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Is it worth buying a Candoo Pro diagnostic system?

IRISHGUY

Member
Messages
30
Location
Northern California
Water Crafts
Sea Doo RXT 215
First, I'm an accomplished gearhead and techie, I've wrenched my own stuff for 50 years, I have tools in my box older than most members here I'm thinking.

That said, I'm trying to get my head around the price of a Candoo system. It's not like it can be used on anything OTHER than my PWC (I have just one) like a socket set, or even a pair of vise-grips, or a meter. I've purchased OBD readers but they work on more than one manufacturer and year of car.

Right now I need a new key for my RXT, dealer wants $55 for the key and a half hour to program it, another $45, AND … I have to take a half day to drop it and wait for it.

But is it worth $400 to not have to wait? Maybe once a year? How often would I use the thing … really?

All the threads on the subject are almost five years old, seems nobody is talkin' Candoo in 2019. Big hub bub when it hit the streets but now, not so much.

Everybody seems to want one but my toolbox needs no bragging rights. I'm musing tonight after missing a buy on a used system this week on Craigslist but the seller was three hours away one-way. Oh well.

Thought for the old guy with a screw driver?

Thanks.
 

mikidymac

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
14,048
Location
California
Water Crafts
2003 GTI
2001 XP
1996 XP
1996 HX
1991 Superjet
2001 Superjet
To just program a key it isn't worth it. I wouldn't buy one unless I had a check engine light on.
Also you can send your MPEM to Nick or Jess at Westside Powersports and they will program new keys for $80

Why pay more for less service and the same MPEM? All we need is your MPEM while the dealer needs your SeaDoo to Dess program the key. If you live far away from a SeaDoo dealer or they want a ridiculous fee, keep reading!

We can program ANY SeaDoo MPEM, 2-stroke or 4-stroke, including GTX, XP, ECM and ECU models, RFI, DI, all SeaDoo MPEMS! We write down hours stored, serial numbers, and engine timing for reference.

2-Stroke Dess Key Program Service Rates;
$35 plus shipping to program the first MPEM.
$20 for each additional MPEM sent in the same box.

4-Stroke Dess Key Program Service Rates;
$80 plus shipping.
Read and clear fault codes, read/reset service clock.

4-Stroke IBR marry to ECU, ECM, LCD Rates.
$120 for IBR marriage when all parts are shipped, save $100 or more in dealer labor costs when purchasing a used OEM IBR, ECU, ECM or LCD from us, and having the marriage done at the same time!

NOTE: All SeaDoo models 2007 and up require IBR and LCD marriage to ECU or vice versa, so making the purchase and completing the marriage at the same time saves both money and time, a value added service for our customers.

Key Rates:
Free for the first supplied key.
$5 for each additional supplied key.
$40 each for NEW aftermarket key.
$55 each for NEW OEM key.

Example Pricing if you send 3 MPEMs to program, supply 2 keys, and purchase 1 aftermarket key. $35 + $20 + $20 + free + $5 + $40 = $120 plus return shipping.
 

IRISHGUY

Member
Messages
30
Location
Northern California
Water Crafts
Sea Doo RXT 215
Thanks.

$80 for a key that's "free" is no deal.

I was hoping for a users input rather than someone taking the opportunity to sell their services.

Pulling the guts of a ski and sending it off may be the best (or only) option if the user lives hours away from a capable dealer that doesn't have an eye patch and a parrot, or just doesn't have the time to take off. That's not going to be the case for most people.

My annoyance is with the "tude" that three dealers have displayed when I asked the cost of buying and programming a new key. One wouldn't say other than "it depends". Another offered dates a month out.

It's like they know an owner's options are limited if the technical difficulty goes beyond an oil change.

Observing that this thread is being watched tells me that I'm not the only one who's rubles are ruffled at the cost of a single tool that has zero applicability elsewhere in their garage.

(*sigh*)

But I'm beginning to sense that the reason people buy the Candoo's is they placed a price on their irritations with the "dealer only" crap, the sometimes conflicting technical advice dispensed around the net, and the family's collective questions of "is it ready yet, we wanna go?"

I'm on the fence.

The Candoo people have rightfully created and locked down the cost of their product. no argument from me about that. I'm just curious how others justified to the cost of the tool to themselves (and/or to their wives)
 

russ22

Premium Member
Premium Member
Messages
61
Location
Perth Western Australia
Water Crafts
seadoo GTX 260 2015
To just program a key it isn't worth it. I wouldn't buy one unless I had a check engine light on.
Also you can send your MPEM to Nick or Jess at Westside Powersports and they will program new keys for $80

Why pay more for less service and the same MPEM? All we need is your MPEM while the dealer needs your SeaDoo to Dess program the key. If you live far away from a SeaDoo dealer or they want a ridiculous fee, keep reading!

We can program ANY SeaDoo MPEM, 2-stroke or 4-stroke, including GTX, XP, ECM and ECU models, RFI, DI, all SeaDoo MPEMS! We write down hours stored, serial numbers, and engine timing for reference.

2-Stroke Dess Key Program Service Rates;
$35 plus shipping to program the first MPEM.
$20 for each additional MPEM sent in the same box.

4-Stroke Dess Key Program Service Rates;
$80 plus shipping.
Read and clear fault codes, read/reset service clock.

4-Stroke IBR marry to ECU, ECM, LCD Rates.
$120 for IBR marriage when all parts are shipped, save $100 or more in dealer labor costs when purchasing a used OEM IBR, ECU, ECM or LCD from us, and having the marriage done at the same time!

NOTE: All SeaDoo models 2007 and up require IBR and LCD marriage to ECU or vice versa, so making the purchase and completing the marriage at the same time saves both money and time, a value added service for our customers.

Key Rates:
Free for the first supplied key.
$5 for each additional supplied key.
$40 each for NEW aftermarket key.
$55 each for NEW OEM key.

Example Pricing if you send 3 MPEMs to program, supply 2 keys, and purchase 1 aftermarket key. $35 + $20 + $20 + free + $5 + $40 = $120 plus return shipping.
Is a ECU and ECM the same thing ??????????????????
Do you sell used ECUs ????????????
I am looking for a used ECU for a seadoo GTX 260 IS LTD 2015 with key
I have been told ther are 2 types Part number 420 6666 532 for north America and part number 420 666 533 for international.
How do I know which one I need
I am in Australia so I would assume I need the 420 666 533
 

IRISHGUY

Member
Messages
30
Location
Northern California
Water Crafts
Sea Doo RXT 215
You might want to aim your question at mikidymac directly instead of posting here. She/he/they/it may not follow this thread but they sound like that stuff is their bag. My two cents? Yes, they're the same, they monitor/control engine functions, DESS Ski's also have an MPEM (yet ANOTHER box with wires) that holds more data (key ID, hours, errors, etc.). I'm learning the technical hoo-hah myself as I go so I may misspeak here. Keep asking the questions though you may hit on something I actually know something about.

Breaking horses, sailing, general mechanics and machining, I'm your guy. This?

I'm in pre-school.
 

beergut

Well-Known Member
Messages
213
Location
rindge, nh
Water Crafts
2018 Trixx 3-up
2011 RXT 260 iS
2018 Trixx 2-up
2005 Speedster 155
My annoyance is with the "tude" that three dealers have displayed when I asked the cost of buying and programming a new key. One wouldn't say other than "it depends". Another offered dates a month out.

It's like they know an owner's options are limited if the technical difficulty goes beyond an oil change.
I hear your frustration but you need to dial it back a bit- I've seldom had a dealer give me an over-the-phone quote for any service with any watercraft (boat / ski) there's just too many variables to contemplate- even when "just" programming a key. most dealers around me won't even touch something they didn't sell- which is what I'm dealing with right now- the dealer says they are too busy servicing and performing warranty service on units they've sold- no time for other repairs. I couldn't even get a dealer to insert a wear ring into my sportster pump! And- I called all 12 seadoo dealers in a 90 minute radius of me to have the carbon seal replaced- none of them will touch any unit older than 10 years...
mikidymac wasn't just trying to "sell" you a service- he was offering you an viable option; you can spend half a morning hitching up and towing your boat to the dealer, pay them $95 (if you're lucky) to have your key programmed, whenever he gets to it in a week or two, or three... or four... or, you can spend 20 minutes removing your ecu / mpem and send it in to have it completely worked through, and have it back in 3-5 days tops. your dealer isn't going to record & clear codes and I guarantee the bill will be more than $95. just my .02 ;)
 

mikidymac

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
14,048
Location
California
Water Crafts
2003 GTI
2001 XP
1996 XP
1996 HX
1991 Superjet
2001 Superjet
Yes, I was just giving you an option over the CanDoo as you asked. Most dealers will not even program keys for the 2-strokes in my area as they either don't want to mess with them or they want their minum 1 hour labor rate of $90 in addition to the $50 key and they are 1.5 hours away from me. For me it's not worth a half a day out of my time and $140 to get one key programmed. If I just needed one or two keys programmed I would just send my MPEM to Westside and be done with it.

The only way I would justify a Candoo is if I had a RFI or DI ski for diagnostics or needed to reprogram 4 or more keys then it would be worth it.

Back in the day all my local dealerships would program a key for free if you bought the key from them but those days are long gone so either way you are going to have to pay.
 

IRISHGUY

Member
Messages
30
Location
Northern California
Water Crafts
Sea Doo RXT 215
Heard you. The poster used my question as a springboard to provide a whole list of services that "we" provide when my OP was just asking about the value of the Candoo system.

Could've just provided a link and a suggestion to try them.

If I sounded bombastic I apologize, seriously. I'm coming from years of watching people be taken advantage of by opportunistic or indifferent service shops and vendors. If it quacks and walks like a duck ….

Thank you mikidymac for your suggestions, I agree they are "options" but for me, I'm a "you bring the six pack (or espresso) I'll bring my tools and we'll get your starter changed in an afternoon" kind-of-a-guy, maybe a bit too independent.

One point, programming a key IS just that simple, 15 minutes, 30 if the phone is ringing off the hook and everyone else is one a break, it ether works or it doesn't. If not, then when we're no longer talking a simple procedure and the meter is running, bets are off. That's not hard for a dealer to say and it informs the consumer of their options. Hey dealers, provide a low end and a worst case estimate, don't prevaricate and parse to cover the shop's rear, "I dunno" also influences my decision.

I had been thinking that for every home garage mechanic that had the beans to buy a Candoo, there were a fifty more that WISH they could except that the rent is due, the work car needs brakes or tires, the ex's lawyer is threatening alimony, the kid has an ear infection, and there was no overtime this month.

So acquiring an expensive tool that has no global applicability beyond Sea-Doo-dom is a major pause for thought. I could use one now (key), I may need one later (resets, error messages, diagnostics) but I was trying to get some idea of how OFTEN, on average, the typical Candoo owner drags Baby from the Snap-On roll cab and actually uses it on their own stuff. How long for a ROI? Cost/benefit?

Or does it really fall into that nice-to-have-but-if-I-have-to-to-I-can-go-to-a-dealer catagory?

Thanks again mikidymac.
 

IRISHGUY

Member
Messages
30
Location
Northern California
Water Crafts
Sea Doo RXT 215
I'm resurrecting an '05 RXT 215, stored for the last four years in a backyard, with 20 hours on the engine, owner had just installed a new battery. Other than some sun damaged vinyl it's nearly flawless. Changed oil, plugs, coolant, balky starter solenoid. It starts and revs on first jab.
Now I'm refining it's care, it has a maybe-seadoo DESS key and there is just the one. I'm feeling a bit exposed to loss or function failure. I'm liking the idea of a nosebleed screamer key and a "here honey, take it for a spin" key (tho' I KNOW she'll be back at the shore fifteen minutes later having mastered the damn thing and asking for the other key). Still, her safety is my first priority.

So being part geekazoid I'm drawn to the electronics of the ski. Trying to understand it's gizzards and nuances as a first line of self preservation against swimming pack to shore towing the ski's bow line in my teeth. (Did that on my daughters 16th birthday party. the girls were not amused nor impressed).

The journey begins.
 

mikidymac

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
14,048
Location
California
Water Crafts
2003 GTI
2001 XP
1996 XP
1996 HX
1991 Superjet
2001 Superjet
I have not had the need for one in over 20 years but........ I haven't lost a lanyard and I don't own a RFI, DI or 4-tec ski and neither do my friends, all carbed skis with only DESS.

So.... No, I don't own a CanDoo and have not needed one. Now if I got into the 4-tec or injected skis yes, I would buy one.

As far as Westside Powersports they are as nice and honest as they come so I have no issues recommending their services to everyone. My cousin had a recent issue with his 1997 XP and I got tired of dealing with it after cleaning everything and replacing the DESS post it worked fine all last year. This year it was back to randomly shutting off and then immediately restarting. I had my cousin send his MPEM and lanyard to Jess at Westside. They tested it and found nothing wrong and were not even going to charge him but he wanted a spare key so the charged him just for that and even threw in a used DESS post for free just to try. Turns out a few pins on the MPEM wires were corroded so we cleaned them up again and everything has been fine.
 

IRISHGUY

Member
Messages
30
Location
Northern California
Water Crafts
Sea Doo RXT 215
Thanks mikidymac!

My 2005 is a super charged 4-
Tec, right now .... it hums.

I was born with WD-40 on my breath so I have a real "wanna know" about things electro-mechanical, more so if I own them.

Im gravitating sloooooowly to thinking about possibly, maybe, kinda, sorta, getting one but I was looking for justification beyond my innate lust for greasy noisy stuff.
 

gazzaskirepair

Active Member
Messages
673
Water Crafts
RXT. RXT IS SPEEDSTER 2006 REPAIR SEADOOS WEEKLY FOR CUSTOMERS
If your servicing your ski yourself everyone and need to programme a key then buy the Candoo pro
It’s handy to clear fault codes reset maintenance message and yes programmed keys
Also if you disturb the throttle body can reset the throttle body too
I bought one then upgraded to unlimited edition as I am doing servicing repairs etc on other skis
It also gives you access to shop
Manuals and the Candoo forum which is very helpful
 

nfdmedic

Member
Messages
40
Location
Nashville, TN
Water Crafts
2 2005 Seadoo RXP
Irishguy, what did you decide? take the plunge and buy one? I am trying to research for myself contemplating the same as you. I own 2 2005 RXPs and just rebuilt one of the engines and a supercharger. Torn to decide is the $400 is worth it. one has a maint light on the other has no issues.
 
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