Silverado & Cruze diagnostics – Need advice: Tech2 or MDI?

car diagnostic tool

GM scan tool I might get:

What is the difference between the TECH2 hand held tool and the newer MDI interface you use with a laptop?

From what I read, the MID will replace the TECH2 but currently it doesn’t diagnose, just program.

Car and purpose:

I need to diagnose a few issues on a 2007 Silverado, 2012 Cruze and 2013 Cruze flood car.


The clones are under $400 so it might be time to get one.




The Cheap $300.00 to $400.00 Tech 2s, made in China and don’t even bother having updates installed.They will crash when when updates are installed.Overall the clone Tech 2s are good for what you are doing and are good as the real version now made by Bosch.The real version was made by Vetronix, Bosch bought out Vetronix in 2003.Also make sure it has the Candi box with it,a must for these CAN vehicles.

Link to a decent Tech 2 clone: 


The last update for the tech 2 has already come out so, I would think about buying a new one unless you work on a lot of GM products.

Depending on the vehicle you’re working on, the MDI (Multiple Diagnostic Interface) will do everything a Tech 2 will do but, you’ll need a laptop and GDS software. Going forward from the 2013 model year, the MDI with a laptop will be the GM Diagnostic tool.


General Motors (GM) has launched Global Diagnostic System 2 (GDS 2) – its next generation, PC-based vehicle diagnostic system. GDS 2 is a PC-based platform that builds on the original GDS application, but also incorporates several new features, based on technician input. Combined with a Multiple Diagnostic Interface (MDI), GDS 2 provides an exclusive, effective and efficient system for the diagnosis of all the automaker’s new Global Architecture vehicles.


MY2013 GM vehicles are supported through GM by GDS 2.


Bi-directional commands (turn devices ON/OFF, … ) are a big difference between licensed GM tools (TECH 2 and GDS 2) and generic after-market tools that display data.


Mdi can also use tech2win. A pc based virtual tech2, has all the features of a physical tech2


tech2 is being phazes out, the MDI as stated above will replace it fully very shortly, you can use tech2win for older vehicles, GENERALLY anything with the new style flip keys from general motors will require the MDI with GDS2 software. so those clone tech2s will be useless on both cruze’s you plan to work on. they may or may not work with the 07 silverado, depending if they have the CANDi module


You do not need the MDI interface, Cardaq has a GM dongle that is approved by GM for Tech2win and GDS 2-$500 dollar cable and a subscription to GDS 2 and you have both. FYI they have short term subscriptions too. Tech2win does have some issues still but should get you what you need.


Tech 2 scan tool has become obsolete for shop use as of late. It still has a lot of capability and will do anything you need for the older platforms but it needs the CANdi module to work with any of the new stuff. The MDI is a 1 shot deal for all the newer PCMs and will still work on the older stuff too. I sold my Tech 2 and bought an MDI last year, haven’t missed the Tech 2 since. Then again I’ve got a Genysis scanner I use for all my typical diagnostics & probing.


However, the MDI requires a GM log-in with monthly access to GM’s website. That’s it’s only draw back for the enthusiast who wants a GM caliber scanner. The Tech 2 can be updated within itself and doesn’t require the internet, the MDI does.


If you’re running a shop, get an MDI. For the garage warrior or enthusiast, get a Tech 2. Just don’t fall for these $350 pieces of garbage.


You can say that, Tech2win is a pain the the butt. It never updates security correctly for the 30 day window and that using GM computers and login info. The tech 2 is great for code reading, viewing data. The MDI is pretty much only used for programming but its needs on certain 10+ platforms and all 15+ to view data through GDS. All MDI functions require a GM subscription.