OBDII Diagnostics Tool Help

My check engine light is on and I’m considering purchasing a diagnostics tool. Does anyone have any recommendations? I use a Mac, so I need one that explains the codes on the device itself. I also don’t ned the Rolls Royce of devices - simple is good.

It depends on how deep into the diagnostics you want to go. The cheaper code readers are only capable of retrieving generic or EPA mandated codes. These are the codes that start with P0XXX. The higher end code readers are capable of retrieving not only generic codes but are also able to retrieve enhanced parameter/manufacturer specific codes. These are the codes that start with P1XXX.

Here’s the code reader I use for quick code retrieval. It provides the code numbers along with the definitions of the codes. And also reads enhanced parameter codes. http://www.etoolcart.com/browseproducts/OTC-Code-Scanner-OTC3408.HTML


Thanks, that is a big help. I found a friend who owns one, so I will start there.


I’m sure the code scanner that Tester showed you can communicate with those vehicles which use something called CAN. Vehicles started using CAN in 2004. By 2008, all cars must use CAN. CAN is like just having one telephone line running all over the car, instead of have several telephone lines.

Good info - Thanks!

Contact an auto parts store and see if they will let you use theirs. Advance does that around here. You give them a credit card and they return it when you bring the code reader back in. They are willing to discuss the codes and, of course, sell you any parts you need. This can help you get going now. You can buy the scanner if you want, but you can get the codes read tonight.