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You are here: > Store > ScanGauge > FAQ


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in English in Japanese in Chinese in Korean en Franηais en Espaρol no Portuκs in Italiano auf Deutsch

QUESTION: Will the ScanGauge II work on my vehicle?
ANSWER: The ScanGauge requires the vehicle to be either OBDII or EOBD compatible. In the US and Canada, cars and light trucks were required to be OBDII compatible starting in 1996. In Europe, EOBD was phased in between 2002 and 2004. Other parts of the world have required one of them starting in various years.

Many vehicles made and/or sold outside the US and Canada had one of the protocols before they were required in that country. This was to allow sales to other countries and because they knew they would eventually be required to meet the requirements and designed it in when they redesigned a particular model.

There is no comprehensive list of when particular vehicles began using OBDII or EOBD outside the US and Canada.

(See also Compatibility)

QUESTION: Is the Add-a-Gauge™ feature included in the ScanGauge II unit?

QUESTION: Can I use the ScanGauge II to save fuel?
ANSWER: If your car reports information on fuel consumption (99% of cars and light trucks do), and you use it to adjust your driving habits, you can save a lot of fuel.  The most important thing to improve fuel economy is to work on the average fuel economy. Your instantaneous will show the fuel economy fall when you step on the throttle and increase when you let it off. The important thing is to improve your driving habits to reduce the amount and time it is low. You work the average like a video game and see how high a "score" you can get., You redeem your "points" at the gas station.  The ScanGaugeII offers a number of averages. The best for improving fuel economy is the CURRENT MPG. This one is reset automatically each time you start a trip. It starts at 0 and quickly climbs up as you begin moving. You will see the average go up and down as you drive and will quickly catch on to ways to raise it.  There are also a number of other features in the ScanGaugeII that can help you spot problems that will lower fuel economy and help keep your engine from serious problems.

QUESTION: Will the ScanGaugeII display in metric?
ANSWER: Yes, the units of measure can be independently selected between Miles/Km, Gallons/Liters, Celcius/Fahrenheit, and PSI/KPA.
If you choose Km and Liters, fuel economy is reported as liters/100Km (LHK).
If you use Imperial Gallons when you do the calibration, fuel will then be adjusted to use Imperial Gallons.

QUESTION: Will the ScanGauge II be able to clear my trouble codes and turn off my "Check Engine" light?
ANSWER: The ScanGauge II will clear the codes and turn off the check engine light on 99% of 1996 and newer vehicles. It has been reported that it can not do this on some trouble codes in the Dodge vehicles.

QUESTION: How can the ScanGauge II do all of these things with only a single connection to the vehicle?
ANSWER: Since 1996, all cars and light trucks sold in the US have been required by law to have an On-Board-Diagnostic version 2 (OBD2 or OBD II) connector inside the passenger compartment. It is required to provide diagnostic information and allow resetting of the CHECK ENGINE light. It also provides a lot of other operating information. The ScanGauge II performs the diagnostics functions like a conventional scan tool. It also goes beyond this and uses the other data to add many more useful functions.

QUESTION: Is the ScanGauge powered by the car?
ANSWER: Yes.  No extra batteries required.

QUESTION: Do I need to know what Protocol my car uses?
ANSWER: No. The ScanGauge II automatically determines which protocol your vehicle uses and switches to it.

QUESTION: Can I use the ScanGauge II on more than one car.
ANSWER: Yes. There are no restrictions on moving it from car to car.

QUESTION: Can my 1995 Ford Mustang use it?
ANSWER: Maybe. Some 1995 and even some 1994 vehicles are OBD2 (sometimes shown as OBD II) compliant. Look at the emissions stickers under the hood. If you find one that says OBD2 or OBD II, you should be able to use the ScanGauge II.

QUESTION: Can I use the ScanGauge II to tell how fast and how far my teenage son drove the car last night?
ANSWER: Yes. This information is stored in the trip computer and it can be recalled by you for up to a day after he used it.

QUESTION: What if my child disconnects the ScanGauge II while he is using the car?
ANSWER: If the ScanGauge II was disconnected during the trip, a disconnect indicator will be displayed in the trip data.

QUESTION: My speedometer only goes to 90 MPH. Can the ScanGauge II show speeds above this?
ANSWER: Yes, the ScanGauge II can show speeds up to 158MPH.

QUESTION: Can I tell how high the coolant temperature has been getting on my wifes car?
ANSWER: Yes. The maximum coolant temperature is stored by the trip computer and can be read back by you later.

QUESTION: Will it show lambda values?
ANSWER: Most vehicles use a narrow-band O2 sensor that toggles between a high and low values every second or two in a normally operating vehicle. This presents a useless digital output. It would appear to randomly show a high and low value. For this reason, we don't currently show the O2 sensor data.

QUESTION: Do I have to reset the trip computers for each trip?
ANSWER: No. The CURRENT trip can be reset manually if you desire. It is automatically reset after the ignition has been off for more than a few minutes. The DAY trip will accumulate the entire days trip information and reset itself after the ignition has been off for more than 8 to 9 hours. The DAY information is moved to PREVIOUS before it is automatically reset.

QUESTION: The MPG gauge reading changes very quickly with slight changes in throttle or load. Can I smooth this out to better determine the affect of speed on fuel economy?
ANSWER: Yes, use the TRIP MPG function in the CURRENT mode. After reaching the desired speed, reset the TRIP. The average MPG since it was reset will be reported.

QUESTION: Can the ScanGauge II show if there is a difference in MPG between using my truck with the tailgate up or down?
ANSWER: Yes. (But the difference is very small, by the way.)

QUESTION: The ScanGauge II shows a trouble code of E0468. How do I figure out what this means?
ANSWER: There are many sources to decode this. A search of the internet for Trouble Codes for your particular vehicle is a great way to get them. Print them out and keep them in the car for future reference. You can also find them in the vehicle shop manual and after-market service and emissions manuals.

QUESTION: What is FRZD in the ScanGauge II?
ANSWER: When a trouble code is set, the data at that time (RPM, Coolant Temperature, Speed, Throttle Position, etc.) are captured like in a freeze frame. FRZD can be used to recall this data to help diagnose the problem.

QUESTION: What are the dimensions of the ScanGauge II?
ANSWER: The ScanGauge II is 4.8"Wide, 1.5"High and 1.0"Deep.

QUESTION: Will this gauge read knock retard on a GM car?
ANSWER: The ScanGaugeII will show the actual timing in real time. It doesn't show a knock retard value.

QUESTION: When I press SCAN it says -Not Ready- in the lower line. How can I tell which OBD test has not been completed?
ANSWER: There is a way to do this using the CMNDS feature in the ScanGauge II. See Finding Incomplete OBDII Tests Using the ScanGauge II.

QUESTION: Can I purchase an extra cable to use in another vehicle?
ANSWER: You can purchase an extra cable with your ScanGauge II or a single cable.

QUESTION: Is this product CAN enabled?
ANSWER: Controller Area Network (CAN) is a networking standard and was developed by Bosch in the late 80's. It was added to the list of acceptable OBDII protocols in 2002. Starting in 2008 all cars and light trucks are required to use the CAN protocol for OBDII. Many older tools that claim to be OBDII compatible, cannot handle CAN. The ScanGaugeII covers all OBDII protocols, including CAN.

QUESTION: How do I find the plug to connect the ScanGauge II?
ANSWER: The OBD2 connector is supposed to be located within 1 meter of the steering column. It is usually under the dash and just to the right or left of the steering column. Sometimes it will have a cover over its face. Other locations are under the dash on the passenger side under the dash, behind the ash tray and in a rare case, under the ash tray in the back seat armrest. The pictures below show the OBD2 plug in a typical location.

Plug Location

QUESTION: Will the ScanGauge work on a larger truck?
ANSWER: OBDII has been a requirement for vehicles under 8500 GVW sold in the US since 1996. The weight exemption was moved up to 14000 GVW in 1998. Vehicles over 14000 GVW are still exempt. Freightliner doesn't build anything under 14000 GVW so they have never had to use OBDII.

QUESTION: What about an RV?
ANSWER: The ScanGaugeII requires the vehicle to be OBDII compatible. Vehicles over 14000 pounds GVW in the US and Canada are exempt from the OBDII requirements. Most RVs are over 14000 GVW. The reason the ScanGaugeII works in most of them is that even though they are over 14000 GVW, they use engines that are from vehicles that are under 14000 GVW. The Ford V8,V10, Powerstroke; the GM V8, workhorse and Duramax; the Dodge V8 and Cummins engines that are found in their pickup trucks are OBDII compatible. Freightliner, MAC, Detroit diesel and the other "big rig" engines are never found in under 14000 GVW vehicles so they were never made OBDII compatible.

QUESTION: Why does the MPG shows 9999 when I am stopping or let off the gas while driving?
ANSWER: In modern fuel injected cars, when coasting, the fuel to the engine is cut off. The engine is being "pulled" along by the car. Before the car come to a stop, the fuel is restarted to keep the engine running. The ScanGaugeII senses this fuel cut-off and shows 0 GPH and the highest number it can show for fuel economy.  When in this mode, you are not burning any fuel. Try to use this as much as possible to increase fuel economy.

See also

Page posted by Sterling D. Allan June 6, 2006
Last updated April 15, 2015





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