Good deal on a car diagnostic scanner: $11

Originally published at:

Hey friends - that link is broken. Fortunately, with my $11 HTML scanner, I can plug in, download the Amazon URL and buy the product I want.


Is it really as easy as Googling the code these days? I’ve not looked at the scene in a few years, but last time I did there were tons of manufacturer proprietary codes that you can’t legally get online.

There are so many auto repair forums in which people post useful info these days. It’s a lot easier to get moderately good info about that formerly secret stuff. Of course, you have to use your good judgement in accepting peoples’ helpful answers. Some of them are incompetent.

1 Like

Respectfully, that’s a … “budget” code reader, not a scanner. A scanner has bi-directional controls, among other capacities that a code reader does not. That may be picking a nit, but folks shouldn’t think they can do much with that. It will pull OBD2 codes, but nothing OE proprietary. That means only data relevant to emissions failures. What’s more, it may not even be compatible with all makes. Some of the lower-end readers will actually create problems, by way of upsetting the data bus.

Even worse are some of the aftermarket Bluetooth dongles. One pay-per-mile insurance company in particular has one that regularly sets false codes. I’ve made good money off of those turkeys. I don’t think any of them will actually damage anything, but the odds of it working, and sending one down the right diagnostic path are slim.

One final note, and I really hope this isn’t taken the wrong way. I think Mr. Frauenfelder’s recommendations for cheap tools diminish the BoingBoing brand. I will acknowledge that I’m a quality fanatic, and a tool junkie. So there.

Peace out.


O’Reilly’s Auto Parts will read your codes for free.

Never needed one for my Fiero

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.