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Old 04-29-2011, 06:56 AM   #1
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Advice on Purchasing Code Scanner

I'm interested in purchasing a basic code scanner/diagnostics tool to have on hand for DIY projects . I've come across products by Actron, Innova and the like. Any recommendations on which one to buy ?

JD
p.s. The simpler the better .

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Old 04-29-2011, 07:11 AM   #2
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Depends upon where you are going; for Porsche only work, the Durametric system is you current best bet. For general purpose OBD II on multiple makes, Actron makes some great tools at very reasonable prices, but they cannot read or clear Porsche “protected code” areas (ABS, airbags, etc.), while the Durametric can, but cannot be used on non-Porsche vehicles…………
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFP in PA
Depends upon where you are going; for Porsche only work, the Durametric system is you current best bet. For general purpose OBD II on multiple makes, Actron makes some great tools at very reasonable prices, but they cannot read or clear Porsche “protected code” areas (ABS, airbags, etc.), while the Durametric can, but cannot be used on non-Porsche vehicles…………
For starters, I'm looking to clear a code (P0102) involving the MAF sensor. I don't imagine that I will ever have a need to address issues with the ABS, airbags ect... Will the Actron reset this code ?
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:18 AM   #4
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Yes. The areas where it won't work (protected codes) are all "saftey" related, such as ABS, PSM, PASM, airbags, etc. The Actron (as well as just about everyone else's OBD II scanners) also cannot activate the "drive modules" like the Durametric system can.
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:37 PM   #5
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I bought this one and works great.. on my Lexus, wifes Escalade, and the Porsche.. easy to use and not too expensive..



http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/CRAFTSMAN-87702-OBD2-DIAGNOSTIC-TOOL-BRAND-NEW-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem5643d68f02QQitemZ37050 5322242QQptZMotorsQ5fAutomotiveQ5fTools
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:42 AM   #6
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I've got an Actron that I purchased back in 2005. It works great on my 00 986, but it doesn't work on my wife's 07 BMW X3.
I've seen OBD II apps for my iPhone, and I am intrigued.

I've also got the Durametric, and I am a bit disappointed (got it with my Softronic reflash). Yeah, it does all of the OBD II stuff, and I can reset an airbag light, but I was hoping for more. It allows you to test many systems by activating them with the engine off, but it does not permit permanent deactivation of anything. I need to disable the spoiler mechanism (I've got the Aerokit II, so all of the factory moveable spoiler is gone), remove the door airbags, and get rid of the secondary air injection. All of that is beyond the Durametric programing.
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:17 AM   #7
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I purchased an Actron...does the job for me, though it is very basic. I use it more on the daily drivers than I do the Box, as it has never thrown a code.
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:48 AM   #8
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You can't get more basic or more portable (or cheaper) than the one I bought:

http://www.launchx431.ca/c-reader-iv.php

I paid $40
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:44 AM   #9
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There's a slew of no name brand scanners going for cheap on ebay. I wonder if any of them are acceptable for what I need it for ?


http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/OBD-II-SCANNER-OBD2-2-SCAN-TOOL-CODE-READER-OBDII-ENHAN-/380335464236?pt=Motors_Automotive_Tools&hash=item588dc29f2c#ht_8585wt_1167
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:42 PM   #10
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+1 Actron

I've had this a few years and it works for most issues. Neighbors and friends have borrowed it a few times too and they all give it a thumbs up. It's versatile and easy to use.
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Old 05-01-2011, 12:08 AM   #11
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for the money, Durametric really isn't much more than a generic hand scanner. it doesn't even do coding like activate/deactivate airbags or turn on the OBC.

check out VAG-COM for vw's/audis if you want to see what a pc-based scanner should be.

http://www.ross-tech.com/

using Vag-Com on a vw you can recode just about anything you can think of.

when Durametric is at the level of Vag-Com or the factory scan tool, i'll think about it.
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:19 AM   #12
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If you only need to clear the code and nothing else you could just disconnect the battery. In fact that might be a good idea anyway for a MAF sensor issue because you want the car to discard all its previous fuel trim adaptation values. Sometimes clearing the code with a scanner will do it but disconnecting the battery is guaranteed to force the car to relearn.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale_K
If you only need to clear the code and nothing else you could just disconnect the battery. In fact that might be a good idea anyway for a MAF sensor issue because you want the car to discard all its previous fuel trim adaptation values. Sometimes clearing the code with a scanner will do it but disconnecting the battery is guaranteed to force the car to relearn.

I would never recommend going that route; "dump" clearing of codes often leaves you knowing less than you did when you started. First, with out knowing what codes are involved, you are flying totally blind and trying to diagnose the car based upon guess work rather than facts. Often, there is more than one code, plus underlying "pending" codes that taken together will point you in a different diagnostic direction than you had planned.

We recently had a car in the shop who's owner had repeatedly replaced several different and expensive components in an attempt to end a persistent CEL; all without ever running a scan on the car. We scanned it, read two codes, did a $65 repair, and the CEl had not returned; and our bill was a small fraction of what he had already spent.
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Old 07-20-2015, 03:08 PM   #14
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Purchased two of the cheap chinese code readers. First one on ebay for $20 never worked. Second on NewEgg for $39 worked once and thereafter would not recognize connection to vehicle, even with the connection light at the connector lite and the laptop recogizing the USB connection to Durametric cable. This one also turned out to be junk. Going to have to cough up the $285 and get the real thing.
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Old 07-20-2015, 03:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerngl View Post
Purchased two of the cheap chinese code readers. First one on ebay for $20 never worked. Second on NewEgg for $39 worked once and thereafter would not recognize connection to vehicle, even with the connection light at the connector lite and the laptop recogizing the USB connection to Durametric cable. This one also turned out to be junk. Going to have to cough up the $285 and get the real thing.
Yes happens alot. Thanks for searching & reporting your experience. Durametric works great.
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Old 07-20-2015, 03:38 PM   #16
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give Durametric a call and ask they have any refurbished ones. Might save you a few $$
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:24 AM   #17
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give Durametric a call and ask they have any refurbished ones. Might save you a few $$
I have done a lot of searches and find conflicting data.

What can Durametric Enthusiast version do that an Actron tool (CP9135) cannot do?

I would like to diagnose which microsensor is failing in my 2001 Boxster S.

I would also like to see the count of over-revs on the car.

Finally, I would someday like to turn on the OBC.

Thanks!

John
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:30 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpc763 View Post
I have done a lot of searches and find conflicting data.

What can Durametric Enthusiast version do that an Actron tool (CP9135) cannot do?

I would like to diagnose which microsensor is failing in my 2001 Boxster S.

I would also like to see the count of over-revs on the car.

Finally, I would someday like to turn on the OBC.

Thanks!

John
If the sensor is in a "protected" sub system, the Actron cannot help you. It will also not read the over revs, or turn on the OBC. The correct Durametric system will do all of them.
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:35 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by JFP in PA View Post
If the sensor is in a "protected" sub system, the Actron cannot help you. It will also not read the over revs, or turn on the OBC. The correct Durametric system will do all of them.
Thanks for the quick reply. Can you tell me if a current "Enthusiast" durametric tool will give me the over-revs or the OBC?

From their website is the following:

"Differences

There are two main differences between the Enthusiast and Professional Kits:
The number of cars supported:
The Professional kits support an unlimited number of cars. The Enthusiast kits support up to three cars only. The limitation of the Enthusiast kit is based on the car's VIN - not model.
The Coding and Command Console features:
Beginning with Durametric version 6, Durametric supports the Coding and Command Console features. These features are included with the Professional kits only.
The Coding feature provides for the ability to enable or disable predefined features in the car such as airbags, daytime running lights, cruise control, and the rear spoiler where applicable.
The Command Console feature is a means of communicating with the control units using very low-level communications. This feature is very seldom used."

What I read is that "the ability to enable or disable predefined features in the car..." is what I want to do with the OBC so the Enthusiast version will not work. Is that an accurate interpretation?

Thanks, John
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Last edited by jpc763; 08-07-2015 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:46 AM   #20
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Yes, you can activate OBC via Durametric, and check on the over-revs if I am not mistaken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpc763 View Post
Thanks for the quick reply. Can you tell me if a current "Enthusiast" durametric tool will give me the over-revs or the OBC?

From their website is the following:

"Differences

There are two main differences between the Enthusiast and Professional Kits:
The number of cars supported:
The Professional kits support an unlimited number of cars. The Enthusiast kits support up to three cars only. The limitation of the Enthusiast kit is based on the car's VIN - not model.
The Coding and Command Console features:
Beginning with Durametric version 6, Durametric supports the Coding and Command Console features. These features are included with the Professional kits only.
The Coding feature provides for the ability to enable or disable predefined features in the car such as airbags, daytime running lights, cruise control, and the rear spoiler where applicable.
The Command Console feature is a means of communicating with the control units using very low-level communications. This feature is very seldom used."

What I read is that "the ability to enable or disable predefined features in the car..." is what I want to do with the OBC so the Enthusiast version will not work. Is that an accurate interpretation?

Thanks, John

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