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Techstream for Free???

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by PaulHeiser, May 24, 2023.

  1. PaulHeiser

    PaulHeiser New Member

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    Can anyone say whether or not the sites that offer techstream for free are good?
     
  2. RRxing

    RRxing Senior Member

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    You get what you pay for...
     
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  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I’ve not taken the plunge, dodged Techstream acquisition so far, mainly because the pirated route is so dodgy.

    That said, I don’t think any DIY’r does a full/legal purchase. The price is just preposterous. So yeah, if you read up, are prepared to try and try again, you’ll likely end up with functional Techstream starting with bootleg.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    I don’t recall reading of anyone who got one free
     
  5. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    'Preposterous' may be in the eye of the beholder. If you provide the windows laptop and a J2534 dongle (a one-time purchase you keep and use whenever, prices ranging from tens of dollars to about $500 for the one Toyota recommends and will support you on), then your use of the Techstream software is currently $70 for an official activation that lasts two days.

    $70 is probably already well under what you'd pay a dealer to go have them use their copy of Techstream and have them tell you what they saw, once. If you spend a weekend solving a car problem and firing up Techstream several times on your one $70 activation, think how that compares to that number of trips to the dealer.

    I'm pretty sure there are indeed some people around here using Techstream the full official way.
     
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  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    It’s fine for people who do it for a living, but a one off, or even maintaining an old Prius that’s always breaking down, it doesn’t seem worth it
     
  7. PaulHeiser

    PaulHeiser New Member

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  8. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    ???

    Once again, as posted upthread, suppose your old Prius has a simple issue that requires you to use Techstream once, so you pay the $70 and you don't need it the rest of those two days. What would a visit to the dealer for the same information have run you? Assuming the car worked well enough to drive there, not have it towed.

    Now suppose you have an old Prius with a weird problem you actually spend those two days fixing, and you use Techstream half a dozen times in your effort, all on the $70 you paid once to cover those two days. How does that compare to half a dozen dealer visits, again assuming that wasn't half a dozen tows?

    Sure, if you're in business for a living, it can be even more worth it, but even for a DIYer, it can often be penny wise and pound foolish to go without the diagnostic information because you don't think $70 is worth it.

    Or maybe be clear, what are you comparing it to?

    Going without it, and bumbling your way through a repair without it, is free, except for the extra time you'll spend, mistakes you'll make, and unnecessary parts you'll swap.

    Going without it, and using one of the other systems available with comparable capability, is a fair price comparison. Those other systems have pricing you can compare.

    Going without it, and using bootleg Techstream instead, is a fair price comparison depending on how you feel on the bootleg issue, and different people feel differently. You'll still need to buy a dongle, and provide the laptop, and if you're cautious about the bootleg software you might be extra careful to make it a separate laptop not used for anything else. And you might invest some time fussing over the installation.
     
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    Ah, I misunderstood. You can get Toyota supported tech stream for $10.?
     
  10. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Starting to feel like I've explained this before....

    Toyota supported Techstream is paid for in time-limited subscriptions. $70 will work for two days. $1360 will work for a full year.

    You need to provide a laptop (yours, you buy it once). You need to provide a dongle (yours, you buy it once). You need both of those whether you use supported Techstream or bootleg.

    For supported Techstream, if you are a shop and you'll use it all year, spend the $1360 for the year subscription. It'll be cheaper than spending $70 every two days you use it.

    If you're a DIYer, and you need to use it this weekend, spend the $70. Too much? What would a dealer visit cost? If you end up using the software ten times while working on your problem this weekend before your two days run out, what would ten dealer visits cost?

    Did anybody say "You can get Toyota supported tech stream for $10." but you? Have you chosen $10 as the magic number for what "seems worth it" or not? And if you have, what are the options you know of that would come within that limit?
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    I misread your ‘tens of dollars’
     
  12. PaulHeiser

    PaulHeiser New Member

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    How does techstream compare to Identifix and ALLDATA?

    I have ALLDATA and Mitchel1.
     
    #12 PaulHeiser, May 26, 2023
    Last edited: May 26, 2023
  13. Nate Ocean

    Nate Ocean Junior Member

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    I understands ChapmanF's points (and have read many of his useful comments elsewhere on Prius Chat.
    However, NOTHING on my car is ever fixed in a weekend!
    So only in the best of all possible worlds would $70 for 2-days work for me.

    I'd need to use Techstream to diagnose the problem. Then...
    • Get to a scrap yard to harvest a used part. Likely spend time with tear-down and rebuild.
    • If I'm ordering a part online, it will be several days away.
    • AutoZone or O'Reilly may or may not have the part stocked locally.
    • Even the Toyota dealer (in addition to being horribly overpriced) will not likely have the part in stock for a 17-year-old vehicle.
    Then, after install the part, I'd likely need Techstream again, either to clear the code, but more importantly to recalibrate the system, or bleed the brakes (such as with an ABS module replacement).

    I'd be a little bit happier if Techstream were $70/week. (not 2-days)
    We love our Toyota vehicles, Toyota should make it easier and more affordable for DIY folks to maintain their cars.
     
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it's much more complete,
     
  16. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    This looks like another one of those posts where a person has mixed up the name Techstream (a computer app that runs tests on your car) and the name TIS (technical information service), a Toyota online site where you read repair manuals and wiring diagrams and other technical info.

    The information on TIS is very complete, and includes not only repair manuals and wiring diagrams, service bulletins and the like, but also the course materials used in the "University of Toyota" technician training courses.

    This wiki page describes what-all is available there, and does compare it to some alternative sources (I don't remember if the ones named here are specifically compared).

    Toyota Service Information and Where To Find It | PriusChat
     
  17. douglasjre

    douglasjre Senior Member

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    Anybody able to recommend a reasonable cheap latest version of TS?