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.
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.
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
- Yes, I'm a crusty old geezer curmudgeon.. deal with it! -
Thanks for the comments. I did a google search for the Actron scanner (Pep
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.
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!
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.
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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