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Old 02-10-2018, 11:00 AM   #1
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Do you have preference on an OBD 1 & 2 scanner?

Id like to buy a diagnostic tool that will read codes on OBD 1 & 2. Do they make a decent tool that doesnt cost a fortune that will work for both? All my years working on stuff I never messed with electronics
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Old 02-10-2018, 12:23 PM   #2
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Re: Do you have preference on an OBD 1 & 2 scanner?

I have had a few scan tools over the years, If I just want to pull codes I use a cheap code reader ( think it's an Actron?) It will pull codes & clear them quicker than my big $ scanners can link to the car's computer. then you can google the code.

As far as OBD 1, you can "flash" codes (or "blink") all the OEMs had different data link connectors back then, you jump a couple of pins & count the light blinking. Chrysler was the easiest back then, you cycled the key on & off several times & it blinked the codes.

So, basically, you don't need an OBD 1 scanner. I have one but rarely use it.
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Old 02-10-2018, 01:19 PM   #3
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Re: Do you have preference on an OBD 1 & 2 scanner?

I just got a solous from my snap on guy . It was a trade in for $1,500.00 and had him upgrade to 2017 for another $500.00 got tired of taking our work trucks to the shop to have them charge me an hour just to hook it up . Figure any minor codes will save me in the long run .
Don't know if that is your budget.
Like the previous post there are readers out there cheap Autel is another . NAPA has some in there recent flyer starting at around $200.00
Hope this helps
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Old 02-10-2018, 01:26 PM   #4
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Re: Do you have preference on an OBD 1 & 2 scanner?

I've got one of the online deals ( 150 bucks if I remember right. ) which is just software and and OBD II cable. Allows basic reading/clearing of the generic codes. Most manufacturers have specific codes for their own proprietary stuff that you'll likely not be able to read, but you will be able to read the major OBD II codes related to emissions and such.

If it's for your own personal use, the expense may not be worth it as you can always just go to a local parts repair house and get your codes read for free ( think Auto Zone ).

However, for use in your own garage for any vehicle, it's a nice-to-have tool. Just recently my DD developed a hard miss. With my scanner, I know it was cylinder 5 misfire and so was able to put one new plug in there and swap the coil pack to another cylinder as a diagnostic step to determine the issue. That fixed it for me --- this time. Saved me lots of money in that one instance!

Yeah it's the greatest thing when your on board computer runs code that spits out error messages telling you what piece of hardware malfunctioned!!!

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Old 02-10-2018, 07:34 PM   #5
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Re: Do you have preference on an OBD 1 & 2 scanner?

If you don't have a 94 or 95 you can get by with any old scanner. If you have a 94 or 95 with obd 1.5 you will have to look closely at the scanners to verify it can do both. Back in the day when I got mine the Actron 9145 (?) was one of the few that could do both.
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:44 PM   #6
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Re: Do you have preference on an OBD 1 & 2 scanner?

One word of caustion. I have one of the code reading, code clearing scanners that I paid about $50 for. As mentioned above it will help you get the code so you can search online for fixes but the problem is that the codes don't always tell you which part "caused" the failure.

I don't like to take my vehicles in for repair if I can fix them but I spent over $100 a few years ago chasing an emissions code. Three freaking sensor/solenoids and one fuel cap later I got it fixed -the last sensor/solenoid is the one that fixed it. Would have been cheaper to have the dealer tell me which one was failing.
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I just want a vehicle that I can work on, that won't talk to me, leave error msgs or keep track of how I drive...
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