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on December 1, 2005
I can't stand the concept of paying $100 just to have someone hook up a little cable underneath my dash to clear out a light. We've all had that conversation... "Oh wow, you fixed it already? You just needed to erase the code, huh? Wait, how much? You're kidding. I saw what you did, I was standing right here the whole time, it took 10 minutes." THAT COSTS $100?!?!?! This badboy will pay for itself the first time your check engine light comes on. I've used it 4 times on 4 different vehicles to crank out codes. It's worked on both my Nissans, my mom's Toyota, and my sister's Volkswagen. No doubt in my mind it will work with every vehicle. It's easy to use and fits in your coat pocket. It clears the trouble codes and turns off that worthless, annoying check engine light. When I had a code that didn't go away, I checked what code it was (in the included fault code manual), then went down to the dealership and told them what I had. They verified it, and went to work fixing it with no hassle. You know that feeling like you might have gotten screwed? I used to get that feeling. I hate that feeling. Thank God I don't get it anymore.
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on June 24, 2007
3 weeks ago my CEL light came on. The car ran fine, there was no sensation of a defect. Calling the car dealership, a diagnostic ran $75. A Toyota TSB released in 2006 said a common issue was simply a loose gas cap. I tightened it, and waited for the CEL to reset. No go. Pulled the battery, nada. Ordered the reader, as I'll need it anyway for future issues as they arise. Followed the instruction, diagnosed the issue, checked what it meant via the user manual and a Toyota car manual, and presto, CEL is gone. For $47 versus the $75, not only is the problem fixed, I know how to do it [ priceless!] and I have a tool for myself to either check the dealership diagnosis or fix it myself, when possible.

It rates 4/5 for 3 reasons:

The cord is very short. The unit will not raise to a comfortable chest height connected to the OBD II jack; one has to crouch down

No back light, crouched in the dark under dash of the car, a small LED would help a ton, given how dark it is down there and the cabin light doesn't light well down here

The codes interpretation is on a printed manual. Its easy to find a pdf version to store on your phone or check the code live via a web search via a smartphone.

Other than that, its so simple to use, even a cave man can do it.
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on February 26, 2006
For reading basic failure codes and to clear them the unit works fine as advertised. However enclosed with the unit was a addendum to the manual which stated that the unit was updated to include " MIL status and I/M Monitor status". These functions did not work. When I called Actron's technical support after some confusion and investigation they determined that the unit had old software and therefore was not upgraded for these new functions. I send the unit back for upgrade and the unit was returned to me and was not upgraded at all! I called support again and they had no idea why it wasnt upgraded and requested that I send it in again. I probably will not send it in again and will keep it as it is with the basic functions.
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on February 1, 2006
What a neat little OBDII code reader! I have had a problem with my Land Rover "service engine" light coming on and I hate taking it to the dealer just to tell me that they cleared the code and could not find anything malfunctioning and charge me $100. Being a backyard mechanic I also want to know what is wrong and are they replacing the right parts or if it is something I can do, or something that can wait. In comes the Actron pocketscan. It a very slick tool for under $70 bucks. The only downside is that the code book and website are sub par. I actually have to go to their competitor's web site (iequus.com) to get the codes for my Land Rover. Even though the Equus web site is much better, they do not have a code reader this small that will fit into the glove box or door panels as well. Actron should get their act together and get their code book and website up to the grade that Equus has.
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on May 4, 2007
First off, this is a great little unit. I've only owned it for three weeks and I've already diagnosed and repaired two separate Service Engine Soon codes on my vehicle. More expensive units are available, but offer features I don't believe most people would need. This unit simply reads a trouble code one-at-a-time and gives you the options to (a.) read the next code, or (b.) delete the existing code.

That being said, this unit isn't for everyone. If you don't have any knowledge about how your engine works, or where things are, then I suspect you will have little use for this product. The ODB II codes read by the unit can be quite cryptic. For example, my first problem was P0133. The manual says "O2 Sensor CKT Slow Response (Bank 1, Sensor 1)." One of my O2 sensors was bad, but if you don't understand messages like this, you won't be able to fix your car. However, I will say an Internet search is more useful than just going by the standard ODB II messages. Also keep in mind that various codes can be related -- fixing a leaky vacuum hose might cause other codes to disappear.

In any case, I've found this unit to be extremely helpful, and it paid for itself nearly immediately. I'd much rather hunt down cheap parts on my own and use a little elbow grease to fix something myself rather than pay a mechanic.
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on June 27, 2007
The dealership for my VW Passat 2002 wanted to charge me $100 just to tell me why I have the 'Check Engine' sign on. I've been paying this in the past as I had no choice, but this time I wanted to try something different as I didn't like to be kept in the dark. I bought this item for $50 and was able to read the error code. It turns out it was just a cylinder misfire. Then I reset the error and it never came back.

Even if it did, I would at least know what is wrong with my engine so mechanics won't be able to tell me their fairytales and charge me big bucks for it. There is plenty of information on the Internet about each error code in case you want to try to repair it by yourself.

This product is sturdy, well built and worked flawlessly as I plugged it in. If I buy now I would probably go for a more expensive unit from Actron for $79 as it has erro description on the screen, but if you want to save same money you can use this unit and search for the error on the Internet (just search for `OBD' and the error code). Actron also has error code lookup on their site so you don't need to use the software that comes with the unit.
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on December 22, 2005
The "check engine" light should never be ignored (especially if it's the first time you've seen it on your car), but if you're one of those unlucky folks (like me) who's car repeatedly turns it on for a non-severe reason, this is a great little gadget. You just connect it to the plug under the dash, press a couple of buttons, and in a few seconds the stupid light goes off. Doesn't even need batteries! It shows a code which you can then look up (using the included manual) to find out what caused the problem.
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on February 11, 2007
Bought this like other reviewers in order to simply find out what kind of problem is causing the check engine light to come on. Depending on what's read I can then decide how important it is for me to either delay or immediately get the problem fixed. Device works very well and its easy to use. Instructions are fine and once you read the codes and write them down, you can erase the code to shut off the check engine light. And the price is certainly reasonable.

The weakness in this product and similar devices may be in finding out what the codes mean. In my case have a German car (BMW)and also have the shop manual for it. So codes the device displays can be found in my shop manaul but I may not find them in the software list that comes with the device. Suspect that domestic car codes would be covered more completed but don't know for sure. In any case if you want to fix the car yourself would strongly recommend a shop manual which lists all the OBD codes for your specific car.
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on January 19, 2006
This is a great product for that bothersome "check Engine" light that keeps coming on for problems like in my case 'misfire of the engine". The problem isn't a big issue, but you don't know that until you take it to a mechanic, and they charge you an arm and a leg to tell you it's nothing. You can clear the code from the cars computer with a touch of 1 button SWEET. This product has paid for it self on the first use for me. Well worth every penny.
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on May 20, 2007
I've used this code reader a few times now, and it's worked great each time.

I bought it because my "Check Engine" light came on shortly after I failed to tighten the gas cap properly. I figured the warning light was simply caused by this (minor) problem, but I didn't want to take any chances. The code reader allowed me to double-check the cause, and clear the warning light myself. Simply taking the car to the dealer to clear the light would have cost more money and time than I spent on this inexpensive device.

Since then, I've lent the reader to a few friends: Lots of people seem to find a use for this.

Overall, it's nice and compact. Very handy to have. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was that the two-button interface is a little bit non-intuitive. I had to keep the manual with me as I used it the first time. Not that this is a big deal-- but it would be nice if the interface were a bit more user-friendly.
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