Found a way to save money fixing the car - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-19-2011, 05:13 PM   #1
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Found a way to save money fixing the car

I thought this might be something to tell anyone interested in saving some money fixing their tow vehicle. I'm thinking of taking it on long trips with the trailer.

The item is a Elmscan 5 usb OBD-II scan tool. What is it? It is a small tool that hooks into a slot under the dash to diagnose car problems and turn off that stupid engine light. I got mine online for $39.00. It comes with software to put on your laptop. You connect the device to your vehicle, attach it to your laptop thru a USB cable and the software will tell you what’s going on.

I had a neighbor that has his engine light go on sometimes when he fills up for gas because it senses air in the system. He has to go to a mechanic and gets charged $20 to turn it off. I figured after I'm done he can use this also.

How I used it.
I had a stupid engine light coming on and off on my VW golf. I wanted to just turn the silly thing off. Everything installed fine and when I hooked up the device I was able to turn off the engine light, yea. After one week it went on again to I actually looked at what was going on. It named an engine code that I did a Google search on. The code was for a front Oxygen sensor. I then looked online for the part price, $89 locally, and called VW to see what it would be to fix it. I was quoted $250 for the part (they would not accept it if I provided it) and $300 to put the part in. I got online and found a great pictured diagram that showed how to install the part and what tools you needed and problems you might have doing it. I bought a $16 dollar articulated bar and $6 oxygen sensor wrench head. It took me about an hour to fix and I saved over $400.

What I like about this is it's small and I plan to use it all the time. I can easily see what the engine problem is, then decide if I want to tackle the problem or call around and see what it will run me. Even if you don't want to do any work on your car, being able to turn of that stupid engine light was nice. I haven't had the engine light come on in 3 weeks now.,
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:37 PM   #2
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Hey Dan........can I borrow it????
Just makes no sense at all to purchase one since you already have one!

;>)
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:28 PM   #3
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Dan, come over to my house with your tools!

No seriously, sounds like a good tool. Tell your neighbor if he's got problems after he fills up, to check the gas cap. Sometimes re-seating it is all it takes. Ask me how I know...
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:52 PM   #4
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Maybe I should start a trailer/ car repair at my place. The condo police would just love that!
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:57 PM   #5
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Donna, my neighbors engine light will go on within a couple of minutes of getting a fill up. Even if he adjusts the cap, the light will stay on until turned off electronically. Usually the gas station attendant screws it up. You seem to be experienced in many problem solving scenario’s, I like that.
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:36 PM   #6
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Danny, I have a whole box of "lessons learned" stuff! Knowledge is power but only if shared...
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:49 PM   #7
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I now own two of these decoders. I bought one 4 years ago at HF when I saw on sale for $20. I now have an UltraGauge and that does the same function as you're driving.

I will say the UltraGauge has been interesting. We used to get 26 mpg around town. With the UltraGauge I now get 29-30 mpg.

Norm
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by DannyH View Post
Donna, my neighbors engine light will go on within a couple of minutes of getting a fill up. Even if he adjusts the cap, the light will stay on until turned off electronically. Usually the gas station attendant screws it up. You seem to be experienced in many problem solving scenario’s, I like that.
Hey Dan.....tell your neighbor to remove the positive cable from the battery for 20 seconds and then hook it back up. That will reset the light, but the code will still be in the computer.

have a great day!
Lew
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:23 PM   #9
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Hey Dan.....tell your neighbor to remove the positive cable from the battery for 20 seconds and then hook it back up. That will reset the light, but the code will still be in the computer.

have a great day!
Lew
In some vehicles when you disconnect the positive the anti theft radio will need to be reprogrammed.

Norm
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:16 PM   #10
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Biglew, thanks, I'll tell my neighbor.
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:29 PM   #11
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Danny, tell your friend to put black electrical tape over the flippin' light bulb. There, done Spend the $20 on fuel.....
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Danny, tell your friend to put black electrical tape over the flippin' light bulb. There, done Spend the $20 on fuel.....
This talk about a light bulb reminds me of Eastern Flight 401 that crashed in the Everglades because the pilots were fiddling with a burned out light bulb.
Eastern 401 air crash
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:23 PM   #13
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Hey, look what I just stumbled across... good article and they even stole my idea about the gas cap! check-engine-light-mystery-bankrate: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:29 PM   #14
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The more I read post like these the more I like my 97 Jeep
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