OBD-II scanners


#1

Can you recommend a good OBD-II scanner that either…



(a) does NOT require hooking up to a computer at al;



or (b) hooks up to a Mac?



(The software I’ve seen is for PCs, and I have a Mac.) Thanks


#2

How often do you need it? When I need one, I just borrow it from the local auto parts store. I give them a credit card as security, get the codes, return the reader, and get my credit card back. There’s no cost; it’s just for security. They read the codes and give me a printout. You can discuss the codes with the counter-folk. The ones I’ve dealt with seem to know something about what the codes mean.

If you use it for business, I’d buy a cheap PC. Is only a few hundred bucks for a new one, and you can probably buy a really cheap used one (~$100) that will be perfectly fine with your reader.


#3

If you want to use one to do troubleshooting with, and learn how everything works, then you’ll want to get one that reads dynamically. I have an Autoxray scan tool that I bout about 10 years ago. It will read not only the codes, but you can click on the individual sensors and get live, real time information which is pretty handy. I think I paid 450 about 10 years ago, I know they’ve come down to just over a hundred, or maybe just under 200 bucks. You only need to hook it to a pc if you want to upload new software or chart your cars’ performance over time.


#4

What type of car are you planning on using it on? A propriety scanner (one that is just for that manufacture) can do much more than display engine codes.


#5

You Can Buy A Code Reader For $30 To $60
The Actron Pocket Scan can read and erase OBD-II trouble codes. They run about $60 at places like Advance Auto Parts. You do not need to use a computer with it. They come with a code look-up book and I believe a CD just in case you want to put the code look-ups on a computer.


#6

You will probably find that those scan tools, that you can connect to a pc (personal computer), will only work with Windows. There are some of these types for as low as $100.
There are some scan tools which will connect to a pc, or a Palm handheld PDA…maybe, still on a Windows OS.
Try ebay.com or amazon.com.


#7

I just checked the website. Code readers can be had for under $100, but you’ll still spend $300+ for a scanner.

BTW, Scanner can display real-time sensor readings, and some can save sensor readings over time to be graphed. Code readers just display DTCs (diagnostic trouble codes).


#8

Here is an example of a scan tool which has a graph, and you can download “diagnostic data recorded by the scan tool onto a pc with a usb port”. It’s only $119, which is affordable. The manual can be downloaded, if you scroll down a little; so that you can see the stuff it can do. http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=98614


#9

We have a 2000 HOnda Odyssey and a 2003 Toyota Camry. The Honda needs attention right now and the Toyota will surely follow. The descriptions (on the 'net) of some scanners seem to indicate that they are only useful for US-made cars. Are there scanners that are specifically for foreign cars (i.e. Honda AND Toyota)?

Thanks