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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-31-2012 09:17 AM
MARTINSR We are thrilled with Alldata and use it every single day.
The problem with "just" getting information from youtube or something like that is there is no documentation. I don't know about your business but in the collision repair business documenting how the car was returned back to manufacturers specs is very important. I can print out the manufacturers guidelines for splicing in a B pillar which goes into the file. It is documented in the file that it was given to the tech (by name). That along with measurements, torque specs, we are using it more and more every day. And if they don't have what we need I send them a request and it's in my email in minutes!

It is all directly from the manufacturer and it MAKES US MONEY. It makes us money because it tells us things like where to splice an A pillar. That A pillar is only damaged at the bottom and years ago we would have spliced it in the middle of the A pillar. That is still done once in a while but often they say to go up to the center of the windshield pillar. So now we do exactly as it says and get a lot more labor for the job. It also has things that are a little goofy but again they make us money too. My boss was actually a little mad when I told him this yesterday because it is so over the top stupid. On removing and re-installing the bed on a 2010 Ford Ranger pickup the manufacturers guideline made it real clear, discard the bolts and use new ones. No kidding! So we did just that, I saw it, I read it and damn it I am going to do as it says and those bolts (and the nuts) were over $200! Again, kinda stupid to be replacing them, but when the manufacturers recommendations say it, there is no insurance company that is going to deny it, there was another $200 on the sale bata bing bata boom.

The funny part on that particular truck, there was no recommendations what so ever on welding on the new quarter panel bed side! But, I have documentation of that too.

03-31-2012 09:00 AM
Tech Data

Does anyone have a suggestion on some reasonable diagnostics software for 1996 and up Volvos? I have a Snap On Modis but the Euro package for it is nearly $2000. I need something that can give me an ABS data stream.
03-31-2012 08:53 AM
Mitchell Ondemand

I had used Alldata for about 10 years. I've been using Mitchell since last December. I was immediately unhappy with the program and decided to cancel. I was told by my Mitchell rep that a "new and improved" 12 million dollar version of the software was coming out in February and that I would like it much better. Many of my issues were supposed to be corrected in this new software. Well February came and went and March was the new target. As March is coming to a close, no one seems to know anything about this new software. My cancellation period ended during this time and Mitchell refuses to release me from my agreement. I'm stuck with Mitchell for 8 more months. I went with Mitchell based on "special" pricing. Now I have so much down time while me and my techs are trying to squeeze data out of this program that I'm afraid to figure my actual costs related to Mitchell Ondemand. Thank God for YouTube, it's become a quicker and more reliable source for tech data and it's free! None of the errors that have been reported to Mitchell have been addressed as of this posting. According to Mitchell tech support, errors such premature timing out and intermittent loss of estimates and repair history are always the fault of my browser ( I use 3 different browsers on our 5 different pc's) or an error with my PC (the 5 pc's that we use in our business). Just this week one of my techs had to redo a timing belt on a PTCruiser due to incorrect tech data. If anyone runs across a program that they would recommend, please let me know. Good tech data is imperative in today's auto repair market.
03-04-2012 07:15 PM
Originally Posted by T-bucket23
Mitchell is good for wiring diagrams but that is about it. I have seen them all and for all around everyday stuff Alldata is the best as far as ease of use and the accuracy of the info. The all lack on the foreign cars, especially wiring.
AllData uses the current path style wiring diagrams. If you go to a dealer this is the type of diagrams you would get. I love this style wiring diagram, but it doesn't show the entire circuit. The diagram will only show the current path and not all of the splices.

Mitchell uses the engineering style wiring diagram that is common in most repair manuals. The benefit of this is that the entire circuit and related components are shown. Every splice and connector(almost) is displayed. These diagrams can be confusing, but very helpful. Furthermore, most wiring diagrams in mitchell ondemand are interactive. They use the svgviewer add on to make the diagrams easier to use. You can highlight certain circuits and remove all others from the diagram. I really enjoy this feature of mitchell.

AllData has the best information in relation to bodywork. Unfortunately, like others have said alldata has changed format and the information is very difficult to look up now.

Mitchell ondemand offers tech tips. Right in the repair manual all technicians/consumers can leave tidbits of information. For example if I lookup a repair procedure for a steering rack replacement on a Passat VW. In the repair information there are tech helps posted. Sometimes these tips are helpful and are a benefit. For example you might find a tip on how to locate a common splice or ground.

I currently use ALLDATA Collision and Mitchell Ondemand. Customer service from ALLDATA is by far the best. Both resources are online. ALLDATA offers on demand information requests. Fill out a simple form and submit it. ALLDATA will respond with the information as quickly as possible. I use this feature for the Big Trucks wiring diagrams and vintage wiring diagrams. Mitchell ondemand also has some vintage wiring diagrams and information request. However, I have had little success with their information request.

Both repair sources get their information directly from the manufacturers. Therefore any limitation in information is soley the manufacturers fault. That is why most foreign information is lacking. However, ALLDATA simply imports the information into their format. Mitchell interprets their information and changes the structure/hierarchy. The repair information and wiring diagrams are interpreted. They take the factory wiring diagrams and transform them into their interactive engineering style. This can be detrimental since people do make mistakes. When the information is processed by mitchell it has a higher potential to be incorrectly entered.
03-04-2012 06:24 PM
T-bucket23 Mitchell is good for wiring diagrams but that is about it. I have seen them all and for all around everyday stuff Alldata is the best as far as ease of use and the accuracy of the info. The all lack on the foreign cars, especially wiring.
03-03-2012 09:05 PM
redlightning The shop I work at now has both and identifix. If I had to choose one it would be identfix.
With that said, there are so many times good old google search has what we need.
03-03-2012 08:53 PM
MARTINSR I use ALLData every day and find it to give me everything I need. Yes they recently changed it and I am having a hard time learning the new ways but like everything we are animals who hate change, so we buck it. I am learning my way around and am once again happy to have it.

The one thing you have to remind yourself is ALLdata only gives you what they get from the manufacturer. They aren't "do it yourself books" at the McParts store. They are manufacturer supplied and that is all they have from what I understand. At least that is what I have found, I know that some manufacturers offer next to nothing like Hyundai and then you have the other side Mercedes who gives you more than you can comprehend to remove a friggin tail lamp bulb. So you are going to get MANY different varieties of info.

If I can't find it I shoot off a request right there, no email not nothing, just click on information request and tell the what you want and WHAM you will get that sucker in as little ten minutes or something like that. If you need to call, you call, I have gotten TOP KNOTCH service from them.

03-03-2012 04:19 PM
LATECH I havent used mitchell, but have used ALLDATA for a long time. I really liked it but they changed it recently, and I havent used it since then, but I didnt like the changes.
Snap On shopkey is the absolute pitts. It really sucks.
I think it is written by camel jockeys or something.I could go on for days about it. Just dont get shopkey, you wont like it.
03-02-2012 06:38 PM
Originally Posted by alteredpilot
looking at the Mitchell On-Demand setup for our new shop and i was just wondering what feedback i could get on the system...

likes? dislikes?

mainly i'm wondering how in-depth if at all the manuals go on diagnostics and such for driveability, fuel injection , ABS, OBDII and all that jazz...

i'm a little behind the curve on late model stuff and trying hard to catch up fast, so i'm looking for the best resource i can utilize until we can get a real sharp guy hired on.....
Mitchell has lots of data but navigation is a nightmare. Much of the data is generic and often doesn't match the vehicle you're trying to repair. Tech support is fair at best. I've used Mitchell and Alldata. Alldata is by far the superior software for the professional or weekend mechanic. .
02-06-2007 11:48 AM
blue85350 i would rather use all data we use it at saturn and its beter than the on demand we use at school, by beter i mean easier and the information seems to be more clearly worded.
01-28-2007 04:01 PM
used them both

I work in a shop and we have both All Data and Mitchell and i found that the Mitchell was always lacking in the information and it is harder to use
01-27-2007 09:38 AM
Protowrxs Not that it would make a huge difference to you all but from an Information Technology standpoint the Mitchell product is a true PIA. Very crappy to install, difficult to manage and update, and then they turned around a stopped supporting one of the products we purchased and wanted to force us to pay to move to a similar line.

The All Data solution we use now is the online version and I have heard good things from the garage on it. They still use Mitchell for some information but All Data seems to be easier to use and is much easier for my department to support.

Just 2 cents from another viewpoint.
01-27-2007 09:27 AM
oldred I agree that the book is by far the better source of info and I know what you mean about leaving you hanging. I tried to sort out the engine control wiring on a Chevy system while helping a friend do an injection conversion on an older S-10 and it seems that they intentionally left out key sections just to prevent this sort of thing. I could be wrong but there is no excuse for leaving out this info, they can't say it was because it was self-explanatory because a lot of what they do include is no-brainer stuff, honestly I found the wiring prints in the $15 Haynes books to be more helpful. The fellow who put us on to the All-Data system was already fed up with it and said it was a rip off, as he put it "I already know how to raise the hood".
01-26-2007 09:49 PM
Richard Ellis

I have used both systems & frankly both systems are severely limited, the illustrations often have the disclaimer " 4.6L engine similar to illustration" or some such drivel!
It seems just when your focusing in on the problem they come up short, don't have the information, flake off on the descriptions, or just leave you hanging.
The best of course is the good ol' can't drag the computer screen onto the floorboards as your chasing down a ground problem, you can't scribble notes onto the screen as you find a typo in the text of the can't bend up the specific page to save your place for the next guy.
I don't know how you can collect manuals for a general shop, perhaps you buy a basic set and add to it as you go.....We had a general shop with a book collection that covered 90% of the info & it wasn't really that large a collection ....I see this online /disk system as a suppliment to books and NOT a replacement for books.
These books were some Factory manuals & some were aftermarket books .
Perhaps you could start with these systems & create a buy as you go basic book collection....remember you should limit your shop to a reasonable line of makes...No Jaguars or the like.....Despite the temptation those type marques can be a real can-o-worms to tackle.
Most techs seeing just these systems in a shop are very turned off at no books & hiring a true professional will be difficult.
__________________________________________________ _Rick...........
01-26-2007 08:05 AM
Take your pick

I have used Alldata and Mithell On Demand exstensively. While both have shortcommings, I would take either for a shop. Base your choice on price and service and ease of installation. Both have tech lines to call and they will both fax you information not contained in the program. They both have a library that they draw from. you see, they only give out the Most popular information, and they hold back about 80 % of the informaiton they own. there just isn't enough demand for, or space for all the Data that they each own. They therefore maintain an archive that you can acess through the tech line. I recomend that you visit a shop with each system, and try them out. I met a guy tht cursed Mitchell, said he couldn't find anything,BUT, After talking with him, we/he realized that he hadn't read any of the literature.....Hmmmmmm. Nothing wrong with a little reading here or there. Each has a power curve of learning and each will help you and at the same time leave you flat. Alldata put a Computer TSB in the Body section becasue it involved installing a piece of sheetmetal for a watershield. Sheetmetal operations are always in Body according to the tech line. That one took some looking. Try them both out, and have fun. One last note/ramble......The information databases are an invaluable tool, and I wouldn't run a shop without them.
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