Monsterliner
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Welcome to Gearhead Central. We are an automotive forum for all vehicles. We have areas for cars, trucks, semi trucks, motorcycles and recreational vehicles. It doesn't matter if you are just learning about cars or if your a die hard Gearhead, we have something for you. We have some new features to show you. Check out our showcase which is like a virtual garage. We also have competitions which is our contest software. You have to be a member to enter them but membership is free so sign up today.

Diagnostic Code Reader - Essential Tool For Car Maintenance?

Discussion in 'Tools' started by streakanime, May 5, 2014.

Watchers:
This thread is being watched by 4 users.
  1. streakanime

    streakanime Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Messages:
    68
    I'm writing buying guides for automotive stuff right now for one of my private clients. The guides are for individual parts, tools, etc. I'm curious as to what some members of this community have to say about this little dispute...

    My topic was X Essential Tools Used For Car Maintenance.

    I pick how many tools and provide descriptions/what they are used for.

    I put a code reader in my list just because they are convenient. My husband is a mechanic and he thinks anyone who owns a car should have one, lol.

    Anyway, the editor told me it was not an "essential tool" then proceeded to tell me it is not something that would be needed until several years into owning the car. My initial thought was... It must be nice for her to be able to afford a brand spanking new car. I could go buy a used car that has already been used for several years!

    Check engine light comes on - you can use the code reader instead of taking a trip to AutoZone or some other place to get your vehicle scanned. Seems like a good diagnostic tool to have to me.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. J3NN4

    J3NN4 Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Messages:
    67
    I don't know about "essential." It's definitely a nice tool to have, but people get by without having one every single day, especially when you can take your car to an AutoZone and have them do it for free. Having your own saves time, but then you're going to have people who don't know how to read them. It's something you'll mostly find on mechanics or people who do their own car maintenance. It's like, everyone should have a jack for their car, but not everyone owns jack stands just because the most they'll be doing is changing a flat, anything else and it's taken to a shop.

    I would recommend everyone have the Torque app installed if you have an Android device. There's tons of them for iPhone, too, but I use Torque. It was under $5 and it'll tell you any information you need, and sometimes where you can look it up. You still have to buy the adapter, but it's cheaper and more user friendly.
     
  3. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Messages:
    4,622
    Occupation:
    Truck Driver
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    If it is a brand new car then you really only "need" a jack and a wrench. Those come with the car. Most people are going to take cars with warranty on them to the dealer to have the work done for free.

    So I would feel your article would mostly be for used cars that are passed the warranty period. In that case I feel that a code reader is a great tool to have. Anyone that doesn't know how to use it or that would care to learn is going to take it to a shop and never do anything themselves. With that being said it still is good for them as well so they know what codes the car is throwing before going to the shop. It might help keep them honest.

    If your doing your own work then you need to have one. It can help you pin point the problem in some cases. And also allows you to turn off the dash light which is a huge bonus. When you buy one, make sue you know what features you really want and purchase one that does everything you want. I bought one which I like but I found out later that it doesn't read SRS codes. So next time I will spend more money.

    It doesn't hurt to look at an option like @J3NN4 posted. Using adapter to send info to your phone can be great if it gets all of the info you want it to. Plus you have the bonus of having info displayed on your phone that your car might not have from the factory. So research all available options before making your purchase.

    The Torque app wasn't built for the BlackBerry Z10 or the Bold 9000 so I couldn't get it. Now that a lot of Android apps work on the Z10 I will check again to see if people have it working. It would be a nice app to have.

    James
     
  4. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Messages:
    4,622
    Occupation:
    Truck Driver
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    I just checked and it is available on BlackBerry now. I will look at getting a bluetooth OBDII adapter after getting my Jeep and buying the app.

    James
     
  5. J3NN4

    J3NN4 Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Messages:
    67
    And a lot of cars come with free roadside assistance when you purchase a new car, so you don't really even NEED that (though they do come with them) since you can just call and wait for someone to come do it for you. I have 2 years of roadside assistance from buying a car, plus AAA since it's so cheap I haven't bothered to cancel it.

    Glad you found one available for Blackberry. It's not a necessity, but it's useful. I used mine a lot just for the speedometer, because the one in the Taurus didn't work. Torque was off about 1-2 mph, but it was better than 30 mph off haha.
     
  6. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Messages:
    4,622
    Occupation:
    Truck Driver
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Your right on the new cars but I don't see me waiting on roadside assistance for a tire change. I don't even let people pump my gas unless I'm in an area that requires it.

    I want Torque for the other little features.

    James
     
  7. J3NN4

    J3NN4 Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Messages:
    67
    Oh, yeah, I was more thinking about people who wouldn't be able to. If you don't have a jack or a wrench, it's not coming off. Or someone like my mom, who wouldn't physically be capable of lifting a spare or something. So it's handy if you don't have friends/family to come help. Let me know how you like Torque if you decide to download it :D
     
  8. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Messages:
    4,622
    Occupation:
    Truck Driver
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    For them it makes perfect sense. For me I would change it myself even if I had a membership. I would use the tow and boost option.

    I will let you know. I should get it just to do a review on it for the website. :D

    James
     
  9. Detoured

    Detoured New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2014
    Messages:
    24
    I think it should be an essential tool if you drive for a living. If you commute to a 9 to 5 type job, then no. But if your vehicle is what puts food on the table and you're in it for upwards of 10 hours a day, it is a necessity.
     
Verification:
Loading...
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page