ODB2 scanner -- how much $$$ do I need to spend?

Re: ODB2 scanner -- how much $$$ do I need to spend?

PostBy: RAYJAY On: Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:06 pm

jpete wrote:The only thing you'll get from a low cost scanner is generic codes. More expensive ones might get you manufacturer specific codes but you typically need different software for each make.

And you still don't get brake or transmission codes.

What are you trying to do?


not true a Innova 3160 will read trans codes and abs codes for most American made cars,


there is a couple of way to go if you have a good lap top there is programs that you can run. auto tap is one that works good, or any of the innova or actron are good units, but rember reading a code doers not mean that is the problem flat out, you need to be able to data log and read the info to see what is setting the code.

jeff
RAYJAY
 
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Re: ODB2 scanner -- how much $$$ do I need to spend?

PostBy: rberq On: Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:36 am

Coalfire wrote:The shop I work at specializes in electrical testing and difficult problems ... Always makes you feel good when you fix one the dealer couldn't

I wish your shop was around my neighborhood!
rberq
 
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Re: ODB2 scanner -- how much $$$ do I need to spend?

PostBy: GuyGareau On: Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:19 am

Check out this low price obd2 scanner:

http://www.carplugs.com/obd2usb.html


Low price and works pretty good. I've scanned several cars with it. Never had a problem.
GuyGareau
 


Re: ODB2 scanner -- how much $$$ do I need to spend?

PostBy: e.alleg On: Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:32 am

I own a repair shop and charge for diagnosis, so here's my biased tool recommendation: Minimum - OTC GENISYS scan tool, 2 channel lab scope, DVOM, subscription to Mitchell1 OnDemand, VACUTEC smoke machine, iAtn subscription. You scan the code, investigate the data stream, possibly smoke it, look it up on Mitchell1, test components with your scope, repair the corroded connector or broken vacuum TEE. I can't tell you how many times I've opened the hood and it looks like AutoZone's sensor catalog under there and the light is still on due to something that is 5 cents. If you just want codes save your money and get it scanned for free at AutoZone or your local small garage. Without proper equipment and access to all the information the garage has access to you might be better off finding a better diagnostic shop.

Before I charged for the service, I used a ACTRON $89 scanner, read the code, visually inspected the component and wiring, guessed at what part might be bad. I also have the service manual for my vehicle. 70% success rate. No sense in buying $5,000 in equipment for an occasional $200 repair.
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Re: ODB2 scanner -- how much $$$ do I need to spend?

PostBy: rberq On: Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:17 pm

e.alleg wrote:I can't tell you how many times I've opened the hood and it looks like AutoZone's sensor catalog under there and the light is still on due to something that is 5 cents.

I suspect the shade tree mechanic replaces all these parts because he feels his local shop will be guessing just like he is, only the shop will charge $70 to $90 per hour for their guesses. In your experience, what percentage of garages have the equipment needed? and just as important, have technicians trained to use it properly? How about dealerships? Better trained and better equipped than the private shops?
rberq
 
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Re: ODB2 scanner -- how much $$$ do I need to spend?

PostBy: jpete On: Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:00 pm

I agree with Bob. A dealership or other garage is almost just as likely to take the "shotgun" approach repairing a car.

Not that this has to do with scanners, but just to illustrate the low quality of dealer techs.

I brought my newly purchased used minivan in because the front end pounded like the struts were shot. I looked pulled the dust boots back and the tops were all wet like the struts were shot.

"Luckily", I bought the warranty so I figured I'd actually get some use out of it. The dealership told me the steering rack was bad. No explanation on how that would produce a NVH problem. But they assured me it was covered under warranty.

No problem I figured. I'll get a new rack and a new pair of struts. After the THIRD time they had to replace it, I finally fixed their mistake and the struts myself.

Every time they replaced the rack, the P/S would squeal like crazy. When I told them they were bleeding it wrong, they assured me it was just a bad rebuilt rack. I guess they never calculated the odds of getting 3 bad ones, all with the same exact problem.
jpete
 
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Re: ODB2 scanner -- how much $$$ do I need to spend?

PostBy: e.alleg On: Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:28 pm

Probably 80% of shops are overbooked and work their flat rate techs over the edge, so they guess. I agree paying $80 to have a guy guess is a waste of money, and I will bet they will never admit when they make a mistake, must have uh "multiple problems". Look for a shop that isn't too busy but schedules your car in for an appointment a week or so later, they will take the time to check your car right. I am an ASE Certified Master Tech, to pass the test and get the patch requires a fair amount of knowledge. Look for certified techs at the shop you go to. Ask them what service manuals they use. Mitchell1 Ondemand 5 or ALLDATA are the right answers as they are subscription based and up to date. Ask if they are an IATN member. If they look confused keep shopping. Anyone can be wrong, diagnostic shops that care stack the odds in their favor.

Here's a story of my wifes 2007 Chrysler T&C minivan (same as Dodge Caravan) - the ABS light came on. I drove the van and noticed the rear wheel bearings were howling really bad. Code said LR Wheel speed zero. Data stream confirmed that the right rear read fine and the left rear read 0. I put in 2 new wheel bearings due to teh noise and figured it would fix itself and the noise went away, but the light stayed on. Hmm, I checked the wires where they go through the floor grommet, inspected all the pinch points really well, and I replaced the left rear wheel speed sensor next, because it was still reading zero. Light still on. HUH? now what. More better research revealed that Chrysler switched the right and left wheel speed connectors on the assembly line. I tested the WRONG side (right rear) and sure enough the right speed sensor was bad. Scanner said left rear was bad, right was fine. It didn't lie, the van was put together wrong. No problem I just installed the left rear that I replaced earlier. If I was smarter I would have tested all the sensors before buying one, but this is the Wife's car and she doesn't like it on the lift for too long so I made an educated guess and guessed wrong. Think of what can happen with more complicated systems. The chance for error is high. Smitty is right your best bet is to drive a '94 and avoid the OBDII :?
e.alleg
 
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Re: ODB2 scanner -- how much $$$ do I need to spend?

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:55 pm

OK since we're telling war stories here..........

My daughter has an '05 GMC Envoy, Onstar, heated seats, the whole enchilada. She came to me with a problem. The right front door window control would not work. Diagnosed as a bad r.f. door control module. Ordered a new one. However they have to be programmed to work with the rest of the onboard computers.

Long story short, the freaking radio was preventing the programming of the r.f. door unit.

Luckily I had taken the vehicle to a garage that knew what he was doing. The local independent garage had even contacted GM directly and they kept telling him that he had gotten a bad window controller. And this was from one of the top techs at GM itself. The local guy knew enough to know what to check and how to check individual components. It was while he was second guessing himself that he hooked up the scope and noticed the radio serial bus dropping out right before the completion of the programming.

The local GM dalership was just going to keep replacing parts until they got to the root of the problem.

And I do have an OTC Genesis. I can do 90-95% with this tool. It has it limitations and as a garage owner, I have to realize those limitations and defer to those who have better stuff and the knowledge to use it.

My advise.....get a local independent who knows what they are doing. Ask around, they are out there.



Rick
Rick 386
 
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Re: ODB2 scanner -- how much $$$ do I need to spend?

PostBy: Short Bus On: Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:09 pm

We have a wireless radio system in our shop, several speakers, set on low volume, around the shop, controlled from one radio.

This system was preventing us from reprograming a set of Ford tire preasure monitors, once radio system was off, monitors set perfectly.
Short Bus
 
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Re: ODB2 scanner -- how much $$$ do I need to spend?

PostBy: SMITTY On: Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:17 pm

Ugggh ... don't even get me started on those damn tire pressure monitors! :mad: OBD II & TPMS are both on my list! :rambo2:
SMITTY
 
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Re: ODB2 scanner -- how much $$$ do I need to spend?

PostBy: Short Bus On: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:04 am

Don't like TPMS :o

Have you noticed the OBDII scanner add at the bottom of this page? :|
Short Bus
 
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Re: ODB2 scanner -- how much $$$ do I need to spend?

PostBy: Yanche On: Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:08 am

Rick 386 wrote:OK since we're telling war stories here..........

My daughter has an '05 GMC Envoy, Onstar, heated seats, the whole enchilada. She came to me with a problem. The right front door window control would not work. Diagnosed as a bad r.f. door control module. Ordered a new one. However they have to be programmed to work with the rest of the onboard computers.

Long story short, the freaking radio was preventing the programming of the r.f. door unit.

Luckily I had taken the vehicle to a garage that knew what he was doing. The local independent garage had even contacted GM directly and they kept telling him that he had gotten a bad window controller. And this was from one of the top techs at GM itself. The local guy knew enough to know what to check and how to check individual components. It was while he was second guessing himself that he hooked up the scope and noticed the radio serial bus dropping out right before the completion of the programming.
Rick

My story is about a '97 Seville right rear window. Got out of work on hot summer day and put all the windows down to get some of the hot air out while the A/C was just starting. Couldn't get the rear window back up. Car was under warranty and I drove to the dealer and got a loaner car. It wasn't until two weeks later that I got the car back. I was told the problem was in a window controller module that had to be programmed. Shop manager said they had to buy equipment and/or up grade what they had. In the end car was hooked up to a modem and the factory techs did the programming. Shop manager said the shop time hours was equivalent to $4000. Sure glad I didn't have to pay.
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Re: ODB2 scanner -- how much $$$ do I need to spend?

PostBy: Sting On: Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:36 pm

looked at one of these last night at a sales meeting

http://www.ottotest.com/

one of the vehicles was a 08 Chev Traverse - while scanning the owner complained the transmission was failing - TSB showed a reflash to correct the slip shift /shudder - so the demonstrator reflashed the ECM and the problem went away

What was the statistic --- something like 1/3 of any repair now requires a bi-directional tool like this or to reflash / relearn the repair? But this one did the scan flash and link to the internet that others need three tools to do.

Cool Tools!

think about it - just because the O2 sensor sets a code - is it bad? Or might an injector be failing and sending a rich stream of fuel that out paces the set parameter of the sensor. Replace that O2 sensor - maybe the new generation sensor has a 60 second warm up vs the old one had a 15 second warm up - You will get the O2 code again and think you had a bad sensor when really the ECM was looking for 15 and got 60? Was the O2 sensor bad or did the job just not get done right?

Why won't my right rear window roll up? is it a bad motor a bad wire - or did you turn on the radio with your foot on the gas while keying the wiper and disable the ecm function of the window operator?

Fun stuff!


and I used to keep a set of uni-points in the glove box for insurance :D
Sting
 
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Re: ODB2 scanner -- how much $$$ do I need to spend?

PostBy: Dann757 On: Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:00 pm

I have one called a Memo-Scan. I had a 2001 Nissan Maxima that I bought from my wealthy customer's mom. I paid 6 grand for that car I think it was 2007. The service engine soon light would come on once in a while. I took it to a shop and they made the light go out. Little did I know that i could have done that by disconnecting the battery. Well that worked for a while, but the car stalled going around a turn a couple of times, and then things got worse. The idle would go up and down wildly. Stupid me got a Nissan Factory manual. I learned that these cars are designed to be diagnosed only by the Consult II diagnostics that only dealers have. After learning just enough to get myself in trouble, I took the car to Somerset Nissan. CROOKS. They wanted to sell me a stepper motor (idle control) for $500. Available for $175 online. If the idle is shooting from 800 to 3000rpm, it's not the stepper motor. I got a maf sensor, some other parts. Then I took it to North Plainfield Nissan. HOSTILE CROOKS. They told me it was the computer, wanted $1000 and refused to guarantee that was the problem!
So stupid cheap me found a place in Florida that "rebuilds" car computers. $450 later I realized they were scam artists. I got back a computer that burned out my #4 injector! Very little recourse.

After hours at a Nissan Maxima forum, still couldn't solve the problem. My lady friend told me I was obsessed and just let the damn car go. I sold it for $2500 to a guy that knew a Nissan mechanic. Later I found out it was probably a power steering sensor. I was willing to pay the price to have it fixed, but learned that Nissan Car Dealerships in NJ are populated by evil demonic bastards. Never again!
Dann757
 

Re: ODB2 scanner -- how much $$$ do I need to spend?

PostBy: Coalfire On: Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:08 pm

[quote="Dann757 I got back a computer that burned out my #4 injector! Very little recourse.


Just wondering how exactly did the computer burn out an injector??????? It will work the other way around, the injector will short and burn out the driver in the computer. The sequence of events doesn't add up, sounds like parts were being thrown with no testing
Coalfire
 
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