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Old 01 September 2010, 04:07   #1
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Car engine diagnostic software/hardware

Thinking of getting some pc software and obdII adaptor/usb cable. Does anyone have any experience with these? A couple I've found are:

http://www.espautomotive.co.uk/
WWW.enginecheck.co.uk

I currently have a ford focus but would like it to work on any car I might buy in the future. Are they worth it? Do they give good enough descriptions of what the error codes are?

Thanks in advance.

Tim
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Old 01 September 2010, 04:15   #2
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I have an OBD II scanner and mine came with a little book showing you what all the codes mean. However the codes only point the way, for example 'Oxygen Sensor' could mean a whole host of things - the sensor is not working, the sensor has picked up a fault, the catalytic converter has a problem..... etc. Perhaps scanners with different software packages will give more detail.

Also not all scanners will work on all cars, so you really need to check that it will definitely work on your car. I've offered to scan friends cars only to find my scanner won't work on their motors.

I would be interested to know if the scanners will work on our outboard engines, I've yet to try mine.
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Old 01 September 2010, 08:52   #3
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I got an OBD2 scanner for the wifes corsa on Ebay. 20 and it works a treat.
I have used it 3 times to clear codes and point to a problem. although TBH every time its been the crankshaft sensor wrong signal code, which i knew before plugging it in, because the tacho stopped funcioning too!
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Old 01 September 2010, 09:20   #4
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Send a message via MSN to willfinch36
Ive got a "scanguage II" reader
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Old 01 September 2010, 10:00   #5
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Does any of this stuff allow you to 'reset' the odometer??
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Old 01 September 2010, 10:57   #6
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Not really interested so much in the self contained systems, more interested in the pc software, anyone have any?

JABS why would you want to reset the odo other than to sell a clocked car? These fault finding computers etc. Can only read information they can't change anything other than turning off the engine light.
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Old 01 September 2010, 11:47   #7
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There is a reason, other than what I would call fraud.

Please don't jump to conclusions.
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Old 01 September 2010, 12:01   #8
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Didn't mean to cause offence, just couldn't think of any other reason! I know changing the instrument cluster on a focus will mean mileage is reset to zero. Not sure if you could get some sort of tuning software that has the ability to write to the ecu (ie software that can remap a tdi) that might do it?

I thought there would be way more people on here that had dabbled in self diagnostics...
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Old 01 September 2010, 17:26   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slimtim View Post
I thought there would be way more people on here that had dabbled in self diagnostics...
I do, but only on VW and Audi. There is a fantastic piece of software called VCDS (previously VagCOM) for the VAG marque only, which communicates with all modules in the car. Whilst you can't reset the mileometer, you can read fault codes and also recode many units to adjust their operation, reset imobilisers for new keys, adjust reversing sensor sensitivity, change functionality of steering wheel buttons etc etc.
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Old 01 September 2010, 18:03   #10
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I have an ELM based setup I bought about 6 years ago along with Scantool software, I have accumulated a few other software packages over the years.

Most garages these days, especially main dealers don't seem to be mechanics anymore they are merely fitters - they plug your car in, read the codes and replace the part which is showing a fault. Most people with a small amount of knowledge could replace most parts themselves if they knew which parts they needed and where they are located in the car.

Some software allows you to see in real time such things as long and short term fuel trims and oxygen sensor switching which can be useful, as well the 'virtual dashboard' which is a bit of fun.
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