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Besides my Z06 I have a 99 Ford van and the Check Engine Soon light came on. Last time this happened it was the gas cap.

I want to buy a scan tool but I want one that works on the Ford and the Z06. Somehow I thought OBD II provided a standardized interface. If I buy a scan tool will it work on both? Does anybody have any recommendations? How do I interpret what the code means? Do you need to get some kind of code lookup list and is it different for various makes of cars?

What can I do with it on the Z06 that the gauges don't tell me?
 

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ODB-II has a bunch of standard codes, but manufacturers have added to them. So there are GM only codes and what not.

You can buy scanning software for your laptop for a few hundred that will work on you Z or your van. Spend more like $1000 and it will do both. Or you can drop $2500 on a tech-II scanner (not even sure if those do fords or just GM).

They'll tell you far more than just a trouble code. They'll tell you what any sensor is reading, ignition timing, maf-airflow, etc. ANything the PCM is seeing, they'll report to you. THe better stuff also has logging functions so that you can go for a drive and record. So if you're having a stumble or something when getting on the gas in 6th, or whatever, it can help you find out why.
 

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If you're looking for just a basic OBD-II code scanner, you can get them (or order one) from your local parts store. I have one that works on my two post-96 Fords and my Z06. I would not use it to diagnose a lot of performance issues (none actually), but it will certainly tell you what the code is, and allow you to reset the codes if you choose to.

It comes with a booklet that describes what the code is. For $120 it is a cheap way to tell if its a problem you can handle, or something that would need further diagnosis.
 

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I have the car code odb-2 scanner from http://www.obd-2.com/
I got it on a GP for about $125. I have the Tricom unit, works on any obd-2 car, As you can see from my sig, we have a Ford, Chevy and Chrysler and it works great on all of them. It is a black box and cable that interfaces with any laptop. Check out the website, it is the best value out there in code scanners IMHO. It will allow you to do real time data logging such as checking MAF voltages, misfire detection etc. You will have to get a service manual to tell you what the codes mean. I have a 2000 Ford service manual on CD-Rom if you post the codes you get I can decipher them for you.
 

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So far, the best we have found is Autotap. We sell versions for Ford, GM, Chrysler, and we have units that do Ford AND GM for a bit more. Check the Corvette Store out. :cheers: There is a full description of what's included and what it does on the site.
 
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