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View Full Version : Any suggestions for scan tool?


automagic
07-23-2011, 10:57 PM
I am looking for a scan tool with the following features

- Around $500 or less
- Reads OBD II and shows code(s) and brief description of code(s) (eg. P0302 Cylinder 2 Misfire)
- Will read both generic codes and manufacturer specific codes
- Will show pending codes and history codes
- Will show readiness of monitors
- Will show freeze data when applicable
- Not necessary to run manufacturer specific tests (eg. Evap tests)
- Reads OBD I (with adapters where applicable)
- Live stream data (Coolant temps, trans fluid temp, wheel speed sensor voltage (wave-forms), fuel trims etc.)
- PC-link (to store data or make upgrades if available)
- Oscilloscope capabilities (not necessary but would be helpful)

I will mostly need it for Honda/Acura, Toyota/Lexus/Scion, GM, Ford, Chrysler/Jeep. If it is necessary to purchase software upgrades for some makes I would still be interested. Any ideas?

Not sure if this went here or Marketplace.

thelabdude
07-23-2011, 11:43 PM
I am happy with my http://www.scangauge.com/ It may not do everything you ask, but was only about $150.

Gary T
07-24-2011, 02:00 AM
Parts stores such as NAPA, Carquest, and the like typically have a range of scan tools from simple code readers to those designed for professional mechanics.

Rick
07-24-2011, 02:19 AM
Until I got to the last two items on your list I was thinking of several tools that fit the bill. However I think those last two items will bounce you out of your $500 budget.
I second what Gary T said look at a NAPA store or ask your local tool guy what he has on the truck.

GreasyJack
07-24-2011, 08:42 AM
Are you a DIY-er or aspiring pro? If the former, you might just consider one of the laptop link cables. They're far cheaper than a high-end scan tool but will do everything on your list except the OBD-I and the oscilloscope. But you'd be paying $50 instead of $500, so you could probably just pick up a cheap oscilloscope and individual OBD-I cables and still stay under budget. Heck, even if you don't have a laptop, the scan programs are very basic and should work just fine with a sub-$300 netbook or an old used laptop.

But having a laptop in the car during drive tests is a little unwieldy and you have to worry about getting your laptop all greasy when you have it out in the garage.

automagic
07-24-2011, 10:18 AM
Are you a DIY-er or aspiring pro? If the former, you might just consider one of the laptop link cables. They're far cheaper than a high-end scan tool but will do everything on your list except the OBD-I and the oscilloscope. But you'd be paying $50 instead of $500, so you could probably just pick up a cheap oscilloscope and individual OBD-I cables and still stay under budget. Heck, even if you don't have a laptop, the scan programs are very basic and should work just fine with a sub-$300 netbook or an old used laptop.

But having a laptop in the car during drive tests is a little unwieldy and you have to worry about getting your laptop all greasy when you have it out in the garage.

I thought about getting a PC based scan tool but I definitely do not want to take my laptop to work and home everyday. Besides the battery is toast so I would not be able to take it on road tests. I had my eye on a craftsman scan tool that has everything I need except for the oscilloscope so I think I will be buying that instead. I know we have some skilled techs on the dope so I was wondering if they had any particular ones they preferred.

Thanks for your help guys.