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OBD 2 scan tool?

23517 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  SmokeyWren
My truck is stalling when I drive, 99 F350 7.3 turbo . The check engine light comes on. I've taken it to an Auto Zone but their hand held OBD scan tool isn't detecting any codes.

Do the OBD scan tools need to be set for the individual type of vehichle or will it automatically read the problem?

I'm thinking of buying an OBD 2 scanner but the places around here don't carry the expensive ones. Do I need an expensive scanner or does it just need to be set up correctly?
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A lot of people swear by AutoEnginuity® - OBD2 Scan Tool - Professional PC and PDA Diagnostics but you need the additional Ford package to read all codes I believe and do injector buzz tests.

I use OBD-2 Vehicle Explorer Scan Tool Browser , it's old but it's cheap and it's what I've used but I haven't had any major problems, just P1211 codes due to my aggressive DP tunes. Don't think it can do a buzz test.

I was going to get a cheap scanner like this one: eBay Motors: Car Scanner OBD2 CHECK ENGINE LIGHT CODE READER OBD'2 (item 370099722889 end time Oct-19-08 17:07:03 PDT)
or this one for a few more bucks:
eBay Motors: OBD II 2 OBD2 AUTO TROUBLE CODE READER SCANNER TOOL (item 110301228012 end time Oct-28-08 08:40:19 PDT)
just for keeping it in the glove box when it pops the P1211 code due to my heavy foot.

Neither of those will likely give you any detailed codes. If you want to use a scanner in 2003-2008 vehicles you'll need one that can scan "CAN" bus like this one: eBay Motors: SUPER CAN Universal OBD2 OBD II Code Scanner /Reader! (item 190255869150 end time Oct-19-08 11:00:00 PDT)

With the laptop pc based obd software I can do a lot more testing and look at live data streams, etc but just for problems on-the-road something that fits in the glove box can be handy, especially on trips.
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I use AE, and if your interested in working on your own truck, it is the best bang for the buck. Since it will do the many tests on our trucks. Just knowing the code is not the greatest help if your stranded along the road. Because if you have an ICP code say. You can hook up AE and see if you have 300 lbs of ICP, but not enough to start it. Or if you have like zero ICP, which would mean an IPR stuck probably. It also reads ABS codes, and air bag codes. ALONG with programming PATS keys I believe with the newest version.
IT will pay for itself in the first three or four times you use it,,, considering what the dealer charges for a diagnostic run.
Check out this OBD2 Scan Tool.

It is a good all around scanner. Not the best but better then actron and less expensive then other. A good compromise.
The AutoEnginuity software for a laptop seems to be a good deal - provided you have a laptop.

But if you want a scan tool that was designed for the Ford and will read all sorts of codes other than OBD-II codes, then you want the Hickok New Generation Star (NGS) scanner/diag tool. Every Ford dealer owns at least one NGS. Almost every Ford tech worth his salt will own an NGS scanner/diagnosis tool, or at least use the one owned by the dealer. But some of the kids are now buying laptops instead of a scan tool, then using the Hickok diagnosis software for a laptop instead of the NGS. Here's the Hickok website:
Hickok, Inc. - Quality • Service • Innovation • Value

You can buy the NGS scanner or the NGS software direct from Hickok, but you can also buy from Hickok dealers and E-Bay sellers. The NGS software competes with the AE, so you might want to compare the two if you plan to go the laptop route.

The NGS will also access the ABS module, and let you change the tire revs/mile parameter in the ABS module. So you can calibrate the speedo of any 7.3L for tires up to 35" diameter (601 revs/mile).
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