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Discussion Starter #1
The time has come to own a code reader for home diagnostics. So what’s a good one for the home garage troubleshooter?
Thanks

Don J
 

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Depending on how much you are going to be doing, will lend to how fancy or expensive scanner you will need. I have a cheap one that I use on any of my stuff. I also have hand held tuners for several of my trucks and they will read the codes as well. I have them for both SSRs and my Duramax.

The big thing is if you need to read ABS codes or not. If not, you can get a general reader for less than $50. If you go to the next level and want to read ABS codes then it goes up in the 100-150 range for one. These are for tool store brands not the professional stuff like from the Tool Trucks.

Here is the one I have. I got from Northern tool for less than $40
 

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I bought this one and love it. It does Advanced Diagnostics on most everything. It uses your phone or tablet and stays updated via internet updates.


BlueDriver LSB2 Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone & Android




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
Are you able to view data from the roof door module?
Does it provide functional tests, example can you use the scanner to turn on cooling fans or raising and lowering window or roof on the SSR?
These would be some of the desired features beyond reading codes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Are you able to view data from the roof door module?
Does it provide functional tests, example can you use the scanner to turn on cooling fans or raising and lowering window or roof on the SSR?
These would be some of the desired features beyond reading codes.
So where would one find something like that, and could some old hot rodder figure out how to use it?
 

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I use BlueDriver. It found some codes on our Jag that the dealer didn't tell us about.
 

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I use BlueDriver. It found some codes on our Jag that the dealer didn't tell us about.
:(

If that Jag happens to have any Lucas components on it, from my experience years ago with British bikes...........no surprises you are showing some "codes".:p
 

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SSR Pit Crew
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My 1969 BSA motorcycle with its Lucas electrics was known as the infamous "Prince of Darkness". It did live up to its lineage.

Dave
 

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Same thing with Deloreans. 1st thing to update is remove ALL Lucas relays & install Bosch! That way you won't get locked inside the car on a hot day!
 

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Blue Driver for me also.

www.bluedriver.com
'Read and clear check engine codes, Enhanced Codes (e.g. ABS, Airbag, Transmission, etc.)'
 

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Blue Driver, I believe was around $100 and worth every penny. I have used countless times on all my vehicles, very easy to use.
Jeff
 

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So where would one find something like that, and could some old hot rodder figure out how to use it?
My hope was that some of the members that have purchased these would respond with what it could do and could not do based on the questions i posted. I am spoiled with the access i have with scan tools through the college so i cannot answer this question.

So all of you that have posted what you bought,
How about some details of what it can or can't do. You may not have have had a reason to use these features, but the question is:
Is the product you purchased capable of accessing data from the RDM and controlling it through the "scan tool" function?
Inquiring minds need to know.
 

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Autoprof my cheap scanner is just a reader of any stored codes. My hand held programmer from Diablo Sport I3 I have has Data Logging in it but I have not used it or know what all it will do or info I can get with it.
 

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SSR Pit Crew
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In all fairness to Lucas electrics, they have really improved their game over the years. They are used on both the RB211 and the Trent series of Rolls Royce jet engines that powers many modern aircraft today.

Dave
 

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Back to the original question, since the ability to not only read codes but command different operations is essential to diagnose some problems, it sounds like a Tech 2 is the only solution. So the questions we need answered from those that know how to use them is: What is a reasonable price to pay for a used GM unit , would the Chinese version for around $350 be acceptable , and what accessories do you need with one for our SSR's ?? FYI - I see used GM ones for around $1000 on eBay. So what do you think expert users ?
 

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Back to the original question, since the ability to not only read codes but command different operations is essential to diagnose some problems, it sounds like a Tech 2 is the only solution. So the questions we need answered from those that know how to use them is: What is a reasonable price to pay for a used GM unit , would the Chinese version for around $350 be acceptable , and what accessories do you need with one for our SSR's ?? FYI - I see used GM ones for around $1000 on eBay. So what do you think expert users ?
Here's the nickel version of what could be a half-hour discussion on Tech 2 scanners. I've owned and used a Tech 2 for several years.

I would avoid the cheap Chinese clones of the Tech 2 and the related CANdi module. They are of inferior quality compared to the original HP, Bosch or OTC/Vetronix units. There are clues to distinguishing between real and cloned units. You get what you pay for.

If you only plan to perform diagnostics on your SSR and no programming of modules, the basic Tech 2 unit with its Vehicle Control Interface card, connector cable, the correct 32 MB memory card for GM cars and trucks (Saab or Isuzu won't work), a CANdi interface module and the correct OBDII connector will suffice. Try to get a unit with the last issued version of the software installed, V33.004. Familiarize yourself with all of the available connectors and parts to ensure you will have what you need with your purchase. Diagnosis is the primary use of the Tech 2, from my experience.

If you plan to do programming, e.g., of ECMs or BCMs or do things like installing a different OEM radio and matching it to the truck's VIN, you will need more connectors that allow a hookup to a PC, a PC with the correct tech software and/or a subscription to obtain the calibration files required for programming. It might be possible to obtain a CD with calibration files that can be loaded onto a PC. I personally have a PC that is set up only to work with my Tech 2, because it uses an older operating system. The GM Tech 2 and its software have not been updated for several years; 2013 was the last year of updates since GM migrated to a different diagnostic system.

Last I checked a few years ago there were two reputable parties who sold genuine Tech 2 units and/or PCs loaded with the programming software, either good used or refurbished. I purchased mine from a retiring mechanic; that might be a good source. If you have never seen or used one of these it would be a good idea to find someone familiar with their use and bring that person along to ensure that a unit you plan to buy works properly. Buying one of these is like buying a used computer- there might be some hidden issues not readily obvious beyond the opening screen that an experienced operator could find by exercising its capabilities.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well I bought a cheap no name entry level code reader, something to start out with.....the BlueDriver one looks very interesting, that may be next......thanks for the advice!

Don J
 

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Luckily, it's still under warranty (the first vehicle we've ever owned that had a warranty), so the dealer has to repair/replace everything for awhile.

:(

If that Jag happens to have any Lucas components on it, from my experience years ago with British bikes...........no surprises you are showing some "codes".:p
 

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Well I bought a cheap no name entry level code reader, something to start out with.....the BlueDriver one looks very interesting, that may be next......thanks for the advice!

Don J
They are just like any other tool, most of us didn't start out with the Full Roll around Snap On box full of tools we started with something hand me down or what fit our budget and move up from there. (y)
 
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