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1998 Eldorado. Northstar "Y" code
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In the market for a DTC reader to use on my 1998 Eldorado. Got an Innova 3150 from Amazon and then discovered the lack of USB connectivity. It came with a 9 pin serial plug. Software CD was already outdated and wouldn't even mount on Vista. Couldn't find any recent updates on Innova's site. No reply to an email inquiry. It will be on it's way back to the vendor soon.
Looking for a reasonably priced unit that's USB updatable, possibly with the ABS capability. I'm not a pro by any means, but like to have an idea of what's happening with the vehicle to see if I can handle it on my own or send out to fix. We also have a 2010 Ford FX4, a 2007 Mustang GT and a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe in the house.
Anyone have good experiences with units priced $200 or lower? Thank you.
Update: The Amazon vendor (eToolDirect) was super to work with. I sent the Innova back today. They'll credit me, waive restocking fee and ship me another brand for the price difference. Going to try an Actron CP9580.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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72,802 Posts
Your car already has a built-in DTC reader/scanner/memory, but there may be hoops to jump through to connect it to a laptop. The test port is hot at all times.

Study the sticky post at the top of this Seville/Eldorado Forums page - "How to pull codes". Practice, write them all down noting whether each is Current or History, then return to the sticky and open the URL with "obd2" in the address. That will take you to a Master Index of links to all P,B,C, and U codes.
 

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99 STS, White Diamond
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792 Posts
9-pin serial connection seems to be the most common for similar scanners. Serial-to-USB adapters are easy to find and not very expensive.

I've been fairly pleased with my scan tool from AutoEnginuity www.autoenginuity.com The basic software for the unit can read common codes and perform a number of emissions-related functions for any car--enhanced software for each car make allows it to read nearly all DTCs and monitor a large number of functions that are quite useful and interesting. You can also access "snapshots" that are made when some DTCs are set. It can make a very limited number of commands to the car as well.

My main complaint is that it ignores DTCs that it does not put into "human language" and will report "no codes" when they are in fact set.
 

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1998 Eldorado. Northstar "Y" code
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'll be trying the Actron because the 98 Eldorado falls within the ABS capability of the machine.
The Equus Innova just seemed a little behind the times to me. The serial connector instead of USB as well as the already outdated software CD that came with the unit soured me on the brand. Copyright on the CD was 2008 and a laptop with Vista would not mount the disk.
What I'm hoping for is that any future updates to the unit will be available online for easy download. I'm not looking to plug the unit into the computer to analyze and data for the time being.
Thanks for the heads up on utilizing the "internal" DTC reader, submariner.
 

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1997 Cadillac STS (BOSE w/AUX In, Massage Seats, URPAS, "Z")
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6,405 Posts
As it was stated for your Cadillac an aftermarket code reader is USELESS, the most expensive you can find is not as good as the one integrated in the car, but if you have other vehicles then you need one for those (not for the Cadillac).
The ONLY reader better than the car reader is a TechII (but is about $4000) and unless you are a Cadillac (GM) dealership you don't need one.
Here are detailed instructions how to use your car code reader.
 

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99STS,2004 Jeep Liberty Renegade,98 Deville RIP
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1,054 Posts
When looking at a scantool you get what you pay for. Our Caddies come with a very good integrated code reader and the earlier models allowed you to change settings and interface more with the car. From 98 and up on the Seville and 2000 and up on the Deville, GM took that option to make changes away now all you are left with is a code reader, albiet a very good one that will read all modules. Notwithstanding that it does have limititions, It will not display a pending code only codes that are history or current. The price point that you are looking at will not give you more than engine codes and maybe the abs on some models. For 599 you can move up to a OTC nemisys which will read all modules and do all the cars that you have in your fleet. For 999 you can move up to a Genisys that is fully bidirectional and will allow you to reflash the modules, this will cost you a little bit more as you buy the reflash on a case by case basis. This scantool will also give you the pending codes as well as all codes that are present. Both of these will work on all the cars in your family. One note however, while its nice to know the code, it is equally important to know what to do to fix it and for that you need the info and for that the best place would be alldata. Good hunting
 
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