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ElmScan 5....Just got it in the mail from Amazon. Reads all the data but does not display any DTC's. Any heelp? Am I doing something wrong? I see the gascap and service 4WD system alerts but they are not on the computer display. I went with one that plugs into my computer via USB cable.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The elmscan 5 will not display the codes. worthless to me. I have another one that I will try later in the week. It goes to a smartphone. I would prefer to have a windows based scanner that connects to my toughbook via usb.
 

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The Key Dance and scanners under $300 will only read the OBDII codes and few extra manufacturer makes available and stored in the PCM. There are many more codes stored in the PCM, TCM and many other electronic modules all over the vehicle. As well configuring and values that can be set, and operations to do maintenance procedures.

NOT sure on the Diablo and Hypertech, they're primarily for flashing the PCM with new tables for fuel and spark. I know they can read codes, but I don't know if they can read all the codes for all modules and do maintenance operations.

I use the AutoEnguinity ScanTool, it plugs into a laptop via USB. Its a software package as well the adapter cable. The base software package is $200 and to be able to do all the extended functions I spoke about above, is an additional package by manufacturer that costs another $200. The Chrysler Package will do all Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep.
 

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The Key Dance and scanners under $300 will only read the OBDII codes and few extra manufacturer makes available and stored in the PCM. There are many more codes stored in the PCM, TCM and many other electronic modules all over the vehicle. As well configuring and values that can be set, and operations to do maintenance procedures.

NOT sure on the Diablo and Hypertech, they're primarily for flashing the PCM with new tables for fuel and spark. I know they can read codes, but I don't know if they can read all the codes for all modules and do maintenance operations.

I use the AutoEnguinity ScanTool, it plugs into a laptop via USB. Its a software package as well the adapter cable. The base software package is $200 and to be able to do all the extended functions I spoke about above, is an additional package by manufacturer that costs another $200. The Chrysler Package will do all Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep.
Hey Mongo, can you take some screen shots or something of this system. And maybe go into a little more detail. I was planing on getting the super chips but would like to see all options first.
 

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My guess, it will have the same features as the ELMSCAN 5, which is hardly any features at all.

The manufacturers keep the protocol information proprietary for an unfair competitive advantage to force owners into dealerships instead of doing it themselves or taking their vehicles to independent shops.

The licensing fees to get the information is insane, or the company making the tools has to spend lots of time reverse engineering all the protocols.

So yea, the tools costs 5-10 times what their worth because of that.

I could be wrong, but the Elmscan and OBD Link, look like they are little more than toys to play around with, NOT really tools, you can NOT retrieve codes, you can't clear them, you can't retrieve/clear codes in all the modules all over the vehicle, you can't initiate maintenance operations or self-tests, enter/change configuration data. The tools that can do that costs $500 and then only for one manufacturer, i.e. you have to pay through the nose for each manufacturer you want those features.

Even then those expensive tools can NOT do the, activation of new modules, flash non-volatile data like VIN#, mileage, etc and flash new software to the module. Those tools costs thousands of dollars, like the Dealer Tool that can costs $17k. And the dealer tool is just software on a cheap laptop with a cable. Even worse, more than a few of the procedures require connecting to a corporate database that you have to have a dealer account to do.

Maybe on ebay you can find a used tool for $30-$50 that is capable of reading OBDII codes and clearing them, they run $100 new, and those do NOT read the codes for all the modules, you can have warning lights on the dash on the tools will NOT read any codes from the modules that are setting the warning lights.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh boy......well, it's already ordered and paid for so I will see what I get. I hope the damn thing will tell me more than "SERVICE 4WD SYSTEM". I already know that but, service what part of it? Starting to miss my Cadillac. I could retrieve and clear codes. Diagnosed and repaired a TCC solenoid myself, replace intake plenum gasket, did lots to her and saved a ton of money. Gave it to my brother-in-law because he needed a car and I wanted an SUV.
 

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What year was your Cadillac? GM is worse than Chrysler with proprietary repair/diagnostic information and locks on the software in the modules?

Of course, earlier vehicles like before 2000, only had PCM's and TCM's, maybe Body Control Module (BCM). After 2000, and definitely after 2006 when all vehicles had to meet a whole slew of new government mandated electronic safety features, all vehicles have a dozen electronic control modules talking to each other over a several layer network.
 

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....I hope the damn thing will tell me more than "SERVICE 4WD SYSTEM".....
There are several threads about "SERVICE 4WD SYSTEM", if you had the firmware flashed recently (it would have been done if had any service at all done at a dealership) its likely the new firmware.

Unfortunately, I don't think you're going to find any tool that will read the DTC's in 4WD control modules that is anything less $500 or there abouts. I'm NOT an expert, and I hope I'm wrong, but a couple years ago I researched and called a couple company's looking for a tool capable of what you describe, read all DTC's from every electronic module, as well as, read air bag codes, operate the ABS pump to bleed brakes, etc.

The best value I found was the AutoEnginuity I posted earlier about, I think there is another competitor with scan tool in the name, works the same way, special cable with a "chip" in the cable that connects to a laptop (or other computer devices).

AutoEnginuity comes as a base package for ~$200-$250 (depending where you buy it), the base package is really NOT more capable of typical scan tool, reads PCM OBDII codes and the few extra the manufacturer makes available through the PCM, some monitoring features, etc.

You have to buy an extended package for a particular manufacturer for ~$200-$250, I bought the Chrysler Extended Powertrain Features package, that lets me have all the features of the scan tool for Chrysler based vehicles only (that includes Jeep and Dodge of course).

The only thing I have NOT been able to do with my AutoEnginuity:
*Hook up to my '95 Jeep Cherokee, it uses an earlier connector and protocols, even the dealer needs a separate tool.
*Read AirBag codes on my '99 Neon, '90's airbag were a whole separate item then, that had there own set of diagnostic tools. Post 2000 airbags communicate on the CAN bus and I can read Airbag codes in my '02 Caravan and '10 Jeep.
*Program VIN# and Mileage, this requires overwriting the non-volatile memory of the electronic module, something that requires a special chip and is like flashing the module with new software, I think the Hypertech and Diablo can do this, but I don't know if they can do the other features you'll find on the Autoenginuity.
*Flash new software to the modules.
*Activate new modules, new modules or accessory modules will come disabled, they have to be enabled, again its overwriting something in the non-volatile memory.
*Start the SmartKey Programming process, you still have to go to the dealer for this (in 2010 Chrysler got rid of the owner self-programming of new keys, you can't do it anymore on your own, you have to go to the dealer).


You can overwrite configuration data, I believe the PCM probably has a way to store some info in its non-volatile memory itself, and the Autoenginuity can change that configuration data and the PCM will take it from there and overwrite that info. The wheel diameter is one, if you put on oversized tires, it can mess with the ESP, enabling or disabling Day Time Running Lights is another example, you program in the new tire diameter so it will adjust the ESP to work correctly, you can do that with Autoenginuity as well, I think the HyperTech and Diablo.

I "think", but I do NOT know, because I have never used a Diablo or Hypertech, the Diablo/Hypertech are PCM flashing tools to upload custom modified PCM software that is already stored within the tool. It has additional feature that can be used for diagnostics and maintenance procedures.

The Autoegnuiniy is a diagnostic and maintenance tool, that does NOT have the ability to flash anything. Without the benefit of side by side comparison, I'm going to guess the Autoenginuity is much better diagnostic and maintenance tool than the Diablo/Hypertech. Just the interface is superior for troubleshooting. Working with multiple windows on a windows computer has got to be more flexible than a simple LCD character screen, when you're trying to monitor and check multiple things to figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yep, it was another emissions scanner that does not read the trans or drivetrain faults. Odd thing with the ignition, I get nothing on the 3 times on to get to codes. Is this 2009 model year not capable of doing that? I just want to know what the service 4 Wheel Drive System is referring to. I went by Firestone and they don't have the software to scan this. I don't want to pay for a trouble code scan but, looks like I may have to. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Not interested in tuning the engine and messing with TPS or speed governors and all that stuff. I just want to know what's wrong and fix it. I don't trust dealerships. Maybe I can find a local mechanic that has this scanner. I will probably just buy it myself anyway now that I understand what I need.
 
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