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Discussion Starter #1
In my (now sold :frown: ) '92 Corvette ZR-1, error codes could be read by connecting relevant contacts in a terminal inside the car and then read off the error codes by counting the number of times the instruments flashed. You probably all know the method. The resulted error codes could be found in the work shop manual along with suggestions on possible faults. Very convenient. Pity this is not used on the Suburban.

I sure would like to have an instrument of my own to read the error codes. Someone told me they cost a fortune, but I've seen ads on instruments around $ 1500. (which is expensive enough!!!).

Anyone got any of these and can recommend some specific brand. And where do you find the corresponding diagnosis? Is there a GM manual and how much is that?

Searched the forum, found nothing on this.


Thank's for any tips!

P
 

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An OBD-2 code reader can be purchased for as little as $50 or so from Harbor Freight. And they go up from there, depending on how much functionality you want. Be sure to check the units specifications. Some of the cheapest code readers will only read generic OBD-2 codes. Others will read generic, enhanced, and maybe even manufacturer specific codes. Of course, these in the "code reader" category can only read trouble codes.

A little bit more money, and you can get a unit that will read trouble codes, and will also talk to the computer to read "real-time" engine parameters from the computer. The more you spend, the more thorough the list of read parameters the unit is capable of reading will be (such as whether or not it will see transmission parameters).

When I bought mine, I chose an Actron CP9180 for just under $200. It reads trouble codes and PID's with some recording ability.

If you have a laptop or PDA, you might also consider one of the interfaces that work directly with your computer. It seems they have more functionality for the saem price (if you don't include the price of the laptop).
 

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AutoZone and Advance Auto both have the same models of OBD-II scan tools, and they are decent. Not only can it read codes, but it can display the data coming from a lot of the sensors such as TPS, RPM, speed, o2 sensors, advance, etc...pretty nice and I think the top model was in the 200 dollar range
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank's. Sounds good.

But then what? I get the error codes as a bunch of digits? Where can I see the meaning of those? I suppose there are some standard codes that comes with the instruments manual, but surely there are a bunch of model specific Suburban codes. Where do I get the meaning of those?

TIA
 

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You'd be surprised. I know with my uncle's scanner, the actual reader gives a short "english" description of what the code is. You may have to mentally decode a standard automotive abbreviation or two, like MAP or CKY for Manifold absolute pressure and circuit, respectively, but it's not just a string of numbers... and if nothing else, you can google the code and get a weath of information including so beginning troubleshooting steps related to that code.
 

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Except perhaps for the very lowest end models, most OBD-2 code readers will contain the definitions in their memory. You can also get code definitions in several places on the net (I like www.troublecodes.net)

Then, to get good diagnostic information, you need a good repair manual. Here in the states, I've found that many public libraries carry good manuals that you can look things up in. I can't speak for Europe.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you, guys! Very good advice! Good link, too.

I'll go for some decent OBD-II instrument. :great:
 

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In my (now sold :frown: ) '92 Corvette ZR-1, error codes could be read by connecting relevant contacts in a terminal inside the car and then read off the error codes by counting the number of times the instruments flashed. You probably all know the method. The resulted error codes could be found in the work shop manual along with suggestions on possible faults. Very convenient. Pity this is not used on the Suburban.
No pity, the system works the same way on '92 Suburbans!
Of course, things change with time, and now you need a scanner for newer Vettes and Burbs. It's the price of progress, however you get a lot more meaningful data with OBD-II system.
 
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