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Discussion Starter #1
Continuing my ECU diagnostic education, can anyone recommend any of the ebay Elm 327's After reading all the forums im more confused than ever. Outdated versions, chinese copies, soldering resistors here and there...etc is there anything on the bay that will do the job for a reasonable amount of sterling that anyone can verify works

Ive been lookng at this one: Elm327 Revision 3

:confused:
 

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What are you trying to achieve? Are you just trying to pull an engine related fault code? Most run of the mill garages will pull your codes for £20, however, the trick is interpreting the results (of codes and live data) to cure the sympton, not to just to throw parts at the problem.

I read the product in the links description with interest "Reads the code then turns off your engine light". No mention of curing the problem though? I have to wonder for £16.95 what sort of quality are you expecting?

It is important to remember that the best diagnostic tool a mechanic owns is the one which stops his ears meeting in the middle. Find one who uses this tool and your issues should be solved quickly, accurately and reasonably priced.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Going to a garage takes all the fun out of it! I have fiat ecu scan and its more usable with an elm327 cable, just seeking wiser people who know if what im looking at is worth it, considering all the posts ive read regarding reliability and compatability..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi DB I bought one very similar to this....http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CAR-DIAGNOSTIC-CODE-READER-ELM-327-USB-ver-1-3a-OBD-CAN-/270827312503?pt=UK_Diagnostic_Tools_Equipment&hash=item3f0e90d577
didn't use the software they sent with it, just use it in conjunction with free FES on my laptop, seems to work OK. It is a different seller so can't recommend or tell you to avoid but they seem to have good feedback.
Well a lot of the posts ive read up on are quite old, so maybe these latest version ebay ones are better.... at least thats my logic! :)
 

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What are you trying to achieve? Are you just trying to pull an engine related fault code? Most run of the mill garages will pull your codes for £20, however, the trick is interpreting the results (of codes and live data) to cure the sympton, not to just to throw parts at the problem.
No code reader will cure the symptom, but it will tell you what the problem is ... then you can focus on that and just buy the right parts .. or take it to a garage and tell them exactly what you want them to do.

I read the product in the links description with interest "Reads the code then turns off your engine light". No mention of curing the problem though? I have to wonder for £16.95 what sort of quality are you expecting?
All it has to do it connect to the car and the software on the laptop. If it can do that 16.95 is relatively cheap. Think about reading and re-reading the error codes over several days .. at your estimate above, £20 a pop! One ELM interface and FES and that pays back in one or two goes.

It is important to remember that the best diagnostic tool a mechanic owns is the one which stops his ears meeting in the middle. Find one who uses this tool and your issues should be solved quickly, accurately and reasonably priced.
Yes, and once you can understand what they are telling you, the next mechanic will only be able to sort the issue and not empty your wallet ;)
 

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What are you trying to achieve? Are you just trying to pull an engine related fault code? Most run of the mill garages will pull your codes for £20, however, the trick is interpreting the results (of codes and live data) to cure the sympton, not to just to throw parts at the problem.

I read the product in the links description with interest "Reads the code then turns off your engine light". No mention of curing the problem though? I have to wonder for £16.95 what sort of quality are you expecting?

It is important to remember that the best diagnostic tool a mechanic owns is the one which stops his ears meeting in the middle. Find one who uses this tool and your issues should be solved quickly, accurately and reasonably priced.

Cheers
The fault codes normally tell you exactly what the problem is, there is no "interpreting" .... err that's the whole point of them. There is no reason to throw parts at the problem any more than some average garage mechanic would do if the results weren't absolutely definitive. It's pretty obvious that someone that takes an interest in pulling fault codes themselves is also going to be clued up enough to work out what they mean and what the solution is likely to be. And what has quality got to do with it, either it works or it doesn't, quality doesn't come in to it.

From my experience it'll cost you far more to take the car to a garage just to have the fault codes read than it will to buy a perfectly decent working cable and do it yourself. Really can't see the point of your post at all. :rolleyes:
 

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The one I use looks very similar to the one linked to in post #3 but I paid a lot lot less than that for it. Frankly any USB interface advertised as ELM327 V1.3 or later will work (I ordered a 1.3 because that is the spec. required for FIATECUScan and I didn't see the point in paying the premium for a V1.4 and as it was the seller sent me a V1.4 as the V1.3s were out of production anyway).

Avoid the Bluetooth ones, even if they appear to be a bargain compared to the USB ones. They are cheaper for a reason - they are incompatible with just about all the diagnostic software out there. They can be made to work but there are too many hoops to jump through and it just isn't worth the hassle for the 'convenience'.
 

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Hello

My point was that there are pros and cons to trying to do it yourself.

Alexie - You think "The fault codes normally tell you exactly what the problem is, there is no "interpreting" .... err that's the whole point of them". Not so, and this is my point. There are many codes which need to be interpreted in order to make the correct diagnosis. Take P0170 Fuel Trim Malfunction for instance - what part are you going to replace yourself to fix this code? The point of my post was to present a balanced view. You can buy a cable yourself, you can read the codes yourself, but making the fix it isn't just a case of acting on fault codes.

Many codes which are flagged, even codes which relate to a component, may not relate to the component failing, but could concern the connections, wiring, or the thing they are measuring (water/air/engine position).

Quality comes into in it in the way that most ELM based scanners and software interrogate the EOBD element of the cars computer (this is aimed at flagging emission related issues). The vehicle manufacturer arm the cars computer with an additional level of so called self-diagnosis, which is designed to be interrogated by manufacturer specific level tools/software. Also, higher quality tools/software allow the user to view live data stream at a high resolution, This means faults that haven't set a code can be investigated.

There are many garages out there who don't have a clue, and would just act on the fault code. My point is a switched on garage will perform diagnosis, not a code read - two very different things. The garage or mechanic that can diagnose effectively will deliver a more economical repair.

You say "There is no reason to throw parts at the problem any more than some average garage mechanic would do if the results weren't absolutely definitive." There are many drivability symptoms (flat spots, hesitation etc) may not even produce a code. Some components, such as the MAF sensor, even when they are on their backside, wont set a code. If you are relying on a light to come on, and a code reader to suss these problems, even the worlds best code reader is less use than a motorcycles ashtray. There will be no code, no light and the car will be driving badly. In this case a simple multimeter will tell you what's wrong.

I understand that you "Really can't see the point of your post at all." This is probably because you dont really understand the specifics of fixing cars.

I hope my post has helped you understand my point of view.

Cheers
 

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Or...

To put it simply it helps to be able to interpret the fault codes showing taking into account the symptoms (if any) being demonstrated.

The fault codes normally tell you exactly what the problem is.
Actually, the fault codes very rarely tell you exactly what the problem is. I haven't had any incidents to speak of on the Alfa, but in the time I owned my Jag I had three separate ABS related faults. The same fault code appeared each time (twice on the right rear of the car and once on the left) and to be fair on two occasions it was the same problem on either side - split reluctor rings. The third time the fault was the sensor on the rear right, and it was through smart diagnostics that I learned to interpret the different symptoms of the fault.

If the reluctor rings were damaged or missing the fault code could be reset and the light would go off. Then if the car was driven the fault code would re-appear only after a few yards driving as it would take the ECU some time to interpret the moving data from the sensors being nonsense. On the other hand if the sensor itself had gone open circuit you would reset the fault code and it would re-appear immediately on restarting the car.

The other side of this though was that if any of the wheel speed sensor circuits exhibited a fault the car would behave very strangely with uneven power delivery and a tendency to stall the engine when coming to a halt at the top of an off-ramp. Also the cruise control would shut down and a fault message to this effect would be displayed on the info panel.

These symptoms were quite frankly alarming and if an unsuspecting owner were to describe them to an uneducated 'fitter' (I refuse to call them mechanics) then they would tend to assume the problems with the car amounted to much more than the need to replace a £20 sensor or fit a £70 reluctor ring/CV joint kit.
 

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I recently ordered an ELM 327 V1.4 as apparently the V1.5 doesn't exist and is actually V1.3.

So V1.4 on the way and will give it a check on my GT when I receive it.

Does anyone recommend any freeware software that I can use? (Mainly for diagnosis, but if any can do proxy re-alignment e.t.c, that would be great).
 

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just remeber when you get it you will have to adapt it to work all info can be found on the fes site and you can download a free version of fes too
steve
 

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I recently ordered an ELM 327 V1.4 as apparently the V1.5 doesn't exist and is actually V1.3.
Indeed. Some refer to the Bluetooth equipped one as v1.5 but that is a misnomer. The version number refers to the firmware in the PIC chip and not the hardware, and any variations on the hardware are non-standard. A genuine ELM327 based interface will use serial connections only, and the USB/Bluetooth ones are just the basic interface and a COM adapter crammed into one box.

Does anyone recommend any freeware software that I can use? (Mainly for diagnosis, but if any can do proxy re-alignment e.t.c, that would be great).
FIATECUSCan

just remeber when you get it you will have to adapt it to work all info can be found on the fes site and you can download a free version of fes too
steve
It should work 'out the box' providing you install the correct USB drivers for your particular device and OS and configure the COM port correctly. FLi drivers are what the majority of them use.
 
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