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RE: Auto Scanners

To: "Timothy R. Hoerning" <>,
Subject: RE: Auto Scanners
From: "Mullen, Tim" <>
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2006 16:50:46 -0400
Timothy R. Hoerning wrote:
> What's a good scan tool for automobiles?   <...>
> I'd like to get something that can read codes and reset the 
> Check Engine Light for OBD II at a minimum.  After that, I'd 
> like something that could do the other cars, and finally it 
> would be nice if it could also connect to a PC

You really don't need any scanner to read ODB-I codes.  There is usually
some provision to jumper a test connector and it will cause the codes to
flash on the "Check Engine Light".  There is a very limited number of
codes that can be flashed.

ODB-II cars however, have to have a scanner.  The codes are alpha as
well as numeric characters, and there can literally be thousands of
them.  The ODB-II interface is actually a computer interface and needs a
processor to read and display the codes.

Any scanner that can do both ODB-1 and ODB-II will be an ODB-II scanner
and some special connections to jumper the test light and flash the

I have the scanner from  I have the TRICOM
version that can read all three ODB-II protocols (there are three
different ones PWM for Ford; VPW for GM, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Toyota
and Isuzu; and ISO for most everything else).  My TRICOM plugs into an
old laptop computer (75 MHz) that some one gave me, and it works just

Good name, by the way...   :)

Tim Mullen

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