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Thu Nov 8, 2018, 01:01 PM

Any advice on a code scanner?

I'd like to break down -- finally -- and buy one. Either that, or software for a laptop that will read codes.

I've got a good budget for this. I don't need to get the $19.95 one. Even Harbor Freight Tools has them past the $200 price point.

For all cars in general with OBDII, but specifically a 2000 Saturn. The car won't start, so I can't take it to Autozone for them to read the code.

Thanks.

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Reply Any advice on a code scanner? (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Thursday OP
nykym Thursday #1
mahatmakanejeeves Thursday #2
nykym Thursday #3
mahatmakanejeeves Thursday #4
safeinOhio Thursday #5
better Thursday #6
OxQQme Thursday #7
Chasdev Thursday #8
Pa-Kid Thursday #9

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 01:27 PM

1. Whichever one you decide on

Make sure it will function with your car.
Not all scanners work for all cars especially older cars.
They usually list the model year and makes it covers.

I've got 2 a cheapo (10.99) I use for my 1999 Subaru Legacy/Outback.
Clears codes.

And a Zurich ZR8 (Harbor Freight) use this one on my 2000 Mazda B4000 (Ford Ranger in disguise).
It does not work on the subaru.

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Response to nykym (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 01:35 PM

2. Some of those Zurich scanners are up there in price.

There's a HFT near me. Their inexpensive fuel pump pressure tester doesn't work on GM throttle body systems, which I think is what I have. Their expensive pressure tester does have the necessary adapter. Autozone will let me take home a pressure tester that will work on GM TB fuel injection.

My 2000 Saturn is essentially an Opel built in Wilmington, Delaware.

Thanks.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 01:37 PM

3. If I remember

I got it on sale or used one of their 25% off coupons.
Think I paid like $75.00

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Response to nykym (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 01:45 PM

4. I save their sale ads, so I have lots of those coupons.

The November monthly flyer is out now. The sale booklet they mail out runs through the end of the month.

Lots of old car forums have threads about HFT tools and scanners in general. I'm not sure that there will be a consensus on one scanner and one scanner only.

Thanks

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 02:00 PM

5. If you have Verision

get the Hum for $10/month. Good for lots of stuff. Reads all codes all of the time. Can locate your car in the parking lot if you forget, tells mpg, safe driving score, emergency help, directions and more.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 02:01 PM

6. I've got an Actron U-Scan

Works via bluetooth with a mobile app. A bit frustrating in terms of the app layout, but seems to work well.

Just beware the super cheap bluetooth ELM327 clones on eBay (usually blue translucent plastic).
They will work well with some cars, but not at all on others.
Mine will read my Volvo V70, but won't read my Chevy Astro, for example.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 02:29 PM

7. This one works just fine



https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Diagnostic-Scanner-Adapter-Smartphone/dp/B00QRE0OOA

I'm on android. If you are an Apple user, a little searching will show the same for your cell/ipod/tablet.
The Torque app is free (with a minor ad attached). It's the one I use and the ad is very un-obtrusive.
The pro version is ad free.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 04:25 PM

8. Parts store guy free scan data worth what you pay.

Forget the cheap ones, you might as well toss you wallet in the harbor.....
In addition, ANY scan may be futile because it's a "no start" condition and the resident codes may or may not have any bearing on why it's not starting.
Most no start complaints are fuel pressure or lack of spark related (unless the dreaded timing belt snapped) so there may or may not be a valid code in memory anyway.
When you cycle the key the ECU powers the fuel pump for 2 seconds and refers to a read only map to control spark and fuel injection just long enough to get it to run, then after it (the ECU) sees crankshaft rotation (above starter motor speeds) it begins to monitor sensor inputs and manages output commands to the injectors and ignition system SO, no codes can/will set during "key on/engine crank" situations..

Did you have a "Check Engine" lamp lit the last time you drove it?
If so there will be a fault code (or 9) in the memory but the stuff that sets a fault codes are not usually responsible for no start conditions. (Hard start maybe).

To sum up, be wary of non-professional scan related info, changing parts until one of them fixes it can get real spendy real fast.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 05:00 PM

9. Try Ebay

Look for a used OTC 4000E with GM software for 2001 or newer. It will give you date stream which you will need to help with your no start. The 4000E is a pro scan tool but an older model I bought my first one new 1993 and still have it at the time it was around $1,500 The latest one I bought in 2013 is a OTC Genisys and was about the same price. The full featured scan tools are a real life saver and a big improvement over a simple code reader. I have spend the last 40 years as a fleet technician.

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