Code Reader

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Ok, need to order one ASAP. I'm toying with buying two: an ELM327 with bluetooth, and the Autel MS509. Why two? I suspect the ELM327 will read and reset codes fast, and it'd be fun to play with; but I'm guessing the MS509 is a more serious debug tool. I'm also leery of getting one and then having to wait to return it as I'd like to clear the code and get on the road sooner (I suspect it'll take several days to set readiness). With now two gas burners in the fleet I'm starting to wonder when I'll need to replace an O2 sensor, so graphing would be nice. What ELM327 version is good? They all look relatively cheap. * If not the MS509 then what? I have two Toyota's and a VW. The VW could go anytime I suppose, while I'm not sure what I'd replace it with (probably a third Toyota). ABS and SRS code reading would be nice to add to the toolset at some time. The VW does have the SRS light on at the moment, but ABS&SRS do not have to be working to get a sticker--I'd just like to repair those issues on anything the wife drives. Me, I'm expendable. wink So being able to deal with VW is *not* a requirement, just nice. * Previous threads indicated the Innova 3160 was recommended, so I'm toying with that (much more money!). It looks like it would do ABS&SRS on my Toyotas. I'm not clear about its graphing capabilities though.
 
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The ELM327 ones from ebay are cheaply made and a [censored] shoot. The first one I had worked three times before it died. The other one has shown itself to be a bit useful. It can read OBDII data relatively quickly and close to real time.
 
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I ordered the MS509 here: Autointhebox.com On sale for $39.99 at the time IIRC, on the recommendation of a couple of folks of on this forum. Took a month to get here but flawless other than that.
 
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Originally Posted By: supton
What ELM327 version is good?
http://amzn.com/B005NLQAHS Also, if you have an Android phone, there is a new app called Carista that allows you to not only read codes but also customize/reprogram some features of your vehicles. Right now they support VAG cars as well as Toyota/Lexus. OBD2 diagnostic functionality is free. Customization features require a one-time $20 app purchase. Supposedly iOS version is in the works, too. http://www.caristaapp.com/
 
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I have an older version of the iSaddle listed here: http://www.amazon.com/iSaddle-Bluetooth-...=isaddle+elm327 It's connected to a Ford Truck, Ford Fusion, and Kia Optima without issue so far. I haven't tried to do anything with airbag lights - my Kia had an airbag light but before I even read the codes, I just disconnected the battery, played with the connectors under the seat, and asked my mechanic to reset it while I was in for an unrelated repair. So far it hasn't been back on
 

supton

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Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: supton
What ELM327 version is good?
http://amzn.com/B005NLQAHS Also, if you have an Android phone, there is a new app called Carista that allows you to not only read codes but also customize/reprogram some features of your vehicles. Right now they support VAG cars as well as Toyota/Lexus. OBD2 diagnostic functionality is free. Customization features require a one-time $20 app purchase. Supposedly iOS version is in the works, too. http://www.caristaapp.com/
It would be worth $50 to just turn off the seatbelt chime in the Totyota's... one of the best mods I've done to the VW was for that. I don't see it documented how that is done but it might be worth trying that app. Just for that feature.
 
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with subaru you just do the 20click method for seat belt chime. Also I dont see that app as being more than torque. if you could try the premium features to see whats available on your car.. it might be worthwhile. the app looks kinda "hipster" 'A Barista FOR YOUR CAR WOO WOO!' who really needs an overheat alarm.. that runs in the background on your phone and pops up if your car is overheating?? But options are good, I may try out the free version.
 
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Originally Posted By: supton
I don't see it documented how that is done but it might be worth trying that app.
Send them an email or check on some Toyota forum - someone may have that info. For Audi, I saw one of the Carista guys posted a detailed list of customizations on one of the audi forums I frequent. I will probably end up buying it, but I'm waiting for the next version to be released which will have some additional customizations that I'm looking for, like enabling oil temp display in the dashboard.
 
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You can buy Toyota Techstream and cable on ebay for around $30. Not sure if it's a good tool for code reading but you can turn off the seatbelt chime, check/replace TPMS sensors, and do a few other calibrations/customizations.
 
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I've had good success with the ELM327 and the Torque Pro app. The ELM was $6.xx on Amazon, and the app was $5, so for a little over $11 I have a reliable code reader that has already helped me troubleshoot a CEL on the Fusion. I've also used it for displaying real-time info, and it has done the job flawlessly so far.
 

supton

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I've thought about the cheapo Techstream, but it seems the cables are hit or miss, and you have to run XP. We have an old XP laptop someplace in the house, supposedly. Might still work. But I hate dealing with software stuff.
 
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Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: supton
What ELM327 version is good?
http://amzn.com/B005NLQAHS
+1... This is the same one I have, and it works wonderfully. I use Torque Pro on Android, and I have no complaints. Acually, just one complaint: I also have an Innova 3160 and I've only used it twice! The BAFX/torque pro combination gets used most often.
 

supton

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Alright, ordered the recommend'd ELM327, and a Techstream too while I was at it. Will see if I can get 'em to work. Thanks!
 
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<span style="font-family: 'Verdana'">If you can find something from Innova that'll work for you, that would be the way to go. Their code readers are built tough.</span>
 
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Originally Posted By: supton
I've thought about the cheapo Techstream, but it seems the cables are hit or miss, and you have to run XP. We have an old XP laptop someplace in the house, supposedly. Might still work. But I hate dealing with software stuff.
The original "Mangoose" works on my Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit laptops; cost me about $35 a few years ago. I was able to turn off the back-up beep on my 2010 Prius (that's one of Toyota's "customizable" functions), and I also can register TPMS IDs. Another advantage of using Techstream is you're able to initiate "tests" and maintenance functions such as brake bleeding on newer Toyotas.
 
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supton

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Reader came, paired nicely to my phone on the second try, found the codes. Not bad. I guess now I need to pay the five bucks and use it to its advantage. One thing I didn't notice was if it could read readiness flags. Or I haven't found it yet, or it's on the pro version.
 
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Originally Posted By: HangFire
Strongly consider paying a very few extra bucks for the BAFX Elm327. Mine works great with Torque on Android.
+1, had another ELM327 that lasted less than a year. Bought the BAFX one as it came recommended. Seems to be better and really didn't coast much more than the cheap one I got first. Whimsey
 
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