Scantool as a car buying aid........... - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 03-25-2006, 10:34 PM   #1
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Default Scantool as a car buying aid...........

I have looked at about a half dozen 97-99 Bonnevilles. Toolgirl'* Fart Explorer needs to be phased out and I want her to have a decent DD for a couple of years, while every penny we have is going to tuitions.

So I got a scantool and got the expected aid in evaluating a car. And also got something I NEVER expected.

Good little tool. Shows me if a dozen or so sytem monitors are functioning properly. Then you can pick up any codes, particulary good if there is any "pending" codes. Then i can pick up some live data and freeze frame it, if something goes wierd. But that ain't the jazz.

Every time i pull it out and attach it, the salesman goes into a state of shock. Total. With some, it becomes a truth serum. They start telling me what'* "not quite perfect" with the car. This is recovery because, of course, they spent the walk to the car telling me it'* in the best shape of any car on the lot, even though it has years/miles on it.

Two just got visibly p*ssed off. I think it'* a control thing. I'm guessing they don't like the thought that the customer might not be a moron who can be manipulated. It annoys them that they can't conduct business as usual, which they are very, very good at.

The real ace is that they don't know HOW MUCH you can find out with the scantool. Which, in reality, is mostly some supportive info that can in no way replace a thorough visual inspection and test driving. But they don't know that.

It kinda' jumbles up their routine. Which is, no matter how polite everybody behaves, an adversarial situation.
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Old 03-25-2006, 10:38 PM   #2
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this makes me want to go to a dealer and act interested just so I can pull out my laptop and autotap to see what the sales guy does

I think I would get a good laugh.
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Old 03-25-2006, 10:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corvettecrazy
this makes me want to go to a dealer and act interested just so I can pull out my laptop and autotap to see what the sales guy does

I think I would get a good laugh.
cc.... an Autotap with the display graphs on the laptop would have them asking YOU what condition the car is in. I honest to heaven didn't expect the reactions i got. And they will not be able to resist asking you what you found. Don't answer them. Ask them what is covered in the warranty.
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Old 03-25-2006, 11:05 PM   #4
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lmao. thats beautiful. i think im going to buy one for that specific purpose next time i go car shopping
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Old 03-25-2006, 11:12 PM   #5
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i just read this thread to my girlfriend, she laughed uproarously and then asked me to find out how much a scantool is
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Old 03-25-2006, 11:30 PM   #6
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what scantool (brand/model) do you have?
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Old 03-25-2006, 11:45 PM   #7
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Actron CP9150 kit. The unit itself (CP9145) is not at all expensive, when you put it in the context of the cost of a car. Plus it it does the basic good stuff as noted above. The kit is much more expensive because I need both OBDI and II diagnostic software and cables for multiple car manufacturers. If you just need an OBDII tool with a GM cable. Check the models available (i'm not touting Actron), you can get one for spit on ebay or discount.
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Old 03-26-2006, 12:19 AM   #8
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Charliemax, you are a GENIOUS! Man, I wish I would have thought of that back when I bought my '95. Boy was that car ridden with problems.
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Old 03-26-2006, 03:57 AM   #9
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Thanks for the thought, but don't think we are home with just a scanning. Except what I found on the Fart... er Ford, genearlly full DTCs should generate the SES light. Big benefit with the pending codes that tell you something is on the way, but don't turn on the light. My scanner doesn't have the more advanced enhanced codes (some of the others may) or the proprietary ones that the dealers have (BTW, most indy lots don't have them either). It does increase the probability that you may get a hint, but is not the end-all be-all. I'm hoping for improvement in scope with the full CAN standard in the cars in 2007(?).
I reaffirm that a good old fashioned thorough self inspection is still youtr best friend for problems.

Another hole is that these scantools can clear all of the codes. Some may take the computer a day or so of driving to reestablish their presence. If we can do it, they can do it.

However, and to the very good, it is an extra hole card for you in the poker game with the salesman. And he is not sure if you know one of his hole cards or not.
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Old 03-26-2006, 06:28 PM   #10
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I did this with my autotap about 2 weeks back to a private seller with a buddy. He was looking at this Ford Ranger and it had a check engine light.

Soon as the guy saw the laptop bag come out. He blabbed every little detail about the car.

A dealer should be smart enough to know the basics of what the scanner will and won't tell you from working at the dealership.
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