I purchased the Autel Maxisys Elite almost a year ago. I decided to buy it from an Autel representative based on his customer service skills and YouTube videos. I am based in the USA and the Autel rep is outside the USA. I paid a bit more for the tool because the direct human to human customer service is something I value a lot and it is something nearly extinct nowadays. Total price was $3600 USD and it was equipped with an additional cable for BMW programming and the nifty camera too.
The Autel marketing practices do very little to bring clarity to the details of what the tool can and can not do. When it comes to programming various modules found in our vehicles, the details are lacking. It can program BMW and Mercedes Benz from the tablet, but it can not program GM modules because the software to program GM runs on Windows, not Android. However, you can use the Autel J-Box for your VCI and connect it to a Windows based PC using a USB cable and log on to the GM website for programming. The reason I bought it was for the BMW and Mercedes market – I have heard from many sources that it works very good with the German cars.
Recently, I had the need to reprogram the Driver’s side SAM Module in a 2012 S550. I plug in the Autel and proceed with the process. Step 1 of programming completed without error, but step 2 – the SCN Coding had errors and did not complete. So, I was left with the original customer complaint fixed, but a new issue presented itself. So, I called the nice fella I bought my tool from and he proceeds to assist me in resolving this issue. He connects to my tool via Team Viewer and we step through the process for programming the Mercedes as we are data-logging the entire process along the way. We reach the point of failure and stop the data-logging and he continues to write a detailed description for the bug report to send over to the engineering team with Autel. All this is done from within my tool FYI.
Less than 24 hours later, Autel has manually uploaded the SCN data into my tool. I go to perform the same process again and thankfully, it worked like a charm!
It goes to show that some tools are worthy of a legitimate purchase because I doubt Autel will be willing to manually upload any fixes into a stolen or pirated tool. It also goes to show how valuable the person to person customer service is. I am one who despises having a robot answer the phone when I call. I also hate navigating through endless menus trying to get a real human on the line to speak to. I’m willing to pay for real customer service and this time, it really paid off and I’m sure it will be that way in the future considering the Autel Rep continues doing his thing.
If you value the customer service as much as I do, here’s a YouTube video from him about how to finance any Autel diagnostic tool without the bank being involved and his name is Curtis (Curt) Hardin. I did not go with the financing because I paid for my tool in full.
If you’re curious about the Mercedes vehicle issue itself – here are the details…
The message center on the instrument cluster shows “Charge Battery” at all times with the key on. The steering wheel controls on the left hand side (switch group s/110) are inoperable leaving no way to navigate through the on-board menu.
After diagnosis and replacement of the consumer battery, the symptoms remained the same. Using the fuck-it approach and replacing the primary battery and battery sensor, the symptoms still did not change, concluding to an issue within one of the 56 different computer modules in the car. Well, 55 since the battery monitor module was temporarily swapped out with a new unit.
Programming the Driver Side SAM Module without proper SCN coding fixed the message on the instrument cluster and brought back the steering wheel button functions. The new problem it presented was a “Hood Open” message on the instrument cluster and added an annoying constant beeping tone when the car is driven. Bypassing the hood switch and using a jumper wire in the plug for testing purposes produced no change by simulating a hood open and closed situation.
Programming the Driver Side SAM Module with proper SCN coding fixed the error with the Hood Open message.