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Old 10-26-2006, 06:59 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSHED
I don't recommend trying to read the raw hex messages in real time; it takes some practice and kind of freaks people out.
It's kind of like a psuedo Matrix thing, for want of a better description.
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Old 10-26-2006, 08:40 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSHED
...I don't recommend trying to read the raw hex messages in real time; it takes some practice and kind of freaks people out...
Ha...now that sounds like it is right up my alley! I used to be an assembly language programmer and I even still have my hex calculator.
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Old 10-26-2006, 10:03 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by bhayden
So how does this shake out for the home mechanic?
If you just want basic information/codes to determine if something is abnormal and if it needs to be taken to a mechanic or might possibly be a home fix is a basic OBDII scanner all you need?
From my point of view the average home mechanic will do just fine with a generic OBDII scanner. Most have the skills to do the simpler repairs of replacing dead O2s, correcting ignition related misfires and the array of commonly generated DTCs.
I feel that the cost of higher end scanners and manufacturer specific software pacs to fit into the pro scanners is much greater than the 1/2 hour door rate to check and give the owner an idea of what repairs are needed. Trying to determine which protocal, baud rate, PC, laptop or Palm OS, binary or hexidec output is best; is akin to asking computer geeks what graphics card is the best to pair with an new processer.
Here in Illinois every emissions test for '96 and up is only tested thru OBD. No dyno or tailpipe check.
Quick, what's the procedure for resolving a sporadic long term part throttle fuel mixture adaptation fault when there is an overlying catalyst efficency fault? Could you do that on your driveway? Most of the pros posting here will tell you that there is nothing more annoying than a customer who "helped you out" by putting in new plugs and pulling the ECM fuse in and out to make the light go out.
Mind you. I'm not here to mock the efforts of people who are working on their vehicles in their own garage. In fact I would encourage more people to take an active part in maintaining their cars. Knowledge is power.
If you want to wade deeper into the murky waters of more advanced car repair then spend the bucks on a pro scanner, read the manuals and do the research. But, know when to stop. In this state you can get an emissions waiver after you have spent a certain amount of cash and have had an authorized repair facility fill out the form detailing what repairs were done. Showing up with a handfull of reciepts from the auto parts joint won't get you very far with smog police.

Oh well, just the ramblings of a tired old tech whose up past his bedtime. Have to rest up this week, because I'm sure when I go back next week there'll be a pile of ROs with MILs on waiting to be checked out.

Tom.
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Old 10-26-2006, 11:33 PM   #74
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All this talk of hex mesages,real time and binary business is just going to
be confusing to the average person ,so forget all that stuff and get a good
scanner to use for codes and some data stream (not only for drive tests either )you use it for all diagnostics as I have posted a few times already,no need to get involved in the really technical details as most will be lost immediately.
Keep it on a simpler level ,without the proper training and skills in this type
of automotive repairs can get you into buying parts you don't need and be
confused ,its not that easy as it sounds ,example ,95 e150 ford van 5.0
engine ,has 4 codes stored ,0-2 sensor rich full on ,open loop only ,run
data scan to find this information ,temp is correct 195degrees hot ,fuel trim
is normal ? hmm ,then from noting 0-2 at rich .93v ,check fuel pressure ,
80 psi ,should be 40 to 45 ,turn engine off ,fuel pressure drops to 0 ,should
hold for 15 minutes ,replace pressure regulator ,now 45 psi ,look at scan
data ,closed loop immediately ,0-2 switching fast high and low ,not fixed,
rich codes are gone as are the other ones that were stored by the PCM due
to the pressure regulator failure ,no parts bought in reference to any codes.
The van ran good before ,but mileage was down .so the data is of great importance in diagnostic work ,most 0-2 codes would have folks going out and buying a new sensor ,this had an 0-2 code also ,did not need it .I use
0-2 readings and fuel trim figures all the time when working on a fuel related
issue .As far as the cat inefficiency problem ,to much fuel as on the e150
van will destroy the catalyst and this van will need one ,also if you run your
0-2 tests to see whats going on as I did with this van (0-2 fixed rich .93v)
it will help you quickly to distinguish between different types of problems
and not get lost looking in the wrong place .the story is that some at home
diagnostics can be done and alot simply cannot without the knowledge and
capable scan tool to correctly diagnose a vehical ,its simply not that simple.
you need to be able to know what your looking at and how to interprit the
information .

Scott
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Old 10-27-2006, 06:20 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottanlily
...the story is that some at home
diagnostics can be done and alot simply cannot without the knowledge and
capable scan tool to correctly diagnose a vehical ,its simply not that simple.
you need to be able to know what your looking at and how to interprit the
information .
So, what "capable" scan tool would you recommend?
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Old 10-28-2006, 01:27 AM   #76
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Well ,I use the Genesys for my automotive business ,its too expensive for
what I think most here want . There is one good looking tool from a proffesional stand point is the auto xray called the codeScout 700 ,it has good code retrieval and supports IM READINESS can be used for checking
before smog checks and is for 96 and newer ,I don't know how much data
stream capability it has .Mac Tools has the TaskMaster for OBD-I and II
vehicals and is a mid range scan tool ,and also have 3 good scan tools
in a lower price range ,Preceptor Elite for about 550 dollars and the TaskMaster is around 1100 bucks ,does ABS,airbag, trans,engine .So those
there are some good choices ,I think the Mac tools TaskMaster is what I
would consider to buy for more extensive testing and diagnostic work ,it
will allow you to go farther than most simpler code readers .Mac tools are
sold by independent dealers in mobile tool trucks and probably can get info
either local or online .The bottom line is to see what the scan tool can do .
Vertronix is another company that offers scantool from right here in SB CA .
I would look into the MAC scan tools myself first ,there are about 4 types
each under the MAC Mentor (technician level and expensive)from the
TaskMaster down to the simple code reader .

Scott
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Old 12-17-2006, 03:25 PM   #77
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Epilogue

I wanted to give an update to my ODB-2 reader story.
I will recap from before so you don't have to reread my earlier posts on this.

I ordered the ODB-2 reader from Scantool.net. That was 59 dollars. You have to make sure that you get the specific version for your vehicle and they have a page on Scantool.net to help determine which one you need. Note: I should have done that in the first place because I would have gotten the right one the first time. But they are good folks and took back the one I got for the correct model.

Although I have a palm pilot (an old one but it works perfectly) I bought a Palm IIIc for 10 dollars on eBay. You can use a laptop if you want but Palms are so cheap now that they make the perfect interface. I got a null modem (fancy word for a little connector gadget) from Radio Shack for a couple of bucks.

I downloaded OBD Gauge which is free software that reads the codes and displays realtime information from the ODB-2 computer.

End result - for about 80 bucks I have a scanner/code reader and re-setter for our Hummer. It is really quite neat - showing things like throttle position, calculated horsepower in percent, coolant temp and tons of sensor data. And should a code come in I can read it and reset it myself. and not just the code but what it actually means. Plus, it will record data which you can download to your computer and graph if you are into that sort of thing.

You can bet the next time we tow I will have that plugged in and watching how we do.
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Old 05-25-2007, 11:38 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Nugler
Good news. Nothing seriously wrong with the brakes. And your techs did a good job of backtracking thru the old TSBs.
It makes sense that a blower motor could backfeed a wave signature when winding down. I'm not at work this week so won't read the TSB, but I can guess that a funky body ground is behind this somewhere. These are the cause of numerous hair pulling, foul language and lost time.
Ok, I have some updates. Just returned from dealer (again) and he indicates the ABS control module is defective because it won't accept the programming changes. Does that sound right? We are talking about a $450 part here.
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Old 05-25-2007, 05:20 PM   #79
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Usually when we have problems recoding or updating software levels it's due to communication problems on the data bus or insufficient voltage at the module.
Asked the GM guys if they had seen this problem and they said it wasn't uncommon.
Hopefully the techs have run through this completely because a new control module will have to be programed with the codes applicable to the vehicle. Maybe they are thinking that the problems are inside the module itself and are hoping they will be able to solve this problem with the new part.
I just recently had a module on the power train bus with an internal data comm. problem. It made the anti-theft system lock out the PCM and kept the car from starting.
Hope this finally resolves this problem,
Tom.
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Old 05-25-2007, 07:22 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Nugler
Usually when we have problems recoding or updating software levels it's due to communication problems on the data bus or insufficient voltage at the module.
Asked the GM guys if they had seen this problem and they said it wasn't uncommon.
Hopefully the techs have run through this completely because a new control module will have to be programed with the codes applicable to the vehicle. Maybe they are thinking that the problems are inside the module itself and are hoping they will be able to solve this problem with the new part.
I just recently had a module on the power train bus with an internal data comm. problem. It made the anti-theft system lock out the PCM and kept the car from starting.
Hope this finally resolves this problem,
Tom.
Thanks for checking with your GM guys on this. Are you certain we will have to program the codes for our vehicle? When the parts guy ordered the part for me, he needed the last 8 digits of my VIN to insure he had the correct part for my truck.

Anyhow, I picked up the part this afternoon and we will install it over the weekend. <fingers crossed>
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Old 05-25-2007, 10:35 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by yukionna
Thanks for checking with your GM guys on this. Are you certain we will have to program the codes for our vehicle? When the parts guy ordered the part for me, he needed the last 8 digits of my VIN to insure he had the correct part for my truck.

Anyhow, I picked up the part this afternoon and we will install it over the weekend. <fingers crossed>
Most OBDII electronics require being programmed, or "flashed". The most I have had to do with an ABS module was set the pinion count, on a Chrysler.
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Old 05-31-2007, 06:53 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by yukionna
Thanks for checking with your GM guys on this. Are you certain we will have to program the codes for our vehicle? When the parts guy ordered the part for me, he needed the last 8 digits of my VIN to insure he had the correct part for my truck.

Anyhow, I picked up the part this afternoon and we will install it over the weekend. <fingers crossed>
OK...here's an update on the ABS situation with our truck. I have now confirmed that the EBCM was bad and did need to be replaced. Hubby installed the new module last weeked and it took him 15 minutes to replace the part. As it turns out, the only programming needed was to recalibrate the module with the size of the tires. Well, it just so happened we needed new tires too so when I mentioned this to the tire warehouse guy, he programmed the module at no addition cost.

I'm still scratching my head though at the price quoted to me by my GM dealership for replacing the EBCM -- $850 (with four hours of labor). We paid $450 for the part and it took Brian 15 minutes to install it start to finish. And, Brian is on crutches with a broken kneecap and didn't use a car lift whereas the dealership has able bodied mechanics working under car lifts. Go figure!

So, when the mechanic finishes a 4-hour job in 15 minutes and the car owner is charged for the 4 hours, who gets that extra money -- the mechanic or the car dealership???
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Old 05-31-2007, 06:59 PM   #83
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So, when the mechanic finishes a 4-hour job in 15 minutes and the car owner is charged for the 4 hours, who gets that extra money -- the mechanic or the car dealership???
The tire size program is basically the same as the pinion count on the Chrysler. Most techs get paid per flat rate hour, meaning they get paid for the 4 hours, even though it only took them 15 minutes to do. Kind of like an attorney, it is called "billable hours" to them.
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:34 AM   #84
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Pulled up the Alldata info on your truck. Shows 6 different EBCMs depending on your equiptment level with prices from $250.00 to $788.00. Labor is 1.3 hours for all.
I would like to think that they quoted the higher price not knowing which module you needed but the 4 hours is IMHO just plain wrong.
Even if I was having a bad week and needed to pad times I wouldn't have gone over 2.
Service writers are usually paid on commission so often push the envelope as hard as they can. This time it looks like he lost the whole job.
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