New gadget OBDII reader

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HueyPilotVN

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Jun 5, 2012
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Lake Havasu City, AZ
Renae just gave me a new gadget/tool.

It's a Code Reader for reading and erasing OBDII codes on any 1996 and newer automobile.

It is powered by the port on the vehicle and does not require any internal battery.

It is for gas powered vehicles and not for Diesels at least not for my Coach, but that is ok.

She got an error code the other day on her Jeep Commander, So I got a new tool.  Fine with me.

I know the next question but I have not even asked her how much it was.  Seemed kind of tactless to ask about the cost of a gift.

It comes with a manual that has a full list of all the error codes.

Here is a picture.

Edit:  She just walked into the room and read my post and said to tell you she got it on sale at Groupon for $22.62
reduced from $49.95.

What a bargain.  She said that I am a hard guy to buy a gift for but she thought that I did not have one of these.

 

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jackiemac

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Scotland
We got a cheaper one and it's very handy. I'm sure you appreciate any gift that is a gadget! She knows you so well. ?
 

Old_Crow

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Tom's Place, California
Nice to have a code reader. 
My son gave me one of those bluetooth dongles that you plug into the OBDII port and use an app on your phone.  I actually have the app on my tablet, and use it to display sensor info while traveling.  Sort of a gas version of that display all you diesel guys use.
 

SpencerPJ

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Midwest
I carry one in my Yukon XL as well.  The book of codes is great, but whenever you have a code, type the code and type of vehicle into Google.  You will get all sorts of help.  Sometimes a code can be a couple different things, but 99% of the time it is only one of those things.  And it's handy to erase the code after you address the problem. 
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
I have 3 of those. one is a simple reader. Plug it in and look up the code
The other two are Blue-Tooth adapters. Plug it in and install the app (Torque) on your smart phone or tablet. Connect up and not only can you read the codes. and sensors but you can reset the codes from the phone.
It reads speed. (or it can use GPS if possible) RPM. Fuel meters. Acceleration. Fuel mix. O2 sensor. throttle position. vacuum/pressures. temp's and .. basicaly every sensor your engine has. (And more in some cases).

Plus it can be left plugged in so your co-pilot can read real time data.

You see ads on TV where someone gets a check engine light and their co-pilot looks at their phone and says "Faulty sensor. Keep driving".. Well.. they are not that good.. But there are many error codes where you can keep driving (IE: I have a faulty sensor. or so it says.. On my car).  This is the same type of device.. Only I have had mine for several years.. Use it to diagnose car mostly (I have one for car and one for Motor home  Phone can tell them apart)
 

PancakeBill

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Benson - Tucson, AZ. West Yellowstone,MT
Very handy, I have a BT and a plug-in.  My wife van kept getting a code, which was slow evaporations leak, The evaporations system had a real cagey leak, but we knew what it was, could reset and drive another 400 miles.
 

Arch Hoagland

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Clovis California
I've got a couple code reader too.

I find it interesting you have to buy a code reader to get the codes.  With all the fancy schmancy doodads electronics built into the car they could certainly add a code reader.

However then you wouldn't be going to the dealer to pay the ransom.  The Check Engine Light, in my humble opinion, was designed as a revenue income source. 
 

Old_Crow

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Arch Hoagland said:
I've got a couple code reader too.

I find it interesting you have to buy a code reader to get the codes.  With all the fancy schmancy doodads electronics built into the car they could certainly add a code reader.

However then you wouldn't be going to the dealer to pay the ransom.  The Check Engine Light, in my humble opinion, was designed as a revenue income source.

At least with GM, until '96 or so when OBDII came out you could short a couple of terminals in the diagnostic connector and get the check engine light to flash the codes.  When OBDII hit there became so many codes for different systems that the flashing light system would no longer work.
OBDI systems had a scan tool called a Tech 1.  When OBDII came out that became obsolete and they issued the Tech 2.  Well, now, there's just so much info available from the car's computer that they came up with a unit to link to a laptop computer.  At the last Chevy dealer I worked at, each tech was required to have their own laptop, running GM's repair software.

They really should have named the check engine light something else.  A lot of people still thing it means something mechanical is wrong with the engine. 
What it really means is that some sensor or another attached to the computer is sending a signal that is outside of normal parameters.  This could be caused by a bad sensor, bad wiring to a sensor, or an actual problem of some sort causing a sensor to send a reading the computer doesn't like.  Bad sensors are easy to change, bad wiring is fairly easy to locate, but when a fault in one system is causing a sensor in another system to have a wanky reading, this is where you really need a tech who knows his stuff and not the guy at Auto Zone with a cheapy code reader. 
This is the main complaint I have with the Bluetooth code reader I have.  The Torque app has some facility for display of the different engine parameters, and it will read and clear codes, but since it's designed for the layman, there's a lot of stuff missing that I(as a former dealership tech)could use to diagnose problems.
 

BruceinFL

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When you get a light and nothing appears wrong or if you fixed a problem, reboot the system by disconnecting the battery, waiting at least 30 secs and then reconnect.
 

donn

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The app "Torque" does all that and much more for less than 20 dollars.
 

John From Detroit

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Old_Crow said:
At least with GM, until '96 or so when OBDII came out you could short a couple of terminals in the diagnostic connector and get the check engine light to flash the codes. 

THat wax OBD 1. OBD II you need a reader

I once had the engine go "Limp" on my 1992 Lumina. pulled off read the flashes as you describe called the mechanic and he said "Not sure exactly but Emissions" I said AH HA fixed the problem and continue on.

A vacuum/pressure hose had come loose (not sure if vacuum or pressure).. Re-attached and on the road again.
 

Old_Crow

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PancakeBill said:
In some of the Dodge platforms, turning ignition on, off etc 4 times the codes would display on odometer, to reset you had to disconnect the battery.  Loose gas cap will cause a code.

Yeah, all my Jeep YJ's were like that.  That ability went away in '97 when the TJ came out.
 

Blues Driver

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OBD  On Board Diagnostics ?  Will this perform the same functions as the ScanII?  A big difference in $. It seems each make vehicle would have proprietary codes and components but then they all probably use pretty much the same components. And the same crooked gas cap.
Being able to monitor the various engine and tranny systems on a tablet while en route seems worthwhile, especially on long inclines.
Bill, thanks for the good thread,
Pat
 

DonTom

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Auburn, CA or Reno, NV
Arch Hoagland said:
I've got a couple code reader too.

I find it interesting you have to buy a code reader to get the codes.  With all the fancy schmancy doodads electronics built into the car they could certainly add a code reader.

However then you wouldn't be going to the dealer to pay the ransom.  The Check Engine Light, in my humble opinion, was designed as a revenue income source.
I own several also.

But another handy item is to know when all the sensors  are "ready" for a smog test (where required). Some cars reset the sensors in only a few miles. Others take many days and many miles, under various condition, sometimes a few hundred miles to get them ready for a smog test after the codes have been reset or the battery disconnected.

I own one of these for that purpose.

BTW, the ScanDisk2 also shows when it's "ready", which I have in my RV. But by far, most OBD2 scanners will NOT tell you when the sensors are "ready" for a smog test.

-Don-  Auburn, CA
 

Hanr3

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Central Illinois
I bought an OBD1.5, it was after OBD1 and before OBDII came out.
Now I just go to Autozone or the like and they read it for free, plus will print out the codes and description of the problem. Recently they changed the laws and Autozone and the like cannot delete the codes. Had a problem with people who were selling cars would have the codes cleared and then sell the car. New owner didn't know the vehicle has problems.


 

DonTom

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Hanr3 said:
I bought an OBD1.5, it was after OBD1 and before OBDII came out.
Now I just go to Autozone or the like and they read it for free, plus will print out the codes and description of the problem. Recently they changed the laws and Autozone and the like cannot delete the codes. Had a problem with people who were selling cars would have the codes cleared and then sell the car. New owner didn't know the vehicle has problems.
All that needs to be done to clear the codes is disconnect the battery for a few seconds. That will buy the same amount of time and miles to sell the vehicle as the code reset. 

BTW, you cannot reset a single code. You reset them all to "not ready"  either way which gives time before the check engine light comes on again. How long it takes depends on the code that fails.

-Don-  Auburn, CA
 

SpencerPJ

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Hanr3 said:
I bought an OBD1.5, it was after OBD1 and before OBDII came out.
Now I just go to Autozone or the like and they read it for free, plus will print out the codes and description of the problem. Recently they changed the laws and Autozone and the like cannot delete the codes. Had a problem with people who were selling cars would have the codes cleared and then sell the car. New owner didn't know the vehicle has problems.

Autozone will loan you the reader, and you can delete.  ;)

I use to do the same.  Then I bought a $20 one off Amazon, like it.  I like having it under my rear seat, if a code comes on, especially while traveling, I like to easy plug in, and see what is up.  The code and Google give quick answers.  Funny thing, I used it once on my Yukon, and probably 20 times telling others what their code is.  haha
 

cerd

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MN
These are handy. I have had a bluetooth one for years, but I would be hesitant to buy one again. I have hear that there are millions of chinese clones online and you cant tell the difference, but the circuit board and programming aren't quite the same. It may work for a dozen cars without an issue, but there is a risk that the signal is out of sync on some cars and it can fry the ECU.

When mine dies, I am going to invest in the Bosch bluetooth scanner. I use an app called Torque that really comes in handy. It will give me a description instead of a code, so I don't need to keep a reference manual, plus it will give me real time data logging. I used it to graph my O2 sensors in my car, which confirmed that my Cat converter was shot before I had to spend $300 on a new one.

FYI, if you have to replace your cat converter, stick with OEM. They aren't much more expensive, but they perform better and last longer. Plus, if you have a car that lasts long enough to need 2 replacements, they return significantly more from the scrap yard, making the pill of having to replace it at all, a little easier to swallow. My car has over 350k miles and going strong. Since cat's are warrantied to 100-150k miles, I wasn't surprised to go through 2 of them.
 
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