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A sensor is probably loose. With a $12 bluetooth OBD-II reader and the Torque app, you can pull the code(s) to find out which sensor it is. Then with 5 minutes of googling you can locate the sensor and make sure it's connected properly.
Or spend $20 on an OBDII scanner that pairs to your phone, with a free app to read the codes.
This way, anything 1996 or newer (except for some exotic cars) can be read without having to jump on one foot backwards while humming the star spangled banner and cycling the ignition 5 times.
OBDII Bluetooth Scanner, and an app like this one.
I don't but you can buy one that works with your phone and a smartphone app that reads it for pretty cheap.
You can also buy a Bluetooth OBD-II adapter for $10 (this one works great). Combine it with the Torque app and you have a powerful diagnostic tool that provides you with way more information than the scanners the auto parts stores provide.
Spend a few dollars (less than 10) on a Bluetooth ELM327 reader from eBay. If you have an Android phone then all you'll need is to plug it into the port, pair it with your phone and use this app Torque Lite to read the error code yourself.
If you have an Android phone or tablet then the Torque app and a Bluetooth adapter may be your cheapest option.
I use the free version of an app called Torque.
You have to pair your phone to the dongle just like you would a pair of headphones.
I got a bluetooth odb2 reader maybe 8 years ago.
Oh yeah, there are lots of them too. This is the one I picked up (one of the cheaper units) and it hasn't failed me yet, save for needing to unplug and plug it back in once in a great while. So, the adapter coupled with the Torque app gives you all of the feedback that an AP can give you.
Edit: I'll be leaving for work in about an hour and if you'd like, I can take a short video of the tablet in my XT on start-up. It really is a neat app and probably the most useful mod I've done to my Forester.
Pick up an ELM-327 for about $12, and get Torque for Android. Lets you pull codes and all kinds of diagnostics out of the OBD-II port.
Spend a few bucks on a code reader:
and the torque app is free:
it can clear the codes too w/o pulling battery cables.
I use a Vgate ELM327 Bluetooth-based adapter (cheap blue eBay adapter) on an Android phone running Torque.
As those adapters are produced and sourced from random suppliers I'd do my research before choosing one: people like Scotty Kilmer are iffy about using any inexpensive OBD2 adapter.
Torque Lite (needs a Bluetooth ODB ELM32 connector)
Volume management app
A turn by turn GPS app Like Co-Pilot.
A task managment app that will tie into other apps like Tasker and ITTT so you can do voice managment.
A Mobile Data Usage Managment app to block unauth access and choke background data usage.
NO SOCIAL NETWORK APPS.... PERIOD. Use a browser. You will save a ton of bandwidth.
Your car should be a bit on the newer side, right? At least after '96?
Should have an OBD2 port, buy a cheap Bluetooth module (I've got this one from Amazon $11) and an app for your smartphone, I've got Torque for Android(Torque on iOs isn't made by the same producer, mind) the lite version is free, and will let you set up "mini dashboards" on the app. The paid app adds other functionality. Plenty of other apps for OBD2 as well. Of course this all assumes that it is the guage that is broken, and not the fuel sensor itself. But at least it's a chance to remove future head aches, among other body parts...
Get an OBDII Bluetooth Dongle and the Torque app.
If you install Torque Lite ([link]) and then install track recorder ([link]). These are apps to see engine stats while recording the road. I believe you have to have the torque app to open track recorder but try installing just track recorder first. If it doesn't let you install torque and on the main screen it should have a button for track recorder and then go to settings in the track recorder app and there's a space to add a second and third camera. I just tried using the second camera as my front camera. I have never tried using a third USB camera. Best of Luck
I just noticed you've got a '95 which if my memory is correct is OBDI not OBDII, so I'm honestly not sure whether Torque will work.
Android app: Torque Lite
If you have an iPhone you'll have to use a similar app. Google search results for iTunes OBD apps
The main thing is you want something that will give you the actual engine temps being reported by the temp sensor, because that's the info that is controlling your e-fan. The gauges are only rough guidelines.
I was having similar issues a few years ago, got the Torque app and started monitoring the engine temps before I decided to refurbish the cooling system. Even something as simple as flushing the heater core can have an effect on engine temps.
The best solution IMO is to use a bluetooth OBD-II reader. Once you have the reader, you can use a wide variety of apps to suit your needs.
I bought mine years ago and don't think the exact model is listed, but this reader looks exactly like the one I have, just a different label. $19.99.
If you have an Android phone or tablet, I highly recommend the Torque lite app. It'll connect to the Bluetooth reader and get the codes from your ECU. The app can also give you tons of real-time data from your vehicle and GPS data. The pro version is $5 and gives more capabilities for real-time data.
I'm sure iPhone has their own OBDII apps as well; I'm just familiar with Torque.
I'd get the code read first before making any decisions - could be something simple. There are OBDII readers on amazon for around 10-15 bucks that pair to your phone that will let you read codes and engine information. If you have Android there is the app Torque. Here is an example BT OBDII dongle for an Android device.
Yeah, that tool kinda sucks haha. Do you have an android phone? You could get a cheap(~$10 on amazon) ELM327 clone(this is the one I purchased which was a little more expensive) and use the app Torque to read live data. Codes with no data doesn't give you much to go on.
If on android you can get the free version of "Torque" to check codes, also to get airflow/timing advance/boost and other useful info.
Erm, I went to Android recently but it should be exactly the same on iPhone, I had it there as well. You should be able to get by with Torque Lite [link]
Torque app free version. The free version is limited to let you make sure it works for you before paying for the full version. There are a few other apps that do the same type of thing.
$20 on Amazon, and a free cell phone app called "Torque lite" lets you do it yourself.
Saves you a trip to the auto store, can be used at any time, and can be used when checking out used cars. Plus, you can use it to monitor stuff the gauges don't display, like fuel economy or AFR.
This + torque app
BAFX Products Bluetooth Diagnostic OBDII Reader / Scanner for Android Devices: [link]
If time runs out for you, try this:
Most cars have what's called a "2 Fault Logic" when it comes to illuminating the CEL. This means that after clearing your codes, the CEL won't come back on until after the second engine start cycle no matter what. You can use this to your advantage during testing season.
You'll need an OBD scanner, preferably one that you can monitor the live status of your sensors like Torque.
Here's what you're looking for in Torque...
In some states older cars can have a certain number of failed items. Shoot this question to the emissions guy while you're waiting. It's good to know for later, just in case.
Edited because I'm an idiot... :)
For anyone looking for a cheap all-purpose scanner:
I've been using this one for a while, paired to my phone with the free Torque Lite app. Even if you get the $5 Pro version, you're in for <$30 and can run diagnostics on damn near any common car.
I know nothing about cars, really, but I've got one of those OBD devices that I plug in in my car's fuse box and it links to my phone and tells me what errors it has picked up, if any.
Torque light is a free app that can read the codes, and OBD devices are very cheap on eBay and Amazon (less that $5). Mine looks a bit like this.
I don't think the Torque Lite version can, but other OBD apps can. I have the paid version, Torque Pro, and it can.
This one and a free Android app will do the job.
To many possibilities. I suggest a code reader. If you have the money [link] and a smart phone [link] (paid version is much better) you can get the code causing the check engine light. That code might be enough to start figuring out what needs to be fixed.
How much gas is in the tank should be irrelevant. But, the gas cap is. And it could cause the symptoms you describe. Next time, take the cap off and put it back on. Note if there is any pressure. If the car immediately starts to run right, get a new cap.
The testing you need to do is very difficult when you are on your way to work and it dies. It also requires tools and knowledge. Fortunately if you can get the code reader working it becomes much easier. Another option would be to coast into autozone and see if they can get a code while the light is still on.
If your car has an OBD-II connector you can get a Bluetooth adapter for only a few bucks. Then you can use your smartphone with an app like Torque to read error codes.
If you have a smart phone, you can order one of these and then install a free app on your phone that'll show you your codes. This will work with any car that has an OBDII socket:
The app is:
This will let you clear the check engine light and codes... but of course, if the problem causing the codes isn't fixed, they'll make the light come back on again.
The thing is amazing - you can see nearly all the data your car computer sees... engine coolant temp, oil pressure, rpm, accelerator/throttle info, ... just lots. Everything in my '10 Corolla except tire pressure.
Head to a shop and have a mechanic hook up a scanner to it and find out what diagnostic code is causing the CEL to come on.
Or you could buy an OBD2 Bluetooth adapter and use an app like Torque so you can check the codes from your phone.
I bought that one and use it. It works great. No issues. If you download this app torque free or pro you can check out a lot of things your cars doing plus figure out why any lights are on
Another option. Read your own codes with..
This device --
Obd2 Car Vehicle Fault Code Scanner
And this software --
Torque Pro Lite
I'm not sure about what could kill the coils - but you might consider picking up a OBD reader for your phone. Got android?. Then just a 10 dollar BT obd device from amazon.
I thought he was talking about the transmission!
Also, $99 holy crap? You can get generic of bluetooth ODBII scanners for $10-30 on Amazon. I have 2 that work with Torque on my phone.
Well, this is what I've been using for a few years without any issues
Plug it into the OBD2 connector. Open your phone's Bluetooth menu and search for the adapter, connect and PIN is 1234. You can use the app called Torque
This is for Android, unsure if you have Android or iPhone. If you have a iPhone it's a bit different OBD2 connector device you need to get IIRC.
Grabs a ton of DATA. Whatever sensors you have, it can record them all. Short/Long Fuel Trim DATA, O2, Fuel Consumption, Speed, RPM, GPS logging, misfires, Fuel Injector Pulses, If you have a turbo then boot, Throttle Position, MAP, intake temp, coolant temp etc
To answer the question about buying a scanner, if you have an android device you can use the app torque with a cheap bluetooth OBDII reader that you can pick up on amazon.
If you have an android phone get a Blutooth OBD 2 reader:
and then download:
to view codes, it will even tell you what the code means, you do not have to get the paid one.
If you don't have an Android just get a handheld scanner.
Just a heads up to OP, if you're looking for a new cable...a Bluetooth OBD2 Dongle ($13 USD) and the Torque App for Android (Free -- Full version unlocks more features) is a damn good replacement for a cable+laptop and probably even a standalone reader until you get up into the very expensive ones.
Can be used with a free or paid app called torque
Who downvotes threads like this?
If all you want to do is check engine codes before bringing it in to the shop, an OBDEleven is waaaaay over priced. You can get a simple bluetooth OBD2 scanner from Ebay for literally a few dollars. The same product is available on Amazon.ca for me but is marked up heavily.
Use Torque Lite to read the codes: [link]
I bought a handful of those a few years back. Works fine in my MKIV and MKVII.5 as well as my mothers old Subaru.
In addition to the other suggestions, I HIGHLY suggest Torque. Assuming you are getting a bit of an older car as your first, Torque is useful when combined with an inexpensive OBD sensor because it logs and keeps track of pretty much every bit of data coming out of your car's computer. A great example of this is being able to see what is wrong with your car when the check engine light comes on. It'll pull up the error code for you to look up by simply tapping on it. This saves you a trip to AutoZone or your mechanic to get them to diagnose it for you.
Combine it with AutoMate for a pretty user interface to make your car a little more "smart." However, to link AutoMate to Torque, you'll have to spend ~$5 to get the pro version of Torque, which doesn't give you a whole lot of features outside of connectivity with other apps like AutoMate, IIRC.
If you are on Android - test out the Torque App on Google Play before you buy Torque Pro just to make sure your bluetooth transmitter is compatible and you like the interface and all of that. When I was looking into a year or two ago, Torque was like THE highest rated and widely used app amongst performance car enthusiasts.
This is the OBD2 Bluetooth Adapter I bought a while ago and it works great with Torque - but there are dozens and dozens of choices for adapters.
Link to free version.
The clutch engagement changing spots sounds like an internal hydraulic leak in either the master clutch or slave clutch cylinders. Fluid leaks past the piston seals inside and it self releases the clutch causing weird engagement issues.
You can install a small aftermarket tachometer or a bluetooth OBD Sender & App to display on your cell phone or tablet.
Hope that helps!
I use a $16 OBD2 bluetooth adapter I bought on Amazon for the hardware side, and use the free version of the Android app Torque for the software side.
Been working great for a year. I had some cooling issues and I've been using the BT adapter with an old android phone as a fast-reacting digital coolant temp gauge to keep an eye on it. Sporty ;)
It also does logging in CSV format, and will even email the logs to you.
Before that I used a OBDCOM setup that was wired and worked great, but was unfortunately stolen :(
Any of these should work:
Torque free app (android):
OBDCOM setup for reference: [link]
Here is the scanner I have (Amazon link). I leave it in my car at all times and I access it via bluetooth from my phone (Google app store link to free and paid app). You might want to get something like it
You can use it to read the code yourself and look up the system that throws the code, taking care of question 1. and you can also log realtime data to your phone or a web service so that you can hopefully see what is happening when you encounter #2. Unfortunately I know nothing about automatics, so can't give you more on that, but I do know that changing your transmission fluid is a part of routine maintenance. Hope these help!
Edit: added links.
yeh i get the cat cel (4020?) come up every few weeks. i just clear it with one of those obd dongle things.
You need a ~£10 OBD reader and a free Android app:
And, really, if you're doing your own valve spacings on a modern bike it's an odd thing to not already own. The car ones that just read a code do often work, but theyr'e much less useful (since with a the app you can also read sensors and suchlike). TuneECU costs about a fiver and lets you reset the spanner icon on the clocks, which the free apps can't do.
You can get ones that plug into a laptop which is probably more convenient than using a phone when you're in a workshop, but much less so as part of a roadside toolkit.
You'll also need the Torque app.
I used my Bluetooth OBD II sensor and Torque Pro to solve a big problem.
Dash for day to day stats; Torque Lite for more detailed data.
He's saying some people can be dishonest when they sell vehicles.
Just because there are the only two codes posted in the ad doesn't mean those are the only codes the trucks computer is posting. Without an ODB-II reader you can't verify that, you have to take the sellers word for it. If you own/buy/rent one you can verify for yourself.
It's cheap insurance to bring one with you and verify. You can buy one that hooks up to your phone for about 20$ from amazon and use an application like Torque on your phone to read the information directly to your phone. You can also buy one that doesn't hook up to your phone for about the same price.
Some automotive stores will even let you rent one with a deposit.
I'm not a mechanic, but:
If the CEL is on it has codes.
If the CEL is off it doesn't have codes, either because it is fine, or because the owner cleared them with a reader.
Get in the car and turn the key but don't start it, see if the CEL lights up, if it doesn't, they likely pulled the bulb because afaik, it should always light up when the key is in the on position but the car isn't started.
As for stores, you need to specify a location.
I personally use this one along with Torque and DASH
In the USA I believe Autozone does free scans, but they sell readers as well.
have you looked at Torque? think they have a free version but I'm not sure.
EDIT: yes there is, it's the one i linked
Since it was suggested to video it, I can suggest to over complicate yourself with the following:
Mini ELM327 Bluetooth OBD2
Torque app or Torque Pro App together with Track recorder plugin you can find more plugins for torque app here
And that should be enough :D No virgin sacrifice needed, so you're good.
You can record something like this but don't be like this guy, stick the phone in the windshield in a phone holder like this guy :)
Jokes aside, yes is maybe too much but you can get gather a lot of info; and on a plus side, you will remain with some toys to play with :)
Torque and a bluetooth or wifi odbii sensor does it. Get one of the good sensors (more expensive ~$80), i picked up a cheap Chinese one and it didn't work right (<~$20).
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> If you have an android phone get a Blutooth OBD 2 reader:
> and then download:
> to view codes, it will even tell you what the code means, you do not have to get the paid one.
> If you don't have an Android just get a handheld scanner.
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