Code reader recommendations

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Ranger4, Oct 3, 2020.

  1. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    I am requesting suggestions about a truck/car code reader. I have a Dodge diesel 3500 with recurring engine light and several other vehicles now out of warranty. Not wanting to take it to a dealer as they always find big problems.

    I do not want one with any Blue Tooth or cloud storage apps or anything with all that tracking software, or linked to a cell phone or any of that jazz, just the handheld cheap diagnostic reader. I am going by Autozone today and have them read it, but want to buy a basic reader for home use.

  2. neophyte

    neophyte Wonderment :) Forum Contributor

    Ranger4: Sir; most are; year; model; type
    Without more information. Very difficult to recommend

  3. ChaZam

    ChaZam G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Try Harbor Freight. In addition to lots of cheapo stuff, they do have some pretty hi tech stuff also.
    I don't have a diesel but their ZR13 model does far more than I'm informed enough to use and access. A friend of mine used it for about 3 weeks in his shop while he was having his code reader repaired. He said that it's a doggone nice unit. I am a member of their "Inside Track Club" and had a good coupon when I bought it so I got it for a very hefty discount.
    ncnascarlady and neophyte like this.
  4. neophyte

    neophyte Wonderment :) Forum Contributor

  5. 63B20

    63B20 G&G Evangelist

    If your Dodge works like mine turn the key on three times but do not hit start then watch the millage reader and it should give you the basic codes. After you read the codes and clear them if it does not clear all of them disconnect the batteries may be more than one so disconnect all of them and clamp the positive and negative cables together and let set for a half hour this will rain all power from the computer and clear all codes the system will have have to go through a learning process when restarted drive it and recheck for codes this works on my 2000 2500 5.9 ymmv hope this helps.
    neophyte, animalspooker and ChaZam like this.
  6. On Board Diagnostics (OBDII) is a standard that is required by gov't regulations, so any brand/type reader should work to get the code from your ECU. Keep in mind OBDII will only give you engine or emissions codes, not other types of problems.

    3 - 5 key cycles or jumping two of the pins in the OBDII coupler will work too sometimes. (depending on models) check out the link for how to do it on a Chrysler. I think a Dodge/Ram should be simlar.

    I only spent about $35 for a cheap reader from Amazon. It will give me the code number, then I just look it up on the internet to understand what the problem is. The one I have worked on everything from my Duramax Diesel (when I had it) to my daughters Civic and everything between.
    The one I have is similar to the link below.
    neophyte likes this.
  7. Jim Bridger

    Jim Bridger G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    I like Old Trucks. They are more like me. I can not rember much of anything?:D
    jerry likes this.
  8. Palladin8

    Palladin8 G&G Evangelist

    I know you said you didn't want bluetooth compatible but I would recommend you get it. If you have an Android phone download the Alpha OBD program full version for $30?
    With that you have the capability to clear codes, change parameters, I believe you can force regenerations, and several other things. I had it when I had my 2015 RAM and it really came in handy. I was able to switch the tire pressure monitor system lower so I didn't have to run 80psi in the rear tires and have a super harsh ride.
    neophyte and ChaZam like this.
  9. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    Thanks. I bought the Autozone Innova 3020. Just the basic device, it checks the ECM, emissions and automatic brake systems and clears the light. $46. It found the code and a couple maintenance items fixed it. The engine problem light was on about 2 weeks, and I have started it a dozens times since with no issues, so am pretty convinced the problem is solved. Anyway, $46 is a lot less than an hour of diagnostics at the local dealer. We have 5 vehicles, all out of warranty now, so worth having it at the house. Probably just leave it in the diesel truck since it is the oldest by far. 2007 model with 143,000 miles.
    neophyte and ChaZam like this.