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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wonder if the code readers AutoZone and AdvanceAutoParts use are actually scanners.
 

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not sure what you mean by that exactly? but its a great service i always pull up to the door and they just let me use it to to check CEL codes best part is that its free!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have my own scanner, not the fast graphic one though. I am just wondering if the ones AutoZone uses for free code reading can actually read the sensors. Once or twice I recommended to posters to get sensor data, assuming they could get free reading from AutoZone or AdvanceAutoParts. The posters didn't reply. So I wonder if my replies were helpful at all.

A related question. Which scanner brand/model do you recommend?
 

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Yeah, even the top end code readers are not exactly scanners. Scanners can read live PID data and graph sensor outputs, stuff like that. Entry level right now on a basic scanner is still about $300, though over time the code readers will become more advanced.

I use a Dynoscan Palm. Its not as powerful as a Snapon or Genesys, but it can plot live sensor readouts, fuel trims, etc. It cannot read the waveforms on other sensors directly, so for example, I can't see the signal pattern on a crankshaft sensor. Its still much better than most code readers.
 

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No. They're code retrieval devices. Except the one at my store which I have the nice one that does ABS and real time monitoring and scanning.
 

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Yeah, even the top end code readers are not exactly scanners. Scanners can read live PID data and graph sensor outputs, stuff like that. Entry level right now on a basic scanner is still about $300, though over time the code readers will become more advanced.

I use a Dynoscan Palm. Its not as powerful as a Snapon or Genesys, but it can plot live sensor readouts, fuel trims, etc. It cannot read the waveforms on other sensors directly, so for example, I can't see the signal pattern on a crankshaft sensor. Its still much better than most code readers.
There really isn't a clearcut line between "code reader" and "scanner" anymore. Even cheap $100 scanners have PID monitoring functions now. Many feature bidirectional communication. What really separates the professional $5000 scanners from the $100 consumer models are the scope functions and variety and depth of models and retrievable codes. Buying a $5000 Modis at this point in time is pretty foolish, considering that the trend is now towards PC-based software scanning solutions. In 5 years I think these big handheld scanners will have gone the way of the old dinosaur dedicated oscilloscopes.
 

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I have a PC interface cable I bought for about $80 and the software was free. It works with my garage PC or my laptop cruising down the road. Shows pretty much all the data I need (real-time O2 sensor switching and fuel trim data) and then some.

http://www.obddiagnostics.com/
 
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