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jeebowhite

Got An Error On Your Car?

104 posts in this topic

Most of us are driving around with errors on our car, and we don't even realise it. Mainly because the small niggles don't affect our day to day driving. Focus owners are lucky as they have the "Secret Dash Trick" but what if you don't own a Focus? and you don't have a trip computer?

The easiest way for us on the forums to help you, is if you have an "OBD" Scanner - and you may be surprised that they are DIRT cheap!

OBD is the cars "On Board Diagnostics" system. If there is an error with your car sensor, or another error that you are either well aware of (or perhaps not). then OBD might just save you £60 minimum diagnostics fee with a dealer, and perhaps a whole lot more in repairs...

What is OBD?

On Board Diagnostics has been in use for many years, as early as 1996 a lot of cars have it. From 2001 (Petrol) and 2004 (Diesel) the standard of OBDII came in, and all cars after this time will have an OBDII interface that you can use.

Not only can OBD be used to diagnose issues, but it also allows you to monitor the likes of efficiency in your car. there are so many applications available that will read the data in different ways, if you want an app for 0-60 with BHP readouts - Torque Pro.

If you want an app for your economy usage "Efficiency (Free)" can be your new best friend.

Does my car have OBD?

The requirement is that an OBDII connection MUST be accessible to the driver within 2 feet of the driver position.

The usual location is about knee height and on the right or left side of your knee (depending on the LHD or RHD model you own).
Its normally recessed, and running your hand along the dash you will feel it, it may perhaps be hidden under the steering column, behind a panel (look for a removable panel somewhere around the dashboard at knee height) or behind an ashtray.

There also tends to be one on the bulkhead of the engine compartment. Mst likely under a cover, so check your fusebox, and you may see it.

How do I use OBD?

You can buy a universal adapter that will fit any car with an OBD socket. See below links to a couple of types (Bluetooth) and an example USB version.

Smartphone Users:

Look at your smartphones App Store for a program called "Torque" - this comes in a freeware version and a Paid for version.

Torque allows you to scan for and clear down error codes, also clicking the error code can take you to a page where you can see in plain english - what the error means. It allows you to view live data readings and also map out your vehicles data (downloadable to PC).

Two types of Bluetooth Adapters for sale on ebay:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wireless-Car-ELM327-OBD2-OBDII-Bluetooth-Diagnostic-Interface-Android-CAN-BUS-PC-/200840588989?pt=UK_Diagnostic_Tools_Equipment&hash=item2ec3082ebd

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Android-Bluetooth-Car-1-5-ELM327-OBD2-OBDII-Diagnostic-Interface-CAN-BUS-Tool-UK-/180989271729?pt=UK_Diagnostic_Tools_Equipment&hash=item2a23cd1eb1

Laptop Users:

You can buy a USB version that will plug into your laptop. they tend to come with drivers and applications that you can use to interact with your car's data.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/V1-5-ELM327-OBD2-OBDII-USB-Cable-Software-Car-Diagnostic-Interface-Scanner-Tool-/181048754000?pt=UK_Diagnostic_Tools_Equipment&hash=item2a2758bf50

Also, if you purchase a modified ELM 327 cable with a High and Medium speed can bus (click here for more information)then you can use software such as ForScan. This is an excellent piece of software that debugs more than just Ford's but allows you to automatically scan High and Medium speed for errors, view in clear text the errors seen, and reset them in turn. I have used this and find it an excellent piece of free software.

Any User:

I Forgot when writing this that there is the entirely seperate "standalone" code reader. Its a handheld device that will read the code and control it through a handheld unit, prices for these differ, as little as £10.00 and up to a lot more. You can buy these for an average of £25 - £30 for a relatively branded unit.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw=Diagnostic+code+reader&_sop=15&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR5.TRC0.A0.Xstandalone+Diagnostic+code+reader&_nkw=standalone+Diagnostic+code+reader&_sacat=0

Which OBD version do I have?

OBDII is the current standard but there have been other releases before. The older your car, the older the OBD support, so vehicles around 1996 will be OBD 1 and later vehicles 1.5 or 2. Always contact the seller if you are unsure if the device you are looking to purchase is compatible with your car.

Generally speaking, if your car is older than 2004, you will probably have an OBDI device, and not an OBDII device. Again, refer to the seller to identify if this is the correct one for you.

Why should I buy into this?

Combination of an OBD adapter, and software to accompany it, most of the time will come in under £15. For that money, you have a way to track your cars readings, and check all the error codes. A simple problem with a sensor could cost you as little as £60 to diagnose with a dealer, and then whatever ludicrous labour fee's are applicable to resolve this issue. If you are handy with a spanner, or know someone who is, your first problem resolution will only cost you £15 plus whatever cost for the part, any problems after that you are self diagnosing for free.

Providing the members of this forum with error codes means that we can provide you with more accurate details, and suggestions to resolve your problems.

Limitations:

Please note that when you buy an adapter of this nature, there ARE limitations.

These adapters and software combinations cannot diagnose some systems, ABS and Airbag for example, but it can clear there error codes.

Will It damage my car?

Budget OBDII readers can only ever read data from the engine, and switch the Engine Management Light off - 99.9% of scanners on the market will not damage your car. Be wary of buying from abroad, as these may be cheaper still, but these are the 0.01% that may damage your car.

What About Apple?

Unfortunately, Apple is an issue for this sort of task. Apple use a hybrid "bluetooth" stack, which although claims to be bluetooth, its not "bluetooth" by the rest of the worlds description, its more "Apple's rewriting of bluetooth". Its generally seen that Bluetooth adapters wont work with Apple, and you may be better off getting a WiFi adapter and connect to this.

For apple compatible devices though (Wi-Fi or bluetooth)

There's this: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/engine-link-obd-ii-vehicle/id591557194?mt=8
that I have heard of. but they do say if you have a bluetooth adapter, to contact support before hand.

Alternatively, suggestion is that https://itunes.apple... a code reader.is a good tool to use, but again, ensure that they confirm it will work, or at least get refund reassurances.

The most expensive I have seen yet (but best reported on) is REV: https://itunes.apple...avy investment.

Summary

So that's it - its a cheap, and harmless way to get information from your cars computer. Whether error diagnostics, or to see how much damage you are doing to the environment, or if you just want to brag to your friends about what your current BHP reads at.

So, I hope this inspires you! Many who buy an adapter never look back, I have yet to come across a single individual who has regretted buying one. But remember, buy cheap but don't expect the world, but these cheap adapters could be more than enough to dig you out of a hole. If you want to buy something better, there are more than enough tools out there that you can look to upgrade to. Scanguage is an excellent device and there are a lot of other handheld units that could improve the result.

If you have any questions, look around the forum, or feel free to send me a PM and I will be happy to help. If there is enough interest, I am sure all of us here will be happy to help you if you need to start a thread.

Please remember, the above links are not recommendations, we are not gaining any revenue from advertising them, but I can say that I own two of them and they work fine for me ;)

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Nice post Jeebo ;)

Will this bad boy work on my Fusion....?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/EiioX-MaxiScan-Diagnostic-Scanner-Reader/dp/B0098WCDIS/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1362854257&sr=8-3

Also on some cars there is a way of reading codes without a reader and just using a paperclip ;) works on my Omega. here's a vid showing it working on a Honda (I think) ;)

only down side is that it will read all codes that have been stored for a while (i think) so if there are multiple codes you could have a hard job judging what's relevent. but handy if youre in a pinch :)

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Guess who just remembered and found an OBD11 cable he had bought when his VW Sharan had an engine fault?

As a matter of interest what laptop software would you recommend? There seems to be a fair amount of choice out there.

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Anyone know of any of these compatible with the mk6 facelift fiesta?

Be interesting to see if anything is wrong diagnostics wise on my car!

I need this! Love the geeky techy stuff.

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Hi Steve,

The code reader you provided seems like it should work fine, but before purchase, ask the seller for written confirmation, but I really see no problem with it.In regards to reading old codes, I tend to have a rule, if it aint broke, dont worry about fixing it... in which case, I tend to make a note of the codes (using torque pro to save the list) then clear the error codes and continue to drive. Because of that I see I get a recurrng error code which I need to investigate.

Hi Kevin,

There are loads of free applications, I havent looked at software as of yet, but I did recieve a CD with a load of tools. You are welcome to a copy of the software and try many of them out. but I cant personally recommend anything at this time.

Hi Matt,

The MK6 just depends on what year your motor is, but as your car is a 2008, most of the generic readers will work fine...

Edited by jeebowhite
Cant spell for toffee

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Thanks very much for the offer James, much appreciated, but I'm sure with my friend Google's help I'll find some suitable software ;)

All I need now is a lappy with a half decent battery :rolleyes:

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Thanks for the info Jeebo... very much appreciated :) :) :)

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No problem. Hope its of help. I have diagnosed many a problem with these tools and the on board computer recon I have saved myself hundreds over time!

Turvey have a look on eBay for batteries you can get some good deals!

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Could you please provide a link to the smart phone application as I'm unable to find it?

Thanks

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An advisory to you all!!! Read my thread here, seems that the OBDII adapters can cause some strange behavior if the ECU is trying to be read at the same time that the car is starting. I never saw this on my Cee'd but it seems the Ford ECU Is a bit more fragile...

http://www.fordownersclub.com/forums/topic/41283-killed-my-bus-oops/

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I have further updated this to reflect something obvious that I missed before! you can also buy a standalone, handheld diagnostic unit, no phone or PC required.

Any User:


I Forgot when writing this that there is the entirely seperate "standalone" code reader. Its a handheld device that will read the code and control it through a handheld unit, prices for these differ, as little as £10.00 and up to a lot more. You can buy these for an average of £25 - £30 for a relatively branded unit.

http://www.ebay.co.u...reader&_sacat=0

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Ove got the torque app and yesterday pulled code p0002 thats down to tuning box tho but I managed to clear the code, fantastic bit of kit

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Definately, and for less than £15 all in, it saves a lot of trips to the dealers...

Certainly saved me a few so far!

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Hey Jeebo,

I recently got the Autel Maxiscan ms509....... wonderful! less than £30! :)

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What can you do with it? others may find it useful to know!

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Ive got the android torque app its awesome makes life a little easier if anything goes wrong as you can get your check fault codes yourself and even clear them if needed, I had to clear one other week due to tuning box, hasnt come back on since

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It really is an excellent tool, and for under £15 all in, you really cant own a modern car without it!

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Especially with all the silly little things that can pop up on ecu

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Agree'd, there are several times i have stuck my head under the hood, and done something (knocked a cable, pulled the wrong fuse etc) the engine light comes on, or flashing warnings like "transmission failure" and the likes. If I didnt have torque (or a little bit of knowledge) I would have pooped myself, panicked, called the dealer, paid ridiculous recovery costs and suffered ear ache from the wife. But if I do something silly (get the EML for forgetting to plug the MAF back in) then I get Torque out, it reminds me in plain english "NO MAF Signal" and then I pop the bonnet and problem fixed...

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Agree'd, there are several times i have stuck my head under the hood, and done something (knocked a cable, pulled the wrong fuse etc) the engine light comes on, or flashing warnings like "transmission failure" and the likes. If I didnt have torque (or a little bit of knowledge) I would have pooped myself, panicked, called the dealer, paid ridiculous recovery costs and suffered ear ache from the wife. But if I do something silly (get the EML for forgetting to plug the MAF back in) then I get Torque out, it reminds me in plain english "NO MAF Signal" and then I pop the bonnet and problem fixed...

Just bought the ELM327 managed to conect to my car,and i am able to read live data but i am a little sceptic becouse when i read for fault codes it scans very fast for about 2 seconds and shows 0 DTC..how is that posible i know i have many DTC on my car right now.I want to see what type of ecu i have and cant find ir?please help

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Hi Andi,

It depends what device you have. Some code readers are able to access the live data, but they are not able to access all area's. It could be that you have bought a device incompatible with accessing and managing your DTC codes.

What is the device you bought? and are you using a standalone unit, Laptop unit or a unit for use with a phone?

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Hi Andi,

It depends what device you have. Some code readers are able to access the live data, but they are not able to access all area's. It could be that you have bought a device incompatible with accessing and managing your DTC codes.

What is the device you bought? and are you using a standalone unit, Laptop unit or a unit for i bought this use with a phone?

I bought this ELM327 : http://www.ebay.com/itm/V1-5-ELM327-OBD2-OBDII-CAN-BUS-Auto-Diagnostic-USB-Interface-Code-Scanner-Reader-/180830109519?pt=AU_Car_Parts_Accessories&hash=item2a1a507f4f&vxp=mtr

and i use it with a lap top.Why its reads 0 DTCS?

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It could be a fake or it could be your car has no codes. Is it still problematic?

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It could be a fake or it could be your car has no codes. Is it still problematic?

Hmm fake?it is just as the original one and the cd too.Can you post me were did you buy yours please?The car has errors becouse i got since 4 days the ENGINE light on my dashboard and it hasnt gone..

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