OBD scan tool

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-03-16, 02:25 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 1,352
OBD scan tool

Haven't bought any engine diagnostic tools in years; my timing lights, tach's, vacuum gauges, etc. are all probably 25 years or older, but have had a bug for an OBD scanner for a while so finally bought one today. I went in leaning toward an Innova 3100, but bought the 3040c instead because it was around $50-60 less, and seemed to have everything that the 3100 did except for a battery backup. Well, it does all of the same things, and I have had enough problems with batteries going bad inside something over the years, so it all seemed good to me. And the guy at the parts store wasn't much help in this regard, but said that if it didn't do everything I wanted I could exchange it. Well, of course you can't always tell until you use something and dive into the manual, but I now know that the reason for the battery is so that the unit will retain memory, so that I could carry it to my office and plug it into the computer to access further information on Innova's website. Keeping in mind that I am not in the vehicle repair business, and would not pay a monthly or annual fee to access their site, which by the way I still cannot figure out if there is a charge for after reading the manual and the website, my question is, for those who use an OBD scanner for their own use, is there an advantage to having the online connectivity, or is it good enough that I am able to pull up the codes and then do my own search online? Oh, and, in addition to giving the codes, it does appear to give some built-in details of what the problem might be without having to go online.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-03-16, 02:33 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 19,519
I have never wanted or needed mine to plug into a computer or to save any data.
 
  #3  
Old 09-03-16, 03:26 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North East Kingdom of Vermont
Posts: 2,223
I've had an Actron 9575 for about 6 or 7 years . . . . uses no batteries (except the Car's Battery), and has served me well. This Model allows me to "clear" the Codes; not just look at them.

I'm blessed to have never been overwhelmed with so many Codes simultaneously that it was a burden to look them up on-line . . . . I have just a few old friends who visit me a couple times a year, like P0420, and you become familiar with the issues that plague a vehicle repeatedly. The Code Reader's greatest value is in its quickly letting me know that the CEL (Check Engine Light) is seldom something to trigger a heart attack.

I bought mine on eBay from a woman who was emptying her estranged BoyFriend's Garage and selling everything that looked to her like it had some value . . . . it certainly did "for me" !
 

Last edited by Vermont; 09-03-16 at 04:30 PM. Reason: spelling errors
  #4  
Old 09-03-16, 03:57 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: May 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 551
I'm thinking about buying an OBD scanner too even though Auto Zone will scan your vehicle for free. Their new scanner collects the data. Then you have to go in the store & they connect the scanner to their computer. So far so good. Here's the catch. They have to enter your VIN. While they tell you what sensor maybe bad, my question is where is my vehicle info going? I think that it's going to the state. What do you think?
 
  #5  
Old 09-03-16, 04:00 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 19,519
The VIN tells them the year, make, model, engine, and options on your vehicle.
 
  #6  
Old 09-03-16, 04:18 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 1,352
I agree with Sleeper that the V.I.N. is to make sure they have the vehicle nailed down, plus it could be part of their marketing plan to build your trust, confidence, or whatever in them knowing what they're doing. I wouldn't worry about "big brother" trying to keep tabs on me through an OBD scan. Otherwise, all good to hear, so I will go forth with the one I have. Even though the guy made the offer, it's not in my nature to return something that is open and not defective, plus I have a little bit of experience with my '02 'vette that actually displays the codes, and have never had any problem going online and identifying them. Good point on being able to clear the codes, Vermont; that's one thing that I did know I wanted, and this one does so, and also does ABS. So, all in all a pretty simple question on my part, but just wanted to see if I might be overlooking something. Pretty cool though having a new engine tool! Thank you guys; I appreciate it.
 
  #7  
Old 09-03-16, 04:39 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: May 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 551
Now that I feel totally safe that big brother isn't tracking me through my VIN, my next question is do the newer scanners make it impossible to erase the code, to see if the code appears again?
 
  #8  
Old 09-03-16, 04:49 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 19,519
Huh? Erasing the code is a basic function of almost every scanner.
 
  #9  
Old 09-03-16, 05:23 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 3,138
I have a model that connects via Bluetooth to an app on my Ipad. Best of both worlds. No batteries in the device, and real time online lookup capability (as long as I'm in wifi range), and a big screen that can show lots of info, including real time graphs of things like O2, RPM, vacuum, etc.

A lot of new cars also have codes for the ABS system and some scanners can't deal with them, so that might be a consideration. It comes in handy for tracking down wheel sensor issues which seem to be common on ABS systems.
 
  #10  
Old 09-03-16, 06:02 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: May 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 551
I know someone who has one of those bluetooth things which I would get but I don't have a smart phone or tablet. What happened was I checked my brake fluid & some spilled on what I think is the computer ( 2000 Chevy Express 1/2 ton). 3 hrs later the service engine light lit & the test showed that it was the downstream O2 oxygen sensor. I really think that it's too coincidental that the sensor went bad, on the same day. That's why I want to erase the code & start again.
 
  #11  
Old 09-03-16, 10:39 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NJ - USA
Posts: 43,010
Actron makes good basic scanners. One plus to having the internal batteries is that the unit will store the last vehicle scanned in memory. Good if using the scanner on the same vehicle all the time. Mine scans the vehicle PCM and the ABS brake system. Mine also has a blue CODE button on it that will tell you what the codes mean.

You can erase any engine code and the check engine light will go out however many new vehicles will "hard store" codes in the vehicles PCM. Codes like ones for the emission systems are stored until the dealer erases them. The light will reset but the code is kept stored.

Disconnecting the battery for several minutes is another way to clear the codes and reset the check engine light.

I wouldn't worry about the VIN number going back to the DVM..... their computers have enough problems just issuing licenses and registrations.
 
  #12  
Old 09-04-16, 05:56 AM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: May 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 551
I'll look for Actron. I had no results when I did 3 different things with the battery. It always worked with Dodges.
 
  #13  
Old 09-05-16, 06:22 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: May 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 551
Update, the service engine light went out yesterday.
 
  #14  
Old 09-18-16, 05:48 AM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 2,005
Maybe, the inexpensive scanners are just that, readers. The more expensive ones can erase, but for the most part you want to fix what is setting the code than just eliminating.
 
  #15  
Old 09-18-16, 12:00 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Not sure what type I have, but it allows for live feed with the engine running and transmission operating. I, too, have not had the need to interface the results to my computer, but it came with a program and the cords to do it with.

The one thing I did find out is certain replacement parts are VIN specific, such as ABS computers. If they are not from your vehicle, they will have to be fla$hed.

Eliminating the code once is a good diagnostic tool, just to make sure it isn't a false input or a flutter. If it returns, then take the information from the scanner and fix the problem. Mine will isolate the problem down to the exact cylinder or injector, which eliminates guess work.
 
  #16  
Old 10-07-16, 03:46 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 40
Usually the online is for updates on their software .
Depends on the type of scan tool. Some are vehicle/manufacturer specific.
 
  #17  
Old 10-08-16, 12:19 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 94
I have 2 scanners. One is actron and one is harbor freight which I bought at a yard sale. I like it best ,it identifies problem and erases codes. So does the actron but it cost me about $80. and the harbor freight one with a larger screen $20.
 
Reply


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:11 PM.