Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - oilrag
I have recently become interested in basic diagnostics of modern cars. Years ago (Ok decades...;) I used to work on engines, full strip downs etc as a hobby. Now I still do all our servicing except anything to do with modern electronics, sensors and so on..

However I find I am becoming interested in learning more about the modern stuff so have been looking into EOBD and its history.

This culminated in buying the basic Gendan code reader

tinyurl.com/5o9dt8

It reads our 02 and 04 Punto diesels and I thought this a very basic foray into a complex area. However with lots of free time on my hands i`m reading more all the time, out of sheer technical interest.

Is anyone else doing the same? and what code readers and diagnostic equipment do you have, as amateurs that is?

(With a respectful nod to the Professional techs on the Forum who no doubt quite rightly consider code reader intervention in this area to be less than complete given their own equipment)

Regards

Edited by oilrag on 24/05/2008 at 11:33

Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - gordonbennet
I haven't really thought about this side of things yet Oilrag, been spoiled by having my excellent merc indy on tap, and tbh, he charges so reasonably and his work so good, it wouldn't have been worth trying to do it anyway. I don't even change the oil on my coupe any more.

However you have given me food for thought, as the hilux is now 8 months old, and in 2 and a bit years will be out of warranty, and i know my indy can diagnose and fix anything German, but he may well baulk at a difficult problem on the truck.

Had a nose on the link you gave, looks like some serious money can be spent, conversely serious loot could be saved on main dealer charges.

It will be interesting to hear what the pros think of this type of equipment.
Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - oilrag
Hi GB, Yes, the van`s out of warranty too in November. That`s if It still has one, as I did last years (second year) service myself as I did not want anyone touching it.

My thinking is that the MAF is about the only issue on these diesels (according to a Fiat Tech)
and its very well placed for access at the top front in the engine bay.

Now there was an issue just before the recent France trip where I opened it up on full throttle to around 4,000 revs going up a Motorway sliproad just outside Leeds. As I changed into top, it lost most of its power and I was left crawling up the Motorway gradient to the M62 at 40MPH.

( First time to really open it up for a long time. I`m going to do it more often now to clean it out a little)

This fault corrected itself as I came off the throttle for the roundabout at the top and I drove straight to the Fiat dealer. Good service there, on the Fiat Examiner, no fault codes. Tech thought it was a bit of dirt on the MAF that had now gone.

At that time not knowing much about MAF`s I was tempted to buy one as a spare part to carry, but tech said it would need to come back in for the code to be wiped and so on.

I now know that disconnecting the MAF temporarily would restore most of the power, but also there have been issues with Turbo Boost sensors. I read into how to clean those too.

Sure, I`m in the AA.. never used it.. but I like the feeling of a little independence as in the Olden Days. hence the code reader.

Planning a trip though France to Northern Italy in the Autumn and despite this being the motors home ground ( the van was built there) it gives some comfort, as well as interest, to think that I may be a little better prepared than previously if a problem arises.

It is interest and independence more than anything, if that makes any sense?

All the Best.

Edited by oilrag on 24/05/2008 at 15:16

Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - yorkiebar
Dont want to appear to be advertising anybodys products but can say that I have some stuff from the people mentioned in this thread.

Personally I think its excellent value for product; it doesnt cover everything but it does a lot.

I rate it better than some of the dearer "trade" names out there for basic code reading, fault finding and extinguishing eml's. Almost worth just storing in the boot with the spare and the jack (if supplied!) in case of problems en route anywhere?

What is most important though, and where a lot of newer (esp youngsters at main dealers) is that the codes produced are not of any use unless interpreted correctly. But at £60 area to be able to read codes and put lights out certainly gives you a fighting chance to dicuss problems/problem areas without paying £30 a time to have the codes read (big ripoff imo).

For example, a list of codes produced doesnt necessarily mean everything listed needs replacing. it may be just 1 item thats misbehaving thats casuing the problems. No code reader yet invented can do that for you though! Experience obviously should help too!
Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - oilrag
"Almost worth just storing in the boot with the spare"

My thoughts exactly Yorkie. Thanks for the comments on the product ;)

Edited by oilrag on 24/05/2008 at 16:40

Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - adverse camber
VAG-COM for the VAG group engines is the bee's knees.

EGR valves are the other common issue on diesels.
Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - drbe
>>
>>my excellent merc indy >>

Could you let me have the contact details please GB?

If you would email me via the mods, I would be grateful.
Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - gordonbennet
>>
>>my excellent merc indy >>
Could you let me have the contact details please GB?


Done

If and when you get there do not be put off by the appearence of the premises, this could never be described as a glass palace, it gives the impression of a scrap yard.

But they are going to be moving to close by premises in the near future.

But you will find true expertise, and honourable dealing in a very old fashioned way, and none the worse for that.
Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - Pugugly
Details copied through by e-mail.
Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - gordonbennet
Many thanks PU.
Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - Dynamic Dave
A website I see regular mention of on some of the Vauxhall forums is www.talktomycar.co.uk

Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - drbe
My thanks to both of you.
Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - Gregory II
The car mechanics magazine produced an excellent article regarding this. It seemed that it was better to spend a few pounds more, where you can get pretty amazing features including graphs etc. I am waiting for this months issue as they are continuing this research. It is amazing what they can do in my opinion!!
Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - oilrag

Did you ever see the water injection feature?

Edited by oilrag on 13/04/2010 at 16:59

Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - Rattle
They are ok if basic things go wrong. But they can't detect everything. My machanic has invested £1000's in ECU reading equipment which allows him to actually see what is going on with the engine live.

The cheap ones only show recorded errors and in my experience a sensor can develop a fault but not triger a fault code.

I don't get charged for diagnostics so I have no reason to invest in the kit.
Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - primeradriver

I have to say that the only engine management issues I've ever had with any car have been ones where the light has displayed and the car has continued to act normally.

On each occasion, whether I've used a paper clip to read out the code, or used my current £12 ebay special reader to acquire the fault code, the (single) error has pointed at the fault accurately, and when I've actually gone to the electrics guys they've just read the code and used their experience to diagnose (and come to the same conclusion as myself).

Exactly how often does a car go wrong in a complex way anyway? Seems to me that the only ones that tend to are those that are unnecessarily complex, particularly diesels and Renaults.

I guess this is what character must be.

Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - madf

<i>Exactly how often does a car go wrong in a complex way anyway? Seems to me that the only ones that tend to are those that are unnecessarily complex, particularly diesels and Renaults.</i>

Mercedes have a brilliant design where if the brake light switch fails it affects lots of things.. and the fault codes appear often to be meaningless...

Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - buzbee
Hi All, I thought similarly to oilrag although I have yet to do very much .

I looked at what was on offer and fancied the Autel range ('Talk to my car', as already mentioned) they appeared to have some capable equipment that did not cost the earth, including graphics models starting at about £65 IIRC.

In the end, to get some experience before spending money on the wrong things, I did an oilrag and bought their low cost 2-button maxiScan. It was £44.50 delivered. So far it looks quite nice.

You might find www.remmington.plus.com/advice.htm interesting.

Unfortunately I have yet to use it and so can't contribute more to the discussion.

I will be getting car mechanics, thanks.
.

Edited by buzbee on 17/04/2010 at 21:07

Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - glowplug

Hi,

I've bought a couple of diagnostic interfaces. The first one, a Uniscan for use with pre EOBD cars I still haven't setup, it need 2 DOS native serial ports which means with a laptop an expensive PC Card.

The other interface is a Lexia 3 interface for use with Citroens. I've used that interface with 3 XMs (1 TCT, 1 V6 and 1 2.5TD) and the C5 I used to own. Obviously the amount that could be done with the interface increased with the newness of the car. An example of the live data captured can be found here - farm4.static.flickr.com/3009/3061423881_d61496c96a...g

I've been following the Car Mechanics articles with interest, I think it's currently onto it's fourth piece. I used to like reading Screwloose's postings but he hasn't been on in ages. If you're interested in diagnostics you could have a look at these videos on Youtube -

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pradAEpnCHE

www.picoauto.com/automotive-oscilloscope-guide/

Steve.

Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - Gregory II

Having read the Car Mechanics article, I note that they did not really rank the systems as glowplug suggests. They all had different features from memory.

I am trying to debate which system to go for. I have a toyota carina e (1992) and camry 2.4 vvti 2002 vehicles to work on. Out of the systems below, which would be recommended?

Elm 327

Launch C Reader V

Memoscan

Autel Maxidiag MS409

Gendan Engine Check pro.

Talktomycar: OBD link.

I am really confused with all the systems that exist in that there is so much choice. Which would be the best choice, for example future use?

Basic Code Readers, Diagnostics, Dealer Charges - Gregory II

I suppose my question is: which reader is the best for Toyota vehicles. Car mechanics mentioned one reader that worked especially well with Toyota's and the likes, but I cannot be entirely sure.

 

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