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Discussion Starter #1
Couldn't find a thread for this anywhere so I thought I would just ask..

I'm looking to pick up an OBD scanner for my truck. I've never owned or used one before as this is my first pre 1996 vehicle. Took it to the auto parts store to have them read the codes and I've got a mess of them. I'm planning on trying to do most or all of the repairs myself and I want to be able to have the scanner on hand. Guy at the parts store said his scanner couldn't read all the codes and that it needed to go to the dealership for some, so I'm guessing their are a rainbow of qualities when it comes to scanners.

What do you guys recommend? Doesn't have to be the best, but I also
don't want the worst. I want to spend as little money as possible, obviously. I can see a number of generic ones on amazon for around $20.

I'm hoping there is some sort of collective agreement on the subject.

Thanks Guys.
 

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Only thing like that I have had contact with is my Ultraguage . . . it reads codes, pending codes, and can reset them, among it's primary purpose of displaying a bunch of the truck's sensor information. But, it runs around $61.00 so probably not what you want. UltraGauge OBDII Scan tool & Information Center

I also thought about getting a code reader from the internet, but didn't have the chance to research any . . . my wife bought me the Ultraguage for valentines day one year (lord, I love that woman :-D).
 

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As you have noticed, there are a multitude of choices available. If the price is the deciding factor, your choices are going to be limited to devices that can only read the basic engine/emission DTCs and erase codes. Anything related the the transmission, airbags, or ABS will not be read. A brand such as Actron has quite a few selections that cover that category. Obviously, the higher up the price scale you look, the more features you will find. Around the $200 mark, scanners appear that cover the four most important type of DTCs to a DIYer: transmission, engine/emission, SIR (airbag), and ABS. Some don't cover all models and all years. My suggestion for a low buck scanner would be to look at the Actron brand. They are sold literally everywhere, from auto parts stores to Walmart. Search Amazon and write down some models that might interest you and be sure to read the reviews for each. Go to actron.com and read everything about your selections, including the Owner's Manuals. Also check for a list of vehicles that are covered by each scanner. Find the "best bang for your buck" and go with it.

Apparently the auto parts store is using a "less optioned" scanner. Probably took one of their cheap ones off the rack.
 

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Good link by WDEagle. I had forgotten that you can get a bluetooth scanner interface fairly cheaply and with the Torquepro app on a cell phone, you can use it as a scanner and clear codes. I know it's available for android and I think it is for iphone also. Just another choice to think about. I use the setup on an 8" Samsung tablet, with a windshield mount, for test drives, as it is easier to see at a glance.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. I think I'm going to order a maxiscan from amazon. Apparently they are pretty good scanners and cheap as dirt (16$ w/shipping). If I decide that I want something with more options I can always pick up something better later on.
 
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