What’s in the Box?

  • MDI VCI with J1962 Cable (diagnostic link connector) and MDI to USB cable (PC Connection)
  • MDI user manual is available for download here


The GM MDI is the Global Diagnostics tool for the future vehicles starting with a Global A vehicles. It’s a compact communications module that manages the transfer of data between a vehicle’s on board ECU network with an auxiliary CAN bus.

The GM MDI was introduced in the fall of 2007 for Pass-Thru programming and offers faster programming speed using J2534. Depending on vehicle architecture, the MDI can communicate 20% to 70% faster than the Tech 2. It can be used to perform Pass-Thru programming on all vehicles built since 1996 and into the future.

Servicing the next generation Global A vehicles will require the diagnostic software, GDS2, Global Diagnostic System 2 running on a local PC device while the MDI is connected to the vehicle.

The MDI connects to the vehicle via the J1962 connector using a DLC cable. Connection between the MDI and the PC can be accomplished via standalone (USB) or through (CAT5, or Wireless) networks.

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GM MDI Toughbook

2010 Coverage

  • Chevrolet Camaro
  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Buick Lacrosse
  • Cadillac SRX
  • GMC Terrian
Additional for 2012

  • Buick Verano
  • Chevrolet Sonic
  • Chevrolet Orlando
Additional for 2011

  • Chevrolet Cruz
  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Buick Regal
Additional for 2013

  • Cadillac ATS
  • Cadillac XTS
  • Chevrolet Malibu
  • Chevrolet Captiva
Tech 2 Win may be used for earlier backward compatibility for 96 up vehicles. Tech2Win does not perform all functions of the Tech 2 hand held scan tool


GM Tech 2

GM tech 2 Diagnostic Tool with Candi module and Phone Tech Support:

Tech 2 gives its users an unprecedented amount of information you simply cannot get from a generic scan tool. It provides its user a ton of PID information from any module on any GM family vehicle. You simply cannot get more information out of a GM product than with a Tech 2. In addition to the vast amount of information you can get out of a PCM or any other module on any GM car or truck, you get the ability to do service bay and bi-directional testing. This means that you can control solenoids, motors, actuators, gauges, lights, and a lot of other stuff right through the scan tool. This allows for the technician to be able to actuate many of these things to verify their operation and support componentry.  With services bay tests one can perform fuel injector balance tests, ABS HCU service bleeds, EVAP testing and many more important functions. Finally, if you want to flash program any module on a GM, a Tech 2 will give you several methods.

  • Stand alone –  here you simply turn on your Tech 2, request vin information through the SPS function on the menu, than unhook your scanner fomr the vehicle, take it to your PC, and either log into TIS on WEB to download flash programming, or you can hook onto your PC, and download the flash programming from your TIS program that you load onto your PC. Than you simply unhook the scan tool and take it back to the car, hook it back up to the ALDL and dump the programming onto the module you wish to program.
  • Pass thru – her you can hook your computer to your Tech 2 using a serial port CAT5 cable (generic adapters won’t work, it has to be configured specifically for GM diagnostics, data recorders, or TPMS units) than hook your Tech 2 to the vehicle ALDL connector, open the TIS program, and flash directly from your PC to your module. Now you USED to be able to do this with TIS to WEB but it looks like they have disabled the function that allows pass thru programming via TIS to WEB directly to the controller through the Tech 2. Why they did this has become a little bit of a debate among my associates and myself. Many think it is because GM has begun the changeover to the newer diagnostics and re-flash platform that no one (not even most dealerships) seems to have. Some think its because too many controllers are being wiped out by service interruptions via the internet. If a controller is being flashed and it is interrupted in any way, it for all intent purpose, because junk unless you have access to dealership reset codes called VCI numbers. Good luck getting one of those outside the dealership! Hell, good luck getting one INSIDE a GM dealership!

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Some Tech 2 PCM Programming Tips:


Now even with the different modes of programming some modules, there are some variations on doing functions like programming Body Control Modules (BCM’s) and doing security re-learns. Although many modules on a car are programmable, and RE-programmable, many Body Modules in OBD 2 GM cars are not programmable like engine controllers are.

Engine controllers, dashboard controllers, ABS controllers and several others can be programmed and re-programmed. Many people have said to me over the years, including dealership tech’s that GM PCM’s cannot be re-programmed once they have a VIN number inside them. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Of course, I am sure they would love to have you believe that because they sell controllers. 90% of all GM PCM’s simply need to be treated as though they were brand new when being installed from another car. The only real difference is that when the vin number verification box pops up, it will have the VIN number from the old module in there. When the program display’s that, along with the prompt “is this the correct VIN number?” Simply hit the NO response and type in the VIN number you want. This will push the new VIN into the controller. Keep in mind that once you install a used controller in a car and hook up the battery, the security system will see another VIN number and throw the vehicle into theft lock. This is easily fixed with a simple security re-learn if you have a Tech 2 and a copy of TIS. Many generic pass thru units will also have the abiltiy to do a security re-learn as well.


On most GM Body Control Modules, you have to manually enter a VIN number with the Tech 2 Keypad, than select the optional and standard equipment that you want to operate. For instance, if you have an Impala with optional driving lights, you will have to activate that function when programing and setting up a new BCM. The bad news is that, unlike many factory PCM’s most factory equipped BCM’s are locked up and cannot be given a new VIN number making used GM BCM’s worthless. Once you do get a new one, you can establish settings, and even a point of sale to record for future reference within the BCM with the Tech 2.

There are some items out here on Ebay that allow for the erasure of a used BCM or any other module for that matter. They are generic computer cards that, for the most part, are designed to erase pretty much any module out there. If you have any background or knowledge on erasing these types of modules like GM BCM’s or Ford Air bag modules, I would sure love to hear from you! As you will read in some of my other postings, I LOVE to trade resources to fellow technicians and I have A LOT of great resources for programing on a lot of vehicles.

Security Re-learn

As for security re-learns, many GM vehicles do not even require a tech 2 to re-program a pass key modlue. There is a procedure where you manipulate the key to the KOEO position and turn it off a few times and you can re-learn a pass key system. With Tech 2 the procedure is a little easier and faster as you can simply hook up your Tech 2, link it to TIS and do a relearn in about 10 minutes through SPS. There are some GM vehicles that MUST be done with the KOEO process as the security re-learn function just does not exist in Tech 2 programming.

***A note for you guys using Pass thru units for security re-learns: Most generic pass thru units WILL NOT do security re-learns even with TIS on Disc or TIS on WEB. Particularly, single wire CAN vehicles and a few OBD II’s simply wont work with generic pass thru units. Consider that the federal government only requires access to PCM, and TCM units to the general public. Anything else is just a bonus. This is why a Tech 2 is so much better than a pass thru. You cant program most BCM’s on GM with a generic pass thru nor can you do a lot of security re-learns.

Tech 2 Memory Cards

Memory card issues are also a consideration for Tech 2 units. The standard is a 32 Megabite PCMCIA style card that slides into one of the two slots on the top of the Tech 2 head unit. This card holds all your diagnostic information and updates, and also has room for flashes you will need to transfer to the vehicle your working on. Earlier units had 10 megabite cards, but there is almost NO GM program updates that will fit on such a small memory. Even legacy programs for Saab, Suzuki, Toyota, and Isuzu require at least a 32 megabite card. Very few applications will fit on a 10 Mb card. Lots of folks, however, use a 10Mb card in the second slot for data logging and storage of freeze framed data so don’t throw your 10Mb card out just yet.