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Right To Repair - A Hot Issue or Big Problem?



  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    You DID know I was being facetious with my remark that giving the consumer more information is a bad thing, right? I am for more information all the time for the consumer.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    Oops, my bad.
    Sometimes it is hard to tell and to be honest, there are folks out there who believe that information for the consumer is a bad thing.
  • Perhaps more of us would be willing to use the dealer if we were not so aware of how much we are being overcharged ? I once lived with a service manager for a time as a roommate. The things he told me about dealerships and where they make profit was nearly unbelievable. Here's how it works and why we pay so much at the dealer. The owner of the dealership marks the part up when service orders it. Then service "sells" it to the mechanic in the service bay for a markup. So there it is markup twice. Its a terrible thing. This on top of today's labor prices. :mad:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    If the dealer charges me $15 for the same oil filter I can buy for $6, I really don't care as long as my car is done fast, done right the first time. I'm fact, that taking my car to the dealer for its 5,000 mile check ups costs me $75 more than taking it to the local gas station or to a chain store. And I'm sure that the "list" of "things to do" on a 5,000 mile check contain items that are merely a glance from a mechanic at the dealer....and that's fine, too, with me, because at least the dealer technician knows where the part is that he's supposed to glance at.

    As long as my car is done in two hours, comes back all cleaned up, and runs like a top...hell, overcharge me...

    BUT....(and here the skies darken)...for this amount of money, the car had BETTER be right and done professionally in every respect or the whole picture changes with me.

    Even IF the automakers released every bit of technical information to independent shops, most couldn't keep up, especially the ones doing multi-car services. I go to the dealer because they know the product best. But, after warranty, would I go to an independent who specialized in my make of car? Yeah, probably I would if they were good. Would I save a lot of money doing that? Probably not a lot, no, because overhead in a top notch indie shop isn't cheap either.


  • rockfish1rockfish1 Posts: 113
    When the discussion is on the right to repair, does this mean that the proprietary information explaining how any software and firmware is constructed should to be revealed or does it means that a definition of codes should be revealed along with a possible cause when multiple codes are listed or something else.

    Being a DIY'er, I am able to perform fewer and fewer tasks on my cars. Fortunately, they don't require the same amount of attention when my high tech tools consisted of a timing light and dwell meter.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    Oh I think that a better code definition and possibly even troubleshooting instructions would be enough. It's not likely that most consumers will be re-mapping their car's computers, etc.

    Of course we can only expect so much. No diagnostic tool yet available allows even the most up to date technician to positively idenitfy the exact defective component just by plugging in a device.


  • rockfish1rockfish1 Posts: 113
    Yes, I would like comprehensive troubleshooting instructions so this DIY'er would have a chance to find and replace the correct parts.

    I only repair my own cars so my experience is limited but I have found some repair manuals like Helms for Dodge give some troubleshoot road maps. Honda manuals seem to be more general.

    If I can pull the money together I would like to buy one of the new code scanners from Actron (CP9190) or Autoxray (6000) that should provide code scanning for common and propriety multiple codes. Once I have the codes then it is a matter of discussing the problem on various web sites to track down the real problem. Of course if it is a problem that requires quick repairing I must use the repair shop.

    Have you tried any of the above scanners? Which ones do you prefer?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    I haven't tried them. One issue I'm exploring is that apparently they will not read every thrown code--so you could spend this money and still be completely in the dark, it seems.


  • rockfish1rockfish1 Posts: 113
    I heard some scanners will not read the propriety codes. I believes some have a letter prefix. Before buying I would check some sites to determine if the "secret" codes are read and stored. I believe the Actron CP9190 will read them. Since I only work on my own cars this i something I will be able to determine. I will have to chance the scanner will work on any future cars which is why I am still doing some research since this equipment is expensive.

    I am pleased that at least the scanners are available since not that long ago the DIY'er had few options to determine any information from computer and sensor problems. With the scanners and some web sites where code info and their reasons can be shared or purchased I still have a possibility of finding and fixing a problem myself.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    That all depends on the scanners that you are using and what package you purchase.
    I have probably 12 different scan tools. Most sent to me from the manufacturers and depending on what vehicle you have, there are some available that will cover proprietary trouble codes and parameters.

    Currently, there are a lot of scanners and scan programs that offer GM, Ford and Chrysler proprietary code information. AutoTap (program), AutoXray (handheld), Actron (handheld), OTC (handheld) and InjectoClean are among them.
    InjectoClean (program) also offers Toyota and Honda proprietary codes in their program package, as well as a labscope set up for pocket PC and Palm units.

    We do a lot of testing on scan tools, so we know there are some out there. :shades:
  • rockfish1rockfish1 Posts: 113
    In reviewing, on the manufacturers web sites, the capabilities of the Actron CP9190 and the Autoxray 4000 they seem to be able to detect most if not all codes and function on the cars I would work on. They also seem to offer internet updates to keep the scanner current. Do you have any insight on these for the DIY'er that enjoys trying to fix the problem before needing the repair shop.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    Well, I had a whole thing all written out and for some reason the page went to one of those ones where you have to refresh it. I lost the whole thing.

    So, anyway................
    The Actron 9190 and the AutoXray 6000 are pretty comparable units. They both will do quite a bit. They have monitor capabilities and will do most manufacturer's powertrain diagnostics.
    The next step down is the Actron 9150 and AutoXray 5000.
    Both of these still have monitor capabilities, but are a little less than the top ones.

    If you click on my name, you will see my profile and some links. We have articles on a lot of the scanners.
    You may want to consider a scan program, either laptop (PC) based or Palm or Pocket PC based.
    One of my favorites is Injectoclean's (now Injectronic) New CJ4 scan tool, which we are testing and reviewing in the near future. It is a full on scanner with labscope that is competitively priced for the DIYer. Last I checked with them, they are selling for around $400.

    Remember that there are differences in a lot of the scanners and some that say they are scanners are really only code readers. Scanners will provide diagnostic information and code readers only read the codes and clear codes. While some folks, code readers are sufficient, but for anyone who wishes to do any kind of diagnostics, a good scanner is the only way to go.

    Also, if you plan on doing any diagnostics on any vehicle, then get a good information system or manual. Since I am biased towards one, I will leave that to you to make the decision which one. but Steve (host) has put together a great page
    My preferance is the first link under the paid sources (AlldataDIY).
    But again, I am biased toward them, so take my opinion for what it is worth.

    Oh yeah, one thing to note.......
    None of these scanners will do SRS (airbag) or Body controls and only a limited amount of ABS.
    So if you are expecting to do any of that, expect to pay premium prices for scanners with those capabilities.
  • rockfish1rockfish1 Posts: 113
    Thanks for the great info. I will be following up on the links.

    Injectronic seem to be a fairly new company - 10 years old and 7 years in the diagnostic business - but are already in 35 countries. Are they profitable enough to stay in business? I would not want an expensive scan tool become obsolete due to lack of support.

    To bad Edmunds doesn't have a undo/redo feature. I've lost messages also.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,016
    Sometimes you can go back in your browser and recover "lost" drafts.

    Amazon has the Actron CP9135 on sale for ~$73 but it sounds like it's not CAN protocol and may not work on cars newer than around 2004. So I won't mention it. ;) The CP9175 is about $110.

    Upgradeable via USB link sounds like the latest must have feature?

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    Okay...let's say you want to buy a scanner that works not only on your own car, but is likely to work on friends/neighbor's cars as well. Is this realistic that one could find a consumer product that will access perhaps 90% of all cars?

    Or would we be cast into the rather ironic situation of attacking proprietary automakers' codes by having to buy 3 or 4 proprietary scanners?


  • pmurraypmurray Posts: 10
    Back to the original question. Yes I think the information should be available. The independent shop and owners need to be able to work on and compete in a free market. If the dealer knows the customer has no choice they can charge what ever they want. I currently own a Honda Odessey and a Chev. Colorado. Both have oil service lights. The Honda owners manual tells you how to reset, with Chev. it is top secret. When I called my dealer they put me on hold forever and told me no one knew how. That is either scarry or.....just annoying.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    Injectronic is on their 5th generation scan tools and they seem to be backing their products really well.
    One of the scanners I have from them is about 7 years old and upgrading hasn't been a problem so far.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    I currently own a Honda Odessey and a Chev. Colorado. Both have oil service lights. The Honda owners manual tells you how to reset, with Chev. it is top secret. When I called my dealer they put me on hold forever and told me no one knew how. That is either scarry or.....just annoying.
    The Chevy oil change reset on post 96 vehicles is in the owners manual.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    As far as OBD2 scanners and code readers, you should be able to pull generic codes on most vehicles. "
    Generic codes are P0100-P1000 diagnostic codes.

    The part where it gets sticky is the proprietary or manufacturer specific codes. Those are parts that are proprietary to the specific manufacturer.

    A lot of the newer scanners in the $300-$600 range will have the manufacturer codes for at least Ford, GM and Chrysler. Some are now carrying the manufacturer codes for Toyota and there are a few that carry the manufacturer specific code information for Honda.

    For the most part, emissions codes are in the P0100-P1000 range, so most scanners will handle them.
  • rockfish1rockfish1 Posts: 113
    Injectronic is on their 5th generation scan tools and they seem to be backing their products really well.
    One of the scanners I have from them is about 7 years old and upgrading hasn't been a problem so far.

    Thanks again for the vote of confidence on Injectronic. I will add the their 9240 CJ4 Scantool/Oscilloscope to the Actron CP9190 and the AutoXray 4000. I need to do more homework on which to buy and where. I want them to cover Dodge, Ford, Saturn and Honda with GMC possibly replacing the Dodge in a year. All are ODB II vehicles.

    But I still have time since I need to pull the money together first.
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