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OBD2 scanning issues

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Mr42:
Hi there.

I recently acquired my second C5 Allroad, a 2004 2.5TDI. The engine light is on, probably due to the EGR vacuum leak which I caused, then fixed.

I’m pretty broke until late March, so I’ve tried a handful of cheap OBD2 dongles from TradeMe along with most of the free iPhone apps. One ELM327 dongle worked once with one app, enough to do an engine scan, and showed code 0401. I clicked the reset button then scanned that code again and it showed clear, turned the car off, restarted it and the engine light came back on. I pulled the dongle, plugged it back in and tried to get it to connect again (maybe 30 times, over and over) and the bloody thing won’t connect to the ECU.

I suspect that my OBD2 port is glitchy. I want to run a diagnostic with a decent scanner, or genuine Ross-Tech VCDS/Vag-Com/Hex-Net to see if the generic ELM327 dongle is the problem before I pay money I can’t afford for a better app, or give tonnes more money to the local mechanic.

Does anybody in the Wellington region have the kind of diagnostic gear I’m after and the willingness to help me out, please? I’m in Porirua, but can get to where you are with a bit of warning and am exceptionally punctual.

I want to use the thing once to scan and clear the engine light, run a suspension and steering adaptation (because the mechanic didn’t do it after I got an alignment done last week), then rescan everything.

I also need a line on affordable Bosch (or equivalent) engine oil filters for this vehicle (BAU engine) in NZ. I need to do an oil change soon and have been given prices between $50 and $80 for the $10 filter element. If it were made of actual unicorn horn, I wouldn’t mind paying for it but I know those things aren’t worth that kind of money and while eBay has them cheap, I don’t trust that what I get (in six weeks) will actually be what I ordered.

Mr42:
So, I figured it out.

I got the dongle working through a convoluted process of trying different variations of key positions, wifi settings, protocol settings and apps. Cleared the code - sorted.

What I learnt is that nzpenny1 sells legit ELM327 devices for close to eBay prices, shipped super fast. The app Iím using is Car Scanner Pro on iOS, which cost about $12 for the full version. It does everything that an obd2 interface can, is highly customisable without any flashy bullcrap, and supports as deep a level of coding and monitoring of any sensor that you feel confident enough to fiddle with. It worked on my Ď04 Allroad 2.5TDI and my mateís Ď07 A3 2.0TDI FWD.

Seriously, $40 all up for the hardware and lifetime subscription for the app, which they update regularly with useful improvements (plus $2500 for the iPhone) is unbelievable considering it actually works.

If anyone in or near Wellington wants to try it out, let me know and Iíll sort you out. Get me on 02041395240 and expect a call straight back if you txt or I donít answer straight away. Itís not Ross-Tech, but it does more than many workshop fault scanners.

80 Vert:
2500 for a phone.....? Nuts.

Mr42:
That was retail price for the iPhone at the time. Given how powerful and reliable they are, itís worth every penny.

Itís submersible in sea water and capable of running marine navigation software which is superior to any of the hardware available solely for that purpose. Itís also the most secure and reliable communication equipment available to consumers at the moment. If thatís what you need, thatís what it costs.

I guess you must really need a bunch of old cars. Have you figured out a way to drive them all at once?

Thanks for your valuable input.

80 Vert:
No need to be offended, I was just surprised to read you complaining that you were too broke to buy a proper scanner yet have a 2500 phone.
But as you say if you need it then ok, my input is my pleasure.

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