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Help Selecting a OBD2 scanner

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by beertracker, January 3, 2020.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^



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  1. beertracker

    beertracker New Member

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    I see there are three types of scanners; code reader, DIY scanner and Professional Diagnostic Tool. Which of these tools do you guys find most helpful and use? I have a 02 Explorer and besides engine codes I want a tool that will help with Door Ajar problems.

    Here is a write up at Best OBD2 Scanner: Complete Buying Guide and Review 2020

    Thanks,
    bt.
     
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  3. swshawaii

    swshawaii Elite Explorer

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    FORScan is very highly regarded and widely used on EF. Do some research and good luck.
    PATS System
     
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  4. plasticseng

    plasticseng Active Member

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    Ditto on Forscan (the full feature one). The download is free, so you only need to buy an ELM adapter to run it. Nothing else is even remotely close for value. The functionality is way beyond that of tools costing several hundred dollars.
     
  5. drdoom

    drdoom Well-Known Member

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    I use ForScan on a laptop with a high quality interface cable.
     
  6. donalds

    donalds Elite Explorer

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    Forscan here to
     
  7. TechGuru

    TechGuru Well-Known Member

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  8. Drewmcg

    Drewmcg Elite Explorer

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    I just bought the OBDLink-EX cable last week. It arrived today, and I tried it on my '02 Explorer XLS.

    I think I'm going to return it. Not because it doesn't work (works fine). But because it does not appear to have any enhanced capabilities over the OBDLink-MX+ bluetooth connector I bought last spring (which has also been highly recommended by Forscan). The distributor of both the -EX and the -MX+ have the MX+ on sale at the moment, for $80, or twice the price of the USB cable that you can only use with a windows laptop. OBDLink MX+ Professional OBD2 Scanner for iPhone, iPad, Android & Windows . If its out of stock and you don't want to wait, I think its available for $10 more on amazon.com at the moment.

    If your laptop has bluetooth, I think the MX+ is a better solution for a few reasons. You can leave it plugged in all the time if you want, and get readouts (e.g., on a phone or tablet) that for gauges you don't have on the truck. (One example: monitoring transmission temperatures if you're trailing a load over the mountains in hot weather). You could presumably do this with the EX (usb cable), too, but it would get in the way of your brake pedal, and you cannot use it with a phone or tablet, like you can with the MX+ (using Forscan Lite, free).

    Also, the MX+ has lifetime, free Ford firmware updates. I think its the only Scantool/OBDLink product to offer this, but am not certain.

    Good luck.
     
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  9. TechGuru

    TechGuru Well-Known Member

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    I would never trust a wireless connection for working on PATS!

    I don't need any of those other "features" you're talking about. I have a separate ScanGuage II that is plugged in while driving.

    https://www.scangauge.com/products/scangauge-ii/
     
  10. Drewmcg

    Drewmcg Elite Explorer

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    Cool gizmo, but at $170 I'd stick with the MX+. Never had a problem programming PATS keys with it (three separate Fords). Its a premium product.

    Max coolant temp could be useful, but I did not see that it shows transmission temp (which I care more about, since there's already a radiator coolant gauge on the dash).

    Re-reading the OP, I see he was looking for door open codes. I can understand why: its a PIA tracking down which door has a broken wire/failed open switch. However, I don't think any of these scanners--or Forscan--will help with that. Someone more knowledgeable please correct me if this is wrong.

    I remember seeing a YouTube video of a newer, relatively budget scanner that touted this ability -- at least on some vehicles (not sure about Gen III Explorers). I'll post a link if I can find it. Ciao.
     
  11. Drewmcg

    Drewmcg Elite Explorer

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    Okay, check out this Kickstarter project, Thinkdiag, which is supposed to ship this month. $109. THINKDIAG, your professional car technician diagnostic tool

    No idea if it will do doors/windows on a Gen III Explorer. YMMV.

    See also Scotty Kilmer hyping it here: .
    And a paid tech demonstrating door/window actuators on a late model truck here:

    If anyone buys one, please report back here on your Ford Explorer experience!
     
  12. TechGuru

    TechGuru Well-Known Member

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    $133 at Amazon, never shop at AZ/OR/AAP for anything available elsewhere, they really jack things up. Hell, a 5qt jug of oil there is $10 higher than Walmart or HomeDepot.

    Yes it shows transmission temp. You have to program it in as it's a vehicle make specific code.

    » X-Gauge Categories » FORD – LINCOLN – MERCURY SPECIFIC PWM

    [​IMG]
     
  13. tedmc1

    tedmc1 New Member

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    Maybe this will help

     
  14. Drewmcg

    Drewmcg Elite Explorer

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    Damn! I followed Makuloco's video and I *still* can't find the "door ajar" problem! Even replaced the drivers side door switch (2d time). Wish I had a scanner that could confirm that's the door that's "ajar". The paper clip trick isn't doing it.
     
  15. donalds

    donalds Elite Explorer

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    Open the doors back hatch and hatch window one at a time with the key in the on position
    You will hear a beep for each door the one that don't beep is your door with a bad switch
     
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  16. tedmc1

    tedmc1 New Member

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    If you listen to Makuloco he admitted a scanner was barely helpful. Just get a "scope on a rope" and use the wiring schematic posted by TechGuru. You'll see the same yellow/blk wire is the one for the drivers side front door. Just keep following powers and grounds till you find the bad wire.
    If you watch any of the South Main Auto videos,he seems to get an awful lot of cars with bad wiring,crusty connections that cause problems.
     
  17. Drewmcg

    Drewmcg Elite Explorer

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    donalds: Thanks a ton of this tip, which did the trick! Stupid hatch glass wasn't fully closed [sheepish grin]. All better now!
     
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  18. donalds

    donalds Elite Explorer

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    Your welcome I can't take all the credit I learned it from @koda2000 thanks koda
     
  19. beertracker

    beertracker New Member

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    Thanks for posting the schematic; good debug info. Is there a Ford or Chilton repair manual that has this level of debug info? I need to get one.

    Yes, I was looking for a scanner that would read DOOR AJAR problems. Doing a little research I discovered a error code does exist; B1566 Ford Door ajar circuit short to ground – CarObdCode.Com
    However I don't know if you need Forscan or a lesser scanner to read this. The O'Reilly guy told me if the check engine light is not on the scanner won't read codes.

    Initially I thought my (by doing research) Explorer's problem was related to Door Ajar but I was wrong. I am seeing two problems with my Explorer

    1. Headlight warning chime no longer works.
    2. The radio should auto turn off after I remove the ignition key and close the door - it no longer does this.
    3. Interior Lamp no longer turns on when opening door.

    The question is what conditions will cause item 2 & 3 failures?

    I am not having much luck with debugging these problems so it's either a trip to the shop or live with the problems.
     
  20. Turdle

    Turdle Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    To me it sounds like the driver door switch is stuck "open" , possibly disconnected , or a broken wire. The door is never "seen" opened by the truck.

    When the door is opened, the switch should turn on , or , close to complete the circuit.

    1, 2, or 3 will not happen if that circuit dos not close momentarily.
     
  21. beertracker

    beertracker New Member

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    Forgot to add, door ajar lamp is not on & I have looked at the multi-conductor bundle between door and cabin. I pulled on each wire individually and none pulled free. Also flexed the bundle back and forth; no improvements.

    Early in my debug I replaced the passenger door ajar switch by accident. Before I installed the new door ajar switch I checked on a ohm meter for open\close and it worked fine. I will go back and check the wiring inside the door panel.
     

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