more information I have access to.
As far as "advanced diagnostics" go, if the computer supports it, it will read it. Not all scanners can talk to all modules, BlueDriver claims to talk to them all. Don't think the 'bird is very complex though, it's probably as basic as it gets so all the extended functionality might be for naught. Any scanner that does OBD2 will work for you, so buy according to features you want, or what your budget allows. At the very least/cheapest, you can only read and clear trouble codes. The more you pay, the more you get. I highly suggest the ability to read live sensor data and data-log as well as reading/clearing codes. The ability to graph multiple sensors in real-time is nice but not necessary.
BlueDriver seemed the best bang-for-the-buck and it had Bluetooth connectivity. After the Firmware Update, I have no complaints. I leave it plugged in 24/7 as it's not in my way, and the instant I realize I need to view a sensors data, it's only a matter of starting the app on my phone which is always in my possession. Takes under a minute to go from "I need to scan" to seeing live data. However I had it setup the last time I used it is how it initializes, so there's no digging through a list of sensors every time I start it. Convenient!
I was looking at the Innova 3040RS (~$105) and Actron CP9670 (~$160) so I could buy local. BlueDriver had the functionality of the CP9670 at 3040RS pricing and Bluetooth connectivity. I don't think I'd have been any more or less happy with the Innova or Actron to be honest. Both would have done what I need. ...the key is what the computer supports. One scanner might be over-kill in it's feature set if you do not have more modern vehicles to take advantage of them. ...but "Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.".
The best scan tool you can buy is the reproduction of GM's actual scan tool used at all the dealerships, it's called a Tech-II Clone. Those go for around $300. This was my first choice as it would have also worked with my OBD1 LT1. I didn't have $300 in the moment though, and I need it now. It can take several weeks to get a Tech-II delivered. I decided to got something cheaper in the moment and thought that if I didn't like it, I would return it and order a Tech-II, or keep it and order a Tech-II anyway. The Tech-II does have a function or two that no 3rd party tool costing less than $4,000 includes. Those functions are so rarely needed though that 99.9% of people never use them. The dealer charges $100 to connect their tool and press the special button.
A member here wrote a Windows program which is free to download and use, but you would need the "OBD2 to USB" ALDL cable and a Windows Laptop or Tablet. I have not used it, but he also wrote a program for OBD1 LT1's which I have been using for nearly a decade and I love it.
Guys, I have written a scan program for PC for the OBD2 cars (96-02) and posted it here: http://www.mediafire.com/?0elo4c935uc5s It is a fairly normal OBD2 scan utility, but does NOT do any bi-directional control or programming (yet). I wrote it in order to make available a free version that...www.firebirdnation.com
Also, once you pull codes with your new scan-tool, you're going to need to know what to do with them. The Factory Service Manual has flow-charts for every code the computer can throw at you. The same member who wrote GDScan has scanned all the Factory Service Manuals into PDF and provided them for us free of charge. Adobe Reader is required to search through them.
MediaFire is a simple to use free service that lets you put all your photos, documents, music, and video in a single place so you can access them anywhere and share them everywhere.www.mediafire.com