Vehicle Code Reader

Discussion in 'Not Sure Where it Goes' started by Cody Fousnaugh, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    3,117
    Likes Received:
    2,553
    First, does anyone in the forum have, or had, one of these and use it when the Check Engine light comes on in your vehicle? Or, know someone who has, or had, one and used it for the same purpose?

    The Check Engine light came on in our 1997 Dodge 1500 RAM truck last week while my wife was driving it in stop and go traffic due to a motorcycle accident. The past May, this light came on and the code (from a Code Reader at a auto parts store) stated we needed a new Purge Valve within our Fuel Evaporator System. We had Midas install a new Purge Valve and the light went off and hasn't been back on until last week.

    Took the truck back to Midas, thinking it could be a defective Purge Valve, but, after checking it, told us it wasn't. They then done a smoke test, from a smoke machine, and told us a little smoke was coming from the top of our gas tank. Apparently, a hose leak or some other type of leak. Not the kind of repair they want to do and, being the age of the truck, it is/has been hard finding any other leaks. Left the truck there last night, so they could further check it out today.

    Got a call from the manager telling us that they weren't going to continue with the leak search and put more manpower hours into the truck. He recommended leaving the Engine Light on, if it comes back on after they turn it off, buy a Code Read and periodically use the Code Reader to make sure the same Code is coming up. He says that he does this with his Corvette and that he knows why the Check Engine Light is on.

    Ok, that's it. What do you think? BTW, we are talking about an $80 Code Reader that can be used with both of our vehicles.
     
    #1
    Ina I. Wonder likes this.
  2. Harry Havens

    Harry Havens Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    May 24, 2017
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    271
    When you say top of your gas tank, do you mean the top of the filler tube or actual top of the tank?

    Having a code reader is not a bad investment, imo.
     
    #2
    Ina I. Wonder likes this.
  3. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    3,117
    Likes Received:
    2,553
    Actually, I was going to shorten my opening statement, but the forum wouldn’t let me edit it. Some people won’t read a new thread if the opening statement is too long, SO, thanks for reading and replying to it.

    They told me the top of the tank.

    In Aug 2012, we had a new tank installed. Two years later, we could smell some gas, so took it back to the shop that installed the tank. There was a small crack found under one of the mounting brackets at the top of the tank. The shop looked far a new tank, but couldn’t find one. So, the mechanic covered the crack with JB Weld and told us to only fill the tank half full. The Check Engine Light never came on from doing that.

    We also bought, and put on, a locking gas cap, with no fuel evap problems from that (Check Engine Light coming on).

    Do you recommend any, below $100, Code Reader? We are looking at a Actron Pocket Size Plus for $70
     
    #3
    Frank Sanoica and Ina I. Wonder like this.
  4. Tim Burr

    Tim Burr Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    Messages:
    738
    Likes Received:
    1,493
    @Cody Fousnaugh
    Did some checking on your 1997 Ram 1500 and there were complaints
    to the NHTSA about the neck of the fill tube separating from the
    fuel tank causing leaks. ( this is the plastic tank )

    Since the fill tube is secured to the outer part of the truck and the
    tank is secured to the frame, they can move in different directions
    when the car is in motion, if the straps loosen just a little bit.

    My concern is the statement 'not to fill the tank all the way'
    and the location of the exhaust pipe.
    If 'smoke' from the test can escape, then so can fuel.

    I use JB Weld on somethings, but it won't help on new cracks you can't see.

    If it was my truck, I'd consider parting ways with it if you can.

    I hope you find a solution.
     
    #4
  5. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    3,117
    Likes Received:
    2,553
    Can’t get rid of the truck. If we have a problem with our Durango and it has to go into the shop, we wouldn’t have a vehicle for my wife to get to work. So, until it either completely breaks down or when we move from here, have to keep the truck.

    Anyway, when we picked it up, the Check Engine Light was off and didn’t come back on driving it home.

    Going to get a good Code Reader.
     
    #5
  6. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    3,825
    Likes Received:
    3,421
    @Cody Fousnaugh
    I would have read it if it were book-length! Just happens I've been "around the block" many times over codes and readers. The scoop is this: your '97 falls into the era of "On Board Diagnostics II" which was made mandatory from '96 and up. OBD-II includes new digitized electronics use, makin many types of codes invisible to the earlier code-reader devices.

    I didn't know that, and my older, obsolete (though I didn't know it then) code reader failed to detect and advise me the ABS system (Antilock Brake System) had failed, and the car's computer placed the engine in "Forced Engine Idle" mode. Car could not be driven!

    This new technology uses a protocol nicknamed "CAN". When buying a code reader it must specify "CAN capability" as well as "ABS capability". Now having run out of breath, I'll retrieve the dandy little new reader I bought, and list it here as recommended. It's a Bosch OBD 1100, not their cheapest, nor most expensive, by a long shot. A description of it is at this Bosch website: https://www.boschdiagnostics.com/diy/products/bosch-obd-1100.

    There are a number of them used and new here: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_od...TR0.TRC0.H0.TRS0&_nkw=bosch+obd+1100&_sacat=0. $70 used, $120 new. Next step up is the 1200 model, which I don't need.

    [​IMG]

    I could no longer continue to own, use, or repair, the newer vehicles having computers in them, without a scan tool, or code reader. I would be driving a '70s vintage old crock! Hope this helps you.

    BTW, driving with the CEL (Check Engine Light) on continuously is asking for problems down the road, IMO. Especially if emissions testing is necessary at registration time. And, in the case of continued driving in neglect of the light, where the fault detected eventually disables the vehicle.
    Frank
     
    #6
  7. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    3,117
    Likes Received:
    2,553
    Well, I use to be a "backyard" type of mechanic. Didn't do anything really major, like brake change or tearing down an engine, but did do other easier things. But, due to my age, previous surgeries and the onboard computer thing, I'm very limited in what I can do. Mainly, change wiper blades, air cleaner, check oil, add fluids and replace brake light bulbs. Everything else is left up to a repair shop. And, that "repair shop" now is either Goodyear or the Dodge Dealer. Still might go back to Midas, but this is the second time they weren't able to fix something for us. The last thing was the A/C in our Durango. They actually told us that we needed to take the Durango to the Dealer to fix and the Dealer fix it.

    There is no emissions testing in Florida. Another reason, besides the winter weather here and job salaries, that so many people live here.

    So far, since Midas turned off the CEL, it hasn't come back on. Just out of curiosity, when the CEL is turned off, but the problem isn't fixed, should (will) the CEL come back on? If you know the answer to that question, please let me know.
     
    #7
    Frank Sanoica likes this.
  8. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    3,117
    Likes Received:
    2,553
    Why did you get a Code Reader?

    I’m still thinking about getting one, but a new one for under $100. I don’t need one that has different languages in it. Don’t want an expensive one either, being that would be overkill for me.

    As already stated, I use to be a DIYer years ago. Guess I’d just like to get an idea of a problem when the CEL goes on. Does that sound ok??
     
    #8
  9. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Messages:
    21,356
    Likes Received:
    6,426
    @Cody Fousnaugh im answer to this question... from my o/h...

    So far, since Midas turned off the CEL, it hasn't come back on. Just out of curiosity, when the CEL is turned off, but the problem isn't fixed, should (will) the CEL come back on? If you know the answer to that question, please let me know.

    The answer is YES there is every likelihood that the CEL light will come back on if the problem isn't fixed... however a crack in the top of a feul tank will not be the cause of the CEL light coming on...it will be caused by something else.

    You need to get yourself a Code reader which is capable of turning off the CEL...

    My husband has has quite a good one, it does a lot of stuff, and he has his connected constantly behind his dashboard, and if the reader detects any faults it immediately alerts his Smart phone, and he can then turn off the lights and investigate as soon as he gets the alert.

    You're looking just for a basic plug in wired model, which as long as it has the capability to read all codes and also turn off the light, you should be able to buy one quite cheaply..
     
    #9
  10. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    3,117
    Likes Received:
    2,553
    We found a couple that are very good and under $150. We can use it on both of our vehicles.

    Never thought about buying one of these, since I don’t do “backyard mechanic” work anymore. But, now......
     
    #10
  11. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Messages:
    21,356
    Likes Received:
    6,426
    You should be able to use it on any car Cody ...my o/h has been using code readers and diagnostic tools for years
     
    #11
  12. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    3,825
    Likes Received:
    3,421
    @Cody Fousnaugh
    The CEL is turned on by the computer if it detects a fault occurring repeatedly, for which it has been programmed to do so. Obviously, certain kinds of "faults" do not warrant turning on the CEL. Originally, only faults leading to unacceptable exhaust emissions were displayed. With the inception of OBD-II, however, many other faults including those not affecting emissions, have been added, as an example, faults which can lead to serious driveline damage, such as over-temperature or lack of adequate lubrication. Generally, if a fault of non-serious nature is detected once, or twice, then does not occur again within a certain period of operation, it will be ignored, and no CEL turned-on. So, depending on the fault occurrence type and frequency, the CEL may or may not return soon, after stored faults in memory are deleted.
    Frank
     
    #12
  13. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    3,825
    Likes Received:
    3,421
     
    #13
  14. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    3,117
    Likes Received:
    2,553
    Boy, one thing for sure, abbreviations sure are better than typing the entire name out. As in CEL, instead of Check Engine Light or OBD, instead of Onboard Diagnostic.
    Shoot, from my old EMS days, I still write "meds" instead of the word "medications" and write a R or L, with a circle around either instead of writing "left" or "right".

    If a person understands what the abbreviation stands for, it sure makes using the abbreviation much fast/easier to write.
     
    #14
  15. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    3,117
    Likes Received:
    2,553
    After doing quite a bit of research online about Code Readers, we bought the Actron AutoScanner CP9670 at Pep Boys. I got a $20 discount on it. It covers OB1 and OB2 and other things on a color screen. I wanted one that would tell what the code meant, so I wouldn't necessarily look it up. Was going to buy one online, but don't like buying electronics online and having them ship to me. I just feel safer buying electronic stuff in a store. Now all I have to do is learn how to use it.
     
    #15
    Frank Sanoica likes this.
  16. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2016
    Messages:
    5,413
    Likes Received:
    6,878
    I just have one question @Cody Fousnaugh. Can the problem your Durango is having cause it to catch on fire?
     
    #16
  17. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    3,117
    Likes Received:
    2,553
    It's not the Durango that has/had the problem, it was our Dodge truck (RAM 1500). Wife took it to work this morning and the CEL still hasn't come back on yet.

    No, it will not catch fire. There is a very small crack in the top of the tank, behind a holding bracket. Since this crack is at the top of the tank, we only fill the tank half full of gas. Actually, I doubt this problem has anything to do with the crack. When we drive this truck, we don't smell gas at all. We use to, as well as see some gas dribbling down the tank, but since the JB Weld was put on, the dribbling stopped and very little-to-no has smell at all.
     
    #17
  18. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    3,825
    Likes Received:
    3,421
    @Cody Fousnaugh
    My experiences with scanners is that mine all came with good instruction books except for one, the most complicated. It's instructions are available on-line, 100 pages! Good luck with it! Try it out.

    If you need to look up code meanings by code, this link is good: https://www.engine-codes.com/
    Frank
     
    #18
  19. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    3,117
    Likes Received:
    2,553
    My brother told me early today, on the phone, that he has three code readers/scanners and said he's pretty proud that his younger brother (me), got one. He loves mechanic work, but hates computers. So, now that I have a "mechanic" type thing, I'm doing good. I say, "Thanks, I love you"!!
     
    #19

Share This Page