scan tools

This topic contains 23 replies and was last updated by andrew-van-der-merwe 11 years 1 month ago
March 19th, 2010 4:06am
will a automotive obd 1 or obd 2 scan tool work on HD trucks like a chev 5500 to read trouble shooting codes. and how do i know that i'm getting a tool that will read more than just one type of truck with out having to buy softwear or more hardwear?
March 19th, 2010 9:02am
Yea the 5500 uses OBDII... you'll have to be a little more specific on what you mean by "heavy duty". The 5500 is medium duty at best. (some would argue it's a car) If you're really talking heavy duty OBD won't help. Also if you're really talking heavy duty, scanners are yesterdays news you need a computer and for the foreseeble future, no one piece of software fits all.
March 20th, 2010 7:20pm
From my experiences in the past, a laptop based program with oscilliscope is the only way to go. There are programs and upgrades for all applications. And if your gonna work on newer stuff, you will most likely need CANBUS compliant software. Most of these are also compiant with OBD1 and ODB2, so you will never need to worry about which one will work.
March 20th, 2010 11:48pm
Now this could be a very interesting topic to explore.

It seems that all the dealerships intend to make it as difficult as possible for any work to be done on vehicles outside of their own shops.

The software that they use is dedicated to their specific types of vehicles and equipment, and they protect them religiously. The generic scan tools are available on the market with limited software to what you are capable of, or allowed to be repairing.

the software that you are allowed to use, tends to be very ineffective or inefficient in actually finding the problems. Caterpillar, John Deere, Cummins, and the rest of the big manufacturers protect their software and do not allow any of the outside shops to work on their equipment. This protects the employment of the mechanics of the dealerships And insures at the dearships make their money, but does little to ensure that the owners of the equipment get service at reasonable rates.

I was recently informed that, in Alberta, a mechanical shops association have expressed these concerns to the provincial government. Recently, a "right to work" legislation has been enacted. This makes it compulsory for manufacturers to make available the software and/or hardware necessary to properly diagnose equipment outside of the dealerships.

Are there people in Alberta that know of this legislation and what it's all about?
March 21st, 2010 12:06pm
I don't know anything about Canadian law but I'd bet it won't help. A program that cost $1000 and requires you to buy a yearly license and will be obsolete in a couple of years is AVAILABLE. It's not very useful to the average tech but it's available. I guarantee that in the future the government will force the Heavy Duty industry into an OBD style format. That however is far enough into the future we can't stop to worry about it now.
March 21st, 2010 4:12pm
Scan tools for HD are hard to come by. However I did find one that works. The EVO scanner from NAPA is what I came into. It will read codes for the engine, codes for the ABS and any other codes present in the system. It also displays real time data, such as throttle angle, injector pulse time, est MPG, Fluid temps, Jake switch position and a wack more.

It was meant for an automotive scanner once you use it, but there is a HEAVY DUTY diagnostic icon, and it uses either your 6 pin Deutch, or 9 pin Deutch or the 12 pin connector. Which connects to the OBD-II smart cable which tells the scanner what type of system it is looking at. We have Freightliner M2's with Mercedes MBE900, International 9400's with CATS, F550 with 7.3L, International 9400 with ISX, Prostar with ISX. Works with everything.
March 23rd, 2010 4:16pm
I looked into the EVO and it's really over priced for what it offers the H/D tech. ($1.9K to $4k depending on the level of accessories) There's nothing truly H/D that uses OBDII. It's only going to offer the most generic of info. It certainly isn't going to get into the ISX.

essentially you're just getting the basic ATA/J1708 data. The pro link had a generic H/D cartridge that would do the same. It wasn't good for any serious trouble shooting. The Pro Link which was the H/D scanner of choice never supported Cummins either.
March 24th, 2010 1:55pm
Do you want me to post a video on how it actually goes into the data and code readings from an ISX truck?

KN16 - You got an attitude problem, Ive seen you post on this site many times. And ask for advice. Then when someone comes out with something you shoot the shit out of what they say and try to be a know it all, when in reality you dont know anything. Your a washed up clown. Dont ever respond to my posts again. Keep my name out of your mouth and we can keep it the same.
March 24th, 2010 2:26pm
Very proffessional attitude. Watch the language please. I never asked for your advise I responded to someone else. This is not a matter of opinion The sacnner you recomended will only get very basic info. Cummins runs a Proprietery system and with out Cummins Insite software your not getting any more than basics out of that engine.
March 24th, 2010 2:43pm
What is very basic info? If you were a 67 ticketed mechanic you wouldnt reply on computer sensors to solve your problems. Thats where a true diagnostic technician and a shade tree mechanic collide. If you want info, hit the service manual, if you want better results than that, hit the specialty tool department. Never ever go on sensors and computer analysis alone.
March 24th, 2010 5:47pm
On other topics we've had people say these trucks are too complicated. That comes from not relying on what the vehicle has to say.
March 24th, 2010 5:58pm
Nice cover up.
March 24th, 2010 7:18pm
I don't know why you are so bitter but it would be nice if you could control your language.
September 13th, 2010 7:46am
This is a topic that was suggested as a good topic to explore. Somehow it got diverted to a level of hate mail between to members. I then forgot about it.

It wasn't until SaitteCah jumped in with the spam that I was reminded of this question.

This is a topic that does need to be discussed, but it does have to be a rational discussion. People that insult and vilify others should not take up the time of others that wish to learn and earn.

A basic scan tool, with the appropriate software, will allow a mechanic to read codes. This is referred to, simply, as a code reader. There are many on the market for automotive but few for HD engines.

A higher grade scan tool, with the appropriate software, will have software for a large variety of vehicles and their models; be able to access all the PCM's and their modules. The scan tool will offer the mechanic the circuits that need to be diagnosed, and make basic suggestions where to look. The scan tool will allow mechanics to make changes to settings only to minor circuits where access codes are not required.

A dealership for automotive or HD will have specific scan tools that will allow mechanics to read, diagnose, and modify settings to the level of access the mechanic is allowed. Access codes are detailed to the mechanic level, the shop foreman level, the dealer level, and the manufactures level. Even though someone has bought the vehicle or equipment, they still have to return to the dealer for repairs. The vehicle owner does not have access to his own equipment, and many view this as a problem.

Earlier I intimated that an association in Alberta found a way to defeat this manipulation by manufacturers. We need to find out more.
September 14th, 2010 2:52am
We had a recent problem with one of our delivery trucks. It's a Topkick C-6500 with a Cat 3126 Diesel. The GM dealers in town could not read any engine codes even though it's OBD 2.

The Snap On dealer told me this Fall there will be software available for the Medium Duty market (at a price). All I wanted was someone to read the engine codes so we could get a handle on the no-run condition.

The Freightliner dealer in town with the Cat software was able to hook up somehow, I didn't ask how they did it (trade secret :) ) but they could read the codes and help us out.

As Jimo has stated, I've also heard the news about OEMs sharing their software with the rest of the world.
September 14th, 2010 5:40pm
That's where we left off last time. Current issue scan tools can only get to the most generic info. Higher level engine codes are proprietary. I've always figured the government would force them into line sooner or latter but, I've heard no news.
November 3rd, 2010 4:27am
The problem with the situation that busmechanic had, was that any old GM dealer can't hook on to a Topkick with a Cat and an OBD2 plug. CAT software is needed, and a particular cable that can connect through what APPEARS to be an OBD2 connector. No trade secret, no funny stuff, only appropriate tooling for a specific vehicle. The GM dealer is simply no longer a Cat dealer (maybe they never were?), and the Freightliner dealer had the appropriate stuff.

As far as a lobby group, Jimo, I'd like to know who to talk to to join or network with, as we've run into other access to info issues, the kind that prevent simple commercial vehicle inspections from being completed anywhere but at the dealer, which is not in anyone's interests.
February 2nd, 2011 6:09am
Hello im new hear and just wanted to weight in on what i have found. I have the evo and it does give some hd info but after using cat et and cummins insite you have alot more info if you get the manufactures softwere. Its the diffrence from a $300 dollar scantool and a $3000 scantool.
January 4th, 2013 5:02am
I don't know much about up there in Canada as far as scanners go . But i purchased an OTC 3418 scanner and have had pretty good success reading class 4 to class 8 trucks , and recently have used it on a 70 ton linkbelt crane to read the engine codes.
January 4th, 2013 5:17am
Let's talk dollars and cents. And try to avoid some of the nonsense like we had in previous posts.

What did your scanner and software cost, and just what do you think it is capable of.

What other software was available?
January 4th, 2013 5:22am
If I remember right, the OTC scanner is the same one sold under the MAC tools logo. Is that correct?
January 4th, 2013 5:37am
I am not sure. I bought mine at an auto parts house , then found a manual online that helps break the codes down even farther.
January 4th, 2013 5:39am
The scanner costs approximately 500 u.s. dollars. It supposedly can be updated online. software is already installed on it .
January 21st, 2013 5:15am
for h/d scanners here in canada the ones that i am familiar with is the snap-on, mac tools,and matco tools scanner that comes with a connector that has both the 6 pin and 9 pin deutsch connector. Their is company called genisys that a scanner comes with software discs to get automotive codes like; engines, transmissions, abs, and air bags, and heavy trucks. those kits normally cost between $1000 to $4000 depending on what kits you want. The con of using the heavy truck software on those scanners only gives engine codes, and data monitor for engines. There is also a software program used on heavy trucks that I came across unfortunately I don't remember the name. That the only job it did was it would connect to obd2, 6 pin, 9 pin connectors, and tell the technician working on the vehicle. All Of the modules in the vehicle and what software you needed to be able to retrieve the information on a specific module.

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