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If you’re planning on doing any serious maintenance or work on your post-1996 vehicle, you’ll eventually want to own a quality code scanner, like this one which we own and found for $135 right now on Amazon.

This device plugs into your car’s computer and translates the codes in the system into English (or Spanish) and also allows you access to other data stored in the system.  That data varies from car to car, but can be quite helpful in diagnosing problems — or at least for telling you why the damn “check engine” light is on yet again.

Anyway, we’ve had good luck with this particular unit, and $135 is a pretty good price for it.

Equus 3110 Innova Diagnostic Code Scanner Via Amazon [What’s this?]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


10 Responses to Dealmonger: OBDII Code Scanner W/Freeze Frame For $135

  1. jeff says:

    This is the same scanner that Checker lets people use for free. It works pretty decent.

  2. olderty says:

    AutoZone will scan your car for free too.

  3. Stuey says:

    Yep, Autozone will do a free scan, but you’ll have to wait quite a while if the store is busy. They also won’t clear the light, but they’ll give you a printout of the code that prompted it.

  4. Chuck Cage says:

    I’m too impatient. But that’s a personal problem. 🙂

  5. PutnamEco says:

    PepBoys around here have the Actron pocket size for $85.

  6. Stuey says:

    I’m impatient too, but every time my light comes on and it would be appropriately timed to buy an OBD scanner, I think of the impending repair costs.

    This last time, I did decide to purchase one, but after hitting up Napa and Advanced Auto parts with no decent scanners in stock, I ended up at Auto Zone and just borrowed theirs.

  7. Harry says:

    Checker often has these on sale for $99. That would pay for one trip to the shop for you to find out that your significant other or kids left the gas cap loose or had filled up with the engine running. No, my family doesn’t do that as I have enlightened them as to the evils of doing this. However, I have made a decent living from people who do it and want the SES light turned off or investigated.
    These will only read generic OBD II codes however, and not manufacturer specific. One must also remember that a DTC is only a starting point. Despite what the parts store will tell you, it may not be a specific part failure that turned the SES light on but, rather a series of conditions the PCM monitors that could result in tailpipe emissions exceeding the federal standard by 1.5 times which results in the PCM turning the light on in the first place. The parts stores need to sell parts and offering free code scanning is a way to get more customers. This is a handy tool to quickly check for what’s wrong or possibly verify what your mechanic told you. This model is one of the better code readers out for less than $150. Just remember, that there may be other information stored in the PCM that you can’t access with this scantool and that retrieving the DTC is just an early step in strategy based diagnostics on a repair path to fix your vehicle. You don’t want to succumb to the shotgun method of auto repair by throwing parts at a car hoping one of them will fix it.

  8. What makes this interesting to me is the PC connection cable. I’ve got some reading and research to do, to figure out whether this can also be used in a dumb passthrough mode so I can run any generic OBD II software on the laptop. If it’ll do that, I’m sold, but if it’s specific to their proprietary PC software, it’s a useless feature. I’ll post back if I learn anything.

  9. Followup: Nope, doesn’t look like the PC interface does anything useful. They say it’s for firmware updates, but I’ve been burned by a lot of devices that advertised that then failed to have any updates throughout the product’s entire lifespan. Also, if you’re going to put a PC cable on an OBD-II device, why not give it a bridge mode to work with common diagnostic software? Ugh.

  10. john esparza says:

    very interesting

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