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Old 08-23-2010, 07:57 AM   #1
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Red face Back on scanners

I'm still struggling with my decision on buying a scanner and, if I do, which one to get. (I know...some people just can't make up their minds )

This is a partial excerpt from a thread from about 3 years ago:

"The OBDII Codes are a Standard created by the SAE (Soc. of Automotive Engineers) - they are the same. They are properly referred to as DTCs (diagnostic trouble codes) and are all 5-digits.

Within this mandated Standard, a Manufacturer has the ability to set proprietary codes or sub-codes, meaning that a generic DTC can have multiple meanings albethey related. The 1st digit identifies the type of code. There are 3 variations: 'P' (Powertrain), 'B' (Body) and 'C' (Chasis). A 'P' code means that it is powertrain related.

The next digit identifies the DTC as either an SAE code or a Manufacturers proprietary code or FCs (Fault Codes). This will either be a 0 - SAE or 1 - Porsche specific code - FC.

The 3rd digit refers to a specific System or value within the DTC type. 0 -Total System. 1 - Air/Fuel Induction, 2 - Fuel Injection, 3 - Ignition System or misfire, 4 - Aux. Emissions Control, 5 - Vehicle Speed/Idle Control, 6 - ECM Input/Output, 7 - Transmission.

The final digit refers to a specific component or condition within the defined System.

So, the code P1275 means: P Powertrain, 1 Porsche subcode, 2 Fuel Injection, 5 Pre-catalyst OČ Sensor, Bank 1-3.

Now, the software version of the ECU (DME in Porsche Speak) allows for greater/lesser subgroups based on it's sophistication and memory. Version 5.2.2 allows fewer specific parameters than does version 7.2 or 7.8.

To read these subgroups, you need a Porche specific code reader (PST2 or PIWI). But, several lists of these codes are available through any number of sources such as the Workshop Manual or the Bentley Service Manual.

Originally posted by MNBoxster.
Per the recommendation of several members (and from other folks as well), I'm leaning towards getting an inexpensive scanner for a couple of reasons. One is that we have the internet and can get info on codes that come up with a scanner that doesn't have all the bells and whistles as far as providing diagnostic information. For another thing, I'm not altogether sure I'm going to be able to interpret the info gathered from a high-priced scanner without getting on the internet and asking around anyway. And finally, as mentioned above, the scanners I'm considering at this point are...well, inexpensive.

However, looking at the description above (by the OP) and looking at the Actron description of its various scanners (specifically the CP 9125), they indicate that they don't do "manufacturer specific code definitions." Does that mean such a scanner would only read/display codes in the format of P0xx and not any codes in the format of P1xx?? Or is the word "definition" the key here, ie the less expensive scanners will give the code but won't elaborate with additional information about it?

So, for example, the code he was discussing in that thread (P1275). Would the less expensive scanners (like the Actron 9125) be able to display such a code (although without additional useful information), or would it not even be able to display such a code at all?

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Old 08-23-2010, 08:05 AM   #2
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No, I have the cheap Actron pocket scanner, and it still read my P1128 and cleared it for me. Don't worry...just get it.
Current: 07 Carrera S Cab in Midnight Blue

Previous: 01 Boxster in Arctic Silver, 86 944 in Guards Red
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:15 AM   #3
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I don't have a pocket scanner, but I'll add one thing for your consideration:

Their ability to be used on multiple vehicles, in my mind, outweighs the potential inconvenience of having to dig up the exact result of a particular porsche-specific code once or twice.

Further, to my knowledge, SAE is not currently working on any new coding system...so such a unit should have a longer useful life.

Just my take...
99 Boxster 5spd - 64k miles

06 Civic SI - 114k miles, D.D., unbelievably reliable and fun to beat on everyday.

08 Legacy GT 5spd - 74k miles.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:40 AM   #4
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I use this one:


very happy with it...

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