Code Scanner

I'm thinking of buying a code scanner for home use on my Windstar and Honda CR-V. The last time I was in Auto Zone they would not re-set the 171/174 code on my Windstar (said a manager had been fired for doing it) and after
a little troubleshooting I had to disconnect the battery cable to turn the light off. Trouble light has not returned.
Any recommendations appreciated.
Thanks.
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wrote:

To help use windstar code newbies' curiosity, what is code 171/174?

later,
tom @ www.CarFleaMarket.com
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cylinder banks.
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Newby opined

Well, yes but not exactly..
P0171     System too Lean (Bank 1)
P0174     System too Lean (Bank 2)
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- Yes, I'm a crusty old geezer curmudgeon.. deal with it! -

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And clearing the codes doesn't fix the problem.... but it does hide them for a couple or so drive cycles.

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You're right, clearing the code(s) doesn't fix the problem but it does allow you to see if the repairs you have made fix the problem.
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Indeed.... after the repair is made, it is important to clear the code(s), road test the vehicle and recheck for codes. If we leave any codes in memory and another problem occurs soon after, the old codes can cloud the diagnostic process and lead to unnecessary parts replacement.
While I think about it... with any repairs that involve correcting fuel mixtures, the KAM (Keep Alive Memory) should be cleared. KAM is stored on an EEPROM in the PCM. This is the "learned" strategy... like a look up table for the PCM from which it computes spark and fuel curves. Clearing the KAM resets this memory back to factory default and allows the PCM to acclimatise itself to the motor more rapidly.
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Newby opined in

This doesnt look bad.
It's not upgradable by year and probably doesnt have a lot of specific mfr codes but you likely will never run across one it doesnt cover.
google around for different models and prices
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Boys has it on 'sale'). It is for cars that are OBDII compliant. Looks pretty good even if a bit pricey. If it saved me 2 trips to the dealer it would be paid for. Of course I can continue to use Auto Zone and disconnect the battery cable if they won't clear the code for me.
Thanks.
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I picked up a ford scanner from scantool.net for about $100. I hooked up up to an old pentium 90 I resurrected for light garage duty, basically just for pulling engine codes. The software is a bit on the light side so far, but other software works with it, and you can get real time sensor feeds if you hook your car up to a notebook computer and go driving around. Pretty cool!
Matt
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A lot depends on what you want out of the tool. On the low end, you can find code readers.... pretty basic and they have limited functionality. Usually only good for reading and clearing generic (emissions) OBD codes.
In the middle ground are tools that can do the generic codes and also the proprietary codes generated by body and chassis modules ( in the case of your Windstar, these would include the ABS, Front Electronic Module, Rear Electronic Module and the Hybrid Electronic Cluster).
At the other end of the spectrum (bring your chequebook) are the tools we use in the shop - though these high end tools only work with OBD2. Code reading is only a small portion of their capabilities. PID (Parameter Indication Data) monitoring is a very useful diagnostic tool and may be offered in some midground scanners. Adding bells and whistles, we can get Active Command Mode where we can tell the module to activate an output for testing purposes. Graphing capabilities, relative compression, cylinder contribution.... whoops, now I'm getting into things that the handyman (or woman) can only lust for.
One that I was looking at back before I returned to dealership work can be seen at . http://www.autotap.com/ . I don't think it does active commands but it does look like a fairly powerful tool. You might consider sharing it with a close friend or family member to help defray some of the cost - once you add the cost of enhanced data and such it can get spendy. Also, it doesn't do CAN protocol networks... Most 05 Fords and 03 and newer diesel SuperrDuties use CAN networking.
HTH No, I don't work for AutoTap... I've never even used AutoTap.... it just looks like a pretty skookum tool.

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Thank you very much. Yours is the kind of input I was hoping to get. I had a look at the site and will explore it more over the weekend.
Thanks again.

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