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Code readers

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by CityGuy, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,220

    Just curious but why do so many people not have code readers for their trucks. They are not that expensive anymore. $100+ will buy you a decent code reader and will allow you to narrow down the possibilities of what is wrong with trucks.. Todays trucks are so complex and so electrically driven that I would not be with out a code reader.
  2. coyote_nb

    coyote_nb Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    i stay with a OBD2 reader for 79 CA$
    it's save my many money over the time.

    if the mil light gos on you don't know what's happened.

    Pluck it on and some sec. you know the fault-code.


    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,312

    todays truck are complex that why some people pay to have them fixed. why pay a hundred for a code reader when auto zone scans for free. plus that would put me out of bussiness

  4. just plow it

    just plow it Senior Member
    Messages: 131

    I just bought one for our trucks this year. My ses light came on at 3:15am on a Sunday during a large storm so I pulled out the scanner and it was a miner fault, cleared it and went back to plowing. Now if I didn't have the scanner I would have shut the truck down until I could get in to a shop and that means upset customers. I picked mine up at Harbor Freight for like $70 or so. Well worth it.
  5. coyote_nb

    coyote_nb Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    short question!

    they working 24/7 on your site???

    You are plow in the night 1am or 3am and the mil gos on ...
    it's a minor or a major fault now ???

    i thing a code reader for close to 100 bucks can save many time and money.

    sorry i don't trust a shop boy
    see to many shops who change a complete part for a missing nut!


    ... still waiting for snow
  6. ahoron

    ahoron Senior Member
    from here
    Messages: 422

    I had a code reader. sold it to buy one that can view live data. few hundred bucks and you can see in real time what's up with the engine.
  7. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    ok...not to high jack here, but I have a question. Obviously all code readers are not created equal. Last year I tried two different readers and neither would pull the codes, one was my diesel mechanics. I don't remember what brands, but ones case was florescent orange. Anyway, I have Ford diesel trucks 97-03, can someone recommend a unit that will give the most bang for the buck? I won't say budget isn't an issue, but I like gadgets that work and have a few extra perks...lets say 300- 700 range budget.


    Oh yea...I was always told to stay away from Auto Zones because their readers won't pull the codes on these trucks either.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
  8. ColliganLands

    ColliganLands PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,854

    i just got a autozone one and it pulls my egr codes everytime lol gotta love the 6.0
    it was around 200 so it was theyre "better" one
  9. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,220

    This the one that I carry with me in my truck and i have yet to have a problem with it. It is internet updateable and can do ob1 and 2 plus it has conections for makes.
  10. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

  11. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,220

    Oreilley auto and checker have them for around 200 if memory serves
  12. Clint S

    Clint S Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    If you get a generic obd2 reader it will give you minimal info. The better the scanner (for the most part) the better the info. IMHO if you do not get one that shows live data they are not worth it. Case in point my buddy has a cheaper reader, it spit out misfire bank 1. My reader spit out misfire bank one, cylinder 3. Look at the live data and you can tell at what rpm cylinder 3 misfires and it even kept track of all data when the code was thrown engine temp, rpm ect. Could narrow it down to a bad coil on that cylinder alot quicker. On his we knew what side, but that was it. As far as knowing if it is a minor code or not you really go back to the old addage if the light is yellow you can let it mellow, if it is red it could go dead, I do not know of many things that would throw a yellow check engine light that would cause serious damage. It may cause your truck to run like crap or not at all, but probably not hurt it. It is still nice to know at 1 am that the only reason your light came on is that you forgot to tighten your gas cap though.
  13. Dstosh

    Dstosh Senior Member
    Messages: 534

    For those of you with older trucks, Check ebay. Most techs and mechanics are always updating. I got a decent matco unit for like 150 bucks. Only goes up to 2002, but It works on my diesel's and the dodge.
  14. Milwaukee

    Milwaukee 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,180

  15. Acmemechanic

    Acmemechanic Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    Scan Tools

    This Thread Really Hit a Nerve With me,I Own A OTC Genisys 2006 I Paid About $3600 With The Software I felt I Needed {Not All That was Offered By Far} Now They offer Their 3.0 Versus The 2.0 That I bought.Keep Paying Is The Motto It seems,Then If I do Upgrade You Can Count on It In 6 months They Will Have Something That Makes My Unit Obsolete.Then Every SOB that has a code reader at $100 +/- Thinks That the are the final Authority on Automotive Diagnostics.Well As Far as That goes There are so many Domino Effects in Diagnostics That the large chain Dont care what the Tell You a Code Is IE Lean O2 Buy An O2 Install SAME CODE HA HA NO LIVE DATA OR THE MENTALITY TO DIAGNOSS THE REAL PROBLEM.Then You Have The Nerve To Question Why I charge $$ For A Diagnostic A large Chain Would Do for Free.By The Time i get The $$ Back Out Of My Scan Tool It Will Be time To Get Newer Technology at MORE $$$
  16. sechracer

    sechracer Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    Wow, people get testy about this question.....

    Me, I personally carry a regular actron reader. Works good for my needs. It will tell more than just misfire bank one, it will call out the cylinder. Will also tell me which o2 sensor is reading bad. Wether it be bank one sensor one two or three. Sorry to all you professionals, but I will not pay a shop $80 an hour labor to diagnose something I can do myself. For the people that have zero knowledge of cars, thats fine. Let them take it to the shops. However, anyone with a fair knowlegde about vehicles, a normal code reader will work just fine. Live data is nice, but not always nessecary.
  17. Acmemechanic

    Acmemechanic Senior Member
    Messages: 137


    Hope You make More than Your Share Of Mistakes So at least The Parts Stores Make Their MONEY!!!
  18. Dstosh

    Dstosh Senior Member
    Messages: 534

    Didn't you fab up your own plow mount? Taking money away from fisher and your local dealer because you could do it yourself?

    Come on, We are all in this together. If us plowers can do something to save a buck or two in the long run we will. At least I know I will.:drinkup:
  19. Acmemechanic

    Acmemechanic Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    No I Guess I Do Stand Corrected.I Just hear It All To Often at the Garage as to Why Does It Cost $$ To look at Something And The big Chains Do It for Free.Makes the Hair Stand up On The Back of My Neck Right Quick.I Have to Go ahead and Publicly Retract My Lousy Comment and Appoligize.:yow!::yow!:
  20. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,220

    Does your autozone or shop stay open 24/7? Mine does not. My mechanic will come in and fix if he can in middle of night but, thats the service I get for plowing his drive and shop for trade.