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Old 09-23-2012, 01:15 AM
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Auto Scanner

Because of the issues the GCs are having I decided to get a scanner so that the dealers can't BS me and also just for fun. I bought an Actron CP9580. It is a rather high end US built unit. I thought it would be better for the Jeep. It is a well built rugged unit that allows continuous monitoring and software update downloads. Unfortunately the software that drives it is primitive. It could have been coded by a high school student but perhaps that is all that is needed... so why the high price?

It has not only the generic On-board Diagnostic-II (OBD-II) fault codes but those specific to a large number of vehicles. Unfortunately, as I was to discover, these are updated only after about 2 years after a model release. The latest GC codes it has is for 2010. The reason is that when cars are first release, their software is in beta form. Eventually when it comes out of beta and warranties have expired, the codes are released and find their way to consumer scanners. Imagine paying tens of thousands for a computer only to find the software that runs it is still in beta release. This is effectively what we have all just done in buying our GCs.

The continuous monitoring function is cool. I've been monitoring the cat temperature. My understanding is it needs to be over 400C to burn off carbon in the diesel particulate filter. Around town the temperature often briefly pops above 400. On the freeway, while going up a slope, it will stay above 400. The surprising thing is how much it varies and how rapidly it changes. Squeeze the throttle up a hill and the cat temp will quickly shoot up to 600+. However when going down a long hill using engine braking, the cat chills to below 100 not even enough to boil water. Through all this the coolant temp varies by no more than a few degrees.
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2012, 05:25 PM
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Re: Auto Scanner

Handy stuff, thanks Bob....
And I thought I was being smart monitoring main battery voltage using the P3 brake controller display!!!
I did buy and carry (in with the spare) an Equus 3030 OBD2 scanner - but haven't messed with it.
John
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:55 AM
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Re: Auto Scanner

When one of the many sensors in the modern car senses a hiccup, it generates a fault code. Many fault codes cause warning lights on the dash to light up. The intention is to cause the driver concern enough to have the car checked by a dealer. The dealer does his mambo-jumbo, the light goes off, the dealer charges accordingly and the customer goes away happy admiring the dealer's expertise. However a study by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency of 1.67 million cars shows that things might not be as they seem, see http://www.aa1car.com/library/common_trouble_codes.htm . The study's data shows that 24.3% of causes of the Check Engine Light coming on are related to the evaporation emissions system. This could be as simple as not having the fuel filler cap closed properly. Hardly life threatening. My guess is the dealer simply erases the code and charges as is a repair was undertaken. In many cases the issue may not reoccur and if it does the dealer looks a little more closely and charges accordingly. If one had a scanner, one could check the code and if not serious, the code could be erased, provided the scanner had that capability, and if necessary the issue could be raised with the dealer at the next service. I suspect this might save many unnecessary service calls and in time pay for the scanner.
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  #4  
Old 09-24-2012, 07:04 AM
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Re: Auto Scanner

Bob, i'm looking at getting a scanner also can i ask with the myriad of options how you decided on the Actron CP9580 I've got a cheap bluetooth one from ebay but it seems to struggle with the jeeps odb2 - worked ok with my vw passat and my dad's new pajero.

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Old 09-27-2012, 06:15 PM
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Re: Auto Scanner

I heard that to reset a fault code, the procedure of turning on/off the ignition 4 times, in quick succession, would clear it.
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:59 AM
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Re: Auto Scanner

Quote:
Originally Posted by telliottaus View Post
Bob, i'm looking at getting a scanner also can i ask with the myriad of options how you decided on the Actron CP9580 I've got a cheap bluetooth one from ebay but it seems to struggle with the jeeps odb2 - worked ok with my vw passat and my dad's new pajero.

Thanks
I figured an American scanner is most likely to work well with a Jeep. As for the model, I wanted one that allowed deletion of codes and was software upgradable. Time will tell if it was the right choice.

Incidentally, it doesn't require batteries. When plugged into the car, the car powers it. When upgrading software or downloading data via a USB port, the USB powers it. It does however have provision to add 4 AAA batteries so that one can read recorded date when not connected to the car or a PC. Unfortunately, its memory is very limited. It records only about 1min of continuous data. It's funny how it categories vehicles as either a car or a truck. Jeeps it lists under truck.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:45 PM
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Re: Auto Scanner

Look into an app called "Torque Pro" for your android phone.

Torque OBD2 Wiki


Buy this wireless OBDII USB Scanner from Amazon

Amazon.com: Elandpower Bluetooth ELM 327 Scanner OBDII PC Car Diagnostic: Automotive


This two above options will provide you with the cheapest AND most comprehensive way of logging data from your vehicle and erasing fault codes.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:41 AM
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Re: Auto Scanner

Quote:
Originally Posted by slickrick View Post
Look into an app called "Torque Pro" for your android phone.

Torque OBD2 Wiki


Buy this wireless OBDII USB Scanner from Amazon

Amazon.com: Elandpower Bluetooth ELM 327 Scanner OBDII PC Car Diagnostic: Automotive


This two above options will provide you with the cheapest AND most comprehensive way of logging data from your vehicle and erasing fault codes.
I've got torque pro and a different ELM327 scanner. I recently had an issue with my RHS front speed sensor which caused a whole lot of fault codes (8 in total) but torque only returned a single code. I've also had issues with it not returning speed at all - it worked fine with my VW so there may be a US / EURO protocol issue. I'm not sure if the others were jeep specific and therefore not picked up or if there is another problem. For the cost I may give the one referenced above a go before going down Bob's path...

I can also confirm Ally Pally's comment that the ignition on / off does reset the cost - they just came back in my case as there was an error with the sensor wire.
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