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OT - code scanner

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by halfmile, Feb 10, 2011.

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  1. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Green Bay Wisconsin
    OK, I give up. I am damn sick and tired of driving to Auto Zone to find out my car does not like the water temperature because it's 5 degrees less than their ideal. Or that the #4 cylinder had a misfire last week.

    And since they don't cancel codes, I am also damn tired of disconnecting my battery.

    So I decided to get a scanner. I don't need a 600 dollar one. And i imagine the 15.95 one will quit working the second time I use it. (Too Bad, Harbor Freight).

    So I need to find some sort of alternative that doesn't turn my wallet into a smoking hulk, but still does a decent job.

    I think I only need the OBD II setup, I have a Kia, a Buick, and a Trailblazer.

    And I know one of youse guys has an answer for me.

    Have at it.

    HM
     
  2. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    I got one from Advance Auto or Autozone (can't remember which) for close to 50 bucks. Used it on my car once (bad 02 sensor) and my brothers truck a couple times (myriad of problems LOL). All and all I think it was a good investment, even if only for the fact that it'll clear codes very quickly. I think the only thing you get by spending more $ is not having to look in the reference booklet to decipher what the code means (takes all of about 30 seconds) and I think on some of the real high end ones, it'll give you a couple possible causes for your code, but most of the time if you can't figure it out on your own, punch the code and your cars make and model into google and you'll be able to find out what the code most likely means on your own. IIRC the display at the store had a rubric of what each model would do, so I'd go check that out, or go on the mfg website, and buy the model that has the features you need, and don't waste $ on the ones that have neat extras that may save you a very small amt of time but tack on big $ extra.
     
  3. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    I bought a Superchips Cortex tuner for my truck. I actually bought it to add HP/TQ and tune other variables. I'm sure your probably not interested in that but it also reads and clears All trouble codes. I paid $289 about 3 years ago. Just a thought anyway.

    Matt
     
  4. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    5,475
    Location:
    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    When I retired, I bought a $300 scan tool that was on sale for around $200 on Amazon.com primarily because it was advertised as being able to read any OBDII code and it was on sale. Well, I learned that there are some "proprietary" codes that only a manufacturer's scan tool will read.

    My wife's Saturn Vue lost its catalytic converter a couple of years ago and the scan tool that the auto parts stores use (orange in color) said no codes were stored but when I got the clerk to clear the codes, the light went out. I later had a GM dealer scan the data stream and the GM scan tool displayed the converter code. Now the light is coming on again and both my scan tool and the parts house's scan tool say no codes are stored but clearing codes turns the light off for a few minutes or a few months. Again, the GM tool does display a code, this time for the post-converter oxygen sensor.

    Ed
     
  5. Remstar311

    Remstar311 Member

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    That is interesting ED. Most everytime I have had a code it was for a 02 sensor on my 01 Chevy S10. My brothers truck ate the cat from a stuck injector. The autozone scanner said that was the problem.

    I have no doubt that some codes may need the high dollar scanners. My friend has one that clears airbags as well. Big bucks from snap on.

    TO THE OP

    Anything after 1996 is OBII and universal for emissions IIRC. That isn't the case for brake sensors, air bag lights etc. Those are usually brand specific. I believe that the 100 dollar one from autozone will serve your purpose just fine. You can google the codes as stated above and get your answers.
     
  6. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Brings another question to mind.......ABS codes. Another tool?

    HM
     
  7. gus

    gus Member

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    Price them, you can get a great one from Amazon for what you would pay for a basic one at an auto parts store.
     
  8. 320090T

    320090T Well-Known Member

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    3,348
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    Indiana
    This is an updated version of mine from two years ago. Reads, tells you what it is, and, clears. Autozone uses a simliar one.
     
  9. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Mine reads ABS codes as well as powertrain codes.

    Ed
     
  10. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    Mar 14, 2006
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    4,003
    I actually bought the $100 deluxe version at Harbor Freight on sale. It will scan, provide freeze frame data, clear codes, and display live data from the PCM and record it. It is also "CAN" capable. It's a newer data network than the original OBDII systems. I also have a more capable and way more expensive scanner, but the $100 version can live in the trunk of my car. It can pull proprietary codes, but has no definitions for them, since they will be different for different manufacturers. It does not do ABS or Body modules. Proprietary code definitions can usually be found with "Google". I've had this one for almost three years and it still works just fine. A more expensive scanner with the same capabilities is just more expensive. The factory/proprietary units are sometimes in the tens of thousands of dollars "IF" they will sell you one.
     
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