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$39.99 OBD II Reader.

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by 410225, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. 410225

    410225

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    I saw this generic OBD II Reader from Harbor Freight Tools for $39.99. WHat do you guys think of this? I know there are few different kinds out there and this is by far the cheapest reader I could find and was wondering on the quality or functionality.
    This can be found at
    www.harborfreighttools.com
     
  2. RavenTai

    RavenTai

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    got a better link? I searched HF for OBD only a $339 one came up

    I have an Actron that i paid $150 for it 3 years ago I saw the same one in auto zone recently for ~60 IIRC, It reads and erases codes just fine I have used it on my vehicles and several of my friends/coworkers vehicles, it will not give any real time data only codes so now I want to go into laptop based software
     
  3. 97 FZJ80

    97 FZJ80

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    Check the other automotive forum for the reviews of this product. It seems that this $39.99 unit doesn't work with most import brands. IT is basically a POS that only works on Fords from most of the reviews I've read.
     
  4. Wayne

    Wayne Bought by His blood, kept by His power

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    I purchased one of the Harbor Freight OBD II readers and it works great for what it's designed to do :D........ read and erase codes. It will not turn anything off or on, and it will not simulate a trouble code :'(. It is a reader, not a scanner or analyzer. I have a repeating 420 fault code (O2 sensors/catalytic converter related) :mad:and my HF reader has erased this code (which turns off the check engine light) many times :D. I have the parts to fix this problem now :). I also washed the engine and got water in the distributer :-[. Upon start up, it idled awful and the CEL came on, so, I broke out my HF reader and it read a 300, 304 and 306 fault codes (multiple cylinders misfiring, and #4 and 6 cylinder misfiring). After a little warming up and drying out the missing stopped, the code reader erased the fault codes and turned off the CEL :D. That's my two cents....

    Wayne S :cheers:
     
  5. Scamper

    Scamper

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    Wayne is right; I've got one too. This is strictly a code reader, and as such it does a fine job for the money. Mine came with a booklet that had all the codes and their descriptions.

    If you want something fancier, you'll have to look elsewhere, and pay a lot more.

    Tom
     
  6. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    got one too, see earlier posts. Reads fine. Don't know if mine erases things properly, though. Codes are still there but it could be that they are just regenerated all the time. Do you guys need to do anything special to erase the codes?
    Eric
     
  7. ParadiseCruiser

    ParadiseCruiser

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    If I am not mistaken, the HF OBD reader can only see the Federal OBD code set, not any proprietary codes the manufacturers build into the ECUs.

    Though still not a scanner, a reader in the $125-150 range can see Toyota's proprietary codes as well. In addition, many of them can also see/report on the ECUs "monitors" (I think the 80 has 7 of the possible 11 monitors) to verify that they are recording they way they are supposed to. All this, of course, is way short of a scanner that can actually capture data... but that is another matter altogether.

    Cheers, R -
     
  8. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    I don't think that is correct -from memory- the reader should be able to read any code
    E
     
  9. ParadiseCruiser

    ParadiseCruiser

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    Greetings E -

    >> I don't think that is correct -from memory- the reader should be able to read any code

    In theory, perhaps. But in actual practice, no.

    Part of the OBD-II standard (mandated by the U.S. EPA) was a basic set of emissions related codes (SAE spec J1979). Many of the cheaper readers support only these few.

    A better, but still inexpensive reader is only capable of reading the entire, so-called "generic code" set - the P0xxx series codes.

    Better still, a reader that can read the manufacturer's proprietary - P1xxx - codes as well. Not all of them do.

    In all cases, the reader must be compatible with the hardware interface used by Toyota. In other words, not all 1996+ OBD-II vehicles are the same - and not all readers will work on all vehicles [yes, the plug is the same, but the communication protocol is different], though a good many are capable of using all of the three standard protocols.

    And all of this does not even address the scanners... so it's not so simple as going out and buying the cheapest device. Didn't someone else say, you get what you pay for?

    Cheers, R -
     
  10. Wayne

    Wayne Bought by His blood, kept by His power

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    Eric,

    To clear a fault code with the HF reader, let it cycle the code four times and it will automatically erase the code.

    Wayne S :cheers:
     
  11. Lockd97

    Lockd97

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    Look here: http://obddiagnostics.com/

    I've had the BR-3 for about 9 months and really like it. $88 shipped is a great deal for its capabilities.
     
  12. Wayne

    Wayne Bought by His blood, kept by His power

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    This is a quote from the HF Code Reader user's manual, ".....it is of the same function as special tools of its kind and applicable to all models since 1996 with a 16-pin diagnositic socket of generic OBD II protocols (SAE J1850 PWM, SAE J1850 VPM, ISO 9 141-2)". The reader is made by Launch Tech Co. and the User's Manual list, Table A: SAE OBD II DTC Definitions, and Table B: Manufacturer OBD II DTC Definitions. I don't know if the Table B: codes are the P1 codes referred to earlier, but every one listed in the manual starts with the number 1. :-\ The assumption is, it'll read 'em :D.

    Wayne S :cheers:
     
  13. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    there are about 500 P0 codes and about 250 P1 codes listed in the manual. Seems like it can read the P1 OK, I would say. And probably others besides those listed in the manual. For those curious, I believe you can download the manual from the HF site, btw.
    And I went back and looked and my code has been cleared. So far so good.
    HTH
    E