Chrysler 300M Enthusiasts Club
  • How many of you have a DTC code scanner?

  • A place to discuss different tools we use to keep our cars running.
Membership Banner

A place to discuss different tools we use to keep our cars running.

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
 #361536  by beespecial
 
Hard to believe I've gone this long without a scanner, but I'm considering getting one. Mostly to help troubleshoot a friggin' Toyota no less. Go figure. But that's a story for another thread if it turns out to be worthy of posting it on this forum. There seems to be about a bajillion of them on Amazon and Ebay, ranging in price from less than $10 to well into quadruple digits. Yeah, that's a LOT of pages to scroll through when Amazon only lets you go 1 page at a time. Talk about frustrating! But I digress...

So I figured I should ask people that I trust to give me the true skinny on what are good features to have on a scanner instead of the typical BS you get from the promotional text of the product.

So with that in mind, do you have your own scanner? If so...
What brand/model is it?
Do you like it?
What about it do you NOT like?
Do you use it a lot?
How helpful has it been to you?
Would you recommend it?
What features does it have and what would you like it to have that it doesn't?
Approximately how much did it cost?
Has it been a good return on investment?
Was it made in the USA?
 #361541  by user97
 
What brand/model is it?
ACTRON (discontinued model, similar to CP9690 but with black and white screen) -- bought it over 6 years ago
Do you like it?
It is OK
What about it do you NOT like?
Occasionally freezes when doing live data read out, limited number of live data parameters is available as compared to DRB III
Do you use it a lot?
Not really, since I got the DRB III emulator. Use it primarily to check on non Chrysler vehicles.
How helpful has it been to you?
Live data read out was by far the most useful feature when I used it actively. Transmission/ABS code readouts was also helpful.
Would you recommend it?
Not in the present market. I would probably go ultra low end ($10 Bluetooth reader)... The seem to do codes + live data as well.
What features does it have and what would you like it to have that it doesn't?
Approximately how much did it cost?
Has it been a good return on investment?
Was it made in the USA?
User avatar
 #361548  by Sneke_Eyez
 
What brand/model is it? CenTECH - Harbor Freight
Do you like it? Yes
What about it do you NOT like? Nothing, works fine. It might do live data, I've never needed to check.
Do you use it a lot? Not really, usually to delete codes and read tranny codes that I otherwise can't check with the On Off On Off On trick.
How helpful has it been to you? Helpful recently on my recently acquired 2003 Dodge Ram with tranny codes.
Would you recommend it? Yes, but I think other things out there probably do the same or better job for less money.
What features does it have and what would you like it to have that it doesn't? I wish it was a DRBIII Emulator.
Approximately how much did it cost? I think it cost around $55 with a coupon, but it was almost 6 or 8 years ago.
Has it been a good return on investment? Yes, I would say so, spread over the last 6 or 8 years.
Was it made in the USA? I highly doubt it.

If you have a smartphone, John, consider some of the dongle options that plug into an OBD2 port and pair via bluetooth to your phone.
Paired with the right app (one of which is Torque Pro, I believe), the overall cost is pretty cheap and it will do everything a standard code reader will do.

I don't know what the preferred dongle is just because I don't have one, but several others here do and might recommend one.
User avatar
 #361554  by FalKen
 
This is a hard question for me to answer because I have the luxury of either owning or have access to a lot of high end scanners and nothing beats them. one thing I know is this, the more features you have the more money you will spend and more time you will spend learning how to use and access those features. that being said, stay away from the reader/eraser types because they will not do much more than the (key dance will do).
beyond that, I have every feature in the book and still (occasionally) have to confide in others for help.

The others will help more on the less featured tools that they own though. sorry I couldn't help more.
 #361556  by JTROANOKE
 
I have an old auto X-ray unit from 2005. It has been pretty useful. Gives basic PID's in addition to the pcodes. Gives tranny codes on Mopar products. A little jiggy on foreign but worth the money. I never got any of the enhanced extra cost downloads for it. Lots of newer ones will do more but cost more too.

I have researched some as I do have a newer car in the fleet that is CAN so I need something new er to talk to it. Although it's a Toyota so I will probably never see the CEL. the ELM scanners are one way only. I really would like a tool that will test sensors etc. with bidirectional communication. Just be careful as their are a lot of bootleg counterfeits of the better scanners so if the deal looks too good to be true it probably is.
User avatar
 #361563  by sparky99
 
I've got a basic code scanner (only reads engine codes) from Matco, it was bought as a partial payment for some work I completed on a buddy's car.
its okay, but if you want to read more than engine codes youre in the creek without a paddle.
300maximilien wrote:http://www.ebay.com/itm/371468076058

This is the one I use with an app. Does everything I need.

I've been thinking of buying one of these, I'd like to read more information from the car.
User avatar
 #361567  by beespecial
 
Good stuff. Thanks everyone for your replies. I never really gave the bluetooth dongles much consideration before. Probably because of the you-get-what-you-pay-for credo, but I'll certainly be looking closer at them now. From what I've seen so far, it appears that one of these may be a better option than shelling out 50-60 bucks or more on a hand-held scanner. I know I'm not looking for an OBDIII. I'd probably do more harm than good with something like that. From the description of the one Craig mentioned, that one appears to do pretty much all I need. Besides, for less than $5, I think it's a good risk.
User avatar
 #361575  by FIREM
 
Late to comment but it depends on what the need is.
Most common Scan tools will read codes (like key dance) but will also give a basic description of the system involved (IE P0340 Cam sensor)
Basic one Craig noted will do this well. Usually can read engine & trans codes.
Next level may also read ABS codes, again a handy feature.
Next level tool usually will include 'Live Data"this allows you to see speeds, temperatures etc of Monitored Systems (M's do not read oil pressure)
Having the capability to read "Fuel Trim Values" is handy also.
Unless you are going into the repair business, there is usually not a need to go the the next level tool.
Higher end tools will provide "BI Directional" testing, meaning you can control the engine or system from the scan tool. It takes over the control of the module.
I have a scan tool like the one Ryan described and it is more than adequate for day to day needs.
I have access to what some consider the "Top of the line" aftermarket tool but do not own that $10,000 system