Which scan tools provide the *MOST* useful information? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 11-12-2005, 07:14 PM   #1
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Default Which scan tools provide the *MOST* useful information?

I recently took my 1996 SSEi to the dealer for a relatively minor repair, and when they hooked up their scanner they came up with all sorts of codes indicating problems that I wasn't even aware of. It pointed to weakness in the ignition module and the crankshaft position sensor, which they replaced. The point is: I would have preferred to know this myself and not be driving a time bomb.

What'* the best way to uncover not just the ODB II, but all the enhanced diagnostic info (and more, if there is such a thing)? I'm thinking something that I hook up to a laptop, like the autotap:
http://www.autotap.com/autotap_for_windows.html

There seem to be a lot of these types of diagnostic softwares out there, so maybe there'* something better or cheaper I should consider. Mostly, I want to know if there are pending problems, and if so what they are. Also, it would be nice to capture baseline performance data so that I can compare over time to see what parts might be failing before they actually generate codes. Is there anything that does this in an easy-to-use package? I hear some of these things even compute MPG, but I'm not sure how accurate they are. If they are accurate, then it would be good to measure this (instantaneous as well as average), so that I can perhaps modify my driving habits accordingly. Any strong recommendations?
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Old 11-12-2005, 07:21 PM   #2
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i know Kyle has a autotap that is connected to a Palm...It showes all kinds of info, and you can view 4 different sets of data at once....i believe he got his from Intense-racing.com....the Actron 9145 is also a good tool that can stream data but cannot record....both of the tools mentioned can pull DTC'*....these are not the only options out there for scantools
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Old 11-13-2005, 01:10 PM   #3
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Beyond reading error codes, which performance metrics do people here typically find most useful to look at when they hook up their scanner?
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Old 11-14-2005, 09:57 PM   #4
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I'm the family wrench. Got an otc genisys. Reads sensors, ignition, everything but don't have the abs cartridge yet. It gives codes and possible causes.
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Old 11-29-2005, 01:07 PM   #5
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Some of these scanner will report instantaneous miles-per-gallon if you run the car while it is connected. Anyone know how accurate that might be? e.g. within 5%, 10%, 20%, 40%? I might pay up for one that can do this if it has some decent accuracy.
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Old 11-29-2005, 10:09 PM   #6
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I had posted a similar question in the electronic/electrical section...didn't receive any responses. I'm looking for a laptop based one, and was comparing between the Digimoto, and the Autotap, amongst others. At this point, I'm leaning toward the Autotap.
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