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View Full Version : Automaotive scan tools - anybody got a handle on this?


spray_man
01-14-2013, 12:13 PM
Tired of paying big dollars for vehicle repairs. I want to be able to diagnose my troubles down to the component/unit/lower level. Some scan tools just give you the top layer of the problem. What scan tool is best? I am getting a lot of input, but not from real end users/mechanics. Does anybody use a PC-based scan tool? My understanding is that you get a better bang for the buck with these units. Is this right?

larryinalabama
01-14-2013, 12:23 PM
These have been around a few years now, and alot of mechanics have them in their tool box. Anything better starts to get into the thousands.

http://www.innova.com/en-US/Product/Tools

Take in cosideration that scan tools dont fix cars, and newer cars have alot of "programming" issues that you cant do.

spray_man
01-14-2013, 01:13 PM
Thanks Larry. Now, what is the difference between the 3160b on that site, and the 3160 in the Sears site. The price is much better on the Sears site below. (I could not get the "insert url" to work).

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00983278000P?vName=Tools&cName=Mechanics&AutoTools&sName=Diagnostic%20Tools%20&%20Testersmv=rr

larryinalabama
01-14-2013, 01:39 PM
Dont know and that is a big difference in price. Also check Autozone they used to sell these units.

Heres one that covers a lot of years. Also on tooltopia you can compare alot of scantools.

http://www.tooltopia.com/equus-31703.aspx

larryinalabama
01-14-2013, 01:51 PM
http://www.tooltopia.com/equus-3150.aspx

jsslawncare
01-14-2013, 03:09 PM
OBD II scan tools- The cheap ones want tell you must and the high price one's will just about fix the problem. I've got a $50 one, but I know what the codes mean.

show-n-go
01-14-2013, 04:23 PM
Depending how much you will need to use one you might want to step up to a Snap On unit. You can find some pre owned ones out there for $1200-$1500. but thats a big investment just to read codes a few times a year.

ed2hess
01-14-2013, 10:55 PM
Scanners are not the silver bullet. My experience has been very very little use without all the diagnostic maps mechanics have. Most places will take their big scanners and scan your codes and tell you what they are, because they know you can't do much with them. I would throw the codes up on the forums and get tooo many opinions on what to replace.

Nobody could tell me what the blinking air bag lights meant on Ford. And nothing came out on scanner.

ecurbthims
01-15-2013, 12:12 PM
I have an older snap-on unit ,I can just get my cartridge flashed so it is updated ,works very well ,and now you should be able to find one fairly cheap as many of the garages have gone to the otc genesis system and left the older ones behind .

Oli
01-15-2013, 09:05 PM
Low end scan tools will give generic OBD codes for common engine problems such as a cylinder misfire. It will then be up to the user to determine the cause such as a bad plug, wire, cap, rotor, etc. It's usually a process of starting with the most simple fix, and progressing to the more complex. I had a number 2 cylinder misfire code which required the fuel injector to be replaced before the code was cleared. In addition, manufacturers have their own proprietary codes that are more specific, but require a computer with their software. In either case, code scanners will not tell you the fix for any particular code. It still requires someone who understands what the code(s) means and the most likely fix.

spray_man
01-16-2013, 10:20 AM
This one seems like it has a good quantity of valuable features, and is priced at around $133 online.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T7Oa_eUuwM

larryinalabama
01-16-2013, 10:28 AM
This one seems like it has a good quantity of valuable features, and is priced at around $133 online.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T7Oa_eUuwM

I dont think it will pull ABS or AIR BAG codes, and probably wont pull codes for OBD1.

You can run by autozone and they will pull your codes for free.

spray_man
01-16-2013, 11:00 AM
In doing more digging this Actron unit, on my previous post, might be the one. You can upload your codes to a site, and have them analyzed. This gives you the power of the more expensive systems, on a temporary basis. Perfect if you only do it once or twice per year. It cost $4 per vehicle for 48hrs of diagnostic time. Still looking though. . . . .


http://repairpath.com/repairpath/subscription.asp

Monroe74
01-21-2013, 09:57 AM
I have snap-on it is the best out there because once you have the code you have the option to track and or single out components linked to that code. You can adjust things in your cars computer like fuel trim. They have scopes and other diagnostic tools built in them.
Con the price used start at 1k but worth every penny

jsslawncare
01-21-2013, 11:03 AM
I have snap-on it is the best out there because once you have the code you have the option to track and or single out components linked to that code. You can adjust things in your cars computer like fuel trim. They have scopes and other diagnostic tools built in them.
Con the price used start at 1k but worth every penny

I have one too, and it's nice. But I also have a small one that I like. I think I only gave about $50 for it but, I know what the codes mean too.

RELIABLELAWNMAN
01-24-2013, 01:21 AM
I purchased an Innova scan tool that will also scan ABS & SRS on Amazon. Saved $ verses O'Reilly Auto Parts.