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Diagnostic equipment - a masterclass

Hello all,

I would like to get tooled up with some diagnostic equipment, but need to make sure that I've got the right idea first...

From what I can tell, there's two options:
1) get a portable reader such as this: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/U480-CAN-OBD-2...QQcmdZViewItem

2) get a usb cable and some software for the laptop.

What are the pro's and con's of each route, and what is the most cost effective option?

Also, what software/hardware spec do I need? Mine's an '04 JTS btw.

I've always been a bit of a tinkerer, and really don't fancy paying a dealer 'x' amount just to plug in their reader, let alone charge 75 an hour to replace a part that would probably just do with a clean!

Thanks in advance everyone!
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Re: Diagnostic equipment - a masterclass

Agreed, I've been trying to do the same., in my rather pitiful way. Firstly do you have a laptop? I didn't, I considered using the PC at home but thought I'd buy a used laptop instead. First problem!
If you don't have a laptop might you be likely to buy one in the future? If the answers are no, get a handheld.
If the answer to either of the former is 'yes', then get one. You're teh lucky guy, form all that I've read your car is 'EOBD' compliant. This should mean you have a choice of software to diagnose faults from pretty much all the equipment on the car. I have an early one which wasnt EOBD and there choice of Windows diagnostic software for it is distinctly limited. You'll need an EOBD interface lead, which connects the cars diagnostic socket to either a USB port or old serial port. Nowadays you can even get bluetooth types which would give you a cable-less connection, say to your desktop. (Hmmm why didn't I think of that, I've already got a bluetooth transceiver).
BTW, I only know this from hours of reading here, look at some of Shoggyraminator's posts for instance.

Doesn't say that in the manual

Last edited by Wrenched; 01-08-07 at 15:04. Reason: betterment
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