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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Don't say paper clip.;) Equus or Actron? Both are on Ebay, and Amazon. Should I just get the cheapest? I've read online that the webpage support for Actron sucks, but the unit seems more popular with more models. Looks like I can get a basic model for $50.00. Any useful opinions?
 

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A paperclip won't work for OBD-II anyway.

The right scanner depends on what you expect to do with it. What DO you expect to accomplish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I expect to clear codes, and mess around and see and do all that can be done. I need to clear inspection, and my brother says the check engine light is on. I'd like to resolve that. I also know I can do so at Autozone for free. If there is a reader that can give me helpful interesting info, I'd like to look into it. I read on one of the descriptions of an Actron unit it gives effeciencies of the cylinders or something?
Who is IDS?
 

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Satyr of the Midwest
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Oooh, I would KILL for a portable infrared 5-gas exhaust analyzer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Steve83, I mention a $50 dollar unit, and you tell me to pick up a $2,000.00 unit.;)
I know I said I want to do everything, but I am a newbie to this stuff. I am not going to run an automotive service station, but if one of the models I listed has some cool features, such as being to read the engine advance, I think I'd look into it.
Does anyone have an Actron or Equus unit, and what is your experience?
 

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In the $50 range, you won't get anything close to "everything that can be done", which is why I asked what you wanted to do. For $50, you probably won't even get full-text code definitions. For that, look in the $80 range. For data stream, look in the $150 range. For graphing & on-board troubleshooting, $500. In any case, get one made by SPX - it can have any name on the face, like Mac, Matco, OTC, Snap-On...

So once again: what do you want to do? If you ONLY want to read & clear codes, save your money & take it to a parts store when you need to do that. If you want some basic data readouts & code-clearing & a few other convenient features, look into the ScanGaugeII. I use an older ScanGauge in my CV.
 

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i have a code scouct 2500 made by auto xray, ive been pretty happy with it, its just a basic code reader with defintions but it works with obdI and II and comes with cables for ford, gm, and chrysler. i had a problem with the ford cable and they sent me a new one plus updated software, a usb plug to hook up the reader to my computer and the software for it, all for free. you can get it for between $140-200 online. if i were you i would spend a little more and get a scanner.
 

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fyi,
I have the Actron CP9135 AutoScanner Diagnostic Code Scanner with On Screen Definitions - got it as a gift; it works as advertised and is ok for my use, but the instructions suck: they don't mention warming eng up for KOER test and a few other thAngs, such as providing very limited Code Definitions; I called em and mentioned this omission; tech support said "OK" and hung up.

And an recent example; a PO500 Code read VSS Sensor, but actual cause(s) could be somethAng in the stream incl. bad 4WABS Controller, PSOM, wiring, tone ring.
And it doesn't read the 4WABS Codes.


btw, Code Reader Will NOT Power up; 96 Bronco & all Ford; Check the fuse for the cigarette lighter. It is shared with the OBDII Diagnostic Link Connector power and could be blown; miesk5 note; lighter wiring shorted out @ ashtray support blowing Fuse for it & Diagnostic Link Connector.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Steve83

Thanks for the replies everyone. Steve, I guees I don't understand then differences between the ones that do "Data Streaming", "graphing" and "on-board trouble shooting".
Data streaming, wouldn't all of the units do this?
Graphing is self explanatory.
On-board trouble shooting, again, wouldn't all of the units by definition do this?
My point is, I don't know beans about this stuff. (My 73 Bronco with the its carb looks better all the time.) Computer stuff in cars is something I have no aptitude for. I don't mind learning, but I need a place to start, and did not want to waste money buying the wrong scanner, only to have to purchase the right scanner later. Thanks everyone.
 

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Data streaming is what the ScnaGauge does - it monitors certain memory locations (called PIDs) inside the EEC and displays their contents in real-time. Cheap $50 scanners can't do this.

VERY expensive scanners with expensive displays can graphs PIDs so you can watch for patterns & trends over time, and compare PIDs.

"On-board" refers to the scanner - that means the scanner has a shitload of text in memory & will walk you through the whole diagnostic process for the particular code or PID that you're reading, including all the logical branches to arrive at the correct conclusion. Considering the VAST number of years, makes, models, engines, & options out there, you can appreciate how MUCH text the scanner has to store to deal with everything.

You don't have to understand all about scanners to drive a truck. Just concentrate on normal maintenance, and the rest will pretty much take care of itself. When you have a problem, think about it, look at the truck, read your Haynes manual, get a parts store to pull the codes, search here, read some more... If you STILL can't figure it out, post what you've observed, checked, & found. Buying a $150 scanner that you don't understand won't fix it. Buying a $3000 scanner won't fix it. Even a $50 scanner won't fix it, and you could have spent that money on a new belt & an oil change.

If you're DEAD-SET on buying a scanner, either get the absolute cheapest one you can find, or the ScanGaugeII. In a few years when you understand more about it, if you still feel the need, you can drop a few grand on one that will do more.
 

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fyi,
I have the Actron CP9135 AutoScanner Diagnostic Code Scanner with On Screen Definitions - got it as a gift; it works as advertised and is ok for my use, but the instructions suck: they don't mention warming eng up for KOER test and a few other thAngs, such as providing very limited Code Definitions; I called em and mentioned this omission; tech support said "OK" and hung up.

And an recent example; a PO500 Code read VSS Sensor, but actual cause(s) could be somethAng in the stream incl. bad 4WABS Controller, PSOM, wiring, tone ring.
And it doesn't read the 4WABS Codes.


btw, Code Reader Will NOT Power up; 96 Bronco & all Ford; Check the fuse for the cigarette lighter. It is shared with the OBDII Diagnostic Link Connector power and could be blown; miesk5 note; lighter wiring shorted out @ ashtray support blowing Fuse for it & Diagnostic Link Connector.

I have the same reader now for about 4 years and it has helped me out on more than 2 ocassions with a dodge.
 

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Yes it works ok for displaying the Code(s). I would have bought the ScanGauge (almost same $ as what my relative paid for the Actron), but this was a gift, so...
 

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Behold my
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Autozone wont be able to read codes on anything older than a 94. Mine was very adamant about it, even other ones around here, even though I just asked him to come out and look.
 

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MORTAL KOMBAAAAAAATTT!!!!
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This one isnt to bad, I believe they sell them everywhere. I first have to agree with Fl Rebel the auto xrays are pretty nice, and reliable they picked up a couple of codes that my OTC Nemisys didnt' ever pic up. This is a pretty decent one as well http://store.lancastersupply.com/in31cobd12sc.html
 
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