Early code readers simply reported the specific error code behind that ubiquitous check engine light. Newer ones, however, translate the cryptic alphanumeric code into English (or Spanish), making it a hell of a lot easier to figure out what’s going on — especially after you lose the manual. But Actron takes the concept a step further with their new AutoScanner Plus. It not only reports the code (in human-speak); it also accesses an internal database of over 3,000,000 reported fixes and offers suggestions for how to actually fix the problem behind the code.
Besides that pretty damn sweet feature, it’s a serious scanner as well. It can record and play back live engine data, read the ABS codes for most OBDII GM, Ford, and Chrysler vehicles, graph live data, and (oh yeah) read and erase DTCs.
And while $220 isn’t exactly lunch money, it’s not that much to pay for a full-featured code reader — especially one that might actually point you in the right direction for a fix.
(Note: You can ignore that “available soon” bit above. We just couldn’t find a better picture of it. From what we can see, the CP9580 is available now via a number of online outlets.)