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2000 E320 Sedan Base
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227 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Tired of driving to autozone for a check engine light? Now you can get your personal ODBII for less than $20 here
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1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
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7,035 Posts
The nice makes this one convenient to keep in the glove box. Good price for a solid basic reader.
 

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99 E430, 01 E430 Sport, 00 SL500
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3,266 Posts
I have two OBD II readers. One is a 17-year-old Innova. The cheaper and newer reader told me to wash my hands.
I think the Innova didn't say it because lead awareness might have been lacking at the time.
 

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL(RIP),1997 Mercedes-Benz E420
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1,936 Posts
I would like to know more of this...an OBII reader is one of the remaining tools I have yet to purchase for diagnosis.

Does more expensive necessarily mean better? My father has a BAUM one that I understand was $1000+ and with that he handles his 140, 97 C230, and his volkswagen beetle... he has the "mushroom" also compatible with my 210.

Do different softwares read more? or is it a hardware issue that leads mechanics to reveal more...

I wouldn't mind spending $20 if its worth it.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,717 Posts
I think carrying one on the vehicle is good idea, especially when aging vehicle can light CEL more often. Lately my pickup lighted the light and being in the hurry I had mixed feeling. It is the unknown that scares us. In my case one of the glow plug has bad connection or is burn out. That brings 0 effects to starting the diesel and absolutely doesn't affect the performance. Meaning without the scanner I almost crapped into my pants for nothing.
I think I will buy the above, but members also reports that more expensive Snap on scanners can clear transmission codes. I would like to get my hands on one of those. Anybody has a link?
 

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99 E430, 01 E430 Sport, 00 SL500
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3,266 Posts
Per my experience, car still ran when CEL came on. Hence there's no need for one in the glove box. When CEL came on, drive home then hook up a reader.
If I need another OBD reader, I'll get the ELM327. It connects the car's OBD port to the laptop USB. Some version of ELM327 ($5 more) has bluetooth for wireless connection. It's priced similarly to a basic OBDII reader if you shop around. It's much better than a basic reader because the software displays live data such as
Engine RPM
Calculated Load Value
Coolant Temperature
Fuel System Status
Vehicle Speed
Short Term Fuel Trim
Long Term Fuel Trim
Intake Manifold Pressure
Timing Advance
Intake Air Temperature
Air Flow Rate
Absolute Throttle Position
Oxygen sensor voltages/associated short term fuel trims
Fuel System status
Fuel Pressure
Many others...
 

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Premium Member
'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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10,338 Posts
I have two OBD II readers. One is a 17-year-old Innova.
I have one of those early Innovas too. It is a good unit and fine for our 98 E320 and probably all W210s. But, for more recent cars (2003 & on) it seems we need a unit that can handle Can-bus and has the protocols for the car in question. At one time bought an Autel and had to return it because it caused odometer to jump 800km when I plugged it in on our smart car!
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,717 Posts
The true is that CEL comes mostly due the sensor malfunction and the computer has defaults programs to let you get home.
But that can be annoying. My WASTE GATE code cut down performance to about 70% in default and that was pretty bad in the mountains. Would I have a scanner with me, I would erase the code and just drive a bit more carefully.
 

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1993 190E 2.6 AMG "Alma", 1990 190e 2.6 Black, 2001 230SLK Magma Red
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944 Posts
Cool. Just ordered and free shipping. Thanks!
 

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2000 ML320, 2008 ML63
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54 Posts
Got a Innova 3100 for 80 bucks at Walmart cause was tired of going to Autozone to check it, then try to haggle to have it cleared.
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,631 Posts
The one Amoka posted went up to $30. Same one is still $20 at Amazon, free shipping if you hit their $25 magic number.
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,631 Posts
I would like to know more of this...an OBII reader is one of the remaining tools I have yet to purchase for diagnosis.

Does more expensive necessarily mean better? My father has a BAUM one that I understand was $1000+ and with that he handles his 140, 97 C230, and his volkswagen beetle... he has the "mushroom" also compatible with my 210.

Do different softwares read more? or is it a hardware issue that leads mechanics to reveal more...

I wouldn't mind spending $20 if its worth it.
First, be sure you have an OBD-II port. It was a standard for the US market in 1996, but that didn't expand around the globe until some years later.

If you have the port, then you need to decide how you want to use it. A basic code reader in this price range will return alphanumeric DTCs and allow you to clear them, plus it will show you emission readiness and a couple of other things.

Unless you're going to go with a bluetooth interface and an appropriate pad/phone device, you'll have to spend into the $150 range to get a scanner that will give you some more advanced diagnostics, like real time data.

There are a bunch in the below $100 range that don't do much more than the basic reader, they just have dedicated buttons and give you a translation of the alphanumeric code...which is in the stickies anyway, and that's free. ;)

Good luck.
 

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Premium Member
'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
Joined
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10,338 Posts
ELM327 Bluetooth OBD2 EOBD CAN-BUS Scanner Tool

Use with Torque on an Android device - perfect!
Torque — OBD2 Performance and Diagnostics for your Vehicle

Update: Appears to be sold out. USB version still available for $9.99
ELM327 USB CAN-BUS Auto Scanner
I have an early ELM interface. It works with Digimoto software it came with (as well as any other Elm-ISO compatible programs) on laptop or PocketPC. I rarely ever use it (have Innovo). Only time I actually used it usefully, was for O2 sensor comparison. I had a CE light (O2 sensor code), but Elm said sensor were working properly (after I cleaned connections!).

Anyone who doesn't have an OBD meter should snap up one of those cheap ones & keep it in car along with codes from Stickies.
 
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