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All Info About Auto Repair: Using Powertrain Computer Scan Tools
All Info About Auto Repairs
Your One Stop Source For All The Information You Need For Your Vehicles.

Using Powertrain Computer Scan Tools

You have a new scan tool, so here is how to get the most from it.
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» Part 2
» Part 3
» Part 4

The basic Auto X-Ray scan tool just gives you information. But it does that very well on GM, Chrysler and Ford, including DCL, that may be all you need. The OTC and SunPro scan tools can test some of the actuators. This means that when put into a special test mode, you can, with the engine off, actuate relays, solenoids, switches and fuel injectors. Auto X-Ray chose not to include this feature due to safety concerns for new users because in this mode it is possible to inadvertently start the engine. But if you have the applicable Chrysler product and you are certain you can handle the safety issues, you might prefer one of the testers with this capability.

You will also need the factory service manual or CD, or an Online service such as Alldata DIY. This will provide you with sensor reading specifications, and their locations. Also there are wiring schematics if you have track down a bad connection in a sensor or switch circuit.

The Data Link Connectors on General Motors vehicles are typically located under the dash in the area of the steering column. On Ford Motor vehicles the Data Link Connector is typically located at the RH rear of the engine compartment, mounted on the rear of strut tower. In Chrysler products the Data Link Connector can be found located on the left side of the engine compartment, near the battery. Or under the dash above the hood release cable or is located in the engine compartment next to the Powertrain Control Module (PCM). You will need to check your service manual for the exact location for your particular Chrysler model.

After connecting the scan tool, powering up and selecting your vehicle you start with a basic scan.

This will bring up any Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) that are active or stored including those that do not turn the Check Engine Light, now referred to as the Malfunction Indicator Lamp MIL. If a malfunction occurs that turns the MIL on but corrects itself, the MIL will turn off but the code will remain stored in memory for 50 key starts and then, if it does not reoccur, it will be erased. Checking for trouble codes is a good start, but most malfunctions do not set a code so you will need to do a little digging to find the problem.

» Part 1       » Part 2       » Part 3       » Part 4
Additional Information provided courtesy of
ALLDATAdiy.com and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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