Educate me on OBD-II code readers. I have heard that there are two levels
of readers, one level will only read codes, and the better machines can be
used to reset codes and do other programming. Is that true? Is there a
recommended reader that will do the more advanced reading? I am looking for
the home mechanic and don't want to spend the big bucks. But I am willing
to spend enough to get the right tool.
My take on the terminology :
Code readers only read and reset the light.
Code scanners will read the code, turn off the light, but also display real
time readings of sensors (great for o2 sensor graphing), freeze frame
readings (all the sensor readings at the time the code was set) and pending
codes (some codes need to happen a number of times before a light is set).
Readers are dirt cheap. ($30)
Scanners are more pricy and better if you get a software program to run on
your laptop (PDA) ($150)
Neither will allow any alteration to the PCM program.
To alter the PCM (tuning) and do scanning you need a program like hptuners.
Harbor Freight has a decent cheapie, on sale now for $39.95. You can get the
owner's manual from their site in PDF format. It reads the codes out three
then erases them if you don't disconnect it first.
The Auto X-Ray is a very good unit. Available at Checker, Auto Zone and
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