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Old 12-29-2008, 04:55 AM
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Diagnostic Scanner Question???

Hello, this isn't necessarily hotrod related but I though you guys might be able to help me out.

I am thinking about buying a obdII diagnostic scanner because my car (06 pontiac G6) is now out of warrenty and because my wifes car has been giving us a couple problems now and then (95 buick lasabre). I do all the work on our cars and figured that one of these guys might come in handy, and it would be a new toy to play with with my xmas money

I was wanting to spend less than $100 if possible but I could go up to around $200 if need be. I was looking at a scanner that you use with your lap top on ebay for about $75.00
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...3AIT&viewitem=

I'm not set on this one, but thought I could save a little money using our laptop rather than buying an all in one unit.

I believe that it would work for my G6 but the buick would be a problem. Being a 95 the buick is a transition car from the obdI to the obdII, I believe it has the obdII diagnostics but with a obdI plug.

All of the obd II scanners that I've seen say they will work with 96 and newer cars and the obdI with 94, but non with the transistion cars Is there an adaptor I could buy or maybe even make to be able to read the diagnostics on our buick, or is there a scanner out there in my price range???

The main reason I'm looking into this is because over the last year or so we've had a few problems with the buick, I just need to get the buick to last us another year untill my wife is done with college and gets a full time job, the car was a gift from her grandma, so the no car payment thing is great with here going to school.

The first problem we had was a year or more ago with the car just dieing when driving. I had to take it to a mechanic and pay $25 for a diagnostics to find out that the ignition module was bad.

I replaced that then about 3 months ago the car would sometimes (maybe 1 out of 100 times) not want to start, then when it did start the check engine light would be on. Another $25 for a diagnostics to find out that the crank position sensor was going out, so I replaced it.

Now the wife says its doing a chugga, chugga, vibratey thing sometimes..... Yeah I know great discription LOL It seems to just do it now and then when the engine is under load, like passing someone or going up a hill, its like it is stumbeling or missing, then the check engine light comes on.

I just figure that If I get a scanner that I could use on this I could save the $25 for diagnostics here and there and it would come in handy my car and others too.


Thanks for all the help guys and sorry to be so long winded.


Talk to you all later


bye

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Old 12-29-2008, 06:33 AM
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I bought one of those actron scanners thinking it would be a magic bullet and tell me everything I needed to know to fix my truck.
Most of the codes I have got were not as straight forward as I thought. Still left some guess work..
Having one with a live data scan would be much better but you would still need to know how to understand that info for it to be helpful.
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:08 AM
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A scanner is like any other tool, it is only as good as the person running it. Most times codes are only a clue to what the issue is. Also most likely unless it is a real late 95 model. Your older car is OBD 1.
OBDII started in 96
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:48 AM
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You get what you pay for. I own several OBDI and OBDII cars, so I bought an OTC Genysis unit. This does pretty much what the factory testers do, including data capture (to help diagnose intermittent problems) and bi-directional communication (to allow you to run the tests described in the Factory Service Manual). For example, with the Genysis I can individually shut off injectors with the engine running to check for RPM drop. This is the high-tech version of pulling off one plug wire at a time, but without getting knocked on your butt.
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Old 12-29-2008, 12:09 PM
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Dsg

Well Joe, how much was it and where do we get 1 ?
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Old 12-29-2008, 01:55 PM
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I have a snap-on MT2500 with the most recent 8.2 updates, you can find them on ebay, craigslist and other places for reasonable costs. Some cars from 2004 on and all from 2008 on require CAN (controller area network) protocal for communication with scanners so make sure whatever you buy is capable - its just an additional cable for my mt2500 between the scanner and the ODBII adapter. The MT2500 can do live data, functional tests including abs, body control module, air bag, injector kill, etc like the OTC and other platforms can.

There are also systems (software and adapters) you can get that work with a laptop to get codes, data, etc.
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lanier ledford
Well Joe, how much was it and where do we get 1 ?
I got mine used on ebay. Note that the MAC Mentor, MATCO Deterninator, and Cornwell Techforce are the same unit sold under different names.
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:55 PM
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Moving this thread to garage tools..

Sam
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:24 AM
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'Scuse me a minute for going off-topic, but I'm in full grouch mode: That old rotten potato, "you get what you pay for", gets rolled out for every discussion from tools to toys. It needs to be taken out and buried.

Price is rarely a good indicator of quality or value; it's almost always an excellent indicator of the target market's tolerance. Global manufacturing, rebranding, market conditioning, psycho-marketing, planned obsolescence and the omni-present "caveat emptor" are some of the forces that can easily render quality insignificant in the setting of a price.

Even when there is very stiff competition for a given product or service, there will be those who emulate the best of class, including price, but fail to deliver similar value. Note that the condition of vigorous competition is exactly the situation in which the production cost should be a major factor in determining price and therefore be most likely to yield a price tied to value. Still, marketing or production efficiency may each decouple price from value.

All other variables being equal, price should indicate value. The trouble is that all other variables are never equal.

What's the price of gasoline today? How much is the hotrodders.com "Knowledge Base" worth? Is a car sold the day before a rebate program begins of better value than one sold after?

Ok. I'm done ranting now. Gotta go find the highest priced transmission fluid out there. Don't want to be stuck with that low quality stuff.
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:27 PM
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Thanks for the comments guys.......

I guess I was kinda hopping, that it would be simpler to make an adaptor to be able to read the codes on our buick, but it doesn't look like it. I'll just take it in and pay the $25 for the diagnostics and go from there

I'll just keep saving my pennies and keep an eye out for a good used scanner. I'll just can't see spending that kind of moneyright now for a new toy... I mean tool that I don't really need that much...... I'd rather spend the money on our V8 beetle


Talk to you all later and thanks again

bye
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