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Reading codes

3852 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Bob Lincoln
Some questions on getting fault codes...

Is there a scan tool that will plug in and read the pre-96 Dakotas (OBD 1?)?? I ask because I've never been able to count the flashes accurately, they just don't flash right on my truck. I've noticed 2 smaller plugs hanging below the driver's dash on my '94, also on a '95 I checked out today, are those plugs for a scan tool, if so, where can i find it?

On a 96 Dakota, how complete are the codes that show up through the OBD 2 port? Last week I scanned a 96 and it showed "no codes," even though 2 vacuum lines were unplugged and the truck was stalling. Is the 96 code bank incomplete because it was the first year or something?

Thanks for any help
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Counting the flashes with the key dance should not be difficult at all. The pause between the two digits of each code is shorter than the pause between codes. So for instance, if there is a code 24 (which usually trips a code 12, at the beginning of any stored code; and a 55 end of message):

Turn key ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON and leave it ON.
FLASH (short pause) FLASH FLASH (long pause) FLASH FLASH (short pause) FLASH FLASH FLASH FLASH (long pause)
If all you want is the code itself, it's very, very expensive to spend nearly $200 for what you can get for free per the above technique.
Ah, see, you said before that you just had trouble counting the flashes, not that it didn't work. So I'm unclear as to what the issue is. But you can still go to any auto parts store and have them read the codes for free.

People spending $2,000 are NOT buying simple code readers. They are buying diagnostic tools which read the engine and sensor parameters dynamically. And they must be getting equipment that can read every car ever made for that money. You can buy diagnostic software and hardware for under $300 which reads the parameters. But again, you can get the codes for free anywhere. OBD I is VERY limited as to what else you can get out of it.

If you post your symptoms and what you are trying to diagnose, we can probably help quite a bit - again, for free.
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