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OBDII Diagnostic Scan Tools

superjsuperj Posts: 3
edited June 2014 in Subaru
After getting multiple CELs within the last couple of months on my 2001 Forester, the dealer "fixed" the current error and said that it was a gas cap issue (charged me $120 for THAT). Only reason I had the Subaru dealer check it is that our regular mechanic couldn't decipher the meaning of the code (thought it was the car's computer that was the error), that and I was due for a 90k service. Anyway, other than making frequent trips to either Autozone or shelling out 120 bucks at the Subaru dealership each time the CEL comes on, I figure I could purchase a OBDII tool to figure out what the errors are. I was curious to find out if anyone else has one. If so, what kind? How well does it work? Price?


  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    if you have a laptop (not even a high priced one, just needs a serial com port or USB), you could try - get the ISO version for your Subie.

  • discopetediscopete Posts: 21
    I bought a code reader on sale for $100(regular price $150)about three years ago at AutoZone. Wal*Mart is selling cheaper ones recently, although mine looks to be of better quality.

    I have used the code scanner to delete a couple of alarms that turned on the CEL. They didn't look like serious problems and did not reoccur after deletion. When the knock sensor went bad, I knew that it was a real problem because the alarm would return if deleted.

    An OBDII scanner is nice to have.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Agreed. I've used mine a couple of times, to troubleshoot my car and to clear a code when my wife forgot to tighten a gas cap.

    I've also used it for two friends to read and clear codes from them.
  • I have a 2000 forester and have now replaced at least three oxygen sensors (front as well as rear) a knock sensor and a third sensor that's not coming to mind right now.
    I replaced the knock sensor about a month ago, had the codes cleared, came up clean, and the next day the engine light came back on.
    I have only had the car about 16 months and it currently has 120,000.
    Kind of getting annoying.
    Anyone know of this situation ???
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Perhaps the sensors are not malfunctioning after all. Maybe they really are reporting the correct symptoms.

    Do you know what the codes were each time? Misfires? Or something else?

    Spark or fuel, as they say. Could be the plugs or plug wires, or the ignition coil. Hope it is because all are cheap and easy fixes.
  • here's a practical code reader at a good price

    although there are more simplier ones available at a lower price too....
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,153
    Yes, mine is just like that sans C.A.N. compliance. It works well for reading the codes, but does not give real-time diagnostic information. For the price, it has paid for itself over and over again by allowing me to read/clear codes. I much prefer to clear codes that are recurring (like P0420) rather than leave them active and risk having a new, serious code trigger but go undetected. The readers are worth quite a bit just through added piece of mind!
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • jsabanjsaban Posts: 2
    I was going to the dealer too always to get things repaired. Find out $100s of dollars later that all I needed was a scan tool to do it myself. The dealer charged me $100 every time they hooked up to my vehicle and then charge me crazy costs to repair. I have now bought a great little scanner that I use on all of my vehicles. This is one of the best tools I have ever bought!!! Here is the place I got it from:

    I paid around $50 bucks.

    Good luck!
  • I own a 98 Saturn SL2 series. When I take it to emissions it keeps coming up OBDll systems not ready to test. So if that part is not ready they will not even follow thru with the test. Until the computer has run through a complete cycle. The problem I am having is I do not know how to run it through a complete cycle. I was told to run it at least 200 miles. I did so. It still came out the same problem at emissions.
  • I bought the el cheapo version of the Equus/Innova reader on, maybe $57?. It would not read codes from my 2002 Forester until I did something, but I cannot remember what the something was; maybe it was as simple as starting the engine. If that is the case, since the car is in the garage, that would require the door to be open.

    I used it to fix a knock sensor. Paid for itself right there.

    It has NO memory, NO batteries, no real time, it takes power from the vehicle. Just bring a pencil to write down the numbers.

    What the heck? That is NOT my car in the preview picture!!! Gone when I post though.
  • I found on another web sight the possible answer. If you guys don't think this will work please let me know.
    It states. What is the obd-ll drive cycle for a 99 Saturn SL2.

    A: - 1-8 cold start, accelerate, hold steady speed, decelerate, Accelerate, Hold steady Speed, and Decelerate. With more detailed information on each 8 steps.

    Thank you again,
    I will try this. If you have any other info please let me know. Thank you, Abby
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,153
    Usually, you plug in the reader before turning on the car. Then, once plugged in, turn the key to the 'on' position, but do not start the engine. At that point, the reader should come on and you can press the "link" button to download the codes.

    Don't worry about the preview picture - it seems to be some sort of non-executed functionality that has been there since the forum went to the current format. On CarSpace member pages, posts include a thumbnail (and include the correct one!), but that feature was never enabled on the forum.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
This discussion has been closed.