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Live data scanner recommendations?

I’m having trouble diagnosing my ‘brief power loss on warm up’ on my 2003 Honda Civic. It was suggested I purchase a live data scanner to monitor the vehicle in hopes it reveals the source of the problem (the problem does not trip the check engine light). Anyone have any recommendations for live data scanners. Features/brands to consider or avoid?

@jxenon54 how much money can you realistically spend?

I’d prefer as little as possible, but clearly I need a scanner that can output (and perhaps store) realtime data streams. I’m assuming this will be $100-150. I might be inclined to spend more if there is some feature I might be overlooking or if there is a brand with quality that justifies the premium.

Actron 9580. I’ve done quite a bit of research and it seems like with that unit you get the most for your money. I think they’re in the 200 dollar range. I bought mine 5 or so years ago and I think it was more expensive, but just today I uploaded new software for it and it all went smoothly. It will allow you to view live data, which is the best feature. Try Amazon.

Visit your local Barnes/Nobel bookstore, in the transportation section they usually have a book or two on advanced engine control diagnosis. With these systems you can see real time snapshots of the various engine operating parameters. One of the better options according to what I read in one book there involves using a laptop computer with special software somehow hooked up to the diagnostic port on the car as part of the mix. No harm looking at what it says in any event. Best of luck.

There is an android app called torque. I believe it is fairly cheap, you need an OBD connector from amazon too. I believe if you have an android device the rest should be $30. Others would chime in on how good the app is, I never used it.

I have torque on an Android phone. Would be a little better on an Android tablet because there would be more screen real estate so you could pull more displays onto the same screen and see them all at once. The software is only about $5

The Torque website suggests compatible bluetooth interfaces that plug in to your OBD II connector on the car. They ones they suggest run $100 - $200. The benefit of the more expensive units is that they are faster so the displays are smoother. I bought a generic Chinese made bluetooth OBD II adapter for about $25 off of Amazon. It works OK.

Torque will monitor what your engine control computer monitors. It is very easy to use, When you want to add another monitored parameter to your screen, it shows you a LONG list of possible parameters (e.g. fuel trim bank 1, fuel trim bank 2, air flow cfm, air temperature, manifold air pressure, etc.) The ones that your computer is reporting will be highlighted bright green. You choose the one(s) you want and then decide whether you want analog, digital, graph, etc. and then drag it to where you want it on your screen. You can have several screens full of parameter displays and scroll through them as you drive.

The iTunes store has a similar ap for Apple, but it uses a wifi connection rather than bluetooth.

I have been thoroughly pleased with my UltraGauge. See:

I bought it just to be able to read trouble codes but I have been simply amazed at the wealth of additional data it provides, both measured and calculated. Currently sells for $60.95 after rebate. No wiring to be done, just plug it into your diagnostic connector and drive away.

So I decided to try one of the cheap OBD2 ELM327 bluetooth adapters ($16 from amazon). Plugged it in and paired it to my phone, no problem. Now a TON of stats are being sent to my phone. I’m still trying to figure out the logging (and subsequent upload to my e-mail and website), but it appears I now have a very nice live engine monitor with GPS, etc (and for pretty damn cheap!). I noticed my O2 sensors fluctuate a bit while I idle… Can anyone recommend a good site that describes how all of the various sensors should behave and what typical values might be? It is crazy the amount of information the car spits out!