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OBD Code Reader

8197 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Ed_S
I have a CEL and am looking for a recommendation on an OBD code reader. Is it true that some cars have specialized codes that can only be read by certain readers? If so, is a 2003 Outback such a car? What reader would you recommend for occasional use?

Thanks much.
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I own an older Innova I bought from Amazon. Even Walmart has them hanging on a blisterpack rack IIRC.

you also have the option of a cable/laptop/software combo, a bluetooth/laptop or smartphone.

Years ago, I read of folks with cheap harbor Freight units and ebay units that would not read the ISO protocol that Subaru uses but if you stay with a known or well reviewed brand/model - you should be OK. Buy a newer Innova if you think you will be using the unit on friends/relative cars that might be CAN bus. Or make sure the unit you buy can be flashed/upgraded.

you can spend from about $20-25 up to hundreds I guess. Might find someone selling one used that has upgraded. Personally, working with a handheld unit with a cable is fine, cable plus laptop is kinda a hassle and not the best to loan to a buddy or haul to a remote location in bad weather.

Mine has been used on other people's cars more than my own, but I'm still glad I bought it. I think it cost $99 several years ago.
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