CarMD diagnostic tool


I just read about this product, CarMD, that can diagnose your “check engine” light, etc. Has anyone purchased one of these, is it worth the $90 that it costs? It sounds like a great product, but I am always hestitate when something sounds this good.


I don’t know about CarMD, but it sounds like it is a basic code reader with an option to get their opinion of what the codes mean. There are lots of code readers out there. Nearly all of them do the same thing. You can buy any of them and get the same information.

Of course you can take your car to many auto parts stores and they will do the reading for you at zero cost.  

Then bring the codes back hear for more and better information than CarMD is likely to provide.


Oh, I forgot about the auto stores, my husband did take my car there one time and they read it. Thanks for the advice.


It’s a code reader, but it only points you in a certain direction. Why spend 90 bucks if AutoZone, Advance, Checker, etc. will do it for free.

A couple of those “testimonials” flat turned me off.
“Mechanics hate this tool” and now “I can walk in to those mechanics who think they know more than me and give them the correct diagnosis”.

Please. If this joker thinks he has the correct diagnosis then he does not even need the mechanics. Replace the part the code reader says is bad and motor on.
I have a problem with this thing being promoted as the end-all to any problem and the purchasers believing it.


Absolutely. Those code readers are very limited in what they can do. Unlike scanners, code readers do just that, they read global OBD II trouble codes. There are other codes called manufacturer specific codes which a basic code reader is unable to read. This is where a true scanner comes in. I’ll give you an example. My brothers girlfriend brought me her 97 4 runner which had been cutting out intermittently for the past month. My code reader showed a P-1300 (Manufacturer specific code). Thats all they told her at Auto Zone when she took it there. I pulled out my scanner which was able to define the code as a faulty igniter. The scanner even told me which circuit in the igniter was bad. So sometimes you cant rely on the free code checks at the local auto parts stores or in the cheap code readers. You get what you pay for in a code reader or a scanner. There are different levels of code readers just like scanners with all sorts of features. I use a $500 Mac Tools code reader which will read all global OBD II codes along with SOME manufacturer specific codes. My scanner is a Snap on MODIS which reads everything and does everything under the sun, and costs as much as the world too LOL…It all depends on what you are going to do with it and what you expect out of it.



I don’t know what I would do with-out my Snap-On Modis.
~Michael (Dartman69 can not log in tonight)


An auto hobby shop I used to go to would do a cheap diagnosis by computer and I would have to sit down and do reading, interpreting and thinking before any decisions were made. The code reader will do much the same thing; hint at the problem. A little better than the old days.


Hey Michael,

Yea, I love my Modis… A good tool like that makes you look good too. Just got the new 7.2 software.



It has never been easy to find an honest, knowledgeable, mechanic and the searching gets more difficult every year it seems. My opinion has been to find a shop that does reputable work and stays up to date with technology and carry all work there. A mutual loyalty will go a long way in getting the most for your money. Relentlessly shopping for cheap prices is penny wise and pound foolish when looking for many miles and years of safe and reliable service from an automobile.

FWIW, ASE Master, 20+ years.