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Thread: Well, I bought a scan tool...

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Well, I bought a scan tool...

    Mainly this is for Don!

    I finally gave in and bought an OBD scan tool; I decided to suck it up after the "check engine" light in my '02 Frontier came on yesterday. Turned out it was because my wife did not tighten the gas cap and this triggered the light. I found this info out by having the local Advance Auto guy plug his code reader into the truck (they do this for free). I was expecting something like a bad O2 sensor or EGR valve.

    He re-set the system for me - so it cost nothing to find the problem and get the light turned off. I decided to spend the money on the scan tool - which was probably about what I would have had to spend on a pair of 02 sensors or an EGR valve - about $140.

    I will be playing with the new toy later today/trying to master its mysteries...

  2. #2
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Mainly this is for Don!

    I finally gave in and bought an OBD scan tool; I decided to suck it up after the "check engine" light in my '02 Frontier came on yesterday. Turned out it was because my wife did not tighten the gas cap and this triggered the light. I found this info out by having the local Advance Auto guy plug his code reader into the truck (they do this for free). I was expecting something like a bad O2 sensor or EGR valve.

    He re-set the system for me - so it cost nothing to find the problem and get the light turned off. I decided to spend the money on the scan tool - which was probably about what I would have had to spend on a pair of 02 sensors or an EGR valve - about $140.

    I will be playing with the new toy later today/trying to master its mysteries...
    I have said many times, do NOT ever try to guess a check engine light with an OBD2 system. There are too many possible codes to even get a rough guess. However, a lose gas cap is a very common mistake.

    You may find all this high tech stuff isn't so bad after you start to understand it a bit.

    BTW, I found my scangauge2 to be very handy here in Canada, for something I didn't even think about when I installed it. The KPH scale is a lot easier to read than the very small numbers on the analog scale of this RV. Only the MPH are large. Now, when the speed limit is 100 KMH, I just look at my Scanguage2 and set my cruise control (the one I added) to 100 KPH.

    BTW, I am getting better than 9 MPG this entire trip, which is very good for any RV.

    -Don- Devon, AB, Canada (SW Edmonton)

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    I have said many times, do NOT ever try to guess a check engine light with an OBD2 system. There are too many possible codes to even get a rough guess. However, a lose gas cap is a very common mistake.

    You may find all this high tech stuff isn't so bad after you start to understand it a bit.

    BTW, I found my scangauge2 to be very handy here in Canada, for something I didn't even think about when I installed it. The KPH scale is a lot easier to read than the very small numbers on the analog scale of this RV. Only the MPH are large. Now, when the speed limit is 100 KMH, I just look at my Scanguage2 and set my cruise control (the one I added) to 100 KPH.

    BTW, I am getting better than 9 MPG this entire trip, which is very good for any RV.

    -Don- Devon, AB, Canada (SW Edmonton)
    Yeah.

    I figured I now own two OBD vehicles so having the right equipment to service them is pretty much essential.

    I am not an Afro Engineer. I do my best to fix things right. So I had to bite the bullet...

  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Second use of scan tool:

    The "check engine" light on my other truck has been on for months - probably because the truck has no catastrophic converter and the second 02 sensor is not connected.

    I was curious, so I plugged the new toy in - and sure enough, that's what it tells me.

    I have actually been thinking about having the exhaust system de-sexual chocolatized (replaced from the manifold back w/new pipes plus new cat and muffler).

    My question to you (Don) is: Do you think it's worth doing? The truck seems to run about the same, with or without the cat, with or without the "check engine" light on....

  5. #5
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Second use of scan tool:
    My question to you (Don) is: Do you think it's worth doing? The truck seems to run about the same, with or without the cat, with or without the "check engine" light on....
    I wouldn't want to leave it that way, however, the only difference you are likely to notice is a better MPG, especially when at a steady speed on the freeway. Being stuck in open loop still works better than a carburetor, so for you, it might not be worth the trouble. And it makes no difference at all when at WOT as then you're in open loop anyway. And you MIGHT then even have better performance because of having no CV.

    But fixing it will also pollute the air less and your engine might even last longer by having a perfect fuel / air mixture a lot more often than you do now. And your spark plugs should really last a lot longer.

    You probably should check your spark plugs about four times as often as your owner's manual recommends if you don't fix it.

    Here's a pix of us next to the North Saskatchewan River taken yesterday.

    -Don- Edmonton, AB, Canada
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  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom View Post
    I wouldn't want to leave it that way, however, the only difference you are likely to notice is a better MPG, especially when at a steady speed on the freeway. Being stuck in open loop still works better than a carburetor, so for you, it might not be worth the trouble. And it makes no difference at all when at WOT as then you're in open loop anyway. And you MIGHT then even have better performance because of having no CV.

    But fixing it will also pollute the air less and your engine might even last longer by having a perfect fuel / air mixture a lot more often than you do now. And your spark plugs should really last a lot longer.

    You probably should check your spark plugs about four times as often as your owner's manual recommends if you don't fix it.

    Here's a pix of us next to the North Saskatchewan River taken yesterday.

    -Don- Edmonton, AB, Canada

    Good advice - thanks!

    I will likely go ahead and just return it to stock (with cat) when the exhaust falls off completely, which it is close to doing now. The truck still runs amazingly well (like new) even though it is nearly 12 years old now. It has about 120k on the clock and i bet I can get another 50-70k of reliable service out of it.

    How was the trip, by the way?

    I have been to Saskatchewan myself - interesting place!

  7. #7
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    How was the trip, by the way
    This RV has been getting better than 9 MPG the entire trip. That's really good for a RV this size. And I love the performance of this 7.4 L MPFI engine and tranny. I mention the tranny because I like the way it doesn't speed up too much when going downhill. How do they do that when I am staying in OD? Some vehicles feel like they are in neural when going down hill, but this thing feels great up or down hill.

    It's been a great trip. Look at the pic we took in Jasper National Park in Alberta:

    We are now in the Vancouver, BC area . We will stay here a full week and head home.

    BTW, the biggest shock was yesterday's visit to Kamloops, BC. Tom & I went there in 1980 when there were perhaps 500 people there. Now, it looks like LA, CA. It used to have a ghost town feel too it. Not any more! Where do all those people come from?

    -Don- in Surrey, BC, Canada
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    Last edited by DonTom; 09-25-2009 at 02:34 AM.

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