Equus Scanner and Code Reader – Equus 3100

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While the march of progress has given us so much – increased horsepower, better fuel economy, reliable motors that start almost every time you turn the key (no matter what the temperature is outside) – the days of being able to take your truck to a “shade tree mechanic” to get a problem fixed have sadly passed us by. Modern vehicles use a complicated computer control system that not only keeps the vehicle running like a top, but also plays a key role in tracking problems should any arise.

Tired of paying to find out what’s wrong with your car? For the price of about one diagnosis fee, you can buy your very own handheld Equus Scanner and Code Reader.

If an issue does pop up, then your rig lets you know with the dreaded Check Engine or Service Engine Soon light. These vague warnings could be the result of almost anything – a loose gas cap, a lean fuel condition, a confused 02 sensor, or a failed cam position sensor – yet all these different problems will trigger one of two possible warning lights. Because the meaning of the light is so vague (and because modern vehicles are so complicated) there’s simply no way to know how serious the problem is until you can get your vehicle to a diagnosis and scanning tool. Up until fairly recently, the only way to get your vehicle diagnosed was to visit your local auto repair facility – they were the only ones who had the technology…but not anymore.

Nearly the same level of technology used by the local auto technician to scan and diagnose your vehicle is now available to the average vehicle owner. There are now many inexpensive handheld scanners that can perform many of the tasks of an expensive professional scanning tool. Don’t get us wrong here – a good consumer scanning tool isn’t as sophisticated as what the pros use, not to mention the fact that a scanner is only as good as the person holding it.

The full-sized diagnosis machine your local dealership uses is still the most accurate and sophisticated scanning tool available, but the simple handheld consumer code scanners can often pay for themselves when it comes to fixing a bad sensor.

Still, if you’ve got a light on and you want to figure out what it might indicate, there are quality, inexpensive handheld diagnostic scanners available.

Equus, a leader in vehicle data acquisition, markets many handheld scanners and code readers including the 3100 Innova Diagnostic Code Reader. This scanner, compatible with most vehicles made in 1996 or later, connects to your vehicle’s OBD-II system and scans for the error code that is causing your check engine or service engine soon lights to glow. In addition to scanning most vehicles for errors, it even stores past codes so that you can compare a new problem to an older one and see if they are somehow related. Most importantly, the tool itself can have its software upgraded, meaning that this is one computer device that won’t be obsolete as soon as you take it out of the box.

Once the vehicle error code has been read by your scanner, you can take action. Using a process of elimination, you can often locate a bad sensor or faulty component. In some cases, the best choice when it comes to a diagnosis is to do nothing – simply clear the code and wait for the problem to pop-up again. With the Equus 3100 series scanners, you can clear most error codes so that the check engine and/or service engine soon light stops bothering you.

The only real downside to the Equus scanning tool is that you often need a factory repair manual (or other resource) you can consult to translate some of the more obscure numerical codes your engine computer kicks out. Still, considering just how much you can find out with the tool (and how much information there is available on the internet), it’s a bargain.

Other than the limitations in terms of looking up proprietary vehicle engine codes, the Equus 3100 Innova hand scanner is one of the most useful devices you can keep on your workbench when it comes to taking the guesswork out of fixing and/or maintaining your ride. Are you ready for the best part? The Equus handheld scanners are surprisingly affordable. The basic scanner for about $150, and the top-of-the-line Equus 3140 (with live data recording abilities and compatible with most vehicles back to 1985) is about $150 more.

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  1. TXTee says:

    Wow I consider the pricing to be very reasonable. It practically pays for itself even though most repair facilities will waive the diagnosis fee if you do the work there. Any ideas on how you would receive upgrades for future year info?

  2. TXTee – The software that comes with the scanner checks for updates periodically and then updates the unit as new vehicles come out. Unit a new standard comes out (OBD-III), this unit should work just fine.

  3. GaryB says:

    I’ve got an 08 Tundra Crewmax 84K and my airpumps triggered a chk eng light three weeks ago. Took it to ROA Toyota dealer and they informed me about the issue, said I’d be okay driving back to CHS 400 miles. Good news I started it the next day to come back home, no light illunimated and no problems until now, would not go past 55mph. Called dealer and questioned the service dept about auto and parts waranty she was a bit nervous but we’ll see how this all turns out. Thanks for all the post and info you guys and gals are great!!!

  4. [...] is a really popular item now that car problems have gotten so hard to self-diagnose. Check out our review of the Equus 3100 diagnostic scanner / code reader. Basically, this little baby tells you what’s wrong with your 1996 or newer truck whenever the [...]

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