If you are looking to buy a high-end diagnostic tool from Autel and you’re thinking about the MaxiCOM series, you’re probably wondering what’s the difference between Autel MaxiCOM MK908 vs MaxiCOM MK908P. The answer to that question is fairly simple and we’re going to cover it in this article, but that is not all, we’re also going to discuss their capabilities, functionalities, basic services they cover, etc.
While both of them are highly capable devices Autel MaxiCOM MK908P has one significant advantage, and that is the J2534 programming device which is proficient when it comes to programming ECUs, but there is one big catch. While the mentioned programming device is capable of programming different brand’s ECUs, Autel is only supporting BMW and Mercedes with this option, and if you, as a car mechanic, do not work on these particular brands, it is not going to be much of a use to you.
On the other hand, if you are working on any of these German brands, J2534 programming device could be essential since it is capable of installing software updates, fix drivability issues, secure newly established emissions standards, as well as install new components which require factory programming. Besides the mentioned capabilities, this programming device will offer several more functions compared to Autel MaxiCOM MK908. However, none of them are worth mentioning, especially if you are not strictly BMW/Mercedes mechanic.
When it comes to similarities we’re going to be direct. Both of these devices are practically the same, and that is most evident if we take a look at the hardware specifications below. There are not different even if we consider software installation since MK908 is capable of supporting a J2534 programming device if you decide to additionally acquire it.
If we take a look at Autel MK908 vs MK908P capabilities, besides the mentioned programming device, it is evident that both of them cover the same functionalities. Regardless of the version, they are incredibly capable in the diagnostic world nowadays, even compared to some of the more popular brands like Bosch, or SnapOn. Since Autel is a Chinese company, they are not keen on following strict rules and regulations implemented by car companies, and while Bosch and SnapOn meticulously try to fulfill all of the mentioned regulations, Autel takes a shortcut.
While this might not be desirable on the corporate level, it benefits us as car mechanics. For the mentioned reason Autel devices offer more functionalities compared to Bosch or SnapOn, and the best thing is they are significantly cheaper as well.
Now let’s dive deeper and explore functionalities in depth. We’ll start with full system diagnosis which allows you to scan every single module, or electronic control unit, one car might possess. This includes systems like ABS, SRS, EBM, ECU, and many others. Both of these devices display every DTC in detail, letting you know of a specific sensor, motor, valve or another component malfunctioning.
For example, if we scan a dual air conditioning system that blows cold air on one side, the diagnostic tool will tell us exactly which motor/flap is not functioning properly. The same goes for the parking system as well. If we got one parking sensor malfunctioning, the device is going to pinpoint it exactly telling us that we have issues with rear left parking sensor, for example.
One of the best features these tools possess is an active test. Most of the modules on the vehicle can be tested through active tests which check each particular component of the system. So, if parking assistance is in question, you can test each parking sensor individually to determine its functionality.
However, there is one big thing you have to consider which is not dictated by Autel. Each of the mentioned functions heavily depends on the manufacturer, model, and year of production. The best example of this is key programming which can be performed on several selected manufacturers but can be done on others. This means that you will be able to program in the new key on Honda Accord while the same procedure can’t be done on Mercedes.
Both scanners are also able to program in new control modules for different systems regardless of the car manufacturer. So modules in charge of transmission, air conditioning, immobilization, and many others can be replaced easily with the help of these tools. When it comes to basic services, all of them are pretty much covered. Oil reset, EBM, steering, brake bleed, and numerous others are supported by both of these scanners.
List of functionalities goes on, and they are pretty much limitless. Comparing it to much more expensive competitors both of these devices are much better value for money.
ECU coding is supported by both, and it can be used to customize things like easy exit, belt chime, auto-lock, and others, depending on the car model and year of manufacture. As mentioned above you can also do the component adaptation, which also depends heavily on the mentioned parameters.
Programming is different than ECU coding since the software itself is overwritten. In this aspect, MK908P is the winner because the non-pro version does not possess the J2534 programming device, and thus does not have the capability of programming. As previously mentioned, Autel only supports programming function on two brands – BMW and Mercedes.
They are few accessories that can be paired with both devices and they include oscilloscope, camera, and ADAS system which is used to calibrate the driver assistance system on a car.
Battery life on both of these scanners is exceptional and it will sustain several days of heavy use. However, because they are equipped with such a large battery, charge time is also significantly longer, and it can last up to 6 hours.
Autel MK908 vs MK908P duel wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t list their cons as well. While both of these are exceptional devices, they also have few drawbacks, and since they are very similar, these cons apply to both. Overcomplicated selection menus are the first. If, for example, you’re working on Golf mk7, even if the device got the VIN automatically, it is still going to make you go through a model selection process which can be somewhat tedious, and unnecessary.
Year of manufacture, or engine selection, for that matter, is not listed in a clear and easily understandable matter. Another drawback is the constant scan of the modules particular car does not possess. For example, if the car is not equipped with all-wheel drive, a scanner is going to scan for the mentioned module even if it is absent. Each absent module is scanned for about 30 seconds, which isn’t much, but it is time lost nonetheless.
Both of these cons are not significant, nor should they discourage you from purchasing any of these two devices, and while the menus could be done simpler, a module scan is something that can’t be avoided. Also compared to the drawbacks of some of the more expensive competitors, these are just minor.
As you have witnessed yourself from our Autel MK908 vs MK908P duel, the only difference between the two is the J2534 programming device the Pro version comes with, and it all comes down to one thing. Do you work on the mentioned German brands regularly? If the answer is yes, then you should probably opt out for MK908P, since it can do a software update, emissions/drivability adjustments, and others.
However, if you do not work on these two brands, you would be better off with the non-pro version. The reason for that is the J2534 programming device which will not be of much use on other car brands. The price difference between these two packages can be as high as $1000, and you could save that money with the non-pro version without loss of any functionalities.
On the other side, if you decide to go for a programming device, you can buy it additionally and it will work with MK908. For that reason, MK908 is the winner of our duel since it is simply better value for money, but whichever you go for, you won’t regret your decision.
Comparison of Specifications:
|Product Name||Autel MaxiCOM MK908||Autel MaxiCOM MK908P|
|Hi-End Scanner Specifications||Airbag reset, Brake bleed, Oil reset, Suspension adjustment, EPB, TPMS, BMS, DPF, Injector, SAS, Throttle, Trans adaptation, Win DR Roof, Seat, Odometer, Lang change, Headlamp, CHG tire size, TEC learn, Cylinder, Immo keys||Oil reset, EPB, TPMS, BMS, Brake bleed, DPF, Injector, SAS, Suspension, Throttle, Win DR Roof, Seat, Lang change, Headlamp, CHG tire size, TEC learn, Cylinder, Trans adaptation, Immo keys, Odometer, Airbag reset|
|Full System Diagnosis||Yes||Yes|
|Operating System||AndroidTM 4.4.2, KitKat||AndroidTM 4.4.2, KitKat|
|Processor||Samsung Exynos hexa-core Processor(1.3GHz Quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 + 1.7GHz Dual-core ARM Cortex-A15)||Samsung Exynos hexa-core Processor(1.3GHz Quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 + 1.7GHz Dual-core ARM Cortex-A15)|
|Memory||64GB On-board Memory & 2GB RAM||64GB On-board Memory & 2GB RAM|
|Display||10.1-inch LED screen with 1920x1200 resolution||10.1-inch LED screen with 1920x1200 resolution|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac); USB: 2.0; BT v.2.1 + EDR; SD Card (Support up to 32GB); HDMI||Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac); USB: 2.0; BT v.2.1 + EDR; SD Card (Support up to 32GB); HDMI|
|Camera||Rear 8.0 Megapixel Camera equipped with Flashlight||Rear 8.0 Megapixel, AF with Flashlight|
|Sensors||Ambient Light Sensor, Gravity Accelerometer||Ambient Light Sensor, Gravity Accelerometer|
|Power and Battery||15000 mAh 3.8 V lithium-polymer battery charging via 12 V AC/DC power||15000 mAh 3.8 V lithium-polymer battery charging via 12 V AC/DC power|
|Power Consumption||6.5 W||6.5 W|
|Operating Temperature||32 to 122° (0 to 50°C)||32 to 122° (0 to 50°C)|
|Housing||Strong plastic with protective rubber handles||Strong plastic with protective rubber handles|
|Dimensions W/H/D||12.28” (312mm) x 8.18” (208mm) x 1.41” (36mm)||12.28” (312mm) x 8.18” (208mm) x 1.41” (36mm)|
|Weight||3.26 lb (1.48kg)||3.26 lb (1.48kg)|
|Protocols||ISO 9142-2, ISO 14230-2, ISO 15765-4, K/L-Line, Flashing Code, SAE-J1850 VPW, SAE-J1850 PWM, CAN ISO 11898, High-speed, Middle speed, Low speed and Singlewide CAN, GM UART, UART Echo Byte Protocol, Honda Diag-H Protocol, TP 2.0, TP 1.6, SAE J1939, SAE J1708, Fault-Tolerant CAN||ISO 9142-2, ISO 14230-2, ISO 15765-4, K/L-Line, Flashing Code, SAE-J1850 VPW, SAE-J1850 PWM, CAN ISO 11898, High-speed, Middle speed, Low speed and Singlewide CAN, GM UART, UART Echo Byte Protocol, Honda Diag-H Protocol, TP 2.0, TP 1.6, SAE J1939, SAE J1708, Fault-Tolerant CAN|
|Languages||English, French, German, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Korean, Dutch, Russian, Italian, Japanese, Traditional Chinese||English, Traditional Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Polish, Swedish, Korean, Russian, Italian, Japanese|