Right To Repair - A Hot Issue or Big Problem?

hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
The increased use of computers and electronic controls in new cars is a serious threat to independent garages. It is also a threat to competition in the vehicle repair business, as we have known it. The reason for this is that car companies possess the ability to control access to the information and tools necessary for the independent service industry to stay competitive with new car dealers. The upshot is that, in some cases, owners have no choice but to take their vehicles back to the dealer for maintenance and repairs.

There is proposed legislation to prevent car companies from denying independent garages access to the information and tools required to remain competitive with the franchised dealers. I think this issue is sufficiently important to open a discussion.
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Comments

  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,982
    Good topic.

    I think mfrs deserve the right to exclusivity on their technologies for a certain amount of time. They developed it, or at least ponied up for the licensing, and deserve to reap some reward for their investment.

    I propose they retain exclusivity for diagnosis and repairs on any new technology for no more than the period from the time of initial release to the market to the end of warranty on that technology plus six months...
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    The consumer could see price gouging as a result - this is not like a kitchen appliance. If it breaks down, it is not cheap enough to discard (hopefully recycle! ;-)) and replace, it must be fixed.

    If the dealers don't have to compete on price with independents, they won't.

    Progressive manufacturers should be working collaboratively with independents anyway, because it would improve the product...

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,976
    Once out of warranty, it should all be fair game.
  • boaz47boaz47 Member Posts: 2,747
    Should have no effect on how a car is repaired. There has already been legislation dealing with this very issue, at least in California. If the manufacturer and dealer have full control of warrantee repairs they can charge whatever they want for normal servicing. They already have a parts monopoly for at lest the first year and in some cases even longer than that. Mechanics and their ability are already controlled by state certification. I can only hope the dealers, who have not been part of the manufacturing process, are not allowed unfair privelage to the information necessary to repair a persons car after that person has spent their money buying the product. For those of us living some distance from a dealer that would be like a double tax.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,982
    during the warranty peiod of the intial release, then they are stuck paying for the repairs anyway. Give 'em an extra six months from the expiration of warranty on the first vehicle inservice date, and let the indies go at it then.

    Who's going to take a warrantied vehicle to an independent for warranty service anyway?

    Of course, the poor indies have to buy the tech from someone anyway, don't they?
  • oldharryoldharry Member Posts: 413
    Let the independent buy the info.

    The people that developed it have a right to benefit from their efforts, so charge substantial prices for it, but sell it. We pay MicroSoft license fees for WINDOWS(tm) why not car makers for their intellectual property?

    Harry
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    Should the do-it-your-self market be abandoned?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    anything else that the backyard mechanic can do, apart from changing the fluids and brake pads? Shade tree mechanics are rapidly becoming a thing of the past with the tech that is increasingly commonplace in today's cars.

    :-(

    I think at the very least anything that relates to a state standard (thinking of smog checks here) should be available to indies right from the get-go. What if, as someone else said, you live 100 miles or more from a dealer and there is a problem in the emissions system?

    I mean, these automakers are not selling products in a vacuum, they are closely regulated and required to pass inspections in most states every couple of years.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I would like to see some way to present error codes to owners in easily readable form (through the NAV screen or dashboard?) and a way for owners to run at least diagnostic software so that they know what the engine light is really telling them (stop now or wait or blow it off or ???). Also, just like Microsoft sends you patches, maybe some day you will be able to correct certain driveability faults in the same manner with your car.

    As for independent shops---I think IF the tools required to fix the car become punishingly expensive, there might be cause for legal action or a regulatory process, e.g., if Dell Computers forced all independent repair shops to buy a $100,000 diagnostic tool, that would just about force all Dell owners to buy new computers rather than fix their old ones....

    Uh-oh, have I just unlocked a new conspiracy? :P
  • boaz47boaz47 Member Posts: 2,747
    That once the manufacturer has sold the product we should not be "forced" to use the dealer mechanics over and independent mechanic. I know that from a personal perspective living in a small community it is much easier to develop a trusting relationship with a neighborhood mechanic than it is with an impersonal dealer mechanic where you do not know from one week to the next who might be working on your car.

    There also seems to be a cost difference to the consumer. The dealer mechanics did not invest in the R and D so why should they reap the rewards the manufacture may be entitled to rather than the independent mechanic. Like I mentioned earlier in our state you can not be forced to have scheduled services done at the dealer. You only need a proof that the service was performed at the proper times. There was a time when we had to go to state certified smog control stations and that proved to be a pain in the back. At least today independent mechanics can be certified to smog our cars for us.
  • nonjth13nonjth13 Member Posts: 91
    My last car was an Audi with "free" maintenance (aka I paid for it in advance) so I used the dealer for oil changes etc. My new car is a VW. I will go there for warranty work, but otherwise I will use my own mechanic. If the time comes that auto dealers have a monopoly on repair work, I think I will take the bus.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    Our newest rovers do have a three level check engine light.

    Amber means minor fault keep driving. The computer might make the necessary adjustments and fix the fault on its own.

    Amber Blinking means moderate fault: Call the dealer and set up appointment.

    RED Means severe fault: Stop driving right away call road side assistance.

    I would like it if you could get a more complete listing of the faults on the NAV screen. There is a diagnostic mode that can be accessed on the NAV screen by pressing invisible buttons on certain menu pages. The techs use it and anyone else could too but most people don't know it is there.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    "I would like to see some way to present error codes to owners in easily readable form (through the NAV screen or dashboard?) and a way for owners to run at least diagnostic software so that they know what the engine light is really telling them (stop now or wait or blow it off or ???)."

    Oh absolutely, they should have had something like this for a long time now, AT LEAST since the advent of OBDII in '96. I have always suspected that the reason they don't is (a) to make dealerships more money in their service bays, and (b) because they (the EPA etc) are afraid that if we drivers actually know what the fault is, we will ignore it in most instances (because with that knowledge we will worry about it less) which might lead to more cars being out of smog compliance.

    Giving the consumer more information is a BAD thing! :-P

    I don't see a problem with automakers being forced to reveal technical information on their vehicles as long as indies have to pay licensing fees to get it. The problem here of course is similar to the old Napster - once the info is out, it will start being spread around and the licensing fees will stop coming in.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Of course consumers have to know what to DO with this information. These days, even some "mechanics" don't know what to do with it. Codes are often mis-interpreted, and in fact most diagnostic codes don't really identify the faulty component, only the system/circuit that is affected.

    I think we are still a ways off with diagnostic tools that pinpoint the exact component failure.

    So, telling the driver that his 0s sensor is unhappy doesn't really tell him a whole lot. He could replace the 02 sensor and solve nothing.

    Still, anything is better than a single stupid "check engine" light. It's especially infuriating on cars that require a re-set from the dealer or mechanic even for MINOR faults, like loose gas caps.
  • boaz47boaz47 Member Posts: 2,747
    Here the code readers are available to parts stores as well as independents. Getting to know your Autozone tech can save you 50 bucks the dealer charges to reset the loose gas cap code. At least I got that help when I forgot to plug in a sensor while changing plugs on my PT in Texas. The local Autozone guy had sold me the plugs and wires and laughed when i told him what had happened. He asked me go back into the store for some free coffee and when I came back, the code was gone. Cost to fix, a cup of coffee.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Yep those code readers are okay but they don't pick up all the codes. But some of them are good for shutting off the light.

    I'd like to see a Voice Command for new cars: "Engine light OFF!"
  • wtd44wtd44 Member Posts: 1,208
    Closed architecture leads to loss of market share, as has been proved over and over in the computer world. In the case of motor vehicles, could I dare say we have a "right" to information that will make it possible for the consumer (or the mechanic he/she might contract) to repair them. Surely consumer protection should extend this far: :sick:
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    nippononly,
    Giving the consumer more information is a BAD thing!

    I strongly disagree with that comment.
    Remember that when the discussion of the right to repair act comes up, it is not talking soley about consumers. It is referring to independent shops and such. Things like Fleets.
    Fleets that buy 100s of vehicles per year from the manufacturers. These fleets are in the same boat as the independent shops. The manufacturers are trying to shut them all out.

    Try getting information on a newer Honda or Acura as a consumer and see what happens.

    Oh absolutely, they should have had something like this for a long time now, AT LEAST since the advent of OBDII in '96. I have always suspected that the reason they don't is (a) to make dealerships more money in their service bays, and (b) because they (the EPA etc) are afraid that if we drivers actually know what the fault is, we will ignore it in most instances (because with that knowledge we will worry about it less) which might lead to more cars being out of smog compliance.
    It won't make any difference in the near future. With the advent of bluetooth technology going into vehicles, the states will be implementing transmitters on the highways that will read your VIN and emissions status while you drive down the road. If you are out of compliance, you will receive a letter in the mail informing you that you are out of compliance and to have it repaired.
    The technology is already there, they are only waiting for the funds to install the transmitters.

    Mr Shiftright,
    I would like to see some way to present error codes to owners in easily readable form (through the NAV screen or dashboard?) and a way for owners to run at least diagnostic software so that they know what the engine light is really telling them (stop now or wait or blow it off or ???).
    Actually, I am testing a product that is a monitoring device that mounts on the dash, that you can monitor some parameters and you can view and clear trouble codes from the dash mounted monitor. It is a small 4 line display.
    Cost is around $180. It is called ScanGaugeII.
    It can be used as a trip computer, code reader and digital gauge.
    We hope to have the review article done on it in the next month.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Great, keep us posted on that device please!

    What I don't like about current technology is that on most cars every "check engine light" is crying wolf, as if a loss of coolant were the same urgency as a loose gas cap. After a while the natural tendency is just to keep driving. It's not well-filtered information. It's as bad as what Micrsoft gives you on your computer screen, except that your computer is not flying down the highway at 70 mph (hopefully).
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    I agree with you on the light.
    They have taken it to an extreme.
    It should be like the heavy trucks, where there is an Engine Warn light and an Engine shutdown light.
    One is for the incidental stuff like low coolant and such. The other is for things that will cause catastrophic failure.

    What they should do is allow you to view what the trouble codes are when they present themselves.
    It bothers me that we have the technology to have most electronics do self diagnostics, but they display them in codes, not descriptions.
    If you had a Check engine light come on and where able to push a button to display a small summary and the code number, it would provide you with necessary information to determine which course of action to take.

    Then the education of how the codes work is necessary, which is something our group of guys try to work on.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    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.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    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.
  • 4machines4machines Member Posts: 1
    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 Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    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 sure....certain...in 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 Member 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    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 Member 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    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 Member 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 Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    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 Member 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 Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    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 http://www.carspace.com/guides/Online-Repair-Manuals.
    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 Member 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 Guest Posts: 52,454
    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?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    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 Member 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 Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    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 Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    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 Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    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 Member 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.
  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    I am not a mechanic, but I have had success with code readers and factory shop manuals. My two Accords (92 & 03) have never been to the dealer, or any other machanic. I do all my own maintenance and repairs (which gladly are not many) You get the code, look it up in the shop manual, and go through the flow-charts. It has worked for me, since 91. I probably know more about my car than some of the dealer techs do. Sure the dealer techs work on Hondas every day, but they don't know my car as well as I do.
  • aaronr121aaronr121 Member Posts: 91
    So, telling the driver that his 0s sensor is unhappy doesn't really tell him a whole lot. He could replace the 02 sensor and solve nothing.

    You are right about this, you don't see the problem, you see the byproduct of the problem. Could be the reason the O2 sensor is giving a wonky signal is because the vehicle is running too rich because the Mass Air meter is bad. But if you can't understand the data, you won't know.

    Autozone offers the free service of pulling codes and resetting the light and OBD II code pullers are getting awfully cheap.

    OBD II is such an improvement over the old diagnotic systems. Each manufacturer was different and that made life a pain.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Someday, in a bright and sunny land of the future where jelly beans grow on trees, automakers will STANDARDIZE a lot of parts for us that have nothing to do with styling, etc. We do not need 350 kinds of mufflers and 67 types of hose clamp and 16 types of O2 sensor.
  • aaronr121aaronr121 Member Posts: 91
    That would be WONDERFUL! It really would!

    Not only would it save us money, but it would save them money, effort and R&D too!

    Had that problem last week when trying to fix an A/C compressor. I tried swapping the reed valves between one Sanden and another Sanden. They were just fractions of a millimeter off. WHY!?!?! I can live with different cases, pulleys and heads on them. But why in the world are internals slightly different?
  • w9cww9cw Member Posts: 888
    A number of manufacturer's should follow Hyundai's practice for the D-I-Yer. The 10yr/100K warranty remains valid for any D-I-Yer as long as you have supported receipts, the Owner's Manual has a dedicated section for owner-provided maintenance, and the Hyundai website has ALL service and tech information available for all owners, including all DTC codes - generic and proprietary. Plus, they have internet-based ordering of parts, shipped to your dealer of record - directly from their Parts website.

    As one who's owned primarily European cars in the past, and appreciated the generally well-written, arranged, and thorough shops manuals for those who prefer doing their own work, the Hyundai approach is refreshing.

    One of the better, and yet affordable, OBD-II diagnostic scanners is the Equus Innova 3130, typically available brand new on eBay for around $160. It's compatible with all current communications protocols.

    http://www.iequus.com/product_info.php?product_id=3130&category_id=1_10_7
  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    People think if they have the code and the description, the problem is solved. Not even close. You need to have a shop manual, some minor diagnostic tools (multimeter, vacume pump/gauge), and other basic tools. The code only narrows down the possibilities. You still have to do some troubleshooting.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    There isn't a computer in the world that can tell you exactly which component has failed. Someday maybe.
  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    That would be great. The car would display exactly what is going out. Ex: Your battery is about to go out. Estimated time of demise, one month. It would give you time to shop for another battery. Of course a car this smart would not be affordable, at least not by me. :cry:
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    Sometimes the first step should be a visual inspection.
    I've tried to get this through many young mechanic's heads that no matter what, a visual inspection should be the first check, then if it is a performance issue [check engine light on], then pull the code and do another visual inspection.

    I have had many vehicles that the check engine light was on and the visual inspection caught the broken vacuum hose or disconnected sensor connector.

    And even guys who have dealt with the same vehicles over and over need a good diagnostic chart for trouble codes.
  • rockfish1rockfish1 Member Posts: 113
    And even guys who have dealt with the same vehicles over and over need a good diagnostic chart for trouble codes.

    Do you have suggestions on manuals or websites that have "Good Diagnostic Charts" that will help when multiple or intermittent codes are showing.
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