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Old 09-11-2016, 03:40 PM
 
836 posts, read 1,233,691 times
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I've seen ODB'S for as low as 33 dollars and as high as 140....I thought they all did the same thing. Is there a difference in the quality? The lower priced ones don't read all the codes or something?
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Old 09-11-2016, 03:49 PM
 
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yes there is a difference in quality. they should all read all the codes from the computer, but some of the cheaper ones only read codes, where as the more expensive ones also read the data stream from the computer as well. the cheaper ones are also for home use, where as teh more expensive ones end up in the professionals tool boxes.
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Old 09-11-2016, 04:54 PM
 
836 posts, read 1,233,691 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbohm View Post
yes there is a difference in quality. they should all read all the codes from the computer, but some of the cheaper ones only read codes, where as the more expensive ones also read the data stream from the computer as well. the cheaper ones are also for home use, where as teh more expensive ones end up in the professionals tool boxes.
Is the "data stream" important? I mean if you get the codes, the mechanic can figure it out from code reading alone.
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:21 PM
 
3,762 posts, read 3,437,393 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAZORAC View Post
Is the "data stream" important? I mean if you get the codes, the mechanic can figure it out from code reading alone.
No. An OBDII reader will only get generic codes pertaining to the emissions system and related hardware if it's a cheap one. It will not get you vehicle specific codes that are not universal, nor will it tell you what the code actually means if you pull it.
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:32 PM
 
33,411 posts, read 32,296,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAZORAC View Post
Is the "data stream" important? I mean if you get the codes, the mechanic can figure it out from code reading alone.
yes the data stream is important. it tells you in real time what the sensors are seeing. that means if you get a code that shows say an O2 sensor issue, and you read the data stream, and the O2 sensor stream shows the sensor is working properly, then you know that there is something else amiss in the system.
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Brawndo-Thirst-Mutilator-Nation
20,901 posts, read 21,733,444 times
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There is a very large variety of feature you can get in a scan-tool.......from the most basic, to a tool that has features including diagnostic-databases, oscilloscope, graphing of various parameters, generic OBD2 codes and manufacturer's specific data.

I have a Actron scan-tool......it was 140 bucks and it quiet nice for the money. My Actron will do the basics like display/clear codes and log freeze-frame data.........it will also graph numerous parameters in real-time.

A lot of Snap-On stuff is way overpriced, IMHO. But if you want a quality scan-tool, that has a lot of very useful features and very well written software, Snap-On makes some of the best.
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Sarasota FL
6,864 posts, read 11,229,181 times
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Harbor Freight has 4 Cen-Tech readers priced from $50 to $140 Are they reliable?
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:16 PM
 
17,488 posts, read 23,649,152 times
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I have HFT scanner for 2 yrs now. It's OBD2 and ABS/CAN bus reader.Works just fine.

Basic reader will read only OBD2 codes. There are many more data that can be read - ABS, transmission, CAN bus. Advanced scanners allow you to actually log into various systems and do changes. More advanced allow you to digitally run some components, etc. Say, on my hybrids, using a Techstream is the only way to bleed brakes.
Then again, Techstream is free for download from their website and needs only OBD2 to USB cable. Otherwise, you can pay $4000 for Techstream scanner. How that makes sense I donno.
So, the more vehicle systems scanner reads, the more you can "dig in" into the car systems and do what you want to do - the better scanner is.
Say, Torque app for Android works great. All you need is about 10 bucks OBD bluetooth adapter.
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:41 AM
 
14,118 posts, read 16,976,070 times
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I wouldn't even bother with an actual OBD2 scanner these days. All you need is either a Bluetooth (android) or wifi (apple) ELM327 OBD2 dongle for $10-15 and a app on your phone and you can pretty much read codes and do live data. There's a number of apps, and they get updated and new ones come out with even more features.


For my Ford specific cars, I use ForScan on my Iphone with a wifi dongle. I can get all the standard OBD2 codes, read live data and display it while driving on my phone, and even access Ford specific modules such as powertrain, ABS, airbag etc and read status updates on anything related. For instance, if my door switch is having an issue, I can pull up the body module, and see it's status as I open and close the door and see if it's working as it should. Total cost? $5 for the app on my iphone, and $15 for the dongle off Ebay.


You can even modify the ELM327 to add a HS/MS CAM switch to access even more data. Or buy them modified on Ebay
http://www.obd2iphone.com/how-to-mod...-can-switch-2/




my old OBD2 scanner collects dust these days

Last edited by BostonMike7; 09-12-2016 at 08:53 AM..
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Old 09-12-2016, 11:44 AM
 
14,273 posts, read 8,915,934 times
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There are some "low energy bluetooth" iOS compatible obd dongles out now too. I run the LELink one with the OBDFusion app on my iphone to get a boost gauge and other real time info. Being able to use the bluetooth connection keeps you from losing data like you do with the wifi versions. So I can run this and Pandora/Waze at the same time.
https://www.amazon.com/LELink-Blueto.../dp/B00QJRYMFC
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