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On Board Car Diagnostics

nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

On Board Car Diagnostics

I recently had MIL light come up on car dashboard. Was caused by engine misfire which was cured by new set of plugs but, unlike the old days, I had to call out a guy to reset the light.
He plugged a bluetooth connector into socket near steering column and used laptop in back of his van.
Made me think so bought OBD2 ELM323 interface from China for £18 + p&p - fits serial port on my old Thinkpad - downloaded 3 different free programmes and it actually worked. You can get interfaces for usb by the way.
I'm able to do do basic diagnostics, including cat, but the real proof will come when I try it on a car with a problem.
Cost me £35 + VAT for reset so only need to use it once plus it's a bit of fun.
39 REPLIES
Moderator
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Posts: 25,891
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Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: On Board Car Diagnostics

That's going to save you large amounts of folding stuff.
Garages and main agents charge ludicrous money to do what your setup does.
You might even consider a sideline source of income Wink

Customer and Forum Moderator.

nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: On Board Car Diagnostics

What I did find interesting was that the mobile chap who came to my house could actually see how far car had travelled with light on - 14 km, and one of my progs also will show that info.
You can actually buy much more professional software but that doesn't seem needed for my Kia.
Very impressed with delivery from China - ordered on a Sunday and arrived 12 days later on a Friday.
The thought about telling my mechanic ( who recommended mobile guy) that I could do MIL resets cheaply had occured to me but I already worked past 70 so don't want a new business.
suesykes
Grafter
Posts: 204
Registered: 31-10-2007

Re: On Board Car Diagnostics

I use Chinese suppliers a lot... They are wicked to deal with and always the right price.
www.tradestead.com
For lots of electrical gadgets and more... Order on monday and 9 out of 10, you will have order by friday.
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,023
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: On Board Car Diagnostics

Hello,
Sounds like a good idea!  Can you list the 3 progs you downloaded, and where downloaded from?  would be helpful to know if that interface you bought is particular to your Kia or is it universal?
Thanks
Shutter Grin
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: On Board Car Diagnostics

This is the interface that I bought and OBD2 is a common interface that covers all cars since about 2001.
You'll also see some free software listed with this product but most only run with interface and ignition on.
One I really liked was this and there are screenshots.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: On Board Car Diagnostics

That's very interesting John .. I've had no problems with my car, but my parents had the old yellow light with a new car .. and had to get it checked out. Luckily it was under warranty.
I don't see any reason why (apart from making garages more money of course) cars can't give some kind of error code which can be listed in say the Hayes manual.
I am sure more detailed information could be stored and then read with their kit, but at least with some kind of code it would allow someone with a knowledge of car mechanics (which I don't by the way!) a chance to resolve a problem without having the hardware or having to take it into a garage.
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Re: On Board Car Diagnostics

Quote from: Alex
I don't see any reason why (apart from making garages more money of course) cars can't give some kind of error code which can be listed in say the Hayes manual.

I would stake any money that is the prime reason.
The manufacturers would probably tell us that the work involved is too technical for the average owner and best left to 'experts'. Roll eyes
I have access to the Haynes error code manual that used to be sold complete with Code Reader but not any more it seems.

Customer and Forum Moderator.

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,699
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: On Board Car Diagnostics

My wife's car had a problem, which caused a warning light to come on.  The local main dealer wanted an extortionate price to fix it, so she took it to the little guy who usually does her servicing etc.  He fixed it but said he couldn't turn the light off, she'd have to go the main dealer to reset it (who wanted to charge £50 for the privilege).  I had a polite chat with them, and they agreed to do it "as a goodwill gesture", but we found that by the time the mechanic had disconnected the battery and on-board computer and reconnected them, the light reset by itself.
So that's worth a try.  Disconnect the battery, reset the on-board computer  and reconnect them.  Grin
John
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: On Board Car Diagnostics

Quote from: nadger
and OBD2 is a common interface that covers all cars since about 2001.

All new cars sold in the UK since October 2000 must be fitted with a universal OBD-II port for electronic diagnostics.
Cars bought previous to this may have an OBD-II port, or a customised OBD-I port, or a completely custom port.
I had to research this so that I could hook up my CarPC to the electronic systems of my Fiat Brava (now now.  don't pass comment Tongue)
It's very nice to be able to diagnose your car while you're driving, or just show all the various engine temperatures/pressures/RPMs etc.  Looks neat.
I also attached the full version pix.
Not quite so '7" touchscreen friendly' tho Smiley
B.
nadger
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Posts: 4,498
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Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: On Board Car Diagnostics

I've heard that disconnecting battery can sometimes reset the MIL light and there are guys like one who came to me who can diagnose and reset.
This site has a lot of codes
Community Veteran
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Re: On Board Car Diagnostics

Barry, where can I find more info about hooking up a PC to a car?
We got a car thats about to be taken off the road for a partial rebuild. Would be interesting to build a mini-itx system into it with a nice LCD touch panel...
Any special sites you can recommend for this sort of thing?
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: On Board Car Diagnostics

By far and away the best supplier I have ever come across is this guy at http://linitx.com/
I gathered much of my knowledge from http://www.digital-car.co.uk/ and http://www.mp3car.com. ; There are thousands of people who are hacking and modding these up.
I have a fairly subtle Nehemiah 12000 system, with 60gb hard drive and 512mb memory.  Runs at 1.2ghz, with a stripped down version of XP Media Centre, connected up to an Alpine 'V' Series amp.  Replaced my in-car stereo with a motorised in-dash touchscreen.
I guess I spent around £1000 in total for all the bits including the GPS software, about 18 months ago.  You can make them even smaller and faster for less money now.
B.
pcoventry76
Grafter
Posts: 950
Registered: 27-08-2007

Re: On Board Car Diagnostics

yes ive got a motorised 7" touchscreen in my van which i used for the onboard smartnav gps and DVD player.
the screen unit cost me £35 off ebay but i would love to do what you have done and plug it into my electrics point.
sick of calling the RAC out to reset the ECU light
pcoventry76
Grafter
Posts: 950
Registered: 27-08-2007

Re: On Board Car Diagnostics

Quote from: suesykes
I use Chinese suppliers a lot... They are wicked to deal with and always the right price.
www.tradestead.com
For lots of electrical gadgets and more... Order on monday and 9 out of 10, you will have order by friday.

my god a 500Gb media 3.5inch external for £20!?
Do you need to buy in bulk or can you buy just 1?