Top products from r/MechanicAdvice

We found 178 product mentions on r/MechanicAdvice. We ranked the 1,821 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top comments that mention products on r/MechanicAdvice:

u/JacePriester · 3 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Oooh oooh, I know this one!

So Matraxia is pretty much right, whatever is cheap, but I'll give you some more info you should know.

Pretty much all of the OBDII scanners out there, at least for consumer use, are based on the ELM327 IC. The ELM defines a serial, text-based protocol as an input, so you (or an app like Torque) give it a series of commands just like it were a modem, and then it handles communicating with your vehicle via several different protocols, all pretty much transparently. That's why one program like Torque can talk to pretty much every vehicle, via the ELM chip's magic.

The thing about that is, the firmware for the ELM chip got leaked a long time ago and there have been unlicensed Chinese copies made ever since. The real ELM has had upgrades since then, and the Chinese version has sort of kept up, but in the knockoffs some things work right and some things don't. They're frequently slower, buggier, or don't support certain commands, compared to the real ELM chips.

So how do you tell which you're getting? Mostly the price. The knockoffs are cheap, like this one:

No way that's a real one. Not for 4 bucks. That said, I have no idea what the cutoff is where you might consider it legit.

Personally, I have this one:

I have sent it a number of commands over the serial terminal to verify that it's a real ELM327 chip and it has passed all of my tests. That said, it could still just be a good knockoff with a lot of the ELM's newer commands implemented. I really don't know for sure.

Either way, works great.

As for gathering data and exporting to excel.. that has nothing to do with the OBDII adapter you get and everything to do with the software you run on your phone. I have no idea of Torque or others support this but it seems like they should.

u/Honey_Bunches · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

It's the 4-cylinder. The original parts were Denso, but I'm pretty confident that I got the correct Dorman parts. It's a '99 Camry LE L4. EGR Valve, Modulator, VSV. None of the vacuum hose in the VSV/EGR/Modulator system is clogged. I actually checked the 5 or 6 hoses while I was replacing everything. I also sprayed some Gumout Carb Cleaner into into the intake when I took the EGR off. Cleaned the EGR pipe too.

This is the scanner I'm using. I'm also using the Torque app on my phone. As you can see, it offers some nice monitoring. I glanced at that Vacuum Boost graph while I was driving and I think I remember it sitting at around 15 when I was idling and dropping to 3 or 4 once I got going. I didn't check out the O2 graphs though. I'll log some graphs tomorrow and do some real testing.

Thanks so much for your awesome response. Troubleshooting this has been so frustrating and you've given me something to do.

u/hplaptop1234 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

I know its a little late but when I replaced my radiator everything I read recommending purchasing a Lisle funnel for burping the system. It worked like a charm - especially nice since it was the last step in a long afternoon. Also for the radiator: buy a pack of the black plastic clips for the plastic guards under the car (also on Amazon), no doubt you'll break a few and the Honda dealerships charge like $2 a piece.

Like someone else said below, buy a 1/2" breaker bar. You can ruin your ratchets putting too much torque on them. A 3/8" breaker is often really useful, too. I buy craftsman for a lot of this stuff - its pretty cheap but they will literally just hand you a new tool off the shelf if you come in with a broken one. Also, 4" and 6" extensions are really convenient.

Its not what you were asking but: find a Harbor Freight in your area. They are definitely cheap tools but you're not a pro - sometimes you just need to get the job done. I have an electric impact drill that has saved my ass a few times. I think I bought it for like $20. Plus a set of universal joints for 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" inch. Super cheap and very useful. Don't buy anything from there without a 20% off coupon (you can bring them up on your phone).

u/bovinitysupreme · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

I'm not /u/gingican but I can provide the comparison:

  1. Generic one that looks like this: -- mine was from Harbor Freight (they don't have it anymore) and was orange but otherwise identical. Fine for pulling standard codes and resetting Check Engine Light.

  2. Scangauge II -- mainly used as a gauge but good for pulling/resetting basic codes and getting freeze frame data. Obviously, can provide a bunch of data (as intended for daily gauge use). With a lot of work (programming XGauge codes) it could get a little more data too.

  3. BAFX bluetooth OBD2 tool is nice. It's just hardware, it works great, but what's really nice is Torque. Torque can store/export sensor data, integrate with GPS data, display all manner of gauges and graphs, etc. My only complaint is I can't access ABS codes (specifically on my GM). Also, bluetooth itself is nice, the device is easily plugged in and no fooling with wires, and I can interface with the phone that I already carry anyway.
u/bmorocks · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

I agree here. I bought my Bluetooth dongle from Amazon and use the Torque app, which is available only for Android. I do use the paid version, however, and it works wonderfully.

Beware of some of the cheap-o Bluetooth adapters on eBay as some might not be able to work with the CANBUS protocol. Just make sure the eBay seller has a decent return policy if you do buy on there.

The app + Bluetooth adapter combination works great for me. It makes it easy to look up codes and save them. If you want more information for a code than just a quick one line description, the app takes you to a website that displays more information about it. It's pretty slick, cheap, and more handy than some of the regular OBDII scanners with the built-in screens.

u/Tqwen · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

In MPG? Not sure honestly, my gas gauge is inconsistent and I haven't driven it long distance in a few weeks. Though if you believe the gauge, 45 miles (40 highway) cost about a quarter tank, about 8.5 gallons. So that'd be roughly 5MPG but like I said, I don't know how much I trust it given how I only had a quarter tank to start with.

I was going to order this to have a look, would you recommend it, or a different one?

Sort of glad to hear that my goof probably isn't what caused it, and if it's just that emissions thing I won't bother for now since it got inspected in November last year, still plenty of time. But as soon as I'm done typing this I'll hit up AutoZone and see if they'll read my code. Where would I go about finding out what the code means?

Edit: P0137, O2 Sensor. I don't need an inspection sticker until September, so I'm no longer worried. I'll fix it when I get the chance. Thanks for the help!

u/RobotLegion · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Well, I'd say everyone has done a fine job at covering the personal type advice. Lot of great advice on how to succeed and advance. I'm more of a hardware guy, so lets talk tools.

I love tools and so do you, whether you know it yet or not. The shop I worked at only had 3 mechanics plus a counter guy. Obviously we didn't have lube techs, tire techs, mechanical techs, etc... we just took whatever came in, in whatever order it came in. So even split between lube and repairs by a huge margin, my most valuable tool was my cart

My bay was always neater, and I was always faster because I had my red cart with all the tools I needed for lube and tire jobs super organized on it. So for oil changes and tire rotations I didn't even go to my toolbox, I just pushed my cart over and got it done. For any other work, I just went one time to my toolbox, got everything I would need for a job, put it on the cart with my lube tools, then take it all in one trip.

As long as you

  • Don't set a tool down anywhere other than on your cart!

  • Always put away tools you put on your cart between every job. No exceptions.

    you will never lose a tool.

    On my cart, I screwed down a magnetic strip on the top shelf, and kept the 3/8" drive sockets for common oil pan plugs on one end, and the impact sockets for common lug nuts on the other. Also on top I had a Philips and flathead screwdriver, a 3/8" ratchet, a few different length extensions, a 1/4" ratchet with a 10mm attached, a flashlight, a tire gauge, my filter wrench, a super-cheap code reader, and one of these. It looks silly, and sounds stupid, and your coworkers will laugh at it, but your hands stay so much cleaner.

    On the middle shelf, I had a massive pile of clean grease rags, and a 1/2 gallon pump bottle of hand scrub.

    On the bottom shelf was a small cardboard box to throw dirty rags in until I had a chance to dump them in the can, my impact gun, a couple impact extensions, and a tire inflator.

    Hanging on the side I had two sets of rubber-coated gloves. One "dirty" and one "clean". One set was for wearing outside the car to keep shit off my hands. The other set was to put on when I needed to touch something inside the car, to keep the shit that did get on my hands, off the upholstery.

    Among the thousands of dollars of tools in my 7 foot high tool chest, what I've described above probably accounts for 75% of my daily tool usage, and more like 99% of my oil/tire job tool usage. Set yourself up like that, and don't even worry about a tool bag.
u/standardtissue · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

The thermostat location probably won't move much between model years especially if it's the same engine type. Either way, just watching a couple videos on replacing thermostats on ANY car will teach you enough to find yours - it's probably right at the end of the lower radiator hose.

Did I say "filter" ? Sorry, I meant "funnel". And no, you don't have to have one. You can effectively burp the car without it, the funnel just makes it much easier. . You definitely need to burp it well though, if you don't get all the air out you'll have cooling issues. Sure you can reuse the existing coolant, just be careful to trap it all in clean containers and keep it clean while you work.

But now, let's talk about your car for a bit as your Dad may be jumping to conclusions a bit. First of all, can you really carefully describe what the issues with your inside heat is ? Does air come out, but not the right temp? Or does no air come out ? Does the car take a really long time to warm up ? Or does it overheat ?

FYI the thermostat's job isn't to control a temperature of something like a house thermostat. It's basically an off/off valve that prevents coolant from circulating until the car has warmed up. Once the car has warmed up to operating temperature, the coolant hits a certain temperature, this prompts the thermostat to open up and let the coolant circulate which keeps the car at that temperature. It's not a thermostat like "set the inside air to warm".

u/YuuYuuViolet · 3 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Light :


Light has 3 strength settings ajs uses 3 AA.
Very bright. I was amazed when I found the leak. Super bright with the dye. I did look at night to make sure I found it but I'm sure you don't have to look ar night, I just wanted to really make sure I could see it lol

u/l0new0lf41 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

There's not one right on the thermostat housing? Like I said the ones on the T/B are higher anyways so you'll get more of a complete bleed. But just slowly pull the one line off. It'll spray all over! It'll take like 3 seconds once the air is all at the top. Also a spill free funnel on the radiator will help tremendously. Lisle sells them pretty cheap. Lisle spill free funnel

u/Spiky_nike · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

Shop ain’t giving you proper tools? Business people these days...sacrifice safety for profit. Wear gloves, hopefully they provide that. ....loosen the oil drain plug with a decent ratchet/wrench, buy this tool and keep for yourself:
Loosen bolt rest of the way with that and you will not get a drop of oil on yourself it’ll hold the drain bolt too so that it won’t fall into your old oil collection...proper tools will help you avoid touching the hot areas of the oil pan

If you need additional sockets get harbor freight..hex set plus ratchet and is important.

If you have to get safety glasses too...I use them for oil changes, and if others make fun of you, ignore them.

u/carter31119311 · 3 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Panlong Bluetooth OBD2 OBDII Car Diagnostic Scanner Check Engine Light for Android - Compatible with Torque Pro

I just want to mention, I do strongly recommend investing in a real one if you want an odb scanner. I keep this one with me because it's small, and cheap, and like i said, it's usually right, but not always completely correct. Is it worth $10-$11 dollars? Sure! Do I ALWAYS trust it? Not always.

u/SilverHerfer · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

Speaking as a non professional, who was once in your position, I would do a couple of things:

Buy the Chilton or Haynes manual for your car. Some will buy the actual shop manual from the factory but it is more expensive.

Check to see if there is an on line owners forum for your specific make and model. I belong to at least 1 owners group for each of my cars. There is little you will face that someone there hasn't seen, fixed, and provided details with pictures. The older the car, the more likely someone has already figured it out.

This sub. You've already found it so that's a good start.

YouTube. Full of instructions and videos on how to fix and replace stuff. You'll find just about everything there. A lot of garages will put out some really professional looking video's in hopes you'll buy the parts from them. I learned how to replace the control arms, ball joints, and end links on my Ranger and Explorer, the struts on my Toyota Previa, and the motor mounts on my Focus, all through YouTube videos.

I also couldn't live without a good OBDII reader. I use the BlueDriver (but there are others like it). For every code it finds, it gives you access to a pre written report, by ASE certified mechanics, on the top reasons for and best potential fixes of, that code.

And most importantly, you need a shitty car to work on. Mine was an old Chrysler also.

u/iBody · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

The answer really depends on where its leaking from. If you can find the leak UV dye can help if you cant find it make sure to get a black light and yellow glasses. Let the car idle for a bit and let the cooling fan kick on and off a couple of times while monitoring the temperature gauge making sure you don't over heat. Put on the glasses and shine the light on all of the cooling system components looking for anything that shines green. Once you know where its leaking from you will know if you can tackle the job yourself, as others have said a bad hose/connection is easy, but a radiator and head gasket are tougher. A radiator is doable with a good walkthrough and I'm sure there are plenty out there, but the head gasket would be pretty tough on someone with limited experience and tools.

u/Chift · 3 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Ok, I didn't force the thermostat, it just fit nicely. If I squeeze the bottom hose I can see the fluid rise in the radiator (when the cap it off), so I don't think there's any obstructions.

I will invest in the funnel, That'll be my next step. without checking my local shop.

The radiator was bad, it was leaking tons (smoke coming from the engine). It overheated but not horribly the gauge didn't get too high.

I'll try the funnel and if that doesn't work then we'll see.

I really appreciate the help! If you live in Winnipeg i'll buy you a beer!

u/AverageAlien · 3 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

That radiator is plugged, or there is no flow going through it. You can try to flush it out with a garden hose, but that will likely only clean out one path for the coolant to go through (ie. You won't be using the whole radiator to cool the coolant).

Simply because it has been overheating though, I would do a block test just to make sure the headgasket is still good.

u/chevelle1258 · 0 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

To bleed the system just leave the cap off of the radiator and let the bubbles burp out at the engine is running. Make sure the heat is on and the blower motor is on high. They make a special funnel that you can use (Spill Free Funnel). It may be worth it to buy it or it may not. If you don't use it then put a big catch pan underneath the radiator opening.

Once you start to get good heat then you know most of the air is out of the system. Take it for a drive as long as all the gauges look good then let it sit and cool off. Check the coolant afterwards and away you go!

Its possible you may need to rev the engine up to get the bubbles out (like 2k or just quickly put it to wide open throttle and let it come back down).

If you don't see any bubbles coming out and you don't see any leaks on the ground, but you don't have heat you could try just driving it. Driving it may help push some more bubbles out.

u/ChasesBearW_FlySwatr · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

My bad, the BAFX is a good, simple, inexpensive OBD dongle and it looks like I spoke prematurely about it dying, lol (key on is important, Doh!)...


I'm still wondering if the increased speeds of the OBDLink MX+ may be worth it though as well as the increased data pids for my Toyota.

u/chrisbrl88 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

By the way, I'd suggest ordering one of these and downloading the Torque Pro app to use with it. Great addition to anyone's road kit, and it lets you access the kind of information you need to effectively diagnose car troubles. Information like fuel trims, trouble codes, O2 data, etc. are IMMENSELY helpful when people ask us for help here :-)

u/fire84 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

This car has ~140k miles and the majority of things under the hood seem to be original. The last owner kept a pretty good record of routine maintenance. They were not the type to take the car to the dealership for repairs or maintenance, but everything that I have changed lately (plugs, wires, PCV valve, serpentine belt) were all Motorcraft, which makes me think that most of it is original.

I did order an OBDII scan tool which should be here in a couple days, so hopefully that will be of some help. Most of my previous cars were older and I didn't have any use for that sort of thing.

u/jewski1 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

I’m currently in a similar situation with a car worth less (and we still owe more on the loan) than what the potential repair is. By some dumb luck I had the thought to look through the paperwork from when my husband bought the car and he had freaking bought mechanical breakdown coverage!!! So I’m breathing a sigh of relief atm. But as for you, the code thrown by the car is not always indicative of what exactly is wrong. For example my car was throwing an engine code (p0172) and multiple engine cylinders misfiring, but in actuality the turbocharger had gone bad (still an expensive fix, but less than an engine repair). Trans tune and slip fluid, may help in the immediate future, but after that the problem will still persist, its a temporary solution if it even works. To clear the codes you can buy your own OBDII reader and just plug it into the car and clear the codes if you really wish. This one I know for a fact allows you to clear codes, but you might be able to shop around and find another cheaper one that will suffice. As a suggestion, some mechanics will buy cars that need work because they are able to fix them and then sell them for more money. It’s just an option and would put some money in your pocket to buy a new car if you can’t afford this repair.

Edit- wanted to add to the part about codes not being exactly what’s wrong. They still correlate to the mechanical failure. The engine code of p0172 is that the system is too rich in bank 1. This means not enough air and too much fuel is flowing into the combustion chambers. So it makes sense that since the turbo is not functioning, enough air would not be getting mixed in with the fuel.

Edit 2- hastily wrote my first edit and apparently irked some people off :) fixed my mistake.

u/WebMaka · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

For best (read: accurate) results, make sure your dongle uses a genuine up-to-date ELM327 and not a bootleg knockoff running outdated firmware. (A Chinese company got hold of an older version that didn't have the security bits set right and did a ROM dump to get some of the firmware, which has gone into mass reproduction for the cheap ELM knockoffs. The real ELM, OTOH, has had several firmware revisions since then and isn't missing entire blocks of program code.)

This is the one I have as a spare/quick-and-dirty code checker. It works well, it's pretty accurate compared to my more expensive scanners, and it's a legit ELM327 running new firmware.


There are also new competitors to the ELM327, namely the STN1110, STN1170, STN2120, which claim to offer faster performance and a larger number of supported protocols. However, I have no experience with these as only a scant handful of dongles are using them.

u/Brutally-Honest- · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

A few things from HF that I own and would recommend. Jack Stands, jack, breaker bar, 1/4'' ratchet, 3/8'' ratchet, 1/2'' ratchet, 3/8'' locking extensions, 1/2'' locking extensions, screwdrivers. Some other things I would recommend, Lisle oil filter wrench, Lisle oil pan. I would look on Ebay for used Craftsman sockets sets and combination wrenches. That should be enough to get you started. You can upgrade and expand from there as you see fit.

And Don't forget the HF coupons ;)

u/N3O9Pr · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

Anything other than that, you mine as well save your money for a true scan tool.

Make sure it's a true BAFX product. There's tons of look-a-likes. It's not worth saving $5 bucks for it to crap out.

u/BlackholeZ32 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

HA. I logged on this evening to find the comment where someone had suggested exactly this.
I've heard good things about the Torque app used with a bluetooth adapter. The one I was suggested was this one.

I'm curious bout the many bluetooth/wifi dongles and their abilities to work with German CAN cars, and possibly Ross-Tech software.

u/claspinfo · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

Thanks for the thorough answer! I really appreciate the help! I don't have any tools unfortunately but I can get them. Would this be a good voltmeter? (Innova 3320)
So to confirm, I would connect the voltmeter to the crankshaft sensor and test whether there is any output? I can also rent a fuel gauge and try your second suggestion. I'll keep you posted. Thanks so much again!

u/stiv2k · -2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Make sure you get a genuine adapter. I have one from a company called BAFX products. The first one I ordered from newegg turned out to be a counterfeit and it would not work. It didn't mess up my car or anything, it just didn't work. I had to buy another one from Amazon which was a genuine product and it works flawlessly.

EDIT: ok who's the wise guy downvoting me?

u/Graph__ · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

Hmmm.... I don't want to scare you, I'm obviously just another shadetree intent on saving money and learning myself.

But coolant, as it boils, shouldn't alter it's state or composition. It just boils off into steam or pressurizes the system until it literally boils out of the overflow tank..

The white/orange worries me a bit. Orange could maybe be rust related, but naggs me as dexcool gelling up.

Coolant turns thick and milky when it mixes with oil at high temperature, looks like inconsistent chocolate milk. Real terrible stuff for an engine. Gums up everything and leaves a sludge residue on most of the moving parts.

I also don't like the look of the 'floaters' in the rad fill picture, espescially if this fluid is relatively 60%-75% new. It looks (to me, from the picture) like water mixing with oil. I'd like others to look at and comment on this as well.

At this point, I would do a combustion gas leak test.

You can get a [Cumbustion Gas Leak Tester] ( for under $50 there on amazon. Probably cheaper elsewhere.

The concept is simple, you pull off the radiator cap, put the tester up to the opening after you fill the tool with the included dye. Start the vehicle,

The tool then creates suction (when pressed against the radiator cap opening) and draws a bit of air through it's tube from the radiator itself.

If the dye changes color, it indicates Cumbustion gas in the cooling channels, which could indicate either a bad intake or head(s)/gaskets.
Also a major indicator that oil is also doing the chacha with your coolant.

So, how do ya feel about pulling the motor? Lol

Does it throw ANY codes?, idle/Accelerate/decelerate funny?

Depending on how vested you are in a properly running vehicle, keeping costs low, and/or preventing terrible things before they become terrible, you may just leave it and continue driving while keeping a hawk eye on gauges, sounds/smells and appropriate liquids.

Or maybe pull the oil pan and find out exactly what's going on under there..

Possibly take the car into a shop/dealer and see what they have to say.... I'm here with ya until the end either way haha.

Edit* There also is a test, a mentor once taught me,. I'd have to confirm, but it goes something like pull the spark plugs, look for obvious signs of fouling/detontion etc. Put them back. Pull each spark plug one at a time. Pour distilled water into the spark plug sleeve (threaded hole on the block.) Then you try and start the car. Theory goes that if there are any cracks in the cylinder walls, head gaskets et cet, you'll get water spewing itself from the spark plug hole you're working with. To clarify, you do the test on each spark plug separately. Also tests compression I believe. Will update when I locate my notes on the subject.

Edit* I just read the other comment, honestly, you may have a serious problem and I think you should be worried about this car ceasing to function soon.

The new presence of the milky substance, is absolutely the result of
whatever* was still in the block mixing in with your radiator contents as it cycles it's way through, however I believe I recall you stating you put a garden hose up to it. This makes me think that that either the heat warped a head, or ruined a gasket seal while contracting, I also think the same happeneded to your water pump.

Only, with the intake your the heads, it's oil plumbing around where it shouldn't. Or coolant running rougue in similar fashion. It's entirely possible the sudden coolant blow was a symptom, and not the cause.

I guess some options, in the case that lady luck isn't on your team, are to save for a new car, trade this one in, or buy a harbor freight engine hoist and get ready to develop mild, temporary alcoholism and a sudden tick in the left eye.....

u/GotMyOrangeCrush · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Any auto parts store will scan your stored DTCs for free. Step #1 is to determine what DTCs are stored.

If your CEL (check engine light) has been on, then there are DTCs stored. If your CEL was flashing, that means the engine was misfiring, big time. If your CEL is flashing there's a risk of doing engine and/or cat damage ($$$).

If you are determined to troubleshoot and fix it yourself, then a scan tool that does live data will show you what's wrong.

In general, a scan tool will tell you about all your sensors, or TPS (throttle position sensor) O2 sensor, ECT (engine coolant temp), MAP (manifold absolute pressure), etc. And 'live data' means you can see what they are doing when the engine is misfiring.

There are two ways to get a scanner, either a dedicated scanner or with a smarphone app.

  1. Dedicated scanner: Innova makes some easy to use scan tools, about $120 for a Innova 3040e.

  2. Scanner APP: Most scanner 'apps' are $5 and a bluetooth OBDII gizmo is about $20.



    OBD Auto Doctor

    Blue Tooth gizmo:
u/CALLAHAN_AUTO-PARTS · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

The 3400 should have brass air bleed screws at the waterpump and where the upper rad hose meets the engine. Be gentile as the heads will easily snap off. Also run the heat full blast the whole time and make sure the temp stay around half the gauge as these normally run a hair under half. Also they sell what is called a spill free funnel that replaces the rad cap. They are handy and worth the $30 or so they cost.
Edit: this...

u/LJ-Rubicon · 3 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Yea, that's 2nd grader level science experiment style, if I'm being honest. There's so many variables and loss of solid testing in the way you did it, that it really shows nothing.

You need to get this (or one like it)

BAFX Products - Wireless Bluetooth OBD2 / OBDII Diagnostic Car Scanner & Reader Tool for Android Devices - Read / Clear Your Check Engine Light & So Much More!

Then get the Torque app

You'll then be able to read actual, real time fuel consumption

Spoiler, everything is normal

u/_augustus_ · 3 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

I had an old Saturn once with similar symptoms and it turned out to be the EGR valve - I removed it and cleaned it with carb cleaner and a toothbrush. In my case I was able to diagnose as I had an OBDII scanner and the Torque app for my phone:

Good luck!

u/Bananapepper89 · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Barring that I would try to get it off with a pipe wrench. Make sure the teeth on your wrench are sharp so it digs into the head of the drain plug. Also make sure you already have a new drain plug on hand before removing the old one.

u/kolby12309 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

I used this one for 5+ years and it never let me down, good features and a nice big display while being cheap. Only downside is the amp mode doesnt have a fuse so be careful not to put it across a battery like that.

u/x308 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

The one I use is pretty much this, or a clone of it. Or that's a clone of the one I've got.

Either way, it'll almost certainly do everything you need it to so long as you're fine faffing about with drivers and things if it doesn't work right away.

u/Pronto295 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

It's this one

Unit is 20 bucks, the app I use is 5, it's sort of a halfway point between an old-school handheld reader and a proper diagnostic sweet. Shows me a lot of live data on top of code reading. I'm sure if I had a newer vehicle it would show me more.

u/bearscharger · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

Basically what you do is run the engine with one of these on the radiator. It allow the air bubbles to work out the system and keeps the radiator topped off. When its running you rev the engine quickly and it will force air bubbles out as well. When it is running the upper radiator hose should be hot to the touch this means the thermostat is open as it should and the lower on should be cool. The heater hoses will get warm as well.

u/arcanemachined · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

These are SUPER handy to have around. The one above works on Android (using the Torque app) , although this reddit post suggests using a different model if you have an iPhone.

u/kevinisms · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

I had an impact socket crack and I didn't notice it until I found that I rounded a few of my lugs. Not a good feeling when trying to put the lugs back on. Anyway, I thought I'd give the Irwin Bolt Grips a try. Just hold them flush to the lug, pound them on with a few good whacks, put your cheater on, let the teeth bite and you should be home free. I was really surprised at how well they worked.

There are two sets, so get the one with the size that you need.

u/Dmech · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

That will work, but the trick I've found is to fill it from the upper tank with the cap on the radiator removed. Once the radiator is full, throw that cap back on and continue as you recommended. Also, a no-spill funnel can make life a lot easier.

u/drgncabe · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

I'd get a code scanner. You can get bluetooth ones from Amazon for $30 (I use this one by BAFX) and use them with Torque if you have android (or if you have a laptop with bluetooth, there's a few applications that work).

Sometimes you can rent/borrow them from AutoZone or Advance Auto Parts but I'd call ahead before making the trip over there. Obviously getting the car there won't be easy.

It could be just a loose sensor cable, vacuum hose or pinched fuel line from the whack your car got. Code reader will give you a really good place to start. Hopefully it's something simple.

u/Dr-11 · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Also recommend getting a Battery Tender. They're good if you leave vehicles sitting for a while, to prevent the battery from slowly discharging over time.

u/slipperymagoo · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

I recommend this scan tool with the Torque App. All of the things on your smartphone. Heck of a lot easier than a laptop, IMO.

u/nondescriptzombie · 4 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

This is the best answer, so I'm just tagging on to say that there's a cheap tool to tell you how much water there's in your coolant.

u/CoolMcDouche · 6 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Best $22 I've ever spent. Paired with the Torque Pro app. BAFX Products 34t5 Bluetooth OBDII Scan Tool for Android Devices

u/aking14 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

I have this one from Amazon paired with the Torque app on my Nexus 5. Works great.

u/SMKCheeba · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

I highly recommend a remover set. Essentially they are a set of specialized sockets that have cutting threads to cut into a rusted bolt head to easily remove them. Something like this

u/PM_ME_FOR_DIRTY_TALK · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Something like this You gotta download a app like Torque or Dash command and it will tell you the code.

u/pawsforbear · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

Not newer ones no, Ive done a 4-cyl rebuild/swap in my 78 but Im very far from a pro. Isnt dealer software expensive?

As for a headgasket tester, are you thinking of something like this?

u/CptSgtLtSir · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

This is what i use:

BAFX Products Bluetooth Diagnostic OBDII Reader/Scanner for Android Devices

Problem is just its a tight fit but ive used it in my 92 crown Vic, my 09 Pontiac G6, my friends Volkswagen Rabbit and a bunch of others. Just if you get any reader like this be sure not to leave it plugged in while you drive. If it causes problems on the CANBUS you'll watch your car go into full seizure mode.

u/ScubaSteve7886 · 3 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

This one connects to your phone via Bluetooth. There's any number of free apps available to read any trouble codes. Torque is a good app to use with this scanner.

u/computerguy0-0 · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Yes, if it says its low, water is fine. Just make sure you get the mix right when you go to replace it.

u/imprl59 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

Make sure you have adequate coolant protection before you ship it. You don't want it to freeze up and break something. You can pick one of these coolant testers up at any parts store but if you haven't changed the coolant lately then you should do so.

Your smoke may be a heater core as others have suggested. For the little bit of running they need to do to ship it you should be fine but if you're worried you can easily bypass the heater core for now. Just loop the heater hose from one connector on the engine to the other or pickup a bypass kit at the parts store.

u/thetolerator98 · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

There still around. I have one.

Amazon calls the coolant testers, but they used to be called something else. Like a hydrometer, though I know that isn't the name of these things.

u/the2baddavid · 5 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

I'd hit it with the penetrating oil (not sure what kroil is) a couple times waiting a few minutes in between to give it time to work.

Grab one of these as well. Is the old style impact driver. You whack the end with a hammer which is what turns the mechanism. It can go left or right so make sure you have it set to the correct one.

If those are standard size screws, you can change to Allen screws which can be easier to remove. Just make sure you don't over torque. And consider putting a little anti seize on there when installing.

u/CJM8515 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

This works just as well as a timsert and doesnt cost 2 arms and a leg

However if OP is far form home he will be at the mercy of whatever shop he chooses or must pay the tow truck to take him home.

u/Abm93 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

Buy a obd2 scanner and read that code when it pops up, it can be very helpful and point you in the right direction

u/david0990 · 10 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

something like this?

Oh I missed that part in your post. yeah, the grind the head off, etc that u/BearFLSTS said is your next move.

u/NotSure2025 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

If you get the right size, something like this never fails.

u/mysocialmediaacct · 4 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Maybe on the impact. I used their 3/4 wrench on mine. My clapped out 1/2 inch pneumatic didn't cut it. Lisle makes a special socket that would probably work with that one.

u/PIG20 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

Sure, I have this set.

However, being that this is a smaller torx nut, you may need to find a set with smaller sized extractors. They sell all sorts of size sets on Amazon.

u/Threkin · 3 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Sounds like antifreeze. If you want to see what the specific gravity (coolant to water ratio) go get one of these from a local parts store.

u/Dumbquestionsplz · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

Option 1: Buy one of These, plug it into your car, and check for stored engine light codes.

When the light comes on again, plug it in, and see what set off the light.

Option 2:Go to autozone and have them do the same as option 1

Option 3: Go to a different mechanic and have them check.

You could have any number of issues. My personal car has a P0138 that randomly comes on when it feels like it and that’s not the gas cap at all.

u/[deleted] · 5 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

I bought the BAFX Scanner for about $25, and then paid $5 for the Torque Pro app.

I think the excellent reviews speak for themselves, but I can look at all kinds of live data, codes, drive cycle status, etc. It's done everything and more than I expected for only $30 total.

u/Mr_Kleen · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

The most advanced version I have found that is still similar to what you asked specifically about is the BlueDriver one. It can do other modules like ABS & airbag systems a lot of those other small ones can't do. I have one that I use for simple work when I don't feel like dragging my big stuff out. It is more expensive than the others but does get frequent updates to the firmware. I have even participated in beta programs when they are adding new features.

u/Jershua92 · 28 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

You need a kit like this.

Its a simple repair.

u/The_Burt · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

If you have to work on it later, these are a life saver if you don't have one already. Make sure to make the fill point is the highest point while you do it. Ramps are all you usually need to do that.

u/BakedAlaska · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

Mine works great with Torque. I picked up this one last month and it's read my Ram PU 03, 02 Land Rover, 95 Cheyenne and 2014 Town and Country rental. Cheep sound investment

u/donfart · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

> This works just as well as a timsert and doesnt cost 2 arms and a leg

What is meant in the description by

This are woodworking project kit ?

u/Account_for_mech_adv · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

It was the first thing that came up when I searched multimeter on Amazon. I can go get a different one at a store tomorrow and see if the results are the same. Are there any particular brands you reccommend?

u/FeralSparky · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

I'm going to save you a HUGE headache with that engine and bleeding the air out of the system.

Those engines are a huge pain in the ass to bleed the air out because of that damn bypass pipe. The one thats leaking in the video. The bypass bleeder is going to be your biggest issue.

This funnel will let you keep the highest point above the engine, It will also let the coolant flow up and down without spilling anything. it just makes the job much much easier.

u/Sod_Life · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice
buy that.

fill rad and overflow tank with coolant until it shoots out of the bleeder valve. fill funnel with coolant. bring and hold throttle until rpm is around 2000. wait until the funnel gulps down all of the coolant. release the throttle, it'll burp some bubbles out of the funnel, and then use the plug to plug the funnel and empty it into the overflow. put caps back on. pat yourself on the back.

what gasket could air in the system blow? just curious as to what the reasoning behind that thought is.

u/mrse0515 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

Check this out at
Interdynamics Certified A/C Pro Engine Cooling Systems UV Dye (1 Ounce)

Get some of this (AutoZone, Advance, O'Reilly all have it too) and some of the glasses and UV flashlight. Pour it in the coolant and let it run for just a short while (since it seems like it is leaking pretty fast, you don't want it to go too long and let the dye get all over the place, which will make it more difficult to track down the exact source of the leak)...then just wait until after dark and go outside, open the hood, put on the glasses and shine the UV light around under the hood until you see where looks like a highlighter exploded. I definitely don't recommend buying the stuff that you can pour into the radiator to "fix" a leak if you find one, that stuff seems to long term make matters worse, not better.

u/dduncan55330 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

Panlong Bluetooth OBD2 OBDII Car Diagnostic Scanner Check Engine Light for Android - Compatible with Torque Pro

This is what I got and it works well with my car scanner app. This is for Android only, but I know there are some for iPhone too. $10

u/tagrav · 8 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

bleed the system properly.

I can almost guarantee you have air in the system. if you're not noticing the level dropping.

to bleed the car properly watch this video.

you can get that funnel off amazon Lisle spill free funnel

you can certainly do it without that funnel but you'll be in for a messy/sticky job and you'll let fluid spill all over the damn place.

u/carlip · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

these cars are notorious for blowing a head gasket, but usually do so around 130-140k. Maybe you were unlucky. It might be worth doing a combustion gas check with a kit you can get at any auto part store.

u/spannerfilms · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

This is the one I'm looking at. Apparently it isn't AS bad as the 5 dollar chinesium circuits one, but the still aren't in any way a replacement for a proper scanner. I'm also looking at getting two OBDII to ethernet and or USB cables. Might be more functional.

u/ChuckAndRufus · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

Can you give us a picture of the oil?

I would first check for combustion gasses in the coolant using one of these

Coolant in oil is super common on these engines, and the most common failure is the head gasket.

u/waynep712222 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice these are what my smog guy uses for quick engine control diagnostics. he has more advanced scan tools that i have.. this is still what he reaches for first.

u/sumsomeone · 7 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Invest into a Impact Driver.

Seriously these things are awesome. Your local hardware store should have them.

Other than that try a little heat around them. Stick a screw driver on it and bang the end while trying to twist.

if all fails you most likely have to Drill them out.

u/MrFumbles91 · 8 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Ah the ole' Jeep lug nut. I'm guessing this is a Grand Cherokee 1999-2004.

Exact same thing happened to me.

Bought these:

Smacked it on with a hammer and threw on the impact. Sat back and drank beer.

u/ChocolateJalapeno · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

OTC (5911) Drain Plug Pro Magnetic Drain Plug Remover I just found one this is what I was talking about

u/EC_CO · 0 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

either really expensive and you can read almost anything, or cheaper and you can read most things. not much in between. for under $30 you can do the Torq App and an OBDII bluetooth module and see if this does what you need.

u/jumpinjacks · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

replace the radiator cap.

use one of these to bleed your coolant next time.

u/Roosterru · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

If you don't want to spend 170$, here's an alternative I've used in my Civic

u/hotserialkiller · 0 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Block Tester BT-500 Combustion Leak Test Kit - Made in USA

I use this one. Works like a charm.

u/IronSlanginRed · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

just don't put the cap on. I only run it for a couple minutes and flush it several times until it runs clear.

I also use one of these. Once the radiator is full, fill it halfway and leave it running for 20-30 squeezing the hoses periodically, then shut it off and let it suck more coolant in as it cools down.

u/jmihalchik · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

all the above and you can use these for gripping the head. harbor freight sells a cheap o version if you dont work on cars much and/or wont need a better quality in the future

u/lethaltyrant · 3 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

If u get a bluetooth obd 2 sensor and download an app I can check codes and more. Ill find the stuff and edit this

Here is a sensor might need to find another to fit ur car so just an example

The app I use is torque

u/Squareisrare · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

Maximum Impact Bolt & Nut Remover Set 13 pieces

Just a suggestion. You can get/do whatever you want but these have saved my ass quite a few times.

u/ZirbMonkey · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

I just got This one off Amazon

It cost $'23 instead of $'13, but the reviews are higher because it seems to work on more cars with less problems than the $'13 version the other guy recommended. It comes with laptop software, but also works completely with the Android "Torque Pro" app.

u/strayclown · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

3/4" impact wrenches are $100 at harbor freight. I know a few guys who have one with a 19mm socket just for crank pulleys. But now special sockets exist that let me take Honda crank bolts off with my crusty old IR 1/2" impact gun.

BTW I just linked the first one I found, there are a few different ones and even some DIY sockets.

u/stonewall1979 · 17 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

I'm just a tinker too, but if he doesn't have a scan tool to reader error codes, look at the new Bluetooth sets. Plug in to the OBD2 port and download the app to you phone. Get all the codes and internet research in one, plus see engine manager info on some models.

They're not expense and are available on Amazon. This is similar the one I have. and there are a lot of options out there.

u/shmatt · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

Sorry to bother again... This looks reasonably convenient, is it more or less what we want?

u/Sophias_dad · 53 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Impact screwdriver. Note: I'm thinking the one that you hit with a sledge, not the one you'd use to install drywall screws or something..

This is one of many examples. Be aware that they can also usually be used for TIGHTENING, so make sure it's set right before whacking it.

Also comes in handy for removing Honda brake rotor screws!

u/crenshawpeteshanger · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

Ill do a leak down test. Never done one before. What is your opinion on this product?

And yes, I could just scrap this engine and upgrade. I was excited to make this m20 into a mild stroker and want to salvage as much as possible. Also for the experience, since I'm fairly new to working on cars. But I agree that if I keep finding problems there is a point where I need to cut my losses and figure out a new plan if I ever want to get this car back on the road.

u/hellfire1394 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

I don't know how air bubbles get trapped at the bottom of the radiator and I never serviced coolant before. I have this obd2 scanner and it only reads coolant temperature from ECT #1 unless in a freeze-frame report where both #1 and #2 are recorded. Is there an app that can monitor both sensor temperature?

u/theziptieguy · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

I suggest this as it can scan ABS and SRS codes and live data monitoring. I have this in my work truck at all times, just in case.

Autel MaxiLink ML619 CAN OBD2 Scanner Code Reader +ABS/SRS Diagnostic Scan Tool, Turns off Engine Light (MIL) and ABS/SRS Warning Lights

I’m not a fan of the phone adapter ones myself, but I’ve heard some people like this with similar options

BlueDriver LSB2 Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone & Android

You can get the lower tier options that can only read/erase codes but have no SRS/ABS ability for under $50.
Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner Automotive Engine Fault Code Reader CAN Scan Tool

u/No-Coast-Punk · 6 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Get one of these or a similar model at your local parts store.

You hit it with a hammer and the internal mechanism turns the screw at the same time.

3 things happen. The hammer blow causes sever vibration which lets the threads break loose. The impact keeps the bit firmly in the screw. The turning motion backs it out.

Anybody talking about any other method is wrong.

u/bloodyStoolCorn · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

Use this tool (leak down tester)

You wont be able to do a regular compression test really since you cant crank the engine when its not hooked up to a starter/battery. But the leak down tester only requires you to manually crank the engine to top dead center for the cylinder you are testing.

If the leak down test results are good, then there is no need to replace the head gaskets at all. Here is a walkthrough on how to do a leak down test.

When buying the engine ask for what the compression is on each cylinder. some offer it up front, some do not.

u/Transmissionmech · 6 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

You have a blown head gasket.

I'm guessing the first mechanic that showed you the turkey baster looking thing was using this:

To check for combustion gasket leaks.

If you were a gallon low on anti freeze and you haven't been seeing it leak anywhere that means the head gasket has blown and is allowing anti freeze to get into the oil.

Your car has no heat because the antifreeze runs through the heater core to heat the car. Which you had none in the heater core.

The car is running hot from low coolant. Because it's all going where it's not supposed to be going.

u/SquishySparkoru · 2 pointsr/MechanicAdvice

So your lock nut socket broke? Any decent shop should have a tool like this to remove the locking lug nut. Not sure why you need a wheel replacement, unless there is cosmetic damage from attempted removal. Hyundai can get you a replacement lock nut socket but that generally takes a week or more.

I would use an extractor to remove the lock nut and replace it with a standard nut. Unless you live in an area with theft or lug nut tampering, those lock nuts are more trouble than they're worth.

If you do get replacement lock nuts, make sure they match whatever seat style your standard lug nuts use - our local Hyundai dealer keeps putting cone seat lock nuts on vehicles that require washer seat lug nuts. Don't do this!

u/Echelon64 · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

Before you get this kit though:

-Pull out the spark plugs and see if they are wet or moist in any way. If so, you got a bad head gasket and/or a bad intake manifold gasket.

-When you run the car in normal temps (not freezing) does the exhaust come out white?

-If you got time, dump the oil and if there's water or coolant in there you got a bad gasket.

-Check for pressure in the coolant system. You can rent a coolant system pressure tester from your local autoparts store for a deposit (which is refunded to you after you return it) and test for leaks in the coolant system.

u/Liquid_Vine · 1 pointr/MechanicAdvice

2004 Impala ex-owner here with a couple of tips for whatever they're worth.

First and foremost, the petcock (the drain valve for the radiator) is located right there where it drips in the first video, above the actual drain. Tighten that sucker up if it's loose -though I doubt that's the problem. It would be leaking from the middle of the drain, not around it.- which leads me to the next point.

Have you hit any hard potholes or bumps recently? Jiggle the radiator- does it move about, i.e. not snug and tight?

I ask because something similar happened to me traveling on a dirt road once, where I hit a bump, and it knocked the condenser off its hooks. The condenser/radiator aren't secured the best, and Chevy thought it would be genius to have protruding pointy screws right below it, and when the thing fell, the screws pierced the condenser and leaked all my A/C fluid. (I don't know your level of expertise, so just in case, the condenser is a smaller and thinner 'radiator' meant for the A/C system, and it sits in front of the radiator.) Maybe something similar may have happened to you.

That leak looks 85% likely that it's coming directly from the radiator, (and if not, it's coming from a hose that leads to/from the radiator, but I'm not convinced if it's pooling underneath.) Regardless, you're gonna be playing around with the radiator, so learn up on it- it's not that hard to replace.

If you're willing to splurge the extra $10-15, get yourself one of those UV dye kits that come with a UV dye and light. Clean and dry everything up as much as you can, and drip a couple of drops in the radiator. Let it flow for a minute with some coolant, and make like you're in CSI- look for highlighter splotches and follow them back. If they concentrate throughout the fins of the radiator or pool underneath it, you have to change the whole thing. If they seem to be a bit splattered higher up closer to a hose, you found the culprit. Either way, it's not a super hard or bad replacement if you have the patience and a basic set of tools. And if you can't see the source of the leak, as I said, it's most likely damage to the underside/ within the fins of the radiator.

Regardless, I always add my own personal disclaimer: I might be wrong.

Edit: The UV dye and the UV light in question. That particular dye says it's not compatible with DEX-COOL which the impala has, but if I were in that position, I'd give your radiator a nice flush anyways while you're down there. Or, look for one that is compatible.