What is best code reader scanner to purchase and from who to own to be able to diagnose what exactly the problem is with my vehicle before going to a shop for repair. This is my first experience trying to figure out what problem I may have. I own a 1999 Nissian Frontier and a 2006 Jeep Liberty.
How Much Do You Want To Spend ? Since It Sounds Like You’re Not Into Repairing, But Want To Get An Idea Of What’s Going Wrong, $50 Will Buy You An Actron Pocket Scan That Will Work For You.
I should work on most vehicles from 1996 to present.
It comes with a booklet to translate basic codes and you can go online for additional help. Sears usually stocks them as well as auto parts stores.
This will let you turn off the “Check Engine” light, too. However, I don’t recommend doing that if you’re going to take the car for repairs.
An inexpensive reader like this won’t do body codes, ABS (anti lock brakes) or SRS (restraint system - air bags, seat belts) codes. For that, you’ll have to spend more.
I have two: one regular reader and one that records 300 hours of data and codes.
The regular reader is convenient because you plug it in and can read all the codes, pending codes, parameters, etc. I use it when doing repairs. In retrospect, I’d probably get one now that can read body codes as well. Mine does not.
The data reader is nice because you can drive around and see what has happened when after the fact, when you plug the device into your PC’s USB port. I use it when I’m having intermittent problems.
It is the size of an OBD plug so it is unobtrusive.
A very good way of being able to do both of those things^ for cheap is to get a plug that allows you to measure and read things with a laptop. You probably won’t want to drive around with a laptop in your car all the time but it is a very nice thing to be able to do when you’re having issues.