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I bought an obd2 (say modified elm on it) cable and software from eBay to try read my ecu as the car is running lumpy on taking off and accelerating hard. Changed the spark plugs, maf sensor and lambda sensors trying to remedy this so now I’m suspecting a dodgy coil pack on one of the spark plugs so I’ll have a look at that this afternoon. Any reasons why the cable and software can’t read the car it works up until connecting to the car? The car is a 2004 156 1.6ts facelift engine code AR32104. Checked all fuses but still no luck. What sort of cable is required for this ecu if not the modified elm one I bought? Tried multiscan, fiatecuscan and the software provided with the cable all can’t read the car. Any help much appreciated. Thanks
 

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Have you installed the correct drivers for the chipset used? FTDI or..? And set it up as a virtual COM port? And set the software to use that COM port? (From memory COM5 is usually safest, least likely to conflict with other real or virtual ports).
 

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There are cheap chinese cables which dont work at all and need some sort of tinkering with, I must of bought 1 off ebay and tried it with multescan and nothing worked, i was changing ports ect ect and then read a few threads about these cheap cables so decided to throw it away, I bought a set of proper cables, the 4 coloured ends with the proper (Eml ?) Cables which i think were £15 from ebay, i downloaded Multescan again and when plugged into the car everything worked straight away i didnt have to mess about with ports or whatever.
I've even paid £50 (?) for multiscan membership (or whatever its called) so i can do a little more with it though that's my choice it's not compulsory.

Here's a link regarding the cheap Elm cables, Not sure if this is what you're talking about

http://forum.multiecuscan.net/viewtopic.php?t=1493
 

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Hi Ericryan331, I just got my first Alfa less than a year ago, so I am far from 'experienced', but sometimes a rookies eyes see things that more experienced travellers will rush past. I have Alfadiag, multiEcuscan, and an NT510 Foxwell handheld unit that I got off ebay. I have all three of these because, like you, I couldn't get the units to 'read'. The software could not enter into conversation with the car. My problem was never the cable, nor the wrong 'com port', nor, in fairness to myself was it my stupidity. I mucked about with these things and couldn't get them to work. But there was nothing wrong with them. It was just that the battery on my car was not fully charged. What I do now is I take the battery out and put it on charge for at least an hour or so before wanting to do any diagnostics. Then, when I run my checks with diagnostics I run nothing that will drain the battery. I do not listen to the radio. Once my voltage drops to around 12 or so (as read or displayed on my chinese cigarette lighter usb plug) I am done for that session. I have about an hour in key position MAR to get everything done. All three of my diagnostic tools work fine. My Elm cable is fine. My KKL cable is fine. Everything I got off ebay was fine.Follow the KISS rule. Before spending ANY more money, I suggest you fully charge your car battery before proceeding. Good luck, buddy.
 

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This can be a bit of a minefield, especially if you start trying to fault-find without working through it or understanding the various gotchas.

Basically

- GET THE RIGHT CABLE/INTERFACE

- As you'll see from the MES chart in the MES user guide PDF, some functions are only available to some adaptors on some cars. It's a rather difficult chart to understand, but it does make sense eventually. There is a page of adaptors known to work with MES here: Multiecuscan - Diagnostics software for Italian cars also the link to the User Guide

- Many/most of the ELM327 adaptors on eBay are defective Chinese knock-offs, either will never work or only work partially, or are misdescribed / wrong version (eg 1.2 which won't work, but sold as 1.3 or higher which will). I have a small collection of this useless crap.

- There are known issues with many ELM adaptors, that can be fixed. 'Modified' ELM should not need this, since they already claim to have the mods.
FAULTY ELM 327 INTERFACES DE-MYSTIFIED (READ HERE) - Multiecuscan

- Bluetooth ELM327 adaptors are generally plug and play (and DON'T need special drivers, unlike cabled connections), but I've never yet got one that is better than partially useful. That is, can read some parameters to MES or Torque, but not others. My 'best' one is supposed to shut itself down after 30 mins doing nothing, and appears to - but flattens the car battery in a few days if left in the socket. That is, it turns off its output, but not its chipset.

- KL/Vagcom cables are also problematic. Some will only handle OBD2, where Alfa use the European version of OBD2, EOBD. There are also different plug schemes for airbag, BCU etc, which either required the coloured adaptors or track switching in the plug itself.

- Basically, stick to ELM327 and KL Vagcom that are guaranteed to work with Alfa/Fiat etc. Rarebear, on AO, sells modified KL Vagcom sets that work.

- SET UP YOUR COMPUTER or TABLET

- Your Windows 7-10 computer requires Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0 SP1 (or newer) to be installed, for MES to work.

- Any cabled ELM or KL interface needs drivers installed. Most use FTDI chips to convert the OBD2 Canbus data stream to serial data for USB, Windows drivers come in 32 and 64 bit versions from Virtual COM Port Drivers Just to complicate things further, there are lots of cheap Chinese knock-offs of FTDI UART chips that can be killed by FTDI's drivers -see https://hackaday.com/2014/10/22/watch-that-windows-update-ftdi-drivers-are-killing-fake-chips/ But there are also other mfrs (eg Prolific, Silicon Labs) and if your interface uses their UART chip instead, you will need to find and install their drivers. NB that Windows may well install its own drivers, but they won't necessarily work. You may need to explicitly select the correct drivers via Control Panel|Devices|Ports [properties tab: update driver]

- The driver sets up the USB cable connection to function as a virtual COM port. Windows will assign a COM port, but not necessarily correctly - it depends what else you have installed. EG some laptops will have inbuilt GSM or dialup modem on a port. You can check via Control Panel|Device Manager|Ports. COM1 and COM 3 share interrupts, as do COM 2 & 4, so if there is something on COM1, don't use COM3, ditto COM2<> COM4, to avoid conflicts. It's unlikely you will have anything on COM5, COM6 etc, so that is a fairly safe choice.

- The final part of the jigsaw is telling MES, in its settings, to use the COM port you have just assigned to your cable interface. If these don't match it won't work. NB you can set up your KL Vagcom interface on one port, and ELM on another, and switch MES to whichever is plugged in.
 

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That's the best description ever about how to get MES working! Seriously, it made good sense to me where I only managed to guess my way around previously.

Can you make this a sticky, halftone?

Well done.
 
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