Home » Techstream – What If MOBD and Not OBD2?
Techstream – What If MOBD and Not OBD2

Techstream – What If MOBD and Not OBD2?

When something happens with your vehicle, you want to find out what the problem is to continue driving safely. With the technology found in today’s vehicles, that means you need to find a diagnostic code that indicates a specific issue that happened during operations.

Toyota vehicles use a MOBD system instead of OBD2 in some models. You can combine that information with Techstream software to perform diagnostic functions.

You can also use Techstream Lite if you have a PC to run diagnostic software on all Toyota, Lexus, and Scion vehicles built in 1996 or later. They must have been marketed to the North American audience, and any scan tool diagnostic needs require an active professional subscription.

In comparison, an OBD2 scanner is available for under $100 online. The only problem is that an OBD2 device might not pick up the actual error code that can tell you what repair is necessary on a Toyota vehicle.

Techstream – What If MOBD and Not OBD2?

When you need to determine what a warning light appears on your vehicle when driving, you have two scanning options to consider. Devices use MOBD and OBD2 protocols. The first is usually found at dealerships and authorized mechanics, while the second is for handheld scanning devices.

Most vehicles use a specific protocol to help you understand what the error codes are when a warning light appears. In modern cars, you might even see exact verbiage appear on the dash, such as “Engine Problem – Drive Moderately.”

If you’re in Europe, you might purchase a scanner with EOBD protocols. That abbreviation stands for European Onboard Diagnostics. All cars sold on the continent since 2001 are required to have diagnostic systems monitoring engine emissions.

When you have a handheld scanner with an OBD2 protocol, that stands for “Onboard Diagnostics II.” It’s been included in every vehicle made since 1996, checking systems and the engine to determine what problems occur by offering error codes to read.

If you go back even earlier, the original OBD (Onboard Diagnostics) connected directly to the car’s console. With the innovations with OBD2, it became possible to remotely connect to read the produced codes.

MOBD is a Toyota-specific option introduced to read and understand the error codes produced by the brand’s vehicles. It stands for “Multiplex Onboard Diagnostics.”

Techstream is the software made specifically for MOBD scanners.

FAQ About Techstream for MOBD Scanners

If you need a MOBD scanner to figure out what is happening with your Toyota, one of the best options available today is Techstream Lite.

This kit comes with the diagnostic software you need for reading and interpreting error codes, an ADVi, and TIS access. Although a persistent Internet connection is recommended, a weekly update is the only required element of using this product.

If you purchase the equipment only, the cost is approximately $500 to access the technology needed for MOBD readings. That includes the Mongoose-Plus MFC3 VIM.

You’ll need a professional diagnostic subscription to obtain library access to wiring diagrams, repair manuals, and more. This cost includes ECU reporting calibrations access and a Techstream diagnostic software subscription. The 2021 price for those necessities was $1,295.

It also helps to use IdentiFix with your MOBD scanner to access Direct-Hit for all Toyota makes and models, including Scion and Lexus.

Techstream Lite is limited to one registered installation per subscription. If you want to use it on multiple PCs, you’ll need to purchase additional licenses. It typically takes three business days for your order to ship with ground delivery as the standard option.

Here are some of the questions that repair professionals ask when using MOBD over OBD2 for their diagnostic needs.

◼️ Can Techstream Lite Get Converted to a professional diagnostic subscription?

If you purchase the Techstream Lite kit, it comes with a professional diagnostic subscription for the first year. After that, you’ll need to contact the software producer’s customer service line at (877) 762-7666 for upgrade support with a standard TIS subscription.

The rules for one install per professional subscription still exist. If you need the software on additional PCs, you’ll need to buy another one.

Once the subscription expires, your MOBD connection to a Toyota vehicle will no longer deliver information. You must use a new registration key to activate the software again.

◼️ What Does It Cost to Convert a Standard Subscription?

If you decide to upgrade from a standard subscription to the professional one, you’ll get charged a prorated cost based on the remaining days of your initial purchase.

The standard subscription in 2021 was $1.32 per day, while the professional diagnostic one is $3.55 per day. 

You’ll get charged $2.23 per day for the remainder of the year. Pricing is always subject to change, so you’ll need to contact Techstream to know the final cost.

◼️ Can the Techstream Software for MOBD Get Downloaded to Multiple PCs?

You can download Techstream to multiple personal computers if you have licenses for each one. Unfortunately, that means you’d need to buy three licenses for 3 PCs.

If your PC gets damaged or you need to change the computer that uses the active license, you’ll need to contact the software’s toll-free technical support line.

◼️ What Is the Techstream Warranty?

When you purchase the Mongoose Pro MFC2 or the Mongoose-Plus MFC3, you’ll receive a 12-month warranty from the point of purchase.

The PC warranty you receive is based on the make and model you purchase. Since each manufacturer offers different terms, you’ll want to review the guarantee conditions for the computer to ensure that TIS, Techstream, and MOBD won’t disqualify you from the protections you’d otherwise receive.

◼️ What Supports Are Available for MOBD and Techstream?

The Techstream team can help you with the installation and configuration of the Lite package. That assistance includes the hardware with the Mongoose Pro MFC2 or the Mongoose-Plus MFC3.

Since PC purchases happen outside of this transaction, Techstream can’t guarantee that they can resolve every issue. If you encounter problems with your operating system or the local configuration, you might need to speak with the computer’s manufacturer to solve problems on that end.

◼️ How Does Techstream Connect to My PC?

You’ll use the Mongoose Pro MFC2 or the Mongoose-Plus MFC3 with a standard USB port to facilitate communication between your computer and Techstream Lite.

The installation process requires these four steps to be successful.

  • Download the setup software for the Mongoose Pro MFC2 or the Mongoose-Plus MFC3.
  • Connect the Mongoose Pro MFC2 or the Mongoose-Plus MFC3 to your computer by using a USB port.
  • Install the Techstream software.
  • Set the VIM selection from the main menu to choose the appropriate device.
  • Use the diagnostic software.

◼️ What Are the Minimum PC Requirements for Techstream Lite to Work?

If you’re interested in using Techstream Lite for your MOBD diagnostic needs, you’ll need a PC that meets the software’s minimum requirements.

Apple products are not currently compatible. Although a Windows emulator offers possibilities, the latency between the two operating systems working simultaneously could cause unexpected issues.

Here are the minimum PC requirements to review.

Operating System Support:Windows 10 PC with Mongoose Pro MFC2 or the Mongoose-Plus MFC3 only. Some systems might still be compatible with Mongoose Pro MFC1. 32- and 64-bit both work.
System Memory:A minimum of 4 GB, although higher RAM amounts are often recommended.
Available Disc Space:Techstream Lite requires at least 5 GB of free space to install correctly.
Processor Speed:Minimum speed is 1.5 GHz. Higher is recommended.
USB Compatibility:USB 1.1, 2.0, and 3.0
USB Extension Length:USB 1.1 – none. USB 2.0 or 3.0 – 16 feet max.
Display Color:24-bit
Display Resolution:At least 1024 x 768
Network Connection Minimums:A standard broadband Internet connection is required for Techstream Lite to operate. You must have at least 1.2 Mbps consistently for proper functionality.
TIS Plugins:You can use Adobe Flash Player 11 or later, Java™ 7 or later, Adobe SVG 3.03 or later, or Adobe Reader 7 or later.
Browser Requirements:Internet Explorer II, Firefox 21 or later, or the current version of Google Chrome

◼️ Why Does Toyota Prefer This Setup?

Toyota prefers the setup with Techstream and the Mongoose Pro MFC2 or the Mongoose-Plus MFC3 because they’re modified to meet the SAE J2534 standard for interface modules.

Although several devices are available, the automaker only validates the Mongoose brand because of the extensive pilot testing that happened while setting up this technology.

Best PCs and Laptops for Running Techstream Lite

If you’re ready to use Techstream Lite for your shop or personal needs, you’ll need a powerful PC or laptop that meets the software’s minimum requirements.

Although several brands make a Windows 10 PC or laptop that meets the essential requirements, you’ll find that these options deliver the most consistent results.

1. Lenovo ThinkPad X1

When you purchase the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 for your MOBD diagnostic needs, you’ll receive a laptop that delivers a world-class experience. Here are the specs you can expect when getting this computer for your needs at home or in the shop.

  • Two USB 3.1 ports that use second-generation Type-C Thunderbolt 3, along with another two first-generation 3.1 connections.
  • A 14-inch full HD touchscreen with anti-reflectivity technology, low power support, and a 400 nits display.
  • The screen offers smudge resistance so that you can look at items clearly in multiple conditions and settings.
  • An Intel Core i7 processor with vPro, offering a base speed of 1.9 GHz. You have a max turbo option that pushes it up to 4.8 GHz when necessary.
  • It comes with 512 GB SSD storage and 16 GB RAM.

You’ll also receive a one-year warranty from the manufacturer to protect your investment.

2. HP FHD Touchscreen Laptop

When you need a larger screen for your laptop to read the MOBD diagnostic information, the HP FHD Touchscreen Laptop delivers a 15.6-inch full HD IPS design. It has a WLED-backlit, multitouch edge-to-edge experience that stays thin, light, and durable. Here are the specs you can expect to receive with this investment.

  • It comes with an Intel 10th-generation iCore 7 processor that reaches up to 3.9 GHz.
  • You’ll receive 32 GB of system memory to ensure that the laptop can multitask.
  • A total of 1 TB SSD is available to store all your important files.
  • Three USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports are available, although only one is a Type-C.

This laptop also features the True Vision 720p camera and dual array digital microphones to facilitate online communication.

3. Acer Predator Triton 300

Although the Acer Predator Triton 300 laptop gets marketed as a gaming computer, you’ll find that it also has the versatility to deliver your MOBD diagnostic needs. What stands out the most is the 16 GB dual-channel DDR4 Ram that combines with the 1 TB SSD drive to give you a solid foundation from which to work.

Here are the specs you’ll get with this Windows 10 laptop.

  • It comes with a 10th-generation Intel i7 core processor that delivers up to 5 GHz.
  • The overclockable GeForce RTX 2060 card comes with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM.
  • The keyboard offers four zones of RGB backlighting for instant recognition in darkened environments.
  • It uses two USB 3.2 first-generation ports and one Type-C second-generation option.

You’ll even get a Kensington lock slot with this laptop. This versatility allows you to use the computer for virtually any need, especially with the DTS X Ultra speakers incorporated into the device.

A Final Thought on MOBD vs. OBD2

Toyota uses MOBD as a proprietary diagnostic tool because it delivers comprehensive results for engine faults and vehicular warnings. Although OBD2 provides the same basic service, it’s more of a generic approach. It’s like shopping for Advil and buying Equate at Walmart.

When you use MOBD with all of Toyota’s brands, you’ll get the same result as you would with OBD2 scanners on other vehicles. The difference between the two is the level of preciseness received when using Techstream to find out what is wrong with the car.

I prefer using a laptop for my diagnostic needs because of the extra portability it offers. However, if you work in a shop where vehicles get serviced in the same location, a desktop could be a cheaper option to consider.

The primary expense is the professional diagnostic subscription. That’s why DIY mechanics often stick with OBD2 protocols. If you can afford MOBD and own a Toyota, you’ll find that the investment in this technology makes a lot of sense.


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