I had to pay over $80 to get my car scanned and am considering getting a scanner reasonably priced. Do I need one with computer acessibility? I may consider the ones that can program for a new key also if affordable. I’ve been told to get one that gives the error reading, not just codes as it pinpoints the correct error and yet another person said the cheap one would do. Any ideas appreciated. Thank you.
Unless you have a lot of problems you can always find a major auto parts store that will scan the car for free. If you are like me…as soon as you purchase an OBDII scanner they will release an OBDIII for half price.
There are code readers and then there are scanners. A code reader when plugged in will provide diagnostic trouble codes to point out in what part of the engine management system the problem is occuring. These can be purchased for less than $100.00. A scanner on the otherhand has the capabilty of not only pulling codes, but can provide real-time monitoring of the engine management system. A scanner of this type can cost thousands of dollars depending on the features included.
Most DIY’ers use code readers to pull the codes. But this only indicates what circuit is causing the code. So that circuit must diagnosed with other test equipment to determine what is causing the code. It’s also helpful to have access to a diagnostic flow chart when a certain code shows up. This tells you what and how to test that circuit for that code.
So with a code reader you may be able to pull the codes, but it doesn’t tell you the exact problem. You have to figure that out.
If you own a laptop computer, you can use THAT as a complete OBD-II scan tool…All you really need is an interface cable, available on e-Bay for under $25…Use the search feature of this board to find the thread titled “Cheap Code Reader”
Thanks for all the suggestions. It has helped! Such good advice and so fast!
Will they work with Mac’s?
I tried the search function and it kept bringing me back to this post.
Impala Sue, For Around 50 Bucks, Sears For One, Sells The “Actron Pocket Scan” Code Reader. It Reads Basic Codes, Has A Book To Translate Them, And Can Turn Off Your “Check Engine Light”.
It’s a good, well made, basic tool that is very helpful to the DIYer on a budget. If you go low end, it’s a good way to go or a place to start.
Here’s a link to some help once you’ve got the code(s).
Click “Trouble Codes” at the top of the homepage just below the blue heading and then keep scrolling down.