September 13, 2009

ON SALE: Automotive Diagnostic Scanners.

UPDATE: Reader Rainer Kissel writes:

Re. the Amazon auto scanner sale: Be advised that these scanners can only monitor those items covered by the OBD II standard, namely those deemed important for emission control.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OBD-II_PIDs

They can not work with the numerous proprietary codes governing transmission, brakes, suspension, climate control and much more.

To get those codes, a scanner tool containing vehicle specific software is needed. Tools like these typically run in the $ thousands range. Then the yearly updates for the new car models cost extra, many hundreds at least.

Often the factory-issue tool/software combo is the only one covering everything. Now we’re talking tens of thousands of $$. Quite an investment. Not practical for most independent shops. One reason they need to charge high hourly rates, something many customers don’t appreciate.

I didn’t know that.

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