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 FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?

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Eldo
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:48 pm

If you want to get started for under $100, this compact unit will read codes, erase codes, supply the English 'translations' in both booklet and CD-ROM, and supposedly even check the emission readiness monitors when it's time for a smog test...

http://kragen.com/productdetail.aspx?MfrCode=EQU&MfrPartNumber=3030&CategoryCode=3389

It's only $70 plus shipping, and it has a lot more goodies on its display screen than I've seen on other cheap OBD II readers.

If you want to read the real-time data that a true scanner can do, then Albert's suggestion is probably the cheapest way out. In fact, I googled "carcode dongle" and found something used on eBay that sounds like the same kind of thing - provided your laptop has a traditional RS232 serial port...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260637038714

As someone who is already going the "software route", I'm sure Albert can chime in on whether this is something you'd want.


Last edited by Eldo on Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:01 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:55 pm

Eldo wrote:
If you want to get started for under $100, this thing will read codes, erase codes, supply the English 'translations' in both booklet and CD-ROM, and supposedly even check the emission readiness monitors when it's time for a smog test...

http://kragen.com/productdetail.aspx?MfrCode=EQU&MfrPartNumber=3030&CategoryCode=3389

It's only $70 plus shipping, and it has a lot more goodies on its display screen than I've seen on other cheap OBD II readers.

Lack of data logging will be an issue in determining the cause of intermittent codes (if any). I suspect this is similar to the ones available at other auto parts stores. For the price not bad and way better than nothing. For this problem, well, maybe. What I'd hope for is someone selling the CarCode dongle, cheap, on ebay or some such.

Albertj
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Eldo
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:59 pm

Albert, I was actually editing when you posted your reply. What do you think of that thing on eBay that I added - is it the kind of "virtual scanner" that you were talking about?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:05 pm

Eldo wrote:
Albert, I was actually editing when you posted your reply. What do you think of that thing on eBay that I added - is it the kind of "virtual scanner" that you were talking about?

i will take a quick look
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:24 pm

Eldo wrote:
Albert, I was actually editing when you posted your reply. What do you think of that thing on eBay that I added - is it the kind of "virtual scanner" that you were talking about?

Actually, that seems to be the same one I have. If it is working (it probably is) all you do is buy that (it's about 1/2 off the CarCode price probably becasue it's for older cars (there is a new version for newer cars) and download the software free from obd-2.com.

Based on the address, I think the seller is probably Alex Peper (the guy behind obd-2.com). He's decent, you'll get a working unit and password. If it is not Alex, be sure you get the unit's password and then let Alex Peper know (email) you have that unit with that password.

The good news for you is you will get a working logging scanner that lets you reset the codes and log real time data to catch intermittent stuff, including oscilloscope-like charting of O2 sensor pulses and the like, for that $50 or so out the door. Again, the SW is free. Logging that data is (almost) priceless, you will be able to play back the scans for a mechanic (I have) and what I find is that the good ones get pretty generous with their time if you can go the extra mile and show this kind of data. It will play back scans as graphs and as well as gauge readings (like replaying your dash on your laptop).

As for the serial vs usb thing, if you need one you can find converter plugs in Google Shopping. They are not free but they are not that much either, under $20.

Albertj
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Eldo
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:36 pm

I can't believe I done good - reading that auction page was like reading a legal document.... confused
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:42 pm

Eldo wrote:
I can't believe I done good - reading that auction page was like reading a legal document.... confused

you hit a bullseye, hope Don can/will follow through.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:52 pm

Well,my damn ses light came on AGAIN after changing everything I mentioned above,and pulling the battery cable to clear the codes.It came on after a few short drives in town.I am still frustrated as hell...so I'm buying a f-ing scanner within a day or two.I just looked at a Innova Equus 3130 at Kragen for $240 (I can get it for at least 100 bucks less online) and I couldn't find anywhere in the manual whether or not it reads KR.Anybody know by chance??It does everything else as far as I can see,and data logs as well as live scans.Thanks,Don

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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:00 pm

ok guys i have another question. My scanner doesnt read knock retard and i would like to go down to a 3.6 or more ideally a 3.4 pulley. my supporting mods would be a 180 t-stat, FWI, auto lite 104's, 1:9 rockers, remove my cat and mufflers and install glass packs were the mufflers were. anyways i would like to be able to check my KR. what is the cheapest scan tool that does this?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:17 pm

For me, the cheapest scan tool was a gage. I found a used gage on one of the other GM boards for $100.00.
Will scan almost everything.
Aeroforce Gauge, actually I think with the latest update and expanded features, it will read everything needed on a GM.

Remember, It will only read, It cannot do any programming. It's only a gauge.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:20 pm

deekster_caddy wrote:
FWIW I had random popping at idle and on decel until I replaced my fuel injectors with bench cleaned/flowed injectors. No can of injector cleaner ever took care of that issue for me.
Was this on the Riv or your newer vehicle.????
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:17 pm

Rickw wrote:
deekster_caddy wrote:
FWIW I had random popping at idle and on decel until I replaced my fuel injectors with bench cleaned/flowed injectors. No can of injector cleaner ever took care of that issue for me.
Was this on the Riv or your newer vehicle.????

that was on my Riv. When I picked up the larger injectors (42.5 lb/hr) I sent them out to be cleaned and bench flowed. When I installed them my idle smoothed out drastically. Not what I was expecting, since larger injectors are supposed to have worse idle characteristics... My newer vehicle still has a little spit going on at idle.
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Eldo
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PostSubject: temp   Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:55 pm

Just to throw it out there, the ScanGauge II reads a lot of stuff in a small, dash-mountable unit that also doubles as a regular digital gauge readout and a trip computer... I'm not sure if it will read KR, but it will read instantaneous total spark timing.

http://www.scangauge.com/
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:08 pm

I would not recommend the ScanGuage II for the purposes of modding & tuning, because of its lack of needed parameters (KR), and more importantly no data logging capability. Without the ability to record data, you can not effectively tune for your mods.

It's a decent real-time monitor and code reader. It's not the best tool for dropping pulley size and graphing/comparing performance curves. I recommend AutoTap or the AeroForce gauge, as RickW mentioned.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
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Rickw
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:25 pm

Eldo wrote:
Just to throw it out there, the ScanGauge II reads a lot of stuff in a small, dash-mountable unit that also doubles as a regular digital gauge readout and a trip computer... I'm not sure if it will read KR, but it will read instantaneous total spark timing.

http://www.scangauge.com/

If I remember correctly the ScanGauge II reads KR also.

It requires going into a couple of pages of data before you get to it, but it does read it.

The gauge is a pain as it is made not round to fit a traditional hole. It is a rectangle shape and there is no practical place on the Riv to mount it and still have the cord go to the ALDL.

I had tried one a couple of years ago and returned it, then kept my eyes open for the AeroForce / Iterceptor Gauge, Used, which is round and it can fit a regular gauge mount or the drivers door HVAC vent, if you should choose. Show's many more parameters, if you get the GM enhanced version, and just plain looks better and I get the feeling that it is more accurate. Don't know why, I have no data to back that up.

I also bought AutoTap some time back that will allow scanning and saving the files. Have not got familiar with it yet but soon I will sit with it in the car and start taking various scans during different driving styles, take notes, and refer back to see if I can glean something from it.


Last edited by Rickw on Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:36 pm; edited 2 times in total
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:33 pm

You're right, they've upgraded the ScanGauge II to read KR. That's good, but it still won't data log.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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http://www.cardomain.com/ride/657082/4
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:37 pm

AA wrote:
You're right, they've upgraded the ScanGauge II to read KR. That's good, but it still won't data log.

Do you know exactly what our car computers support? Can it output oil pressure, oil and trans temp, etc for sure? The reader I have on my phone does not do this.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:40 pm

Our car does not have an oil pressure or temp sensor, so it will not output those unless you add the sensors.

It does have a trans fluid temp sensor, which can be read through OBDII.


_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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http://www.cardomain.com/ride/657082/4
GMFreak8
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:42 pm

AA wrote:
Our car does not have an oil pressure or temp sensor, so it will not output those unless you add the sensors.

It does have a trans fluid temp sensor, which can be read through OBDII.


Interesting... They put a trans temp sensor in, but leave out an oil pressure sensor that's capable of more than turning on a dummy "you're screwed you have no oil pressure" light?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:42 pm

Our cars can support everything listed in the OBD 2 parameters with the possibility of having to add a couple of sensors to read things in the format you want. That protocol is a standard and there is more info in there that you or I would ever want to see for the purpose of troubleshooting a problem.

Alex Pepper's software is extremely comprehensive and inexpensive even after buying the dongle. My next recommendation would be find a used AutoTap from someone on the various 3800 boards that has purchased the enhanced version and wants to sell for about Half of what they paid.
Either way you are able to hook up your laptop and get the scans and downloads that you want.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:45 pm

AA wrote:
You're right, they've upgraded the ScanGauge II to read KR. That's good, but it still won't data log.
True, but it will do what he asked, and also provide the other functions. I seriously considered sticking one to the bottom of my dashpad or the top of my steering column before I inherited the OTC 4000e...

GMFreak8 wrote:

Do you know exactly what our car computers support? Can it output oil pressure, oil and trans temp, etc for sure? The reader I have on my phone does not do this.

No, the Riviera only has an oil pressure switch, not a variable sending unit.
No, there is no oil-temp sensor.
Yes, there is trans-temp sensor.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:17 am

Well when looking at hptuners it seems you have to pay credits or something for each different car? Is that correct

Maybe I will just go with a scan tool and upgrade eventually to a tuner if need be. So the autotap is a good one. Does that only cover 3800 series 2's or what or will it cover other cars tpp.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:47 am

Autotap comes with a basic scan package that should work with all 1996+ cars. The advanced parameter package is GM specific. If you go to their website it should explain how it works. They also have a decent customer service staff if you give them a call.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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http://www.cardomain.com/ride/657082/4
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:05 pm

When I buy Autotap what do i all need. I am not buying the express one. i will buy the diagnostic one
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:24 pm

Also when you installed the autotap on the computer. What software requirements are there? Did it take up much space? Did it slow down your computer? Have you had problems with transfering the software from one computer to the other? Is it a one time computer use. Like if you install it on one computer can you never install it on another one if your computer crashed or something?
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