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OBD Compact Reader Scan Tool Question

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Old 25 Mar 2011, 02:51 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2011
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Default OBD Compact Reader Scan Tool Question


I am considering purchasing an OBD Code Reader. Does anyone have a recommendation for an inexpensive Code Reader? My check engine light is not on now but with 102,000 miles I thought this would be a good thing to have. I found this one and it looks like a good price, is there a disadvantage for getting this one over the more expensive ones?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 25 Mar 2011, 02:57 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Salinas, CA
Posts: 1,575
Default Re: OBD Compact Reader Scan Tool Question

You have one built into your car, it's called doing the 'key dance'

Put the key into the ignition, this is the 'OFF' position. Turn it to the ON (without starting it) then OFF and ON then OFF then ON to perform the 'ritual'. If you have a code(s) stored, whether your check engine light is on or off it will be displayed on your odometer. If there are multiple codes, they will cycle through in 2-3 second intervals. Once all codes are either shown, or if there are no codes at all you'll receive a 'done'.

The on/off dance should be done within 5 seconds for it to properly work.
Originally Posted by Chromenut View Post
Kawi is a friggin genius!
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Old 25 Mar 2011, 10:46 pm
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Walking distance to the embassy
Posts: 3,188
Default Re: OBD Compact Reader Scan Tool Question

I do not have any recommendation about the scanner that you present here, but I support the idea of having an affordable OBD2 scanner (affordable being based upon your own budget).
Codes can be retrieved by the "key dance" where they are read off the odometer gauge, and the codes can be reset by disconnecting the battery.
I my opinion, having a code reader in the glove box can be useful and more convenient.
I was able to "fix" the problem temporarily, a couple of times when the MIL (malfunction indicator light) came on due to a failing camshaft sensor and clearing the code those times allowed me to get home. I regularly just erase the p0440 code for the fuel tank evap system because the error returns frequently, doesn't cause drive-ability problems and I want to know if a different error set the MIL.
The code reader I purchased from is a bottom of the line Innova Equus 3030. It was a bargain when I purchased and comes with online support references. It was $33 delivered; Amazon had some special deal at the time that I took advantage of.

Last edited by sanatanadharma; 25 Mar 2011 at 10:52 pm.
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Old 26 Mar 2011, 01:10 am
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Formerly NawLins
Posts: 246
Default Re: OBD Compact Reader Scan Tool Question

I have an Actron that works great on my 01 VW. It is the one that AutoZone used back in 04 or so before they switched to the newer super expensive ones they use now that print the codes too. IT DOES NOT WORK WITH MY 01 or 06 Pt Cruisers.

The 01 will give the codes as told above, that procedure does not work with the 06 (and maybe later) . I had a rash of codes on my 06 as at 70K many sensors decided to just die ... sounds like Mopar engineers got them to hit right on that 70K mark ... hmmmm. I bought and returned a few of the $100-120 scanners and they did not work. I was at Sears and they had a scanner on the discount rack that came with a CD so you could hook it to PC and pay some service to tell you what the OBDII code means .... we get that free here. It cost me about $25 at 50% off and it reads my 06 PT just fine. One day hopefully not too soon I will have to read the 01 with it.

The moral of the story is ... get the same model that reads your car successfully that belongs to your local AutoZone.
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