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OBD II Code Reader for Outback

catmanducatmandu Posts: 53
edited April 22 in Subaru
Have an 05 Outback and saw an Actron code reader on sale (model 9175) Question, will this work on my sube and my 04 F-350, V 10. Also, where do you order oil filters on line for the Sube--Thanks, Mel


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My Actron works on my Subaru. Not sure if the F series uses the same one, though.

    You can check - look in the driver footwell of your Subaru, you will see the plug. Then look at your truck, see if they are the same type of plug.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Check to make sure the Ford does not use the CAN format rather than OBD II. I think Ford switched over to that system somewhere around '04 or '05... is that right? If you get a reader that is compatible with both, then it should work for those and all (nearly all?) other vehicles sold in the US.

    Steve (fibber2) wrote up a nice post quite a while ago about his research into scanners... on one of these threads (probably the P&S). I saved it as a Word document and will try to find it at lunch time tomorrow. Lots of good info!
  • jfljfl Posts: 1,348
    I use Purolator oil filters from PEP Boys. Purolator makes the filters for Subaru.

    Otherwise, I mail order from They are a dealer located in Washington state and will accept Subaru Bucks. I'm not sure who the East coast folks order from.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Same place. Hey, it's mail order, who cares where they are? That place accepted my Subaru Bucks, too.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Here is the post from fibber2, dated 3/11/2005:

    "Well, my need for an OBDII scanner was short lived. I had kind of settled in on either the Actron CP9135 or the Equus 3100 (both around $125) and locally available when the code cleared itself. There are also interesting products out there like CarChip and various PC and PDA adaptors that can be used for continuous monitoring. Perhaps all of this is worth explaining, as I learned some interesting stuff reading the .pdf owners manuals from the respective sites in my quest to understand exactly what I was getting into.

    While OBDII came into being in the mid '90's, it isn't completely universal in how it is executed. How the data is logged, and how it is read out and interpreted is referred to as the protocol. Manufacturers have a lot of leeway here, and the systems continue to evolve with new protocols being introduced and adopted.

    Most of the tools support OBDII protocols commonly used in US vehicles prior to 2004: VPW (General Motors), PWM (Ford), ISO9141 (Chrysler, Asian, and European), and ISO 14230 (also called Keyword 2000). The newest system, CAN (controlled area network) looks like it will be a major problem for most of the consumer grade tools. Ford/Mazda/Volvo are already using it, as are many of the new or revamped models introduced in '04/'05 from Toyota, GM, Chryco, Audi & Saab. I am sure that SoA will be headed there as well, so consider many of today's sub $200 tools as having a dead end unless they can be upgraded in the field (maybe downloadable ROM code change).

    There is a standard set of DTC's (Diagnostic Trouble Code), or "P0" codes, but just as many (or more, depending on the mfgr), proprietary codes. Reading them out is step one, finding exactly what the P1/P2/P3 codes might mean could take some work. My Subi shop manual lists them, and some of the sites list some of the mfgrs proprietary codes as well.

    Error codes can be stored that don't trigger the CEL (Check Engine Light), more properly called the MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp). These 'pending' or 'monitor' situation codes occur when something is out of spec, but not yet serious enough to warrant service. But they will probably cause you to fail an emissions test that requires reading out the stored data.

    DTC's that cause the MIL to illuminate show the more serious situations - 'static on' when a fault code is stored that meets a certain criteria, or flashing to indicate impending doom, like an overheating catalytic.

    A stored code (whether or not it illuminates the MIL) will stay forever if the fault remains, or immediately return if you attempt to clear it using the tool, or disconnect the battery. But a one time event will often clear itself, if it was a low level problem, after a certain number of start & warm-up cycles. The minimum number is three, but some situations will hang around for as much as 40. Mine was gone on the 4th trip - occurred after an abrupt maneuver on Tuesday evening, gone on Thursday. It may have backfired after a quick on/off/on throttle situation, triggering the light.

    So yes, I would like to own one, but I will probably wait for CAN compliance to become part of the package to insure the most useful life from my investment. -Steve"
  • jfljfl Posts: 1,348
    The closer they are, the quicker the delivery. Not fun at all tracking your package across the country by truck as you await delivery!

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Gee Wes, I am honored to think that you would have kept that! Got to admit that I too have a file of key posts that I have copied over the years. The Crew is a great resource.

    For the member who posted the question: Beware, that while the generic 16 pin OBD-II connector may look the same, the pinout will be different depending on which of the protocols are used. I don't think you will harm anything as Gnd & +12 are typically in the same place and only the signal lines change, but best to be sure before trying....

    I ended up with the Auto Enginuity tool that runs on a laptop. AutoTap is also another big player in the PC based market. They allow you to monitor a number of sensors realtime, much like the shops have. Realize that the error codes are only a best guess based on what the computer thinks is going wrong. Many times that is correct, but sometimes it can send you down an expensive wrong path. Watching an error occur, seeing what all the other sensors see, and knowing what the driving conditions were and how the car reacted at the time of the event is the key to a correct diagnosis.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    What can I say, Steve, unlike some ( :blush: ), you write quality posts with useful information. I figure that rather than replicate the research you have already done, why not benefit from it to focus my own inquiries? Keeping a copy is a lot more handy than trying to remember when, where, etc. I have a handful of posts by various members to which I refer on occasion.

    Looking at the Auto Enginuity tool, the price (for what it does) seems reasonable. More expensive than the handhelds available, but also far more useful as you discussed. I would really like it to have the expanded capabilities offered for other makes like Ford, GM, Toyota, etc. Will you confirm, then, that you are limited to engine/emission diagnostics?

    Oh, and I confirmed on Saturday that my little Innova handheld is not compatible with the '07. Ah, well, I guess I will have to find a buyer for it so I can get some sort of salvage value out of it. In case anyone is wondering, the diagnostics interface port is now located under the dash, facing straight down (no cover), just "behind" the area of the hood release latch.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Okay, so I was looking at AutoTap's website and while they did not provide much written information on the tool, they did offer a large variety of screen shots. Given the price differential (~$50 less for AutoTap), why did you choose the AE over this one?
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Good question...

    At the time of my purchase ('mid '05), AutoTap was not CAN compliant. So I wrote them off. Not that it mattered for my two '02 cars, but I was looking towards the future. And I guess the AE speedtracer software looked sexy, but I admit to have never used it. After I made the purchase, however, I did have some buyers remorse. I could not monitor as many functions simultaniously as advertized. Some of it may have been buggy software, but probably it was the ancient P1-133mhz laptop that I dedicated for automotive use. It could not keep up and sometimes choked. AE only used a serial port cable at the time, and our newer laptops only have USB. Recently I picked up a Serial to USB converter to use with a newer laptop, and downloaded the latest 4.x software (mine came with 3.1 ?). Just have not had the time or need yet to try it out. You now have a choice when ordering of output connectors.

    Some time ago I got into a private discussion with someone who went with the AutoTap. One feature he found interesting was the ability to monitor some of the transmission sensors, like fluid temp! I don't believe that the AE in stock form can see beyond the P0/P1 engine computer codes. Last year I got on a mail list from AutoTap that provided some case histories, and they mentioned tranny monitoring, so I guess its true. I was going to write to AE and ask why I could not do the same, but never acted on it.

    Some of the AT case histories were interesting, some bad advertising... See if these are still available from their site, or if not I can e-mail them to you.

    BTW, sorry again about your OBW. I see from your post above that you got an '07?

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    FWIW: can do CAN (labeled as TriCAN in their product listing).

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    BTW, sorry again about your OBW. I see from your post above that you got an '07?

    Eh, thanks. I have mostly moved on at this point. Just have to find the darn title for the '96 to actually get rid of it. We discussed a variety of purchase options but my wife settled (real early on) with "I will only consider another Subaru." Well, that limited options right away! Haha. I looked around for some older ones, '96-'99 since I know the '96 like the back of my hand and really like the body style. She did not want to get something that old (usually "high" mileage up here) or sight unseen if I were to go with one down yonder and drive it back up. The plus was that we could buy it out of pocket rather than taking a loan. So, she says she wants 3 yo or newer, so basically '04+. With about a 4K differential between 04 and 07 (trim level we were considering), and considering higher interest rates on used, it did not make a lot of sense to go for a used car - not locally anyway. So, '04 body style is bleah, '05 had some issues, and '06 is not available, that left '07. We got a "Basic" with manual transmission. I am still getting used to it (the circumstances surrounding the need to purchase leaves a sour taste in my mouth about the whole thing), but I will probably grow to like it. I love the seats. I have never in my life sat on such a perfect-fitting seat. My wife agrees. The interior, though, feels much smaller than the '96. My son (2.5 yo, Cosco car seat, center seating position) gets mud all over the back of the front seats with his boots, while in the '96 he was about 3" away from them. What's more, we sit with the driver seat back fully erect and the seat is toward the front range of the slider, so for most people it would sit even closer to the rear seat area.

    Hahaha... ah well. At least we did not go with an exterior color that came with the taupe interior! :D

    Oops... I just hijacked an otherwise very topic-oriented thread. :blush: I will take another look at those scanner sites (including the one Brian posted) and reply again tomorrow.
  • goosegoggoosegog Posts: 206
    Jason, I have an Innova (Equus? it's blue) and it worked with No. 1 daughter's 04 Hyundai and No. 2 daughter's 99 Golf, but not my 00 OB. However, after email discussion with Innova they said send it back and they would upgrade it free. Which they did. And it works. It's also supposed to be CAN compliant.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Thanks for the update, Brian! I am currently trying to get rid of the '07 and purchased a '98 Caravan instead. It works with the Caravan, so I guess that is one "crisis" averted; as long as the replacement vehicle proves reliable over the next few years. Otherwise I will let my wife start shoveling the dirt back into the hole I have dug for myself (while I am still in it, of course). :sick:
  • jsabanjsaban Posts: 2
    I have an 07 Outback and I was having the check engine light come on. Bought a CAN enabled scanner that worked great (thanks to the posts on this talking about CAN...had no idea). This scanner is great, since it reads live data too, which is very beneficial on my older vehicles. px

    I could not be happier with this little device and cannot believe how I could have lived without it before. It works on my 01 Suburban, 07 OB, 04 Accord.
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