OBD scanner recommendations

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I'm looking for recommendations for an OBDII scanner that is known to work for Honda and hopefully Acura, 2004 Accord and 2009 MDX (prefer one that can read ABS codes). Not one of the "professional series"
models that costs a small fortune, as I don't intend on using it for a living.
Any recommendations?
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Stewart wrote:

not for ABS, but the AutoLink AL319 is a newer version of what I own. It's the size of a "code reader" but shows streaming data too. I'd say 90% of the time it's all I need to get started. (I always need GOOD wiring diagrams and my DVOM next)
GW
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wrote:

Geez, I don't know nertz about these, but I just Googled it and see prices from $38 to $90.
I can barely so much as find the hood release on new cars much less do anything with what I find inside, but should a citizen own one of these things just in case? How useful, or entertaining, is it?
J.
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I have a "cheapie" model that works for American cars, but I get com errors in the Honda with it. I've tried a lower-mid range Actron unit and that didn't work wither. It may be that I have an issue with my port, but one of the mechanics at work mentioned that these things are not as "standard" as one would think, and he has experienced com errors in the past with certain cars.
Since I have a Honda and an Acura, so I figured that I'd try to get one that covered both.....the ABS/TCS/Brake lights are on in the Honda now and I'm thinking it might be a speed sensor, but if I can't get a scanner to work I'll either jump out the connector (as shown on multiple youtube videos) or I'll just take it in to a local shop and let them deal with it (a local trustworthy shop is available).

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Stewart wrote:

IME, if your Honda/Acura models are self=diagnosing for ABS, do that first. More times than I can count, even using a Snap-On MODIS ($8000) after spending ten minutes to get the damn thing up and running, it would say "retrieve codes manually" for ABS on various makes and models.
As for "no comm" issues, I have only ever seen that when the car had a connector/ECM problem, or the cable on the scan tool was going bad.
Standard /IS/ standard.
GW
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Just passing along what has been told to me in a discussion with someone that repairs hundreds of vehicles. I've seen a lot of supposed "standards" over the years in manufacturing, so without any other information to the contrary I'm inclined to believe his experiences.
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Stewart wrote:

the OBDII standard is federal law in the USA, but believe what you want GW
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On 07/30/2013 07:51 PM, Geoff Welsh wrote:

yeah, but lobbying has neutered the intention and content of that law. yes, there are tier one codes which are universal, but there are also non-standard tier two and proprietary codes now. it makes mockery of the original point behind obd.
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On 07/29/2013 09:32 PM, JRStern wrote:

everybody that owns an 96 or newer vehicle should own one of these tools.
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wrote:

I use OBDWiz software which runs on a laptop, the connector is from Elmscan. It works just fine on an 06 Civic and an 03 Maxima. See Amazon link below.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)57821764&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand 29767232904882577&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_7kdop9xvho_e
Al Moodie.
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Thanks Al, I think I'll try one of these. Of course I'll have to dust of the old windoze boot up on the laptop and bypass the ubuntu....
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On 07/30/2013 04:09 PM, Stewart wrote:

there are linux obd readers dude. dags.
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Understood, but I'd prefer one that by first hand experience is known to work with Honda. I understand there are no gaurantees/caveat emptor and all of that other "stuff"...but I'll do what I can to mitigate risk.

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On 07/31/2013 06:05 PM, Stewart wrote:

the most important functions are reading the code, and resetting errors. all the rest is gravy.
for the most part, honda are fairly kosher in the code dept - i.e., they use the iso protocol and give you the code number. and there are no problems with other important real time diagnostic functions like coolant temps, throttle opening, speed, rpm, air temps, fuel trim, etc.
the only real "problem" software has is on tier two codes, because the same number can mean completely different things, depending on manufacturer. but even then, most of those you can find online.
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wrote:

As I said in my previous post, the OBDWiz software DOES work with my Honda Civic 06, I assume it will work wth most if not all Hondas.
Background: I had a difficult start problem with this car, always 3-4-5 cranks to fire, sometimes more. Eventually it failed to start at all.. I used the OBDWiz oftware to look for faults, there were none. Various people on various sites recommended I take the car to a Honda Dealer as they had BETTER diagnostic tools. Took it to our l;ocal Honda dealer, their tools could not find any trouble codes either. Even had the diagnostic software live linked to Honda HQ in CA, and they couldn't find any codes either. Leads me to believe that the OBDWiz software is more than adequate for most diagnostic needs.
My Honda dealer eventually told me the engine had broken the key which connects the camshaft sproket to the camshaft. I am an enmgineer with many years experience with auto repair so I asked to see the damage, really nothing to see, absolute bullshit story. They recommended a replacement engine - $5500 fitted. I had the car towed home and eventually traced the fault to a connector in the ignition harness.
To add insult to injury, while they had the car on the lift, some clumsy mechanic dented the drivers door on the lift upright, a gouge down to the metal. The workshop foreman came rushing up with some burnishing compound to BUFF out the dent - pathetic.
They "fixed" this dent by throwing some epoxy at it (you can still feel the indentation with your hand) and spray painted the fix with what I can only assume was a can of paint bought at Autozone. There is a 9" disscolred mark in the middle of the door. Looks like I will have to take them to small claims court to get the matter settled. Some much for Honda dealers. </rant>
Al Moodie.
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On 08/01/2013 05:48 AM, Al Moodie wrote:

that's the big problem with obd systems - it dumbs people down. they're great for some things, but when there's no code, or when the obd diagnostic itself is in error, people just don't know what to do any more.
example, on my old honda, and the generation after, there's an official honda tsb about coolant temp and the auto transmission lockup clutch. in cold weather, the lockup clutch won't work for a really long time, if at all. according to the tsb, it's a thermostat problem or an ecu problem. in reality, it's a gear selector switch problem. the ecu is looking for a contact to be closed to say it's in top gear and thus can go into lockup when the coolant reaches temperature. but in cold weather, the grease in the switch freezes and contact is never made. clean and re-grease the switch, and the problem goes away. but there's no code, and no mention of this in the honda paperwork. they only way you'd know is to go back to basics and figure out how the thing works in the first place.
similarly, if you have a famous honda main relay problem, you'll get an "injector fault" code, and shops will replace all the injectors and even the ecu in the wild goose chase this erroneous code triggers. but fix the relay, and you fix the problem.

small claims works great. they'll bitch, moan and resist all the way up until that point, but once the papers are filed, they'll pay like lightening to avoid a negative judgment - because there's no question about cause.
if you were ever to consider re-doing this repair yourself, use a hard backed sanding block - like a piece of wood. soft ones like the rubber blocks distort slightly on lumps, and so they never cut the lumps away like they should. the factory matched spray cans you can get online can give really great results - if you follow the instructions on the cans. i did a door panel on my crx, took my time over a couple of weeks, used several layers with cutting and buffing, and the results were great - you really couldn't tell after about a month - the color match merged right on.
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wrote:

air fuel spark
it's just not that hard.
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wrote:

That's really interesting, more convenient than my OBDWiz software and laptop.
Al Moodie.
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On 8/2/2013 4:51 AM, Al Moodie wrote:

What's nice is that you can leave the OBD-II adapter plugged in all the time (as long as you don't have one of Flo's "Snapshot" devices plugged in there!). The app is on your phone (or tablet, or both) so you always have the OBD-II tool with you.
Torque Pro is an amazingly well done app. I had to clean a valve on my daughter's car and the procedure explained that the process would activate the check engine light. Didn't have to dig out my old OBD-II tool, could clear the fault code with my Android phone.
One nice feature of Torque Pro is the ability to set alarms when sensors detect a problem since it's always reading the sensors. I.e. you can set an alarm (talking) if the vehicle is overheating.
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wrote:

huh, that's seriously amusing, real uses for cheap, unactivated smart phones! bet one can find a bunch of other uses, hmm, ... as long as they have some other way to load apps.
J.
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