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Old 01-19-2012, 12:56 PM
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Cable and software available for MIL codes?

Autopia had a piece yesterday about consumers being to read MIL codes for themselves instead of having to go to a dealer for a scan: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/01...engine-lights/

Is this MIL scan software and cable for the WK2 readily and affordably available for Win7 laptops?
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:11 PM
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Re: Cable and software available for MIL codes?

if it has OBDII codes can be read.

a few points; a CODE doesnt always directly reveal the issue. it MAY provide a few options that could be the fault but with systems all intertwined thru modules anything can happen.

also, if you look at the WK where they started to use a CANBUS system. you can read codes from the main MODULE but say the trans module throws a code......your main module will only advise that the trans threw a code.but wil not display that code....requires a trip to the dealer.





HERE IS AN EXAMPLE FROM THE SERVICE MANULA FROM MY WK:

P0128 Error Code

Theory of Operation


The PCM predicts what the engine coolant temperature should be, based on the engine coolant temperature at start-up, ambient temperature and how the vehicle is subsequently driven. The predicted engine coolant temperature is compared to the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor reading. The error between the two is calculated and integrated with respect to time. When the Thermostat diagnostic runs, the integrated error is compared to a calibrated threshold and pass/fail is determined. Separate pass and fail thresholds are used in order to improve accuracy of the diagnostic.

When Monitored:
Engine running.

Set Condition:
This diagnostic will fail when the model temperature reaches 91 C (196 F) before the ECT. reaches 80 C (176 F). This monitor only runs after a cold start condition ECT, ACT, AMB are all within 10 C (50 F) of one another. Two Trip Fault. Three good trips to turn off the MIL.


Possible Causes

LOW COOLANT LEVEL

THERMOSTAT OPERATION

SIGNAL CIRCUIT SHORTED TO BATTERY VOLTAGE

TEMPERATURE SENSOR

SIGNAL CIRCUIT OPEN

SENSOR GROUND CIRCUIT OPEN

SIGNAL CIRCUIT SHORTED TO GROUND

SIGNAL CIRCUIT SHORTED TO THE (K900), (G931) SENSOR GROUND CIRCUIT

OTHER POSSIBLE CAUSES

PCM
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:28 PM
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Re: Cable and software available for MIL codes?

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Originally Posted by robpp View Post
if it has OBDII codes can be read.
a few points; a CODE doesnt always directly reveal the issue. it MAY provide a few options that could be the fault but with systems all intertwined thru modules anything can happen.
I hear you. Our MIL light went on during a trip to the Midwest, and the dealer's scan could only give a list of possibles. The service manager decided it was likely a fluke, reset it, and several thousand miles later the light has yet to go on again.

That said, it would be nice to be able to do our own on-the-spot scans.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:26 PM
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Re: Cable and software available for MIL codes?

You can get a code reader at most auto parts stores. I bought mine at Advanced Autoparts when the tranny temperature light went on in my Liberty. Think I paid $60; it was on sale for $20 off.

The super cheap ones simply display the code; e.g. "P0279".

A little more money, and they'll give you a brief text description; e.g. "P0279 Torque Converter". Mine does this.

More money than that, they'll give you a explanatory paragraph or sentence or two.

The cheap ones forget the code as soon as you unplug it; they're only powered when plugged in to the car. So you need to remember displayed codes or write them down while it's plugged in. More expensive readers have a battery backup and will remember and let you view the codes after unplugging it and other stuff.

Some will let you see additional info, such as time the error was recorded, temperature of engine at time of error, speed of vehicle, etc. Mine will also do this.

Agreed that they don't always exactly pinpoint the problem. Although it did in my case, I've leant it to my dad and a neighbor and codes were a little vague. But a bit of googling of the codes, along with make/model/year will often get you a lot of valuable info if the code is not an uncommon occurrence for something particular.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:14 AM
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Re: Cable and software available for MIL codes?

I take it there is no way to get the code to display without a reader?

For example, you could turn the ignition back 3 times on my old WJ and the code would come up on the mileage display.
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