View Full Version : Home Car Diagnostics Tool
12-08-2006, 12:47 PM
I saw this and wondered if it's worth the investment. My wife's car keeps getting the check engine light when it's time for an oil change I presume which happens every like 3000 miles. Since it was a used car before we got it and we highly suspect it wasn't very well maintained I thought this thing might help.
Anyone ever used it or know of similar products. My wife's car is a 95 Chevy Cavalier so this thing won't work on her car.
12-08-2006, 01:43 PM
I have one (not that model though) that I picked up at a local Auto Zone for nearly the same price. They can be useful, but if it's a serious issue it's still going to mean a trip to the garage anyway.
In my case my mother tends to not put her gas cap on tight enough, and it sometimes causes the computer to think she has a small emissions leak. So I can reset the check engine light and it doesn't end up costing anything.
The one thing I would caution about that tool in particular, is that it looks like it plugs directly into the diag connector, rather then with a long cable. In some cars it might be hard to get it connected, depending on where the connector on your car is located.
12-09-2006, 12:38 AM
The check engine light does not come on to signal it's time for an oil change. Some cars have different lights for service intervals, which an OBDII code reader won't help with. You would need a reset tool that is specific to the make or model.
If all you want is a OBDII reader/reset tool, there are slightly cheaper ones out there. Once you have the code you can easily find probable causes online. I'm wondering if the CarMD database of probable causes is model specific, or just general. More expensive readers allow you to read the various sensors and perform tests, which gets pretty useful for troubleshooting. I have a Nissan-specific tool (OBDI), and an autotap (OBDII). The AutoTap might come in real handy someday if I ever buy an OBDII car. :rolleyes: The MODIS (http://www.snapon.com/modis/) is simply unreal, but so is the price.
12-09-2006, 05:52 PM
This is a generic OBD-II code reader. It won't read manufacturer-specific codes. I'd have to see the online database before I could tell you if it had any value.
A trouble code that references an oxygen sensor, for example, does not by and of itself tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that the oxygen sensor is bad or that replacing it will fix the problem.
Knowledge is good, but it is only useful if it can be practically applied. If you want to find the source of the CE light, get Autozone to read the codes, make note of them and send them to me. I'll give it my best shot, but there's not a whole lot of diagnostics I can do from here. If it is a pattern-failure type of thing, I'll let you know that.
If you just want to make the light go away, pull the ECM-B fuse for a minute or so to purge the keep-alive memory in the ECM.
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