code scanners/software

Discussion in 'Shop Plans, and some larger shop tool related inf' started by grumpyvette, May 4, 2010.

  1. Ernest Shaw

    Ernest Shaw Retired machinist

    I understand when cash flow is tight. But I also know that you have to pay to play. If I were you and wanted a good unit I'd look at some of the Chinese knock offs of the Tech II scanners. They can be picked up for less than 400.00, NEW, and that's a pretty good deal compared to the original Vertronix units that are no longer made. Or there are other units available that are high dollar like EFI Live, HP Tuners and Solas. None of these units are capable of doing everything. An example, you can cycle the solenoids in your ABS unit with the Snap On unit, not so with EFI or HP. If I were you I'd seriously look at the Tech II clones, you might be pleasantly surprised.
  2. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    Id also point out that I know guys that have purchased various code scanners and test equipment
    ,(youll need several test tools like a multi meter, various pressure gauges, etc.)
    that have never taken the time and effort to read the documentation, or instructional manuals
    "Ive had several guys say "Hell I had no idea that scanner, could do that"
    (if you don,t own the cars factory shop manual your working at a disadvantage in most cases)

    nor do many guys understand what the various trouble codes indicate, simply because many don,t mentally connect symptoms with potential causes.
    if your plugs and oxygen sensors indicate a lean mix, and your not looking for a vacuum leak or a faulty injector,
    loose electrical contact, defective electrical connection or some other reason causing it,
    and assume swapping out the sensor is the only option Ive seen a couple times...
    your bound to waste a lot of time and cash,
    scanners are great tools, as are multi-meters, and various gauges,
    but its the mechanics experience and intuition that helps a great deal.
  3. T-Test

    T-Test Well-Known Member

    I can truthfully say that a scanner aint worth a damn without the technician having the knowledge to use it properly and know its limitations.


    My 1995 Dodge truck-5.9 litre 360 V8 with a A 518 auto transmission and 4X4 would quit running at any time and not one of 5 different garages could figure it out after multi replacement of parts that were not needed.Their scanners costing anywhere fromm 200.00 20,000.00 dollars said they couldn't find out what was the problem.
    First thing is it is an OBD1 not OBD2 system. All scanners won't work.
    Second not one really knew anything about a Dodge
    Third none would take back the parts installed that were just installed by the other shops.

    So I carried it to the dealership and the tech there replaced parts already replaced. I told him no I wasn't going to pay for un needed parts again. Tell me what is causing the truck to cut off. I finally got to see him hook up the Dodge Dealership scanner and see what was happening. Guess what--wrong PCM that had been replaced twice before by other shops bought from Napa and Car Quest.
    Looked at the PCM and it had a sticker that read--MUST BE PROGRAMMED TO THE VEHICLE VIN#. Why would a technician not be able to see this and have it done? 2 Said they did.

    Answer is because only the dealership and the Manufacturer can do this LEGALLY for EPA purposes and law suits. If anyone else does, it is illegal.

    Well Dodge no longer made new PCMs for a 1995 truck or had a rebuilt one and couldn't find the correct one from ANY auto parts store in the U.S. . They said I could find one myself. I did in N.Y. for $389.00 with no core charge and with a lifetime warranty. Installed and has never quit again and all lights on dash work as should as some didn't before with the other 2 PCMs
    Lesson learned about technicians and their training/knowledge. This and the tranny rebuild set me back $6000.00 and am just stumped at how people have no pride in their work or wanting to better themselves with knowledge and not rip people off. I NEVER would have done anything like that in my 35 years of being an ASE certified technician.

    And if you don't know why I just kept putting money into this truck, go buy one that has a Class IV hitch, hidden goose neck ball, overload springs, 10 ply tires, 5.9 V8 engine auto trans and towing package, it's about $80,000.00
  4. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    you can,t always trust scanners suggestions either, I recently had a code scanner suggest a cooling fan relay was defective,
    replacing it with a known good relay that was working in an identical car had no effect neither relay tested bad either..
    the problem was tracked down to a loose ground and a heat sensor that tested good at its rated ohms resistance, but failed to trigger the relay
    experience suggested I test the relay by inserting a resistor of the known rated ohms to trigger the relay into the pigtail that connected to the sensor,
    a simple test like that proved the sensor was defective as the fan and relay function with the resistor in the pigtail.




    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018

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