: Which OBD II reader should I get?



Brian in GA
11-04-12, 07:29 AM
First of all, I have no experience with this tool. The DIC is giving me a TC message and my engine light turned on last night. I'd like to read this thing, clear it and start figuring it out on my own.
It looks to me that there are cheapies out there that will read only, some you can read and clear and some that will read, clear, log runs in real time and hook up to my laptop.

Which one will be best for me? I would like to get something that will fill my needs as I become more knowledgeable about this subject, logging runs in real time seems like it will be very important to me as I already had a bout with an engine light while 3/4's the way down the strip but I had no way of telling what was happening.

Chime in and help please!! I'd like to go out and buy one today if I can find what I need in a store today. I'll buy online if it's truly in my best interest but it'll put me a few days out and the weather here is perfect right now!!!

As always, thank you in advance, I find these conversations most helpful in a community like this and always look forward to giving back as my knowledge base grows.

Brian

Brian in GA
11-04-12, 11:18 AM
OK, so I'm thinking this one may do wha I need and allow to grow with it. I am not looking for a tuning package at this time, I'll leave that to the pros for the time being. Any opinions on this unit?

http://www.amazon.com/3160B-Professional-CanOBDII-Diagnostic-Enhanced/dp/B001QIUGVI/ref=pd_sim_sbs_hi_1

garfin
11-04-12, 11:57 AM
I can't say enough about the Torque Pro app for Android phones. This will do everything you want it to... and probably more. It costs about $5.00. However, you need to get a bluetooth adaptor to plug into your OBD II port. There are some good ones out there that are inexpensive. Stay away from the $10.00 ones on eBay that are shipped from Asia.
If you don't have an Android device, there are similar apps for iPhones (Rev, DashCommand, CARbonga etc.)

Best regards,

Elie

tedcmiller
11-04-12, 03:10 PM
I am not a tuner or do I advocate tuning, but I have an Actron 9180. I bought it to replace the Actron unit that I had before when I found out that CAN capability was required on all new cars. Both Actron units would read all codes and reset anything. They will do a lot more, too. The 9180 is not made anymore, but the 9185 is a close substitute with increased capability. Actron units are available at Sears and PEP Boys. They are self-contained, and don't require a cell phone or other separate unit. That is my choice.

muohio
11-04-12, 05:43 PM
I use this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005NLQAHS/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00 plus Torque on my Android phone. Does a really good job and haven't had any problems. Where are you in Georgia? I may be able to help.

Brian in GA
11-04-12, 05:51 PM
I use this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005NLQAHS/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00 plus Torque on my Android phone. Does a really good job and haven't had any problems. Where are you in Georgia? I may be able to help.

Yes, I'm in Canton and I can get anywhere in the Atlanta area with ease. I think I have my brother talked into HP Tuners purchase splitting the cost. I have n iPhone, Torque is not supported by apple.

muohio
11-04-12, 05:52 PM
Yes, I'm in Canton and I can get anywhere in the Atlanta area with ease. I think I have my brother talked into HP Tuners purchase splitting the cost. I have n iPhone, Torque is not supported by apple.

I'm across 20 in Cumming. Let me know if you need something sooner and I can hook up my reader.

Brian in GA
11-04-12, 05:56 PM
I'm across 20 in Cumming. Let me know if you need something sooner and I can hook up my reader.

Awesome, thank you for the offer. We should get together regardless. I've met a couple of us sofar. I'm going to try and organize something, a small quick meet with all of us. Casual and quick.

oneman42
11-04-12, 06:49 PM
Brian, I hope I am not too late.
The OBD codes can be read/deleted by any OBD2 readers. Some of them will only display only the code and then you have to look up on their CD / internet to find out what your problem is. Some of them will read the code and explain it on the screen. For a few of them they can also read the KR (knock retard) which in our case is important, so you will need one that reads the extended parameters and usually you can buy one that is specific to Ford, GM or Chrysler. Usually the IAT (intake temp) is not part of the extended package but is generic.
The first character identifies identifies the system related to the trouble code.
P = Powertrain
B = Body
C = Chassis
U = Undefined
For a few of them you will need the cable and can be run from your laptop, others are self contained units.
http://www.scantool.net/software/
From the Pontiac Grand Prix forum this one is one of the best (laptop required): http://batauto.com/articles/AT/AutoTap_OBDII_for_Windows.shtml - and this can log the parameters while you are driving.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Equus-3150-Innova-ABS-Professional-Diagnostic-Code-Scanner/14644661?findingMethod=rr (I am using this one)
I am not familiar with the Android ones.
HTH,
George

Brian in GA
11-04-12, 07:46 PM
Brian, I hope I am not too late.
The OBD codes can be read/deleted by any OBD2 readers. Some of them will only display only the code and then you have to look up on their CD / internet to find out what your problem is. Some of them will read the code and explain it on the screen. For a few of them they can also read the KR (knock retard) which in our case is important, so you will need one that reads the extended parameters and usually you can buy one that is specific to Ford, GM or Chrysler. Usually the IAT (intake temp) is not part of the extended package but is generic.
The first character identifies identifies the system related to the trouble code.
P = Powertrain
B = Body
C = Chassis
U = Undefined
For a few of them you will need the cable and can be run from your laptop, others are self contained units.
http://www.scantool.net/software/
From the Pontiac Grand Prix forum this one is one of the best (laptop required): http://batauto.com/articles/AT/AutoTap_OBDII_for_Windows.shtml - and this can log the parameters while you are driving.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Equus-3150-Innova-ABS-Professional-Diagnostic-Code-Scanner/14644661?findingMethod=rr (I am using this one)
I am not familiar with the Android ones.
HTH,
George

Thanks for the post. oneman, I'll read up on these.

Thanks

TallGuyJ
11-14-12, 10:10 PM
Don't mean to hijack this thread but does the torque pro app have oil temperature and oil life on it? What about mpg? Does it have average or instantaneous?

garfin
11-14-12, 10:25 PM
Don't mean to hijack this thread but does the torque pro app have oil temperature and oil life on it? What about mpg? Does it have average or instantaneous?

Oil temp = yes
MPG, instantaneous and long term avg. = yes for both

Also transmission temperature, but I don't see oil life.

Best regards,

Elie

jb_bgg
11-15-12, 01:49 PM
Elie,

I did a Torque scan to obtain all available PIDs not standard. Found most of what I'm looking for (KR, timing advance, IAT2, trans and oil temp, etc.) but have not found differential oil temp. Since the DIC displays diff overheat we know there's a sensor there. Do you know which PID scans that?

Thank you!
jb

garfin
11-15-12, 03:31 PM
Elie,

I did a Torque scan to obtain all available PIDs not standard. Found most of what I'm looking for (KR, timing advance, IAT2, trans and oil temp, etc.) but have not found differential oil temp. Since the DIC displays diff overheat we know there's a sensor there. Do you know which PID scans that?

Thank you!
jb

Not a clue - but I see that you're already way-y-y ahead of me on the Torque message board trying to find an answer! :thumbsup:

Ian updates the program so frequently, I'd be surprised if the capability to communicate differential temperature isn't added sooner than later.

Thanks!

Best regards,

Elie

Houdini
11-15-12, 06:05 PM
jb, can you post up the PIDs/formulas that you found by doing the full scan so I can enter them manually?