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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

‘95 & Up OBDII
Q: I've been in the automotive trade for 35+ years, I’m an ASE triple master tech, and love computerized technology. My problem is tapping into the OBDII computer for diagnostic codes, like it was done with EEC, CCC, etc. At this time I am running a small shop on my own, part time, and cannot warrant the cost of big time diagnostic equipment. Is there a way to jump terminals or something to get into the newer systems?? Thanks....Jim Bearfield

A: Today’s newer vehicle’s computer systems have a new generation of advanced On Board Diagnostics which is affectionately referred to in our industry as OBD II. The intent of the OBD II system was to create a common data port, with a common protocol, for accessing information, primarily emissions related. The key word is intent. The days of using a jumper wire or pin to flash codes from a vehicle’s computer is quickly fading away. If you wish to communicate with today’s vehicle computers you need to determine the level of information you want access to. The more information you want the more money you have to pay. A low dollar tool, for checking codes, turning off the Check Engine Light and with a wee bit of the computer info, cost around $300 to $400. For the privilege of the above, viewing more and opening a door or two to the computer jumps the price tag up to $2000 to $3000. Annual software updates range from $600 to $2000 and does not cover every vehicle. Now if you want the high, the book store, encyclopedia factory of information and the ability open all doors in today’s vehicle computers you need the vehicle manufacturer’s scan tool and software. Yeah it costs more but wow does this tool make things happen, but it only works on that manufacturer’s vehicle.

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