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Old 08-08-2006, 10:05 PM   #1
preacherboy
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OBD II Scanner Recommendations?

I was looking through ebay and it looks like there are OBD scanners that are not that expensive. I think it might be a good idea to get one of these not just for my xb but for my other car too. The cheaper ones are only a bit over $25 with shipping for "but it now" and I guess they get more expensive the more fancier it is. What do you guys think? Does a cheap one work on our xB's? Or do I need to get the fancier ones? I think those who are especially putting on turbos and such would benefit from one of these.
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Old 08-08-2006, 11:55 PM   #2
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me personally will use nothing less than the toyota mastertech scan tool. but thats cuz i already have one
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:30 PM   #3
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I saw this Palm based tool from Auterra which is not only an OBD-II scanner but it also has dyno features too, ie. 0-60, 1/4 mile, etc. It's supposed to be pretty accurate as long as you enter in accurate parameters. But the only downside is it costs over $200! Not sure I want to spend that kind of money on something like that. Anyway, I did find out that our xB's do use the CAN protocol so I guess that rules out getting the cheapest scanners which don't have the CAN protocol. But still the least expensive one that could read CAN was a bit over $50 on ebay...not too bad.
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:42 PM   #4
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nothing will beat the mastertech scan tool from toyota. . .
I have a Snap-On scanner and a Genisys OTC scanner.
I use the generic OBDII mode on the snapon scanner, to be honest you ge what you pay for. The reason why most of the scanners cost so much is that you can make things work or get information about the car off the scanner. The cheaper ones only read codes. Nothing will beat the mastertech scan tool but it really depends on what you are doing. Scangauge is nice but all it really is, is an OBDII tool. Anyway, not to take too much time, you can do what you want but if you're just messing around 25 bucks is a drop in the bucket and you really won't be able to do much other then clear codes and get codes of the ECU. Personally, most people don't need it but if you're a DIY like my older bro it can come in handy. I hate the damn thing, I use it everyday at work and I have to explain to people it won't tell me why or where their car is messed up. . . it's nice to have but definately not needed. Let me know cause my shop has dropped several thousand dollars on OBDII scan tools and some of the cheaper ones will only get codes and clear them too. Good Luck!
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Old 08-09-2006, 10:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
I hate the damn thing, I use it everyday at work and I have to explain to people it won't tell me why or where their car is messed up
Are you referring to your Snap-On scanner here?
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Old 08-10-2006, 06:39 AM   #6
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both the OTC and the Snap-On scanner. . . People have the tendency to think that scanners can tell you all the woes the car has. When in reality all it does is point you in a general direction of the problem. If there is no check engine light there is even less information if there is any at all. Think of it as a tool rather then a miracle cure. Unfortunately people are either so ignorant or uninformed they don't seem to get the concept that the scanner is just another expensive tool. We were looking at the MODIS scan tool from Snapon but the guy wants about 15000 dollars for the modis, extra info updates and a gas analyser. . . even with a trade in on the old scanner I was still looking at 9000 dollars. The modis however is a beast, gas analyser, lab scope, online updates, european connectors, setup to be compatible with OBD3 when available, full color screen, graphing scanner, code reader. . . and I think it'll even wash your car. . . but I digress.

By the way my snap-on scanner is only good for older cars ie OBD I and up to OBD II in 1997 anything newer and I use the OTC which is good up to 2003. Most manufactures do not release information readily in an attemp to keep independent shops from taking on newer cars. European manufactures are the worse, no information and they do not always use the standard OBD II connector. In many cases a shop not only has to buy a separate connector but would also have to buy addition software at the cost of thousands of dollars.

I do not speak for all shops though. I work in the ghetto where people who can't afford to eat drive new Mercedes Benz's. Just as an example, I got one guy who just bought a c320 or something like that, he wants an oil change. Turns out whatever model of benz he is driving is synthetic oil and premium gas only. Well long story short he complains that a $80 synthetic oil change is too much and aftr he left I saw he was filling up with regular gas, when I walked over to talk to the cashier it turns out the guy put $3 of gas in his car. Sorry about the rant! back on topic.

Last edited by Ghost_1; 08-10-2006 at 06:52 AM..
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Old 08-10-2006, 01:52 PM   #7
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I see, thanks for the clarification there. Personally, I think I would want one just to give me peace of mind as to why the CEL is going on and if it is something major or minor. I'm not a full-on DIY guy, but more like a "casual" DIY.
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Old 08-10-2006, 02:01 PM   #8
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then I'd go with the $200 dollar one. you don't need to drop a dime like I do. I make my living off this stuff, if you just want codes thn nothing too expensive is needed. With the web as a resource you can always jump back there. My time is valuable to me and having the info on the scanner is a huge plus. Believe it or not I've seen some of the model specific scanners are better then the ones I use. My brother uses one with a palm on his 300zxTT. He's always trying to get me to use it on customer's nissans but I got enough to do . . .lol. Have you checked into scangauge. They connect to the OBD II port and they also have the ability to tell you what the computer sees whie the ignition is on.
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Old 08-10-2006, 02:15 PM   #9
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Yeah I have checked out the scanguage and I think a couple members here have one installed as well. The palm based one is more expensive but the cool thing about it is that it will give you your "track" times which is cool when you don't have a track nearby. You can just plug it in and start it at the freeway entrance to see your 0-60, especially if you are someone who has performance modifications, this would be helpful. But I see the scanguage more for those who aren't into performance...but then again, if we got an xB were we really into performance on them in the first place? LOL!
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Old 08-10-2006, 02:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preacherboy
Yeah I have checked out the scanguage and I think a couple members here have one installed as well. The palm based one is more expensive but the cool thing about it is that it will give you your "track" times which is cool when you don't have a track nearby. You can just plug it in and start it at the freeway entrance to see your 0-60, especially if you are someone who has performance modifications, this would be helpful. But I see the scanguage more for those who aren't into performance...but then again, if we got an xB were we really into performance on them in the first place? LOL!
yeah lol!. . . Personally I'm so sick of the things, cause everytime I do another mod on the B I gotta use it to track down what I installed wrong. . .lol.
when I installed my amp and speakers I forgot to connect the seat sensor on the passenger seat. Air bag light came on. lol. when I installed the alarm all the lights came on. . .lol. what can I say I install all my stuff after work and I am so beat at the end of the day. After the first few mods I started taking the scanner home with me after doing mods on the B. . .lol
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Old 08-12-2006, 11:49 AM   #11
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Haha, yeah I can understand that, in a way it's funny, but it's also frustrating that things get screwed up when you know you didn't do anything wrong. But then you go back, find out you actually did screw up, and it's like "what was I thinking?"

Anyway, I did get the Auterra. Being able to do all this at home will be better for me as I really cannot go to Autozone every time a CEL comes up. And it's better than the cheap under $100 ones because I'll be able to do more with it. Once I get it, I'm may have to post my CELs up since some of you will probably know more about them than I.
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Old 08-12-2006, 11:59 AM   #12
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If I remember correctly you're boosted right? Cause having a scanner is one of those "needed" things. . .lol.
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Old 08-12-2006, 12:05 PM   #13
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Yeah, I am boosted, so for me in particular I really need it! Lol! Especially since my modifications pretty much voided my factory warranty on my engine and transmission and exhaust and who knows what else? Good news is I still got factory warranty on some other stuff like the plastic bezel on the back seat (where the seat belt comes out of the seat) that came lose, good thing that was covered by factory warranty otherwise who knows how much I would have had to spend on getting it replaced!
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Old 08-12-2006, 12:35 PM   #14
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did you look into and Apexi controllers? I had thought since they were piggybacked they could also get codes. Or was it the Greddy one that could do it. . . I dunno. Having a scanner is nice but not neccessary for the general public. Hell most people wouldn't even know what to do with the codes. . .lol
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Old 08-12-2006, 01:30 PM   #15
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I don't think the apexi was able to do that, I had an apexi and I did not see that function. I probably won't know what to do with the codes either but the cool thing about the internet is you can do searches and see if anyone else has gotten the same code and what they did to resolve them which should help point you in the right direction as well.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:24 PM   #16
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This this one out. Its not very expensive and works great. http://www.autobarn.net/obdiiau.html
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:27 PM   #17
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actually Amazon has it pretty cheap for the same model. Under $100. Here ya go.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...as1&n=15684181
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Old 08-14-2006, 01:29 PM   #18
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I have that exact same scanner...its good enough to read and erase codes...no reason to spend more money on one unless you want the diagnostics features.
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplyscion
I have that exact same scanner...its good enough to read and erase codes...no reason to spend more money on one unless you want the diagnostics features.
this is very true unless you are a shop/tech or are a crazy DIY nothing more is needed. Anyhow most of the time you just want the codes so you can get pointed in the direction of the problem. The codes don't neccessarily tell you what is wrong. I had a 03 Camry come in with multiple misfires from all the cylinders, the car had less then 20k miles on it. As we all know the new camry's come with iridium plugs so a tune up is scheduled around 120k. . . well let's just say the computer just kept saying misfire on all four cylinders. We later found out that one of the air resonators on the throttle body hose had fallen off. SO while the computer saw 'x' amount of air pass the MAF sensor the engine was actually getting 'x' time three amounts of air. All causing the misfires. Welcome to the world of being a DIY tech. . .lol
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:31 PM   #20
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misses all across the board...first 2 things I would automatically check would be Vac leaks coming from anywhere and then pull the plugs if I didnt find any leaks...if both of those were fine then we are in for a ride
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