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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

OBD scanner question

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NCWayne

10-17-2012 21:18:47




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Being married means having a wife that likes 'newer' vehicles than I do. As a result I've found myself in need of an OBD scanner to troubleshoot and repair those 'newer' vehicles. Her dad used to work at a dealership and has one of the high dollar scanners but he's been retired for medical reasons for awhile, so it's not quite up to date. From what I've found, because of what it is, getting it up to date isn't cheap. Not to mention he still works on the side,when he can, so just bringing it home with me for use whenever isn't an option.

This leaves me needing one of my own. So, my question is this. Who is making a good scanner that will handle vehicles like a '02 PT Cruiser, and a '98 Surburban? I really don't want to spend the moneey required for one of the high dollar ones, and given as I only plan to use them on my own vehicles I really can't justify that kind of expense anyways. What I'd like is something in the $400 or less range that will both read the codes as well as help out with the diagnostic process a little bit.

So, for those of you that have a scanner of your own, what do you have, how do you like it, etc, etc, etc? Any help, or advice finding what I'm looking for would be greatly appreciated.

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RodInNS

10-19-2012 07:53:35




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to NCWayne, 10-17-2012 21:18:47  
I don't have one.... been thinking about it tho.
I know NAPA is selling some OTC stuff here that is supposed to be decent. Price is withing the range you're looking at.

Rod



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RayP(MI)

10-18-2012 17:40:41




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to NCWayne, 10-17-2012 21:18:47  
I got a no name special off E-Bay. Works well as far as it goes -reads codes, tells me what they mean, reads out several operational perameters while car is in operation. Erases/resets codes. I find it very useful to have the readout available, especially when the $hops are closed. At least I can make a decision whether the code is "instant panic," or something I can deal with at my convenience, or if it's something I gotta take to the pros. My $40 was well spent.

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The tractor vet

10-18-2012 11:13:30




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to NCWayne, 10-17-2012 21:18:47  
i have been kicking the odea around also and been thinking about a Genesis from The OVER PRICED TOOL COMPANY . As for my needs one that goes to 2005 would be good and if i needed to i can up grade as needed .seen them from 300 to 500 . look for one with the red power button.



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Bryan iniowa

10-21-2012 09:06:36




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to The tractor vet, 10-18-2012 11:13:30  
OTC Genisys ,,I have demo"d one once so-so . Lot of guy say they are only good as a wheel chock .lol



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rustyfarmall

10-21-2012 09:35:54




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to Bryan iniowa, 10-21-2012 09:06:36  
Since this subject came up a couple of days ago, I have been researching software to install on my laptop, which would then serve as a full OBD2 analysis tool. Seems like the only information I can find is either wild claims by the manufacturer, or discussion forums where the participants do nothing but argue with each other. I am more confused now than ever before. I even watched a couple of youtube videos, apparently posted by strictly amateurs who don't even know how to edit their own videos for content.

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decent truck

10-18-2012 08:54:31




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to NCWayne, 10-17-2012 21:18:47  
I use AutoeEnginuity for my F350 diesel truck its laptop application with USB to ODBII connector.

I went to buy the ABS code reader for a Chrysler Pacifica add on it was about the same price as complete professionally peformed brake job.

Visit the websites of the OBDII readers you're thinking about buying and see what codes they will and will not read. Most vendors have a complete list. In my case I bought 4 replacement ABS sensors,brake pads and rear rotors for less than the ABS reading module.

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rustyfarmall

10-18-2012 10:55:49




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to decent truck, 10-18-2012 08:54:31  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Will the AutoeEnginuity system allow you to make changes and adjustments to the factory settings? Such as reducing the "torque management" to achieve a little more throttle response?



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decent truck

10-18-2012 11:06:15




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to rustyfarmall, 10-18-2012 10:55:49  
The version I have is only a reader and data logger.
Works well at that task.



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Mike M

10-18-2012 08:51:11




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to NCWayne, 10-17-2012 21:18:47  
I had some Dodges that had it built into them all you do is cycle the key a set # of times and it flashes the code in the odometer.



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Bryan iniowa

10-19-2012 05:12:24




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to Mike M, 10-18-2012 08:51:11  
avail on older mopars pre OBDII



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scotc

10-21-2012 16:40:45




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to Bryan iniowa, 10-19-2012 05:12:24  
OBD and OBD2. Had an 01 1500 that I could pull codes out of it through the digital odometer. Some would, some wouldn't. Key on-off-on-off-on.

Should give a 4-digit P-code on the digital odometer or a a 2-digit flash code on the check engine light.



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wsmm

10-18-2012 07:50:50




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to NCWayne, 10-17-2012 21:18:47  
I bought an OTC 9450 to track both an OBD II and ABS error on my 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Bought off of E-Bay for $100.00 including shipping. Reads OBD II for all OBD II vehicles and ABS and Air Bag errors for select vehicles. Also can down load info to pc. Real happy with the unit.



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cd1

10-18-2012 06:49:38




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to NCWayne, 10-17-2012 21:18:47  
I've considered buying one however I have also had enough experiences where the code would not lead you to the problem that I just go over to a good local garage (whom I trust totally) and he has the latest and greatest snap-on scanner, I have him tell me whats wrong and pass him a couple bucks. In my own job, people pay me for my experience, so I don't mind paying them for theirs as they can pick up problems I could spend a week on within minutes because they have seen it before.

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Jeff NWOH

10-18-2012 05:53:04




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to NCWayne, 10-17-2012 21:18:47  
I have an OTC Nemisys I got off ebay a couple years ago for around $400. They are still out there. It has cables & adapters for the older stuff as well. It it updateable/upgradable.

Mine has vehicle specific info for US made cars up to 2007 and obviously OBD2 for anything. Will also pull abs codes as well as real time data, and quite a few other things. It could tell me which parking sensor wasn't working on the GF's explorer.

All in all, I'm happy with it and feel it was money well spent.

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LJD

10-18-2012 05:37:21




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to NCWayne, 10-17-2012 21:18:47  
I've got an Actron CP9125. Reads OBDII. Sells for $50 at Advance Auto. Does all I need and has worked for reading codes and later deleting them. It's especially handy on my 1995,2002 Subarus and 1999 Kia since they are constantly throwing "check engine" lights. Here in NY, you cannot pass inspection unless you've had no codes for at least 100 miles before the inspection. $50 well spent.



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Kirk Grau

10-18-2012 04:54:41




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to NCWayne, 10-17-2012 21:18:47  
Another approach...

If you have an Android smart phone (probably exist for Apple and Windows as well, I just don"t have those) go to the "app store" and get a piece of software called Torque OBD for ~$5 and pick up a Bluetooth OBD interface off of e-bay for ~$15 and you can do see anything any of the inexpensive scanners can. Probably fill most of your needs. Gives you an excuse to get a smart phone as well if you don"t have one.

~Kirk

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Charles (in GA)

10-18-2012 06:55:06




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to Kirk Grau, 10-18-2012 04:54:41  
"Another approach...

If you have an Android smart phone (probably exist for Apple and Windows as well, I just don"t have those) go to the "app store" and get a piece of software called Torque OBD for ~$5 and pick up a Bluetooth OBD interface off of e-bay for ~$15 and you can do see anything any of the inexpensive scanners can. Probably fill most of your needs. Gives you an excuse to get a smart phone as well if you don"t have one.

~Kirk "

I did this just to find an excuse to try out an app on the new Galaxie III. I haven't got the paid version of Torque yet, but it does work. I have a Pontiac Vibe (Toyota Matrix with a different logo) and there is a Toyota specific code app that reads its codes well and shows real time position of transmission solenoids, throttle switches, etc. that works great.

I paid about $25 for the blue tooth OBDII reader from Amazon.

Charles

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Kirk Grau

10-18-2012 07:17:12




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to Charles (in GA), 10-18-2012 06:55:06  
I just received my new GSIII this week, like it so far.

Torque is really cool, if you look you can find people who have taken a tablet and replaced their radio with it, gives them all the realtime gauges in a nice looking package. Then they hide a Bluetooth capable audio interface somewhere and just use the tablet for radio/gauges/anything else a tablet can do.

Kirk



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ASEguy

10-18-2012 03:59:46




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to NCWayne, 10-17-2012 21:18:47  
There are basically three catagories for the tool you need to consider. Diagnostic tools reveal a lot of on-board data in different modes like mode six for emmission controls as well as two way controls for actuating components and too numerous to mention functions. Most are OEM models. Scan tools are a step down, but reveal a lot of useful data for many techs and can still access the BCM, TCM, ABS and other modules. Code readers have very limited ability but are inexpensive. They'll give you the code, but not much else and they usually don't have access to all systems on the data bus. Your knowledge level and ability to use the data will determine the proper tool. We bought a DRB III last year for $8,000. Scan tools roughly $800.00 and up and code readers can be had for under $100.00. Gerard

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Bryan iniowa

10-19-2012 05:19:44




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to ASEguy, 10-18-2012 03:59:46  
Isn't DRBIII phased out ? Wi scan or what ever it is the new Mopar factory tool ? I have been looking to upgrade to factory tool but chrysler changes tooling with every ownership change it seems . My snap On Modis has been great ,and they have really upped their game ,,but hard to beat factory scanner .



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ASEguy

10-20-2012 02:47:24




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to Bryan iniowa, 10-19-2012 05:19:44  
It is used less, but quite a few of our students go to dealerships where they will use these and the Tech II. It is useful on many models and allows us to teach two way controls with different features to future tech's. We feel if they see more equipment they will be better prepared. Gerard



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Bryan iniowa

10-20-2012 07:03:10




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to ASEguy, 10-20-2012 02:47:24  
Very true . Whatever shop they go into isn't always going to have latest and greatest factory scan tools . could imagine what that would cost for an Indy shop ? I have Tech II and a Modis . Looking at a Ford IDS ,,but they really changed their program and subscription price skyrocketed . Where are you teaching at?



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timcasbolt

10-18-2012 03:00:19




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to NCWayne, 10-17-2012 21:18:47  
Check out this website: http://myscantool.com/

I can't speak to it's quality, as I haven't actually tried it, but it sounds like it should be just the right thing.



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Jim in MN

10-17-2012 23:48:58




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 Re: OBD scanner question in reply to NCWayne, 10-17-2012 21:18:47  
I bought an Actron CP9580 (made by OTC) about a year ago and have been very happy with it. It reads engine, emissions, transmission, and ABS brake codes, as well as showing live data. It also has a live graphing feature that is kind of handy. The software is upgradable via USB. I paid just shy of $200 for mine (saw one in pawn shop a week later for $100). It seemed to be the best bang for the buck with the features I wanted. It wasn't the cheapest or the most expensive, and several local stores carry the brand.

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