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Old 02-18-2002, 12:09 PM
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Post Diagnostics question

This really isn't related to hot rods, but since we have so many good mechanics in the club, I'd rather have your opinions than some kid behind a counter.
A quality code scanner really isn't in the budget at the moment. In the next year or two, I plan on buying a new car for the wife, and hopefully after that, I'll lay some money down for a good code scanner. What would be a good one to go with? I'm thinking that it needs to be able to read OBD-I and OBD-II.
Along those same lines, my 1995 Skylark has the OBD-I system, but I can't use the paper clip trick to retrieve the codes because of the type of computer that's in the car. I saw a cheap code reader at partsamerica.com that plugs into the ALDL and then blinks the codes out through the SES light (just like the paper clip trick that costs you $30! ) Would it even work for me, or is it a waste of my time?

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Old 02-19-2002, 05:33 AM
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This is one thing I don't understand if they put a brain in your car why can't the car figure out how to fix itself.......
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Old 03-03-2002, 03:39 PM
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keep in mind the main difference between a cheap scanner and a good one is a cheap one only gives codes period, a good scanner (mine's a Snap-On) gives you the codes, tells you what they are, and with their troubleshooter cartridge gives you diag. steps and even tech service bulletins. If you're not going to use it enough to spend a lot of money I would try to borrow someones. Get your hands on a Snap-On scanner and you'll be amazed what you can do. Also with a good scanner on most applications you can see exactly what the cars computer sees, voltage readings of sensors, long and short term fuel strategies, etc., all very important because you see things 'live' without disconnecting things and backprobing wires. On a newer vehicle without proper diagnostic information you could easily end up replacing more parts than needed. Like with everything in this world, you get what you pay for.

[ March 03, 2002: Message edited by: dmorris1200 ]</p>
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Old 03-05-2002, 12:37 AM
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True words and very well said- I agree with you dmorris 1200--"The BITTER TASTE of poor quaility remains long after the SWEET SMELL of low price is GONE !!"--Paulweldit
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Old 03-05-2002, 05:10 AM
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I was actually looking at an Auto X-ray that I saw, I think, in a Northen Hydraulics catalog. It was around $400 but could scan OBD-I and OBD-II as well as imports, Chryslers, and Fords. I'm not really ready to drop money on anything right now, so I think I'll just take the car in to get looked at sometime. I'm thinking that there will probably be some form of new diagnostics system in cars and the scanner I buy will be obsolete right away!
I'll maybe check around and see what I can find out so that when I'm ready to buy, I can get the best one for the money. Thanks for the info though guys!!!
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Old 03-05-2002, 02:54 PM
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Hey guy, just wanted to mention in case you check back again. A lot of times you can get a deal on a used scanner. Check the papers and have someone in a shop check with local tool distributors. Sometimes a tech. getting out of the bussiness or just broke might be selling for a bargain. Sometimes tool distributors like Snap-On repo scanners from guys that don't pay their bills. It doesn't happen often but I've seen some good deals. Even an older quality scanner with updated software is like new. In the meantime try and find someone with one who doesn't mind showing you what it can do without costing anything. They can be fun. Good luck.
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Old 03-07-2002, 06:18 PM
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If your going to pick up a used scanner , you can pick what you want on www.ebay.com
I just bought a used otc scanner on e-bay and got a good deal.
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Old 03-08-2002, 03:06 AM
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That's what makes this type of forum so great. E-Bay, great idea, you never know. Good day all!
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