Chrysler uses 2 different Scan tool systems on their vehicles depending on whether they are older non-can or the newer can communication systems.
The handheld scan tool, DRB 3 serviced all older non-can vehicles up to 2003.
Starting in 2004, the Dodge Durango was the first vehicle to switch to can using a Can system scan tool.
In 2005, the Chrysler 300 and others joined the switch and
by 2007, the only vehicles left still using the older non-can
systems were the minivans.
The DRB 3 is a necessary tool. There are things it can reliably do that are not possible with the Can system scan tools.
Sprinter truck diagnosis from 2002 thru 2006 is only possible thru the DRB 3 scan tool.
Sprinter requires a multiplexer cable and Sprinter software card to access all the systems.
The Chrysler Crossfire requires the multiplexer and it's own
software card to access all systems.
2001 and newer Sebring and Stratus 2 door models require
a special cable and software card to access all systems.
The DRB 3 can reliably reflash computers with a dowload from WWW.Techauthority.com and unlike J2534 programmers, It does not leave the stupid P**** code that means a non factory programmer was used.
This tool was about $6000.00 new and was eventually discontinued.
Happily, now a good clean used DRB 3 can be aquired for about $3000.00.
(I usually have a few of them in stock)
There have been some developements in the newer Can system software to replace many of the DRB 3 functions not listed above.
There is also an aftermarket manufacturer of a DRB 3 software emulator w/interface but some customers have found it to not function properly.
If you want results that you can trust, buy the tool that was the Dealers scan tool for the age of vehicles that you are diagnosing.
When Chrysler started switching to Can systems, Chrysler came out with the Starscan handheld scan tool and the Starmobile
Customer Flight Recorder handheld interface.
I say 'interface' because the Starmobile required a laptops screen as the user interface.
They both ran on software called Desktop Client. It was good but
it was a bit limited.
The Starscan was a great tool but it was not upgradeable to run the newer Witech Can system software a few years later.
The Starmobile was able to be grandfathered in to use the Witech software since it required a laptop anyways.
Chrysler quickly put the Kebosh on the Starscan and it has been discontinued for several years now.
No newer software keeps it unable to reach above 2010 models and even reflashing is a tricky thing to do because of lack of software support.
(Starscans are a really bad investment. Don't get suckered into buying one.)
There are plenty of sellers happy sell you one because they can buy them cheap and get uninformed people to pay good $$.
You won't ever catch me trying to sell anyone one.
(Please read my home page if you haven't yet.)
Witech is laptop based as the user interface. It is very easy to use and is extreemly effective at Network diagnostics.
Witech formally came out with it's own vehicle interface called the 'Pod'.
The Dealerships used it wirelessly and a expensive router was sold to handle the Pod communications to a laptop.
We in the independant repair shops were required to buy the stupid $$router even though the Pod worked fine on a Usb or Network cable. (5800.00 and $1300.00 yearly software/hardware licensing fee's.)
Now a 'lite' version of the router is available but the price is still $3700.00 with yearly software/hardware license renewal of $500.00.
The newer system called Witech is laptop based only. It is very user friendly and has a excellent vehicle network layout diagram on the first screen at vehicle connection time.
It shows which modules are equipped, online, have codes and are due for a reflash update of newer software.
The network 'tree' depicted on the laptop screen showing how each module is connected saves time when one or more are not working.
Witech also has a DRB 3 emulator to act on screen like a DRB 3 with a virtual keypad and screen displayed.
It even has reflash capability on cars that do not require special cards or cables.
There have been a few problems making the emulator program work reliably, especially on diesels or reflashing.
Sometimes, having a real DRB 3 is necessary to be sure you can do all the things a DRB 3 can do.
To get a better idea of Witech, you can visit their informational knowledge base website at www.kb.dcctools.com.
Their website has a lot of info about the Witech system.
Unfortunately, like all newer tools that try to be backward compatible, there can be problems.
You don't want to go chasing a wild goose over a stupid software conflict with a newer scan tool on a older car.
(Been there, done that. Not my idea of fun.)
I use what I sell and I know the value of trusting a factory scan tool to give me reliable info to speed my diagnosis.
Witech software recommends a lot of laptop horsepower.
Chrysler really wants a laptop with a intel I7 quad processor and 8 GIG of RAM plus Windows 7 Professional.
I offer 2 suggestions to meet these specs.
Also, this is an expensive laptop to only use for Chrysler so I setup a reconditioned Dell E6510 laptop with above specs plus a solid state hard drive for maximum durability. Silicone keyboard protector included to help keep sweat and dirt out.
I also partition the solid state hard drive into 4 seperate Windows 7 Professional operating systems. Keep Witech by itself to prevent software conflicts and still get use of other operating systems to maximize use with other software programs.
When you first start up, the laptop pauses and offers you a screen with the 4 Windows operating systems. Pick which one you want and you are on your way. I also label them to make it
more clear what is being chosen.
Example line :
1 Windows 7 Pro - 1 - WITECH
2 Windows 7 Pro - 2 -
3 Windows 7 Pro - 3 -
4 Windows 7 Pro - 4-
It's easy to name them anything you want.
If a line gets it's software corrupted, the others still work fine.
AND, IN A PINCH, we can load the damaged software program into a different line section and you can finish your work while I ship out another laptop to replace the problem at your convienence.
Currently, this laptop package is $999.00 plus shipping with 90 day warranty and service after the warranty if needed.
I also offer a Dell E6530 which is the big brother to the E6510 with a number keypad and latest technology and more speed. It has a 5 line solid state hard drive for running a lot of different software programs separately without conflicts. Includes a 1.5 year warranty thru Dell for $1595.00 (Better, faster laptop and longer warranty costs more $)
If you plan to run several different scan tools and want a long warranty, then this is the best plan I recommend.
My reputation is to provide only the best quality available to insure your diagnostic equipment works reliably.
I look forward to helping you make the best possible decision in adding a scan tool to your shop.
Please find my contact info at the bottom of my homepage.
Free Chart of CAN/NonCAN vehicles
Free DRB 3 user manual