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Hello, I am please looking for advice: For my V8, I want to purchase a OBD scanner that can read and clear lights. I never had one and I am not very knowlegable with these things. Scouting the internet, I see that there are many brands, types and price ranges. Can anyone recommend me a simple, cheap OBD scanner "for dummies" that is proven that works with V8 Esprits? thanks!
 

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Hello, I am please looking for advice: For my V8, I want to purchase a OBD scanner that can read and clear lights. I never had one and I am not very knowlegable with these things. Scouting the internet, I see that there are many brands, types and price ranges. Can anyone recommend me a simple, cheap OBD scanner "for dummies" that is proven that works with V8 Esprits? thanks!
I believe you need an OBDII scanner. I've got a generic OBDII reader I bought at Autozone. It works fine on my Lotus and previously my C6. It's an Actron CP9125. You can find it online cheaper, or at Autozone if you need it yesterday.

San
 

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The cheapest you can go is probably an OBD2 Bluetooth and the Torque App for either Android or iOS. You could go for the paid version of the app which will be a few more bucks, but worth it to get rid of the ads and add functionality.

Other than displaying and clearing fault codes, the app has some other cool features too. 0-60, track times, real-time information, and a bunch more. Just a fun little app.

As for as compatibility goes, I have yet to have a car it didn't work in so I would assume it will work in our V8 Esprit.
 

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The cheapest you can go is probably an OBD2 Bluetooth and the Torque App for either Android or iOS. You could go for the paid version of the app which will be a few more bucks, but worth it to get rid of the ads and add functionality.

Other than displaying and clearing fault codes, the app has some other cool features too. 0-60, track times, real-time information, and a bunch more. Just a fun little app.

As for as compatibility goes, I have yet to have a car it didn't work in so I would assume it will work in our V8 Esprit.
Totally agree on Torque. $5 for the pro app and I run it on a tablet in my car every time I go out. Works awesome with a $15 Bluetooth plug in OBDII transmitter as FloppyKnickers (Love the name!) says.
 

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The inexpensive scanners will have trouble with the Lotus specific codes but if you can pull the code out you can look it up in the manual. The Actron scanners are as good as any. Most chain auto stores like AutoZone will pull your codes for free so why buy a scanner? If the check engine light is not lit you probably don't have anything important to see anyway. Verify the check engine light (MIL light) goes on and then off during start-up.
David Teitelbaum
 

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The inexpensive scanners will have trouble with the Lotus specific codes but if you can pull the code out you can look it up in the manual. The Actron scanners are as good as any. Most chain auto stores like AutoZone will pull your codes for free so why buy a scanner? If the check engine light is not lit you probably don't have anything important to see anyway. Verify the check engine light (MIL light) goes on and then off during start-up.
David Teitelbaum
While that used to be the case, most auto parts stores don't pull codes anymore. I wouldn't have bought a scanner if I hadn't needed to.

San
 

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The ones in my area still do. They figure that if they can retrieve a code for a customer then they can sell them stuff. The other day I saw a scanner being sold in CVS, a drug store, for $20! They are getting cheap! I don't know how good they are but for $20 a lot of people would try it.
David Teitelbaum
 

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I carry a cheap little ELM 257 OBD II Bluetooth plug in my travel bag, ever since a loose fuel cap code disabled the cruise control and also threw an ABS fault light on my wife's Subaru hundreds of miles from home.
 

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The ones in my area still do. They figure that if they can retrieve a code for a customer then they can sell them stuff. The other day I saw a scanner being sold in CVS, a drug store, for $20! They are getting cheap! I don't know how good they are but for $20 a lot of people would try it.
David Teitelbaum
Yeah, the Actron I recommended in this and another thread is very cheap now. I like having one but it only works for my Exige now. I'll have to stop by Autozone and see if they have the new scanners available for pulling codes in their parking lot.

San
 

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Generic scanners will not work on a V8 esprit as far as I know and have seen when trying to hook one up to my car. You need a tech 1 Vectronix and a cable to attach it plus the lotus cartridge.
 

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Generic scanners will not work on a V8 esprit as far as I know and have seen when trying to hook one up to my car. You need a tech 1 Vectronix and a cable to attach it plus the lotus cartridge.
I've used this piece of software ( https://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/23500-free-v8-obdii-scan-tool) written by V8 esprit owner Peter England in conjunction with an inexpensive ODB2 adapter like an ELM 327 found on Amazon, Ebay or totalcardiagnostics.com.
You can view many sensors and data points, control stuff like fuel pumps, fans etc. Of course you can also do normal stuff like clear codes or reset parts of the ECU like idle. I'm sure its not as good as the famous 'Tech1' that everyone talks about, but it has worked well for me so far. For what ever reason I have had better luck with the ODB2 port under passenger side dash than the one in the boot.
 

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I've used this piece of software ( https://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/23500-free-v8-obdii-scan-tool) written by V8 esprit owner Peter England in conjunction with an inexpensive ODB2 adapter like an ELM 327 found on Amazon, Ebay or totalcardiagnostics.com.
You can view many sensors and data points, control stuff like fuel pumps, fans etc. Of course you can also do normal stuff like clear codes or reset parts of the ECU like idle. I'm sure its not as good as the famous 'Tech1' that everyone talks about, but it has worked well for me so far. For what ever reason I have had better luck with the ODB2 port under passenger side dash than the one in the boot.
When I owned my 2002 esprit I bought a actron pocket scan OBII. #9125.
It worked fine for eliminating codes.
 

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While you may be able to pull most generic codes or force a code reset with a cheap scanner, you will not be able to get all codes and you certainly will not be able to modify or actuate anything. You most likely won't be able to directly read any sensors like an O2 sensor to see if it is pulsing fast enough or if it is getting old and slow. Not everyone needs a Tech 1 but if you take your car to a shop, they should have one with the correct cartridges and cables! There is no way they can do a proper job without it if you have engine issues, ABS issues, or SIR problems. There are a couple of "aftermarket" tools that have limited capabilites like the one carjunkie97 mentions but they can't do everything and many have had problems communicating with them. OBD-2 is another. It works through a laptop's serial port but you need an old laptop to even have a serial port and because of timing issues it can be a pain to make it work.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Not true. Have you actually used the SW from Peter England? You can enable fans, pumps (both fuel and recirculate pump), graph the O2 sensors, view TPS, reset ECU, query a variety of different sensors on the car.
Yes, I'm sure the Tech1 is better and I'm glad you have one. But not everyone has access to them and this SW is FREE and the ODB2 connector is <$30. It's pretty good, but only works for V8s.
 

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No, I have not tried Peter England's software. I have tried a number of different scanners and the OBD-2 software. After getting frustrated with the limitations of all of the stuff, and scanners were not as cheap as they are now, I got a used Tech 1 on ebay, made up a cable and bought some cartridges from Sanj. In the end, if I just went with the Tech 1 from the beginning, it would have been a lot faster and cheaper than playing around with that stuff. It's hard enough to fix something but not having good tools that you can trust and use to troubleshoot the car just makes the whole experience worse.The car was designed to be used with the Tech 1 and it isn't all that expensive. It is a "clunky," hard to use tool compared to what you can do today. It has a learning curve but it isn't very steep. I also wanted a tool that can do the ABS and the SIR and there is no other tool that can do them.
David Teitelbaum
 

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OBD2 is 1996+, Im not sure of the year range of an esprit, but if it goes lower than 96 an OBD2 scanner wont work. However anything OBD2 has to allow a generic scanner to read any P0xxx codes or driveability / emissions codes. Every code reader Ive used still pulled up vehicle specific codes ,P(1/2)xxx, but wouldnt always have the definition of said code. As for the reader itself, the blutooth dongle and torque / cargauge work well. An accutron or harbor frieght one work fine too, I have a few of each and never had an issue, these also are also a little more plug and play, tend to connect faster / easier. Ive never not had the ability to see data I was after on my scanners that have that ability, and the one I use most ca record it. The only issue Ive ever really had was the accutron is so old it doesnt do can bus cars, but thats not its fault. If theres any question as to why I have like six scanners: a few people have given them to me (they got them for thier car, then gave them to me when they still needed me to explain the issue), got a few with cars I purchased, and my fathers estate. The blutooth dongle ELM??? is the only one I ever bought. As for the autozone will test it for you, my understanding is thats only CA that they cant, but other states may have passed that law too, AZ has not. The law states that only places that due maintenance can look up a code to my understanding.
 

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Problem is V8 esprit is not a total OBD2 system. Tech 1 scanner and all the cars it was meant for were for GM cars late 80’s to mid 90’s. Somehow lotus raided GM’s leftover parts like 1993 trans Am airbag steering wheels and OBD1 stuff to use on cars up to 2004! The system is some kind of obd1 cobbled together to sorta be an obd2 system. But even a bunch of pins are missing from the obd plug on the car. Anyway I never got a regular scanner to work but someone mentioned maybe the plug in the trunk works different then the under dash plug, I didn’t know there was a second plug there.
 

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x2 on using the trunk's OBD plug.

It has been proven to provide a more reliable hookup.
 
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