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Willys

A good all round scanner...?

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Hi guys and gals....as the title suggests I am in the market for an all round good scan tool for all modern vehicles that is user friendly for old folks...lol. Seriously I need something better than my cheap as chips $50 scan tool. I'm thinking maybe something that can see what's going on while driving or the vehicle is running for up to date info. Almost similar to the STAR system for the Smart. BUT please try and suggest something that won't put me in the poorhouse if possible. Also it should be able to work with the Smart to some extent.
I do not have a computer engineering degree so again user friendly...lol.

Thanks

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I am using a Scangauge II that is permanently plugged in.  It gives up-to-the-second readings on whatever information you set it to read.  I have mine set to read and display current Kilometers per gallon, coolant temperature, volts produced by the alternator and accurate speed. . It can reset faults and works well for me. Here is a page that shows photos and better descriptions. .  New cost can be found here on Amazon. . Price is as low as $133.04 CDN.

Smart MPG scangauge.jpg

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1 hour ago, Leadwing said:

I am using a Scangauge II that is permanently plugged in.  It gives up-to-the-second readings on whatever information you set it to read.  I have mine set to read and display current Kilometers per gallon, coolant temperature, volts produced by the alternator and accurate speed. . It can reset faults and works well for me. Here is a page that shows photos and better descriptions. .  New cost can be found here on Amazon. . Price is as low as $133.04 CDN.

 

i think i remember someone saying something about making sure you get the correct cord with the scanguage?

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Willy’s already has a scangauge and a star. I think he wants something like the star that works for many different makes   He already has a laptop so maybe you can suggest software and cabling 

Edited by Nigel

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my daily go to is a foxwell nt630

 

does just about everything i need it to for diagnosing engine related problems

 

does abs and airbag on most... ....including a lot of bidirectional like running pumps for brake bleed..i think it does steering angle too

 

and its cheap if you do a few searches on ali

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12 minutes ago, Nigel said:

Willy’s already has a scangauge and a star. I think he wants something like the star that works for many different makes   He already has a laptop so maybe you can suggest software and cabling 

Exactly...lol

I have everything minus this KW2000 whatever it is for the Smart and can do basically anything I need for the Smart.
The problem is, we also have a Honda CRV and I need to get into it to solve it's issues.  I know there are scanners Which maybe not be as good as a STAR but definately capable of doing the simple and semi simple things....such as bleeding the EBS or diagnosing the VSA system  etc etc...Again.....not looking to spend a small fortune but more than the $50 I spent on a simple code reader that tells me what the codes are but nothing else.

Thanks again.

 

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15 minutes ago, LooseLugNuts said:

my daily go to is a foxwell nt630

 

does just about everything i need it to for diagnosing engine related problems

 

does abs and airbag on most... ....including a lot of bidirectional like running pumps for brake bleed..i think it does steering angle too

 

and its cheap if you do a few searches on ali

That thing is cheap and you use it daily so to speak.  Hmmm...?  Seems OK.

But lets say you had $500 to spend....what machine would you get and what things extra that are beneficial for the extra $$$$....not thinking Smart now, for all other cheap man vehicles. I never will own an expensive vehicle so the generic brands and models...?  OR wouldn't you spend the extra and why?

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3 hours ago, Willys said:

OR wouldn't you spend the extra and why

 

 

wouldnt

 

because im cheap and anything it doesnt do is probably something im not interested in fixing anyways

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, LooseLugNuts said:

 

 

wouldnt

 

because im cheap and anything it doesnt do is probably something im not interested in fixing anyways

 

 

 

Not interested in fixing .....such as...?    You have this scanner, what can't it do that you possibly could or would need fixing?  Just curious...is all.

Not trying to be a smart ass, just do not know.

Thanks

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

programming ferrari keys...checking transmission control solenoids.....cam sensor teach...relative compression ..electronic parking brakes...etc...

 

anything evap related lol....used it today and got a p0455....uhm gas cap seems fine take it to someone with a smoke machine and a hoist for that

Edited by LooseLugNuts
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checking transmission control solenoids..

This is what I'm facing at the moment.....frig'in gear sensors and shuddering from my transmission in the Honda CRV....driving me crazy!   I want something that can diagnose these things maybe? Or at least direct me to a area to start testing and what to look for. Same with the solenoids...they are electrically controlled aren't they, so there must be a signal that a scanner can detect..? They seem to detect all other sorts of things that doesn't concern me at the moment but when I need it great....but no transmission diagnostics...?  I'd sooner pay for a good scan tool than a dealership's tester and labour charges. Then do the work myself.  The main reason I bought my STAR, it has basically paid for it'self for the amount of hours /days I have had it hooked up to my cars searching for answers. Can't imagine what the dealership would have charged me.
This is why I was wondering about a good one that works on all other vehicles that does enough to keep me away from a shop in the future. Again realizing I won't be buying any top shelf vehicles, just the normal blue collar type machines. Vehicles that aren't a down payment on a summer residence...lol.
I spent the day today working on the Honda, changed he fluids, changed the 3rd gear sensor, watched too many you tube videos than I care to admit. Then hooked up a audel ($$$) not sure what version scanner to it and went through it and found as you say, no info on what I needed. Tomorrow is a complete brake job front to rear. It has a flashing D light and ABS and VSA lights showing. But drives perfectly fine except this shudder around 75-85 kmph...? Will be checking drive shafts, etc, reluctor rings, but I'm sure I did that when it first happened. So the fun continues....augh!
IF you have any suggestions, I'm all ears!

 

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2 hours ago, LooseLugNuts said:

used it today and got a p0455....uhm gas cap seems fine take it to someone with a smoke machine

I've done this also with this car earlier this year, simple fix once I found the leak, a seal or gasket at the charcoal canister and fixed....again drove me insane until I stumbled upon a you tube video showing the fix, again watched hours just to accidentally seeing the right one.

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foxwell makes a ton of scantools...for more money im sure they have one that will cover transmission control modules

 

 

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I have an Autel which seems to be the same as it's bigger cousin for $350 on Amazon but you get one manufacturer code supplied free (you choose the vendor).  Additional vendors are I think $10 each and once activated the scanner keeps them.

 

I got it for my B200 and was lucky that Smart was considered Mercedes so it works on there as well.  I think it was $150 CAD and does seem to reset everything the cars throw at me

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seems weird you had to pay extra for mercedes/smart

 

that one should work just fine on almost anything 1996 and up without having to pay more

 

 

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I talked to my mechanic buddy today who teaches it in the high school auto tech courses.  He is a master mech also.   He also knows his stuff in the real world so to speak.  I asked him if I had $500 to spend what good scanner he would suggest or buy himself. He laughed and said there isn't a good scanner in that price range......he says he has and uses the obvious one Snap-on and it costs more than that to simply upgrade it from year to year or whatever.....He did ask why and what for etc, and he says that he would waste his money either on a $500 scanner as they do not do what it is I'm after. They will read the codes etc but won't trouble shoot and diagnose how to best solve your issues. He says he can easily spend 10 plus times my price for a scanner tool worth buying.  So there goes that idea at least for now.
So, I ask, what do I do?  He suggested looking for a used expensive unit that some older mech had and he is now retiring etc etc and wants to sell it. OR some mech has it but he says the upgrading costs could be close to the cost of a new version if missing enough years and to keep it current the cost is too high. But would be perfect for a guy like me...maybe?
Yes i know, basically what you have said, stick with a lower costing unit and use it to it's limit and deal with it. He also said the ABS and VSA lights can be interconnected with almost every sensor in the vehicle so are extremely hard to solve in some instances.....if I remember correctly what he said.? He has fixed my older cars in the past for me when I finally beg for help. I hate begging for help especially from friends because sooner or later it gets under people's skin to keep helping and constantly being asked for their assistance. You lose buddies if you over stay  your welcome etc.
So I'm now going to scour the used market to see if people do sell old out of date snap-on units at a reasonable rate...lets see....lol.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

the term "master" just means he's licensed ..its an easy test

 

my experience is that teachers dont know shit

 

the cheap tools are just fine ...the diagnose and troubleshooting is done thru experience and knowledge of the person using the tool ..the scantool is simply used to steer certain directions and/or eliminate others with the info it provides

 

 

 

edited to add not intended to insult your friend  but ive had nothing but bad experiences with teachers in my life 

Edited by LooseLugNuts
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If you can live with the less expensive scanning tools suggested here to show errors and clear codes, why not stay with that and pay someone ( I know, it hurts to pay someone else to do something you are physically capable of doing ) the rare times that you might need that extra $500+ technology and let them eat the cost of the scanner.  How often do you think that very expensive tool would be needed?  Is it worth it?  . Just thinking out loud here.

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8 hours ago, LooseLugNuts said:

the term "master" just means he's licensed ..its an easy test

 

my experience is that teachers dont know shit

 

the cheap tools are just fine ...the diagnose and troubleshooting is done thru experience and knowledge of the person using the tool ..the scantool is simply used to steer certain directions and/or eliminate others with the info it provides

 

 

 

edited to add not intended to insult your friend  but ive had nothing but bad experiences with teachers in my life 

He was in the trade for decades before becoming a teacher....and very good at what he does, or I wouldn't have asked him for a answer knowing it would be a waste of time. And I also have had nothing but poor experiences with people who think they can teach, bar maybe less than half a dozen Proffessors while in college. Even most of those were long term slugs just collecting a pay check and never veered from the standard way to teach, if you couldn't understand their way of teaching a topic, it was your problem not theirs to try a different way to get it into your head. Those teachers who try multiple ways to teach are the ones to learn from.
I checked last night for what he recommended, they still were thousands of $$$$ for a used unit.  So back to the drawing board...lol.

 

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7 hours ago, Leadwing said:

If you can live with the less expensive scanning tools suggested here to show errors and clear codes, why not stay with that and pay someone ( I know, it hurts to pay someone else to do something you are physically capable of doing ) the rare times that you might need that extra $500+ technology and let them eat the cost of the scanner.  How often do you think that very expensive tool would be needed?  Is it worth it?  . Just thinking out loud here.

Yes I agree with this way of thinking too, but.....it's the time spent using the tool at a dealership that I have spent sitting there waiting for these tools to cycle through their testing etc etc and working through the pages and the trial and error, leads sometimes to hours and hours of scan time. That is what burns my ass the most, yes you must pay for that time as someone is earning their living, but a few trips to the dealership buys you that scanner as in the STAR tool, and then all repairs using it afterwards are free. It's just your time learning and using the tool afterwards.  My problem is I do not use it any where near enough to get good at it. You do not need it on the good days  and normally if you keep your vehicles in reasonable condition they normally do not require the scanner . BUT, it's those few bad days that are around the corner that really hurt when you think of what it's going to cost you to take it in and pay the price compared to struggling through using the tool you bought to save you the money in the long term.
It's no different than me having tens of thousands of $$$ worth of tools in my shop that daily sit there getting no attention....waiting for something I own to go bad. BUT when thins do go bad, I have basically anything I could need to fix anything at the ready. But those tools didn't cost so much all at once to buy, it slowly crept up and now is a down payment on a small house worth....lol.  Back in the day when I spent most of my time building vehicles they were used daily, now they sit and wait. Soon they may be sold off and only the ones required for the simplest jobs will be kept for the smaller jobs.  Time also creeps up on us....lol.   The other way to look at it is to think, OK, even if I use it to figure the issue out, I'll know if the dealership is trying to pull a fast one over on me when that day comes to take it in. One day I may not be able to do the big jobs and require a young body to get the hard work done and knowing what is required beforehand is money well spent imho.  
I have also looked at my garage spending as like smoking or drinking....I do neither of these things and rarely go out for a good meal or to the bars etc.  This is my type of recreation. My next door neighbor is both a smoker and a drinker( way to much) and we have priced out the cost of his addictions.....close to $1,000 a month!!!!   Smokes are what well over $25 a pack he says, and a 60 pounder is $65 a shot......so you figure it out how much he does of each....lol.  So, what I spend on tools and new parts for my car is peanuts compared to his spending, and mine isn't regular every month. I don't know how he does it?  What's the old saying, the man with the most toys wins...lol.  I used to be close to the top, but have sold off most of my motorized toys...lol.

Sorry, back to the topic....scanners....I guess I'll have to pick the best of the bunch and deal with it. I thank everyone who has chipped in on this discussion and welcome all suggestions of a good "cheaper" scanner which does the most for the money....lol.
Thanks again.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

is there a cheaper scanner on the market that will also code keys?  for the 05/06 smarts

Edited by Sydney

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Posted (edited) · Report post

delphi 150e snooper does keys but requires some computer know how to activate it and requires a laptop computer to run it....cost about $50

 

will also scan and clear abs and srs codes on smarts.....

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by LooseLugNuts

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8 hours ago, Willys said:

.I guess I'll have to pick the best of the bunch and deal with it

 

 

i still say a good foxwell is the best bang for the buck...mine was $126...does 95% of what i ever need it to do

 

for a few hundred more they have better ones with cvt systems battery systems..electronic park brake ...tpms etc...

 

youll never find one for under a few grand that will cover everything like a nissan consult or a gm techII or a honda MVCI...or DRB III....and even the ones that do will still have some limitations...

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