Fault code readers - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 11 Old 08-09-19 Thread Starter
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Fault code readers

The EML on my Brera came on last evening along with a message: "check engine".
I have not used fault code readers before, so I was hoping to hear from others on here who have: is there one you'd recommend?
Also, are these car specific?

TIA

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If you're planning on doing all your own maintenance you're probably best going for Fiat Multiecuscan as a download onto a device (there's a choice of basic free version or all-singing all-dancing paid versions) and buying the ELM cables to plug said device into the car for 15 or so off ebay. It's the only way to reset the service indicator for example, something I'll have to do shortly so will have to take the plunge myself. There was a thread on here a couple of weeks ago with a link to the cables and MES, I'll have a look later and post it here if I can find it again.
If all you want is to read fault codes and you're going to use a specialist for servicing etc. they should have MES already so a generic reader ought to be fine.
I have an Ancel something-or-other code reader which cost around 30 off Amazon and will read and clear engine fault codes but that's all it will do. Make sure it's plugged in properly or it will send the dashboard absolutely mental and probably give you heart failure!

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(Post Link) post #3 of 11 Old 08-09-19 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by misterflaps View Post
If you're planning on doing all your own maintenance you're probably best going for Fiat Multiecuscan as a download onto a device (there's a choice of basic free version or all-singing all-dancing paid versions) and buying the ELM cables to plug said device into the car for 15 or so off ebay. It's the only way to reset the service indicator for example, something I'll have to do shortly so will have to take the plunge myself. There was a thread on here a couple of weeks ago with a link to the cables and MES, I'll have a look later and post it here if I can find it again.

If all you want is to read fault codes and you're going to use a specialist for servicing etc. they should have MES already so a generic reader ought to be fine.

I have an Ancel something-or-other code reader which cost around 30 off Amazon and will read and clear engine fault codes but that's all it will do. Make sure it's plugged in properly or it will send the dashboard absolutely mental and probably give you heart failure!
I don't do my own maintenance. But I'd like to know what the fault is related to so as to make a decision about using the car. When I get something vague like "Get engine checked" I fear the worst and I don't want to start the car whereas it may actually be something minor like a sensor malfunction.

Is it sensible to clear fault codes without addressing the cause of the problem?

I'll have a look on Amazon.

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Found the thread:

http://https://www.alfaowner.com/For...bag-fault.html

Post #20 from Johnnyroper:

"Get yourself one of these

https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/30162684958...81e346ffe6e8ee

Download this

Multiecuscan - Diagnostics software for Italian cars

Get these aswell as some still need the adaptor despite modified elm,cannot remember which one off top of head though.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/30123112032...454149ffe70433

That should set you up to do most things however paying 50 to register allows you to do more with it"

I haven't had any such problem with my reader:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

but will be going down the MES route shortly.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3litrev6 View Post
I don't do my own maintenance. But I'd like to know what the fault is related to so as to make a decision about using the car. When I get something vague like "Get engine checked" I fear the worst and I don't want to start the car whereas it may actually be something minor like a sensor malfunction.

Is it sensible to clear fault codes without addressing the cause of the problem?

I'll have a look on Amazon.

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I'd always address the cause of the problem, you'll keep getting codes otherwise!
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(Post Link) post #6 of 11 Old 08-09-19 Thread Starter
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The ANCEL one doesn't fit my Brera unfortunately. Do these devices have built in code interpreters too? Or do I need to search for the meaning of the codes from a separate database?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3litrev6 View Post
I don't do my own maintenance. But I'd like to know what the fault is related to so as to make a decision about using the car. When I get something vague like "Get engine checked" I fear the worst and I don't want to start the car whereas it may actually be something minor like a sensor malfunction.

Is it sensible to clear fault codes without addressing the cause of the problem?

I'll have a look on Amazon.

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You cant really clear the codes without sorting the problem...If you try it will reappear as soon as you start the car again if the fault is still there. Its a good idea to try though....saves you replacing good parts just because of a random code caused by something else or a voltage surge...... exhaust temp sensor was one of them....when I've cleared the code it never came back.
Another example is the cam and crank position fault codes that seem to appear on these cars for lots of reasons...I even had one come up just because I stalled her!!....and again another time after being forced into bump starting her.
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The 159 is basically the same, so I'd have thought it would work with the Brera too....
The Ancel gives the code number and a brief description of the fault. Lists of code definitions are easy to come by online:

https://obdii.pro/en/model/alfa%20romeo

and the actual wording may vary depending on the reader, but there's always going to be someone on here that can clear up any confusion

The ELM cables were only 16 or so (from memory) and the free version of MES should let you read codes and clear them - once they're fixed!, so your cheapest option may actually be MES
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(Post Link) post #9 of 11 Old 17-09-19 Thread Starter
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It turned out to be a lambda sensor on the exhaust. I'm surprised b cause this sensor had been changed in January just before I purchased the car. Is there a reason for it failing so soon?
Is this common?

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Check the wiring.....unless it was a cheap Chinese Lambda ...which often don't work out of the box let alone a few months later!.....then broken/trapped/burnt wiring is a common cause of EML light illumination. I had this with my diesel...two broken, hardened wires where it joined the connector block.
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(Post Link) post #11 of 11 Old 17-09-19 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfaitalia View Post
Check the wiring.....unless it was a cheap Chinese Lambda ...which often don't work out of the box let alone a few months later!.....then broken/trapped/burnt wiring is a common cause of EML light illumination. I had this with my diesel...two broken, hardened wires where it joined the connector block.
Thank you. I will have the wiring checked.


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