Do you want to save money on repairs by maintaining your vehicle at home? Buying a diagnostic scanner is the first step. These devices read diagnostic data from the engine and put it in a format everyday drivers can understand.
The Thinkscan TS600, TS601, and TS609 are powerful scan tools that sell at a budget-friendly price. If you’re curious which will be the best fit for your home garage, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve compared these three tools side-by-side below so you can decide which is the best buy for you.
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Thinkscan TS600 vs. Thinkscan TS601 vs. Thinkscan TS609: Complete comparison table
|Product Dimensions||10.08" x 8.98" x 2.2"||8.15" x 4.17" x 2.18"||11.6" x 9.4" x 2.1"|
|Full OBD2 Diagnosis||✔||✔||✔|
|Live Data Graphing and Printing||✔||✔||✔|
|Electronic Throttle Position Reset||--||--||✔|
|Vehicle Compatibility||OBD2/EOBD vehicles||OBD2/EOBD vehicles||OBD2/EOBD vehicles, OBD1 with adapter|
The main pro for both the TS600 and the TS601 is that they’re an exceptional value for the price. Both tools provide 3-system diagnosis and a range of reset functions, along with wide vehicle compatibility, for just over $100. Most scanners can’t go beyond OBD2 diagnostics at this price point, so that functionality is truly impressive.
The advantage of the Thinkscan TS609 is that you can do more with it. Its extensive reset functions, battery testing capability, and 4-system diagnosis support more in-depth repair and maintenance for home mechanics and make the tool suitable for professionals, as well.
The higher cost is the main disadvantage of the TS609. While it’s still a good value for the features it offers, beginning mechanics will be better off saving some money with the TS600 or TS601 if they don’t plan to use the more advanced functions of the TS609.
One con shared by all three of these scanners is their limited update compatibility. They’ll only work with Windows-based PCs, which may be an issue for those who use other devices.
Either the Thinkscan TS600 or the TS601 is an excellent choice for everyday drivers and beginning DIYers. Both offer a wide range of functions at an affordable price and are user-friendly enough for non-experts to use easily.
We recommend the Thinkscan TS609 for advanced mechanics and professionals. Its broader features let you conduct more in-depth diagnoses and perform more sophisticated maintenance and repairs. The compact size makes it an ideal travel scan tool for professionals on the go.
Key things in common of Thinkscan TS600, Thinkscan TS601, and Thinkscan TS609
The Thinkscan TS600, TS601, and TS609 are all hand-held OBD2 diagnostic scanners and use a similar exterior design. All three use a 3.5″ LCD color screen with a sharp resolution for easily reviewing trouble codes or graphed data, with a straightforward navigation panel that includes hotkeys for reading DTCs and I/M readiness.
Functionally, all of these Thinkscan scan tools offer comprehensive OBD2 diagnostics. Also, they include helpful reset functions and can diagnose issues with non-OBD2 systems. The extent of these functions depends on which tool you buy. Let’s take a more in-depth look so you can see the differences.
Thinkscan TS600 vs. Thinkscan TS601 vs. Thinkscan TS609: Key differences explained
Design and specifications
You won’t see many differences between the TS600, TS601, and TS609 aside from the casing color from the outside. These diagnostic scanners are compact, weighing around 1 pound, and small enough to fit easily into a glovebox. The cable for the plug is about 4″ longer than what you’ll get with most scan tools, making it easier to scan your vehicle even when you’re driving.
Internally, all three use Launch’s software, one of the leading names in automotive diagnostics worldwide. The Thinkscan TS609 has the most processing power and provides the fastest data and trouble code scanning.
Features and functions
The Thinkscan TS600 has comprehensive OBD2 diagnostics. It supports all 10 modes, including Mode 8 on-board component tests. It also supports graphing for live data, with the capability to graph up to 4 data streams at once. Along with on-screen graphing, live data can be saved, shared, and printed. That lets you easily maintain a vehicle repair log, or share diagnostic data with the mechanic if you do need professional repairs.
Beyond OBD2, the Thinkscan TS600 can also read data and trouble codes from the anti-lock brakes (ABS) and supplemental restraint system (SRS). For reset functions, it includes the three most common (oil light, EPB, and TPMS). That’s a pretty broad range of capabilities, especially considering the scanner’s price.
The Thinkscan TS601 starts with all the features of the TS600 mentioned above, including 3-system diagnosis and full OBD2 functionality. It adds steering angle calibration (SAS) to the oil, EPB, and TPMS reset of the TS600. These reset functions are generally more robust on the TS601, allowing you to change the oil, replace the brake pads, and maintain the tires on your vehicle without going to a mechanic.
Unsurprisingly, the TS609 has the most functions out of these three tools. Its 4-system diagnosis lets you read codes and data from the engine, ABS, SRS, and transmission (AT). You can also use it to diagnose issues with the charging system or battery, and it graphs battery voltage in real time.
A total of 8 maintenance and reset functions are included with the Thinkscan TS609. Along with the 4 offered on the TS601, it also performs battery registration and maintenance, DPF regeneration, throttle position learning, and throttle body adaptation. That covers all the systems most hobbyists repair or maintain at home.
The Thinkscan TS600, TS601, and TS609 support the 5 most common OBD2 protocols. This includes J1859-41, J1850-10, ISO9141, KWP2000, and CAN networks.
Supported vehicle makes
For OBD2 diagnostics, these three Thinkscan scan tools will work on any vehicle that’s OBD2-compatible. These vehicles include most cars sold in the United States after 1996, including those made in Europe or Asia. They will even support the latest 2020 models from most manufacturers and vehicles that use the EOBD diagnostic protocol from Europe.
The coverage of the TS609 is wider than that of the TS600 or TS601 because it also supports many OBD1 vehicles made before 1996. Keep in mind you’ll likely need to purchase an adapter since these vehicles don’t use a 16-pin diagnostic port.
This vehicle coverage can vary for reset functions and diagnostics of non-OBD2 systems like the ABS and SRS. The easiest way to find out what features are supported for your vehicle is to use the Thinkcar coverage check function on their website. Just enter your vehicle information and it will show you what features the scan tool supports.
The Thinkscan TS600 and TS601 are similarly priced, with both devices typically retailing in the $100-$125 price range. While the Thinkscan TS609 is about twice the price of these other devices, at around $250, it’s still an excellent value considering the features it offers.
Software and updates
The software on the Thinkscan TS600, TS601, and TS609 comes with 8 built-in language options, including Japanese and European languages like Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian. Basically, you can use it anywhere in the world and enjoy the same in-depth data.
These scanners are shipped fully updated and ready to use, so you don’t need to do any set-up when you first open the box. Updates are available through the Thinkcar website. Install the Thinkscan update tool from the “Download” tab, and it will tell you if there are any updates available (and let you install them if there are).
Updates for Thinkscan tools are free for life. However, you will need to have a Windows-based PC to install them. This is something to keep in mind for Mac and Linux users.
User manual download
All scan tools in the Thinkscan line share the same quick start guide (available here). A more comprehensive user manual comes included with the scan tool.
Can the TS600 perform ABS/SRS diagnosis right out of the box?
Yes, all the functions are available without registering or updating the device. However, it’s still a good idea to check for any available updates as soon as you have the scanner because these updates improve the software’s performance and expand the vehicle compatibility.
Will the TS600 show individual wheel speed as part of its live ABS data?
Yes, you can view this data on any vehicle that supports ABS diagnostics with the tool. You can verify if ABS data can be read on your car using the compatibility checker.
Can the TS601 turn off dash warning lights?
Most of them, yes. It can turn off the TPMS, oil, and EPB lights through reset functions. You can also turn off the ABS, SRS, and check engine lights by clearing the trouble codes for those systems. If these lights come back on after clearing codes, this means there’s an ongoing issue that needs to be repaired.
Does the TS609 work with diesel engines?
Yes, as long as they use OBD2 or EOBD diagnostic protocols. Some heavy trucks with diesel engines use a different diagnostic system and may not be compatible with this tool. Check your vehicle’s repair manual to determine what protocol your vehicle uses if you’re not sure.
How do I connect the TS600, TS601, or TS609 to a computer for updating?
The scan tool connects to the PC using a standard USB Type-C cable. This doesn’t come included in the box, but if you need to buy one specifically for the scanner, send your order information via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and they’ll refund you the cost of the cable.