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#4536637 - 10/07/17 10:56 PM recommend me a decent scanner
kpatter Offline

Registered: 08/26/11
Posts: 60
Loc: texas
I am a weekend shadetree mechanic.. looking to clear codes and view codes and see live data. I am not a professional. I have a cheap autel I bought years ago that has sufficed but want an upgrade.

Like to keep under 100.00

Not sure if Bluetooth or plugin type is better.


#4536645 - 10/07/17 11:04 PM Re: recommend me a decent scanner [Re: kpatter]
Audios Offline

Registered: 11/19/11
Posts: 889
Loc: Lyndhurst NJ
i recently picked up the maxidiag elite. well worth the $200 price tag. scans and clears faults in all modules, and can view live data.
2002 VW Golf TDI-Mobil 1 5/40 TDT
2005 BMW M3 BMW Twin Power 10/60
1998 BMW M3/4/5 Fuchs 5/40
2007 Mercedes GL320 CDI Fuchs 5/40 GT Pro XTL

#4536647 - 10/07/17 11:04 PM Re: recommend me a decent scanner [Re: kpatter]
Leo99 Offline

Registered: 03/30/14
Posts: 3052
Loc: NJ
Do you have American or Japanese cars? My understanding is German cars can be finicky about code readers. The $20 bluetooth reader that runs with Torque Lite works well for me.
Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles
2004 Rav4 359,000 miles
2015 Camry 59,000 miles

#4536705 - 10/08/17 12:14 AM Re: recommend me a decent scanner [Re: Leo99]
kpatter Offline

Registered: 08/26/11
Posts: 60
Loc: texas
Nissan and hondas

#4536714 - 10/08/17 12:32 AM Re: recommend me a decent scanner [Re: kpatter]
Merkava_4 Offline

Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
It's the live data part that might push you over a $100. Check out Innova and Autel.

#4536783 - 10/08/17 05:17 AM Re: recommend me a decent scanner [Re: kpatter]
DdDd Offline

Registered: 06/08/17
Posts: 189
Loc: NY
I have a $20 generic Bluetooth and the torque app for free. Way more useful than a dedicated scanner.

Make sure the adapter has a switch or auto shutoff. You can leave it on all the time if so.

#4536810 - 10/08/17 06:41 AM Re: recommend me a decent scanner [Re: kpatter]
Slick17601 Offline

Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 1515
Loc: Pennsylvania
In your price range, Blue Driver is the way to go.

#4536975 - 10/08/17 10:19 AM Re: recommend me a decent scanner [Re: kpatter]
eljefino Offline

Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32671
Loc: ME
A decent part of the money spent goes to the "box" with buttons etc. If you can bluetooth it you get more smarts in the software, and a better chance of competing software, an update, or even a 3rd party "crack".

My Innova 3160 claimed to be "upgradeable" but then a few years later they hatched the 3160S and left me out to dry.

FWIW there are about 5 things to look for:

1) codes
2) I/M readiness
3) Generic OBDII data (not encrypted) stuff like ign advance
4) Mfr Specific OBDII data (encrypted) stuff like knock retard from optimal
5) Bi-directionality, being able to command the car to do stuff or update its firmware.

#4536984 - 10/08/17 10:23 AM Re: recommend me a decent scanner [Re: kpatter]
buck91 Offline

Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 2449
Loc: West Michigan
Another vote for generic wifi/bluetooth setup and torque (or better, forscan if applicable)
2011 F150 4x4 5.0L
1996 Mustang GT 5spd/ragtop

#4537077 - 10/08/17 12:03 PM Re: recommend me a decent scanner [Re: kpatter]
joeparker54 Offline

Registered: 04/25/17
Posts: 12
Loc: MI
I use a $3 ebay bluetooth dongle with torque - works great for me and my Grand Marquis, but I have had issues with GM vehicles' ECUs not communicating (mid-00's Grand Am/Prix). After loading the custom Ford PID's (basically the ID/Parameter for reading OE specific sensors/codes) to Torque Pro (about $6 on Play store) I can see a large amount of information from within the ECU - it even allows me to see things like specific cylinder misfire counts, which is useful because Ford decided that it shouldn't throw a code unless a cylinder is misfiring something like 23.5% of the time. I love my cheap torque/BT dongle combo for what it is.

HOWEVER, they certainly don't work for every vehicle (at least the cheap $3 clear-blue china units) and then there's the issue of it only communicating with the ECU. That's fine and dandy if all you want is to check/clear basic codes - it works great for that, but if you want to talk to the TCU or ABS system, you will need a dedicated tool. My 10yr old Harbor Freight scanner can read TCU and ABS on my brother's Kia.