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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I couldnt stand to read another thread of opinion debates so I throw this out to you gearheads out there.

Anybody have or routinely use a Scan tool on their late model GM?

I havent needed one so far because my vehicles are newer and only one now is out of warrenty. But Ive been thinking about whether it makes sense to buy one now that I'll own three GM vehicles. I dont know if the non-shop grade retail ones are worth buying, or whether it's best to just get a good mechanic grade one. Also, I dont think any aftermarket tools let one change any settings or reprogram. I not looking to remap my chip for the dyno, but would like to change some of the programmable ride settings on one car.

Having one to read fault codes might save me a diagnostic charge, but Im not sure that the need would arise that much. I dont have the free-time I used to tinker or fix things myself so Id still need someone else to fix anything major. The way the newest cars are built now, I doubt I could fix a major problem myself anymore without a computer degree anyway. The wearable stuff like brakes and tires wont require having that tool.

But alas, I am a tool junkie and wanted a scan tool ever since a mechanic friend of mine offered me his old one he was replacing. They seem less expensive now and I was wondering if it make sense to have one with my diagnostic tools or whether it would be unnecessary. Any thoughts?

Also, I usually carry an emergency tool kit in the trunk with a few basic items. Anyone who has had their Solstice delivered know if there's any room for such in the trunk? A nook or cranny somewhere?
 

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If you plan to do your own maintenance they can be a powerful diagnostic tool. The ODM-2 are very good and you can isolate many problems quickly, but can be pretty pricey for the weekend mechanic. Some of the older tools gave you codes that were often cryptic and of marginal value.
 

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Solstick said:
Also, I usually carry an emergency tool kit in the trunk with a few basic items. Anyone who has had their Solstice delivered know if there's any room for such in the trunk? A nook or cranny somewhere?
i too am wanting the answer to this one. i am one who will not own a car with out having AT LEAST a fire extinguisher and a basic tool kit, if not a more full one, in the car with which to protect my investment. the sol will be getting its own extinguisher, and soft tool bag as my first purchase for the car. so where will it fit?
 

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I believe, and I haven't tried this in awhile so others please feel free to chime in, that most AutoZone's will conduct an ODB-2 scan for free on your car. I would check with others like PepBoy's and any other local/regional parts store that I might not have knowledge of.
 

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rlhammon said:
I believe, and I haven't tried this in awhile so others please feel free to chime in, that most AutoZone's will conduct an ODB-2 scan for free on your car. I would check with others like PepBoy's and any other local/regional parts store that I might not have knowledge of.
I'll confirm that AutoZone does. Just be prepared to hear them bitch and moan about doing so (at least at the one I go to). Also, you may want to do a little reading online about when you should/shouldn't plug/unplug the reader (with key on/off, etc.) I've heard conflicting things from the AutoZone staff. Fortunately (and surprisingly) they don't make you sign a waiver clearing them if they cook your ECU.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
SolLate said:
If you plan to do your own maintenance they can be a powerful diagnostic tool. The ODM-2 are very good and you can isolate many problems quickly, but can be pretty pricey for the weekend mechanic. Some of the older tools gave you codes that were often cryptic and of marginal value.

Thanks Glorious Forum Members!

Looks like ODB-II readers at $300-400 price range give some sophisticated info. Not sure I would need the $1500-4000 models. Might be worth $200-300 to get one of the PDA or PC based ones so I could get realtime data from a drive. Geuss I'll have to think this one over some more.
 

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Don't spend more than $300-$400 on one, unless you like blowing your money away. And if that's the case, I've got some New Orleans property you might like to invest in...

Anyway, if it is just to diagnose your new car for trouble codes, I'd go the pepboys/autozone route. If you plan on modding your car at all, it's indespensable.
 

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On my 2 GM cars with a combined mileage of 210k miles, I could have used a scan tool exactly twice. Imho, there's no need to own one. Just go to AutoZone or some other part store that has one you can use for free.
 
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