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Why you should own a personal "Code Reader"


Paul Cook
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I dont buy new cars. Why? They are ridiculously expensive here in California due to high taxes,  high registration fees and high insurance cost. And then top it off with the fact that I seem to put close to 30,000 miles on a car in a single year,  and you get the point.

So, I buy quality used cars with good maintenance history records from private sellers who dont know all the tricks that maybe a less scrupulous dealer might know. 

My latest is a low mileage 2002 SC430. Beautiful car. But as with all older cars there is always something. Today it was my roof not retracting. Its an intermittent problem too which makes it worse because you know it will never fail for the dealer.

But, I own an iCarsoft i905 Multi-System Scanner and it has all the features I needed for this car to let me know that I have a B2502 DTC and that code says that I have an open in Roof Drive Motor RH Circuit.

The hard top system has no less than ten individual motors, three ECU's, twelve switches and all of this has to work flawlessly.  Troubleshooting a single problem like this becomes prohibitively expensive very quickly. But if you have your own scanner that has the right software for your car, problems like these suddenly become not so terrifying. 

Is my B2502 going to be a problem to fix? Yes, I'm sure it will have its challenges. But without a scanner, I wouldn't even know where to start or what to tell my mechanic. Think about it and then buy yourself one. It doesn't have to be the i905, its just what I own. But it should definately be a tool in your box.

Paul

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks for the tip, Paul.

I have one Toyota and 2 Lexus vehicles, so the i905 looks like a good choice. I also have a Subaru, so maybe the "iCarsoft JP V2.0 Diagnostic Scan Tool for Japanese Vehicles" which seems to include Subaru. A little more money, but perhaps worthwhile if it has more functionality and covers Subaru too.

These are my vehicles (in order of priority, which is also oldest to newest): 
  • 2002 Lexus SC430 
  • 2003 Lexus ES300
  • 2009 Toyota Sienna
  • 2015 Subaru Impreza
I am emailing iCarSoft for advice, but if you have thoughts, please share. 
 
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Not really much more to say. I have found that the i905 seems to have the entire SC430 fault code library as part of its programming. But it does not work on my 97 LS400 which is what I bought it for originally. After checking the website, it confirmed that that year make and model was not supported. My bad. But I ended up and lucked out when I bought my SC430 after the fact and was surprised at how well it actually did work with that model. The only update I can add is that not all codes are retained in memory and must be read while in operation like some of the retractable hard top codes. The B2502 code turned out to be dead on. I did some testing and found that indeed the passenger side motor had gone bad. I found a replacement on ebay for less than $70.00  and it took a couple of hours to change and all is well again. :-)

A lot of our fellow SC430 owners use the Toyota "Techstream" software and OBDII adapter that you can purchase on ebay. It is Chinese knock-off and it is almost certainly an unauthorized product for resale. But if you know anything about Japanese, Chinese history, you would understand why the Chinese government doesn't care what Japan thinks about it's intellectual property being compromised. If you decide to go that route it is up to you. This is not an endorsement for or against it because mainly, you can't get the software from Toyota without being an authorized Toyota Service Center. All that setup requires is an old laptop running XP, 7, 8, 8.1 or 10 and the proper version of adapter which is 1.4.X or 2.0.X. If you have an old laptop laying around collecting dust, the ebay software and dongle can be had for less than $20.00. Welcome to the forum and "I LOVE MY SC430!"

Paul

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  • 1 year later...

Ok you sold me with the i905. Also need to diagnose the top on my SC430.

There are so many newer other readers that spent quite sometime trying to figure out if a newer model can do the same as well as TPMS and possibly multiple vehicles.

Anybody else with another option?

TIA

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