This is Trollhattan’s contribution for those interested in playing with a Tech 2 scan tool, here’s a little info regarding the software requirements once you’ve got your hands on a Tech 2 handset.
Firstly, I’m by no means an expert on this having only recently got this up and running myself, but I think that’s the tricky part. I’d welcome comments on where this post can be improved/altered etc. Most of the information is already out there on various boards/forums but it would be nice to try to bring it together for us with a purely Saab interest.
For those who don’t know, the Tech 2 unit (handset) can be used to interrogate the various management modules on the car (ECU) to report status, fault codes and perform manual activation and monitoring in the event of fault occurrences/engine management light occurrences. This in itself is incredibly useful, but it is also possible to reprogram modules within the car to change various functions and add or replace faulty modules and programme keys. Whilst the diagnosis side can be performed standalone, to be able to actually change settings on the car, Tech 2 ‘Security Access’ is required, which means activating the Tech 2 handset via PC software.
The original Tech 2 handsets were produced by Vetronix/Bosch and were used across the GM range. Therefore, the Tech 2 unit can be used on a wide array of cars but you must have the correct model software loaded on the removable PCMCIA card. This is what turns the Tech 2 into a Saab Tech 2. (If you have mates with GM/Suzuki etc cars, you can do diagnosis on them as well by just grabbing the appropriate software card.)
The PC software also adds other functionality such as being able to update the Tech 2 software, the car ECU software, print-outs of ECU data and additional diagnostic services – I believe the TIS2Web actually includes schematic diagrams and other WIS (workshop) info, but I have yet to investigate this.
So, for the software itself, there are two options.
If you get a clone, this generally comes with a couple of TIS2000 CDs/DVDs. However, these are generally NAO (North American Operations) and do not include any UK/European Saab models. In fact the only Saab this will work with is a 9-7x which was a GM US-built SUV – anyone got one of these??? Anyway, the crucial point is that this software only supports models up to 2007/8 (which is probably good enough for most of us) so if you’ve a later model you’ll need to use TIS2Web (see below). But as I said, this software as supplied does not include Saab models, so to run it successfully:
a) Download Saab TIS2008-2. This is the update disc you need to turn the GM application into something useful. You can find it if you’re patient… Best to burn the image to a CD.
b) Install the GM TIS2000 application (needs to be Windows, 32-bit operating system). If supplied with a clone, there are normally two discs. One is the app, the other is the GM update disc, which is not required. If this is the case, install the first disc only but don’t run up the application on completion. If you didn’t get it with a clone, you can get a copy with the USB dongle for about £15 (see e) below). If prompted to select a registration method, select USB Key and OK the prompts.
c) Insert the SaabTIS2008-2 update disc (or mount the drive) into the same drive you installed the original GM TIS2000 application. This is important as the application will only look for updates at the same drive letter (i.e D:) that was used for installation.
d) Start TIS2000 from the desktop icon/start menu and OK it when it asks to do the update. When the update is finished, you’ll have a Saab 2008-2 installation.
e) All that is now required is to activate the software to get security access (enable Tech 2 programming). To do this you’ll need a USB key and patch available from the same sources as the clone Tech 2 units. These are around £15 and come with the TIS2000 GM software, or may even be supplied with the unit.
TIS2Web or GlobalTIS
TIS2Web is essentially an updated version of TIS2000 with some additional functionality (I’ve yet to play properly with it). Some may say this is the preferred option as it’s backwards compatible with earlier models and covers up to MY2012. The basic features are borrowed from TIS2000 though. Only disadvantage is it’s a bit trickier to get it working.
a) Acquire a copy of the Saab TIS2Web software. Again, this needs to be the Saab version. You can pay less than a tenner for this on the auction site, or you can find it on the internet if you look.
b) Install the software. This takes a little time and, unlike TIS2000 which allows much functionality without activation, you can’t do anything with TIS2Web until you’ve activated it.
c) Open the TIS2Web application. The application runs in a web browser so will open your default browser. This can take some time to open.
d) Once you’ve got to the registration page, you need to enter dealer information. This can be gobbledegook but I think you need to fill all the fields. Save this and then go to step e).
e) Click on the Email/Fax registration. This will generate a PDF which you should save. The important stuff is the Request ID and the Software Key.
f) To get your activation code, you need to be nice to members on one of a couple of auto diagnostic forums (unless you know someone with a keygen for this). Searching the net for this sort of stuff should bring them up as top search matches. You’ll need to join the forum, introduce yourself and politely request a code. Don’t upset them, they’re helping us out and there’s a bunch of knowledgeable people on there so no harm in being a member.
g) Once you have the code, enter it and activate TIS2Web. You’re done.
Faultfinding the TIS2Web install.
You may well have a couple of issues getting the software running initially. If your web browser refuses to connect to the TIS2Web service, it’s likely that one of the two GlobalTIS services are not running. To fix this, open the ‘services’ console either by
Start>Run and type “services.msc”
Right-click ‘My Computer” select ‘Manage’ and drill down to the services icon on the left pane.
There are two services that should be running and they’ve got obvious names, something like GlobalTIS and TC6 (not near my TIS PC at the moment) and sit next to each other in the services list. In the information pane they should say ‘started’. If not, right-click and select ‘start’. If this fails with an error, try modifying the registry key below.
To open registry editor Start>Run regedit BE CAREFUL MODIFYING THE REGISTRY – YOU CAN REALLY SCREW YOUR PC UP!!!!!
In the left pane, expand the keys until you find the following
HKLM\Software\Apache Software Foundation\Procrun2.0\Global TISTC6\Parameters\Java\JvmMx
Change the value of this key from 0X0000044 to 0X00000200 and exit the registry. Try to restart the service – you should find it now works. Don’t ask me why, I got this fix from another forum – fair play to the guy who found it.
Tech 2 Hardware Issues
It’s widely reported that the manufacturing quality of some of the clone units can be much lower than the originals and there are reports of issues. I found that the flat grey ethernet cable supplied with my unit was faulty and caused me much confusion until I threw it out and replaced it with a standard network cable. You can check you have RS232 comms using the GM TIS2000 install and going into the Tech 2 View option. Don’t mess about with serial port settings etc as if there is a physical connection there it will work without interference. Only pins 4 and 5 of the RJ45 RS232 socket are actually used. The units are also supplied with a loopback adaptor so they can be tested internally.
Occasionally you may find the Tech 2 doesn’t connect to the car. Check your connections are secure and reset the VCI module (the thing in the base of the handset held in by the plastic release button).
Wow, quite a long post. I’ll add more if necessary. Let me know how you guys get on. Please remember that YOU CAN REALLY BREAK YOUR CARS REPROGRAMMING THE ECUS so be extremely careful, ensure good battery voltage and good connections while uploading data to the ECU. Save what’s on there first before you make any major changes.
Again, I’m very new to this myself but thought I’d put this here for like-minded Saab nuts who want to get involved with this stuff. I’m sure there are others on the forum who have much more knowledge and experience with the actual programming and diagnostics.
For now, I’m happy to have disabled the nagging seatbeat chime (am I the only person who likes to let their car warm up before driving off?) and altered the boot lock logic so it doesn’t lock itself at every available opportunity. Oh, and I’ve activated the zap sound so I know it’s been locked.
Be careful, have fun.
P.S I have no affiliations with any of the sites/software etc just spent a long time getting this working and wanted to share it to save others the hassle.