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I read through some of the reviews on this product and one in particular mentioned you could get the same information for six bucks. The early ODB system could tell you what code was being thrown but very little else. This tool can read trouble codes and do a lot more.
I hooked the scan tool up to the car, and the trouble code was P - Random misfire. To the average person, a random misfire means just that, every cylinder is intermittently misfiring. Yes, if this were an ODB I car, a jumper would have told me that much information. Smart troubleshooting would have you test the ignition coils or the fuel system.
If the misfire is not contained on a specific cylinder, then it may indicate a system wide issue. This is where the scan tool paid for itself. Instead of throwing parts at the car I was able to look at the vehicle data, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of data I had access to.
I could see the misfire counts for each cylinder. Every cylinder had less than 10, except cylinder 5 which had over misfires. I traced the problem back to a bad spark pug wire on 5 that had be rubbing against the headers I had just installed. The trouble code was misleading, and instead of spending my time under and over the car looking at the fuel system and ignition system, I spent 5 minutes diagnosing the problem. I have a background in automotive diagnosis and have a degree in Automotive Service Technology.
You may not use it every day of your life, but when you do need it, it will get the job done.
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