This is a handy dandy Code reader/diagnostic tool for vehicles 1996 and newer that are CAN (Controller Area Network) compliant and OBD2 compliant. We own 2004's - a Nissan Altima and a GMC Sierra and this particular scan tool works for both vehicles.
When the "check engine soon" light came on in the truck a few weeks ago, it did so when I just happened to be driving it. This little event gave my husband an opportunity to tease me - "mom, it was working just fine when I parked it - and now, here you go breaking my truck! What am I going to do with you?" Soon the entire family was privvy to the information that "mom broke the truck!" I couldn't have that, so I went running to my brother - he'd take care of my husband and family for me!
We have the luxury of having access 24/7 to an in house auto expert - my brother has been a Class A mechanic for a number of years and although he's been out of the trade for several years now, busy with his own business, he's always made it a point to remain up to date with the industry. At one point we found ourselves looking at used vehicles back when we didn't want to take on a car payment and a vehicle we really liked had a very odd sound to it. I called my brother while standing in the lot next to the car and said, "I'd like you to listen to this and tell me whether you think it's a major problem." I shoved the cell phone near the car while it was running and a few seconds later we learned it was nothing serious - and would cost about $70 to repair. We also learned that the vehicle in question was known to be quite dependable with no major issues that would concern us. We purchased that car for $700 and the sales person was shocked to learn we weren't buying it for parts but were intending to put it on the road. That vehicle served us extremely well from 2004 to 2007 when we finally sold it - it was a 1989 Bonneville and ended up being a terrific car.
So, when the "check engine" light showed up on our truck, we called my brother and he recommended that we get a Code reader and told us we didn't need an expensive one, something like the Autel GS300 would do fine. My husband ran out to the local Auto supply store and picked this particular scanner up.
He plugged it into the truck and in short order learned that the light was related to the Heater and it was a simple matter of making a few adjustments - don't ask me where or how as I really didn't understand the mechanics of it all - I had been vindicated and that was all I was concerned about. The code was reset by the scanner and all was well again.
This unit is meant to do the following, and by all indications, it does it well:
- Reads and clears Diagnostic Trouble Codes (generic, manufacturer) and turns the engine light off;
- Supports Generic, Pending and Manufacturer code requests;
- Reviews Emission readiness status of OBD monitors;
- Determines the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) status;
- Can retrieve the VIN number of vehicles 2002 and newer that support Mode 9;
- Easy to use with only one plug in and comes complete with software;
- Needs no batteries - is powered by the cable
The display is a backlit, 2 line, 8 character read out and will work in temperatures ranging from -32 to 122 F (0-50 Celcius) and supports power from 10.0 to 15.5 Volts - vehicle battery powered. It's only 4.4" long and 2.9" wide and is quite light weight.
Overall, for a very economical price if you have a pesky little "service engine soon" light that should be investigated, this little scanner does a great job of it!