If your sweet ride is giving you heavy drama, you might want to consider asking it what’s wrong. Sounds stupid, but that’s basically what happens when you plug in an OBD unit like the 3110 CANOBD2 from Equus — it hooks in and reads the trouble codes in the vehicle computer. Think Star Trek, except it won’t be fixed in 45 minutes, plus commercials.
The days of checking the carburetor or replacing the distributor cap are gone — you won’t find a carburetor in a lot of newer cars, and sometimes there’s no distributor cap, either. While some of the old-school shade-tree crowd just back away slowly, the others grab for a reader like the 3110 that decodes “Check Engine” warnings on any 1996 and newer vehicle. It refreshes the data every 30 seconds when connected to the vehicle, and it features an all-in-one LED screen display for quick emissions checks.
The unit runs about $130 and can save you a bunch more than that in repair bills if you’re willing to get your hands dirty and tackle the problems yourself.