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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Buying a code reader/scanner

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7 replies to this topic

#1 harborseal55


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Posted 20 January 2004 - 12:02 PM

The "Check Engine" light (MIL) has been staying on in my 96 Legacy with OBS-II. In a previous thread discussion that I put out some time ago about the Check Engine light, it was recommended to go to an auto parts store (ie Auto Zone) as they read codes as a free service. Well, the parts stores no longer do this code reading service (Auto Zone said that the Bureau of Automotive Repair made them stop because that is a repair service and they are not a repair facility). As a result, it appears that I either need to take it to a repair shop or buy my own scanner. I am opting to buy a scanner, because I also have a 92 Ford that has an intermittant Check Engine light problem.

The question is, has anyone had any good or bad experiences with various types of code readers or scanners? So far, I am looking at the Autoxray EZ-SCAN 5000 for $429 as a scanner that can read both the old-style systems (the EEC-IV on the Ford and the newer OBD-II on the Subaru). The software upgrades for this unit are free and it's guaranteed for 3 years, and it seems to be good for the money (relatively speaking-ouch!). It appears that most of the instruments that only read codes are at least $200, but the scanners provide more real-time engine diagnostics and are continuously upgradable.

Any experience or comments?

#2 ferret


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Posted 20 January 2004 - 12:12 PM

Bought one of these 4 yrs ago.............Works great on Fords', GM's , Dodge's Subaru's, Toyota's and BMW's. At that time it was $69 us. I hook it to an old 486 laptop running off a lighter adapter and can plot sensors also as I drive.
Best $69 tool I bought in a while.
Now it's $88 for US delivery.
My $.02

#3 forester2002s


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Posted 20 January 2004 - 01:01 PM

I have an Auterra Dyno-Scan tool (works on my Palm PDA), costs about USD289. It seems to do everything promised on their web-page (although I haven't tested all of its functions yet):


I have also read good things about the Harrison scan tool, about USD160:


#4 nickb21


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Posted 20 January 2004 - 01:08 PM

swear there was another thread about this somewhere, oh well.

I was considering this one maybe http://scantool.net/ , but $88 is a cool deal for all 3 protocols..

#5 Commuter


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Posted 20 January 2004 - 01:36 PM

I bought one of these from Canadian Tire when they went on sale from $250 to $150 Cdn last spring.

It sounds like you want something that does more. I haven't really put it thru its paces to be honest.


#6 harborseal55


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Posted 20 January 2004 - 05:31 PM

So far, none of the pieces of equipment noted will quite do:

The OB Diagnostics unit, Auterra unit, Harrison unit, and Scantool unit all only read OBD-II systems (generally 1996-on) and not older pre-1996 systems, and all appear to require use in conjunction with a PC or Palm Pilot. The Innova 3100 unit is a code reader only, and only reads OBD-II systems though it is a freestanding unit (useable without a PC or Palm). I need to be able to read both new OBD-II for the 96 Subaru and older OBD-I (such as EEC-IV) for the 92 Ford, and do not have a Palm Pilot or a PC (at least one that lazy me wants to carry into the garage).

Any experience with other units?

#7 billrigsby


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Posted 20 January 2004 - 09:24 PM

I have the EZ SCAN, love it, although you can use it with a PC?Palm, not required and it does show a lot of real time data in the Monitor mode.


#8 harborseal55


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Posted 28 January 2004 - 10:42 PM

Finally broke down and bought a scanner (eek - $429), and selected an EZ-SCAN-5000 because I can use it without a Palm or laptop, it's a scanner in addition to a code reader, and it will also read OBD-II systems on my 96 and the older OBD-I and EEC-IV systems on pre-1996 cars. It really was simple, just program in the model and year of car and voila - codes and descriptions for all (as the Check Engine light is now on in my 92 and 96 cars). I still haven't utilized all of its abilities yet, but have already paid for half of it by being able to read the codes myself.

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