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OBD II the must have scanner tool for...

by Willy / February 15, 2008 2:36 AM PST

Check Engine error/light

Why? For two important reasons:

1) Help pin-point the area of error code problem
2) It keeps your mechanic honest Wink

The scanner just allows you a better understanding of what's going on under the hood. Further, the sensors buried in new vehicles simply need that attention as any replacement part is costly and thus hopefully you replace the right part as appearance alone may not be telling to include some shade tree mechanics tests. Depending on what scanner you buy the simplest are under $100, better ones should cover wider vehicle models and/or offer updatability.

What experiences have you had?

off soapbox -----Willy :

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re: OBD II the must have scanner tool for...
by wcunning CNET staff / February 15, 2008 6:26 AM PST
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Thanks for the CNet link, check my review
by Willy / February 15, 2008 10:40 AM PST

Strange, that Actron model CP9125 was considered by me, but i opted for the better model CP9180.

My review on the CP9180: Well, it started pretty bad. The sealed box it came in looked great but upon opening found the CD missing. Everything else was there. After getting a new 9V battery to try the CP9180, it didn't work. Maybe, the battery was dead, plugged into the OBD II port, the display came on real bright, but no menu or any text. After several basic checks, I concluded it was deader than a doorknob, emailed Actron with my dismay. Next day, return to store and got a replacement, it TOO! had a missing CD, but at least it worked. Called Actron support, got order for replacement CD. OBD II testing was OK, compared to my much older OBD I?(Ford) which got lost or walked away. It helped reset the error and reported no further errors on the drive home using real time diags. Well, at least this OBD II can test various vehicles which means I'll get called to come visit with scanner. Sad -----Willy

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Craftsman CAN-OBD2 Model 20890 comments & manuals
by tbates57 / September 25, 2013 1:10 PM PDT

I'm a noobie to automotive scanners but thought I'd share some difficult to find info on the Craftsman 20890 scanner which I just received today.

Craftsman Tech Support (800-544-4124) confirmed that the 20890 is the same as the Innova 3130b, asked if mine was the 6 or 7 button model, and directed me to the following links:
6 button (presumed earlier model) -
7 button -
Software -

First impressions of the 20890 are very favorable, compared to my cheap ELM327 introduction to code scanners. I like the slip-on rubber boot that should help protect the plastic case if dropped. Overall measurements are 8X3.5X1.5" and the screen is just over 2.75" (diagonal). The PC connecting cable is USB to MiniUSB-B.
Hook-up & data reading could hardly be easier. The real test will be the ease of diagnosis when there are troubles to fix.

There were no codes recorded on my truck (2009 Ford Ranger) but it did collect a large range of other data and allow saving & printing. Tomorrow, I'll try it on wife's PT Cruiser (which recently prompted the scanner urge with a "check engine light" & $250 visit to the dealer for replacing a $40 part).

For what it's worth, I stumbled on the following manuals while searching for the correct ones:
87702 -
80899 -
14063 -

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