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Top 5 Reasons Why You Should NOT Buy The Innova 5610

Published on January 12th, 2024

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Joseph Kim

Content Manager at Innova Electronics

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Repair vehicles with confidence.

Innova diagnostic scanners assist you in understanding your vehicle, finding problems, and providing guidance for repairs. You can access the same advanced technology used by professionals, without the high costs or subscription fees.

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Despite the Innova 5610 being our best-seller, it is by no means the perfect tool for everyone. If you’re thinking of purchasing this tool, it’s important to know about potential tool issues too.

In this article, it’s my goal to inform you about the downsides of the tool and why it may not be a good fit for you. I’m sure you read about the positives of the Innova 5610. Now it’s time to dive into the negatives. Transparency is how we create trust with our customers.

1: It Is Not Great For Old, Old Vehicles

Old OBD1 Vehicles

If you’re thinking of using the Innova 5610 for an old OBD1 vehicle (pre 1996), you may want to step back and reconsider. Why? Chances are only a few features can be utilized.

If basic code reading & clearing is all you’re looking for, perfect! The Innova 5610 can do it. But if you’re looking to utilize other advanced features like original equipment manufacturer (OEM) live data or bi-directional controls, it’s really rare to come across an OBD1 vehicle that supports it all.

As mentioned in our compatibility article, old vehicles simply don’t have the necessary computers to support some of the features our scanners offer. This is especially true when it comes to more advanced functions.

It’s not to say that we offer zero advanced features for OBD1 vehicles, but it’s true that our coverage is limited. We currently do not have a Coverage Checker for OBD1 vehicles either, which means you won’t be able to check feature availability before purchasing the tool.

Lastly, you’ll need to purchase a separate OBD1 cable in order to use the Innova 5610 on OBD1 vehicles.

Old OBD2 Vehicles

For old OBD2 vehicles (1996 - 1999), we definitely offer more feature coverage than OBD1 vehicles. Yet, the available features will still be less than what a modern vehicle offers.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you have two vehicles – a 1997 & 2020 TOYOTA 4RUNNER.

Based on our Coverage Checker, your 1997 vehicle supports 15 bi-directional tests. On the other hand, your 2020 vehicle supports 45 bi-directional tests. That’s exactly 3x more features, which gives you more of a bang for your buck.

2: It Has Limited Coverage on Exotic & European Vehicles

Exotic Vehicles

If you own a Lamborghini or an Aston Martin, we do not recommend using the Innova 5610. Those exotic vehicles require a manufacturer-specific OBD2 scanner, which is usually only available at dealerships. The most the tool will do is read engine codes.

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European Vehicles

Unlike exotic vehicles, the Innova 5610 works on European vehicles and supports advanced features. But there may not be as many features available compared to Asian & American makes like Toyota or Ford.

For example, the Innova 5610 can still diagnose all systems, perform ABS bleeds, and view OEM live data on most makes like Mercedes or BMW. But you may not be able to enjoy other advanced features like routines, calibrations, and bi-directional tests.

To be 100% sure of the features you’re buying, I highly encourage you to utilize our Coverage Checker and confirm vehicle compatibility.

If the feature you need isn’t supported by the Innova 5610, it may be worth exploring other options. My suggestion would be to research OBD2 companies that have a Coverage Checker. After all, it’d be pretty annoying to spend a few hundred dollars only to realize it also can’t support the features you need, right?

3: It Cannot Do $1,000-Level OBD2 Features

The Innova 5610 does not support expensive OBD2 features like ADAS, ECU Programming, or Key Programming. Those features are usually only found on $1,000-$20,000+ OBD-II scan tools, and as such, it’s not something we can offer at the price range of $349.

The tool also does not support FCA Gateway access. If you’re specifically looking to access a FCA secure gateway through AUTOAUTH, our Innova SDS tablets do support them. At this point of time (early 2024), we only support access for 2018 and newer FCA vehicles (Jeep, Fiat, Chrysler, and Dodge). For more information, click here.

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As mentioned in the beginning, the Innova 5610 is more for everyday diagnostic use for advanced DIYers and mechanics. It’s not meant to be a tool for professional diagnostics capable of recalibrating programs.

4: It Does Not Work Outside of the USA & Canada

The Innova 5610 supports all domestic, Asian, and European vehicles, but it’ll only work in the United States of America and Canada.

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In other words, if you bought a vehicle in the USA or Canada, the tool will work as intended. That’s because our tools were manufactured to fit North American OBD2 standards.

However, if you live in Europe or Asia and bought a car there, our OBD2 tools won’t work on your vehicle. Europe and Asia have different OBD-II protocols and our tools do not support them.

The only exception where our scan tools might work is if you've imported a vehicle manufactured in the USA and live overseas without modifying it to meet European/Asian standards.

Please also note that our app - RepairSolutions2 - will not work outside of the USA & Canada.

5: You May Need To Wait A Year For Latest Vehicle Coverage

You may need to wait up to a year when it comes to getting the latest vehicle coverage. In other words, if it’s the year of 2024, Innova scanners generally only support up to the year of 2023. If it’s the year of 2025, we offer coverage up to the year of 2024. And so on.

The reason for this is simple: Innova is an authentic data licenser of OEM data and we play by the rules. Here’s some back story.

Car manufacturers (OEMs) don’t release their data to aftermarket OBD2 companies until the end of the year. They prioritize updating their manufacturer-specific scan tools, which usually costs over $20,000. Once their own scanners get the necessary updates (which can take months or even years), they then send their data to aftermarket businesses like Innova.

But some companies choose to hack OEM scanners, which allow them quick access to the latest vehicle data. A simple search of “scan tools sued by Ford” will give you a general idea. Using these scanners that use stolen data has the risk of your scanner getting bricked.

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Again, as an aftermarket supplier, Innova relies on manufacturers to release their data to us. Once we receive it, we then have to process extensive data from their documentation, which requires meticulous engineering in order to verify thousands of features across each new vehicle.

This requires a team of nearly 100 engineers and field testers to digest, engineer, and test all new vehicles. As a result, it takes a substantial amount of time.

There are definitely other legitimate OBD2 diagnostic brands (like Snap-On) that offer the latest vehicle coverage much faster than us. These tools, however, generally charge update fees so do keep that in mind.

Overall, if accessing the latest vehicle coverage in a timely manner is important to you, the Innova 5610 may not be the best choice.

Conclusion

You’ve read through all the downsides of the Innova 5610 and are aware about the potential issues with the tool. Now it’s your time to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons, or vice versa.

If you still want to read more information about the Innova 5610, check out our articles like how much does the Innova 5610 cost or the best OBD2 scanners sold in 2024 by Innova.

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