dealsmaxiscan ms300 obd2 eobd can car / vehicle fault…

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If you're even a little handy, there's a chance this thing can pay for itself. It can also make you very popular with friends when the little "Check Engine" light comes on in their cars. That little light is often something really simple and you'll pay at least twice the price of this device just to have a mechanic plug theirs in to read the information for you.

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@cloudscout: yep and this price is the lowest

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The difference is that a mechanic who knows their craft can interpret the results instead of "the code said to replace the _" which most people do... and then bring the car in to a shop when it doesn't work.

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@skrutinizr: Meh. Too many "mechanics" these days are really just parts swappers.

There's one huge value in having your own code scanner, even if you don't do your own work. It's that you can read your codes and know whether or not the shop you take it into is pulling your chain and trying to gouge you for something completely unrelated.

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@skrutinizr: although this stuff configures easy-to-play functions, it will save you a lot

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@narfcake: although this stuff configures easy-to-play functions, it will save you a lot

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I own this scanner and it has come in helpful for me twice on my car, and with 3 or 4 friends cars.

Firestone charges $75 just to read your code. This is a deal.

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@narfcake: I disagree with the part swapper comment. The check engine light is just the point at which the fault is triggered and not where the actual fault is. You can get a misfire code and it be your EGR, Coil, catylitc converters, PCM, etc.... Any mechanic knows you just do not read the code and replace accordingly.

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On the rare occasion i got a fault code, or know someone who does, I just go down to one of the local parts stores (NAPA, Shucks/O'riley, etc) and they'll:
1. read the code for me 2. look up what the code means 3. offer to sell you a part(s) needed to resolve the issue.

My $.02 of experience.

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Autozone and Advanced Auto Parts are two shops that will read the code for you for free (where I live at least), which is what I had done. I wrote down the code and looked it up online at home. Since there were several issues and I thought by process of elimination I was going to replace my ECT sensor (cheapest part to replace out of the possible issues).

Come to find out, that wasn't the problem when a mechanic ran THEIR diagnostics on it. Out of the possible 5-7 things It "could have been" with the code from one of these machines, their diagnostics machine narrowed it down to 2, and one was easy to confirm if I had or not (low coolant level, I didn't have that problem), the issue was with the thermostat.

Knowing the code can be a starting point but your mechanics diagnostics is going to be more thorough, you get what you pay for.

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@04ls1gto: An good honest mechanic would know. The service writer, a crooked shop/tech, or a not-so-qualified mechanic ... they read the code, and proceed accordingly.

If I sound jaded, it's because my dad is a fleet service supervisor; the guys he oversees all have varied backgrounds, from quick lube experienced to the seen-it-been-there-done-that-for-decades type. They all have their stories about the crap that they have seen or been subjected to, whether as a customer or at their previous employer.

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I've been looking for an inexpensive code reader. It's one of those things I think about occasionally but don't really think about again for awhile. Well for 20 bucks and free shipping I'm finally in. If I use it once on my car, a family member's car or a friend's car then in my humble opinion it will have paid for itself. Hope it's only partially overseas crap lol.

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@arrsea: There is still one big advantage to having your own reader though. Most of the parts places refuse to hit the "clear" button now. Clearing the error code on your own is a very valuable thing so you can determine if the code is transient or needs attention immediately. My wife's previous VW had a code that would show up if you didn't tighten the gas cap adequately after fuelling up, you would have to restart the car ~20 times before the code would clear on its own.

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At least in the past, these code readers would only read codes that pertain to emissions controls, which is only a fraction of the codes available to dealers. For example: my dealers hand held reader found codes relating to problems with a wheel speed sensor. Have there been improvements in these readers to encompass a greater range of issues in the last few years?

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I am kind of surprised people are talking about paying anyone just to read the code. Any national parts chain store will read the code, and do a reset usually, for free. I have also never had those guys be unable to tell me not only what the code(s) were, but exactly what needed repaired.

Even if you don't do your own work, though, these things are great. If you go to a mechanic with a known problem they are less likely to try to get away with unnecessary repairs.

I'm in for one because I've always wanted one and because the 2 most common codes for me are related to 02 sensors, which I can repair myself, or because the gas cap wasn't tight enough, which requires a quick reset.

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@sabrezelk: These things read every code the dealer can read.

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Dealer ran the code and came back with 850 bucks worth of repairs. Autozone ran the code and could only tell me it had to do with a misfire on the 2nd cylinder. New plugs and wires, 48 dollars. Problem solved.

If you can't work on your car, get two diagnosis. If you can, save your money and go to a parts store. They're not using anything different than they're selling here.

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This would be handy to have, and at $20 bucks, it is right at the threshold. Sure you can go to Pepzone, or what have you, and run codes for free, but it would be nice to have something at home and not have to go anywhere to run them. Order parts online, and wrench it yourself. This would pay for itself.

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@jmcachran: These don't read every code the dealer can read.
The code reader at a mechanics' shop costs thousands of dollars and reads specific codes based on the make, model, and year of the car. These cheap code readers are what the auto parts stores use and it usually gives rather ambiguous codes; sometimes it's all the info you need but other times it isn't helpful enough.

I do a lot of my own work and for the most part I would say this is a waste of money, unless you have a specific need to clear your check engine light all the time.

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I bought one of these from Amazon a while back. It's been pretty handy for me to work through a cylinder misfire on my own since I can replace a part (plugs/wires), reset the check engine light, see the check engine light come back, replace another part (coils), and clear again without having to pay my mechanic or drive to a parts store each time.

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@linkdude64: Thank you. I'd rather order from Amazon any day.

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These are great to have. You can save a lot of money on the "minimum diagnostic charge" when you are doing it yourself. Even if you're not handy to fix it yourself, you can do some online research with the code(s) you get so you're informed when you go to the mechanic so you don't get ripped off.