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Old 10-05-2006, 06:53 AM   #15
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Furthing reading...

For anyone else interested in more info, here's a website I found devoted to OBD-II...

http://www.obdii.com/
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Old 10-05-2006, 07:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john hd
has anyone figured out how to connect a vehicle to a PC yet?

i know the cables are available obd2 to serial port.

how about software?

john
Yes and yes. Here is an example:

http://www.autotap.com/product_family.asp?FamilyId=260
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Old 10-05-2006, 08:11 AM   #17
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Some auto parts stores will read codes for free - at least Autozone here in Austin will...

- Mark
Austin, TX
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Old 10-05-2006, 09:10 AM   #18
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Harbor freight has a big sale this week. Also check this out..looks interesting;

http://www.carmd.com/
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Old 10-05-2006, 11:21 AM   #19
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If you want" Road Test " capability ,you need a scan tool with data stream
features and capture mode ,or freeze frame capbility,so as to capture the
trouble hopefully on a drive cycle .If the service engine soon lite flashes
steadily and the engine is running poorly ,say a 2001 suburban 5.3 or a
(97 5.7 vortec ,common injection problems ),the catalytic converter is in
immediate danger of damage and will need to be replaced if left alone .
The owners manual clearly states if the light flashes ,go to nearest service
center dealership ,really ,get it towed there.OBD II has valuable information right at your finger tips with a good scantool ,but if the light is on ,find out
why ,don't wait if the vehical is running badly as it can be costly.

Scott
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Old 10-05-2006, 12:20 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD
Harbor freight has a big sale this week. Also check this out..looks interesting;

http://www.carmd.com/
Car MD is more for the person who doesn't fix their vehicles themselves. Don't get me wrong -- there is nothing wrong with the tool -- but it does seem to be geared more toward "knowing if there is a problem", thru the use of green-yellow-red lights, so you can know whether or not you need to go to your mechanic. It also offers a feature where you can double check the mechanic's diagnosis against their diagnosis of the problem. Additionally, you are allowed up to two code decryptions per month. I can decrypt codes myself for free by going to: http://www.obd-codes.com/index.php
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Old 10-05-2006, 12:42 PM   #21
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What's KAN ? I also see reference to CAN (Canadian extensions to OBD-II?). I think some of the scanners will work with OBD-I which is nice if you own any "older" rigs. But the mfgs used different plugs and the stinking cable for each brand can give you sticker shock. For the OBD-I on my '86 Ford I just break out the old analog VOM and count the swings of the needle. Sort of like using the telegraph to work on the stage coach.


With a teenager about to take "driver safety" being able to call up the max speed might be useful

-Bernie
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Old 10-05-2006, 01:50 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna
1) the "key in ignition" chimes go off for about a minute;
2) the check engine light is always on and flashes intermittently;
3) the brake and the ABS lights are now on continuously.
Now you've done it. Been watching this thread this morning and everyone’s comments are on target. Once you mentioned that you want to look at ABS problems now you need a factory Tech 2. You may have a power supply problem, seperate issues, or a communications fault between the control modules.
OBD II is a government protocol for emissions. No one on the GM side of the shop has ever seen an aftermarket OBD scanner that does ABS or body scans. One place that was recommended for domestic cars is Moates.net
http://www.moates.net/mxscan-standard-p-125.html but I didn't drill through the site to check everything.
The main problem is that while OBD is the lowest common denominator, all the manufactures have their own software, addresses and network standards for everything else that are on the network busses in the cars. Our VWs and Audis have up to 5 networks and over 50 addressable control modules.

This may change in the future as the Feds are going to require stability programs by 2012 so I expect that to be cross compatable.
Rosstech http://www.ross-tech.com/ has cables and software to connect a laptop, like John HD was looking for, to a vehicle and is used by a number of import techs with good results. There may be plugins for domestics but I don't know for sure.
In any event you will be spending some serious cash so be sure you research everything fully.
Good Luck,

Tom.
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Old 10-05-2006, 06:36 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna
...when I first turn the truck on, there are multiple warnings:

1) the "key in ignition" chimes go off for about a minute;
2) the check engine light is always on and flashes intermittently;
3) the brake and the ABS lights are now on continuously.
The #2 from above is solved for now. A co-worker hooked his OBD-II scanner into my truck today and there was only one diagnostic code -- P0300: cylinder misfire. To make a long story short, I had no symptoms of cylinder misfiring (i.e., engine stumbling or hesitating) so a recommended first step is to simply reset the code and see if it comes back. We reset the code at noon time and I have driven 50 miles (city & hiway) since and the light hasn't come back on. If that doesn't work, then comes the fun of working thru the checklist of ignition system items (i.e., spark plugs, wires, coil pack, etc.). I'm happy though as we have a place to start testing.

But, I'm getting off my own topic now.

Does anyone else out there have any OBD-II recommendations / reviews to share?
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Old 10-05-2006, 07:16 PM   #24
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Not entirely off topic as this points out the advantage of having a scanner that can record information while driving. Besides something being wrong with the car a bad tank of gas would also result in a misfire. Rather strange that the light didn't reset itself? Some, prehaps all OBD-II systems record the time of the occurance. For codes like this it would be worth a few extra $$$ to have a scanner that coughs up that information.

-Bernie
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Old 10-05-2006, 07:48 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhayden
...Besides something being wrong with the car a bad tank of gas would also result in a misfire. Rather strange that the light didn't reset itself? ...
Actually, I should have mentioned that I remember what I was doing when the engine light came on. The incident happened one week after the "$100 fuel cap diagnosis" incident which I mentioned in my first post. I accidently put the truck in neutral, instead of drive, and stomped on the gas. The check engine light came on immediately after that. So I'm thinking the over revving of the engine must have turned on the light. I'm surprised it didn't reset itself if that was the cause.
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Old 10-05-2006, 09:03 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna
Actually, I should have mentioned that I remember what I was doing when the engine light came on. The incident happened one week after the "$100 fuel cap diagnosis" incident which I mentioned in my first post. I accidently put the truck in neutral, instead of drive, and stomped on the gas. The check engine light came on immediately after that. So I'm thinking the over revving of the engine must have turned on the light. I'm surprised it didn't reset itself if that was the cause.
Sounds like a P0219--Engine overspeed. If you have a Ford it would say RPM limit exceeded.
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Old 10-05-2006, 09:29 PM   #27
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A po300 does indeed mean there was a misfire ,many minor misfires are detected and codes stored ,a flashing MIL light is cause for concern .Tom is
correct on ABS / body diagnostics ,one scantool cannot do it all .I could use really 2 dealer level scantools along with my Genesys for sure .The MIL lite
usually does not reset until multiple drive cycles and the PCM does not see
the condition and decides all is well and turns off the light on its own ,but
usually its a trip to the dealer or a reputable shop for diagnosis ,and clearing the code.My Genesys does do some GM ABS as Ive been able to do diagnostics on some GM vehicals with good results ,but not all .All OBD II
vehicals I service have the same plug ,one cable needed for regular engine
powertrain diagnostics ,before 96 manafacturers do have different diagnostic
connectors requiring different cables .Any way its good to be able to do some
diagnostics on your vehical .Vertronics makes good scan tools .If you want to get in to good diagnostics ,invest some money into a good unit .

Scott
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Old 10-05-2006, 09:39 PM   #28
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What a great topic! I have read this with interest because our check engine light also comes on periodically. We do not know the code but we have checked the gas cap and that seems to correct the issue. The problem mostly comes with towing and changes in altitude.
The light does not flash so I feel some comfort in that. But this thread has taught me that I can read the codes and use the OBD2 info for for my own benefit. So I ordered the ElmScan ISO Scan Tool from ScanTool.net and downloaded some open source software for the Palm and will use this for my code reader. It also shows some realtime data and can do some charting but mostly it reads the code and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

The software for the palm (and some windows stuff as well) was from SanTool.net's web siet and the one I will be using is http://www.qcontinuum.org/obdgauge/.
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