ElmScan 5 Diagnostic Scanner & Logger ...

Hand held OBD II scanners are cool and extremely handy for pulling codes and seeing what's happening RIGHT NOW. And, they fit under the seat.

But, for troubleshooting intermitant and/or more complex problems they're not as useful. So, I started looking at the OBD software packages that run on laptops and palms. Maybe I'm just living in the past and not keeping up but some of these new packages ROCK! I finally broke down and picked up the ScanXL ElmScan OBD II scanner and software the week before last, loaded it up and pluged it into my Sport. Very nice!!!

Maybe not the most intuative software and there are a couple 'features' that could be there and aren't but it works. Of course, no extended Mitsu codes - no surprise there - but it returned dang near everything I wanted even on my '97 Sport. Newer OBD II vehicles return a lot more data than my '97 ECU does. The reader uses the ELM327 chip and there are a BUNCH of freeware and pay-for software programs that work with that chip. So, you don't have to use the ScanXL software I got.

I think the handiest thing with this is the ability to create custom graphs and not being stuck with what the software developement guys think you should see. Click here to see a PDF showing a screen shot of the graphs and charts I created to work on my Sport and a screen shot of a frame of the 'bare' data returned.

The other very handy feature is logging. You can store a vehicle 'run' in a log file and replay it any time later. Very handy when trying to compare changes made while troubleshooting.