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%AM, %30 %648 %2008 %08:%Jul

ScanGaugeII Review

Written by  Eric Ross
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So I finally decided I wanted some independence. I thought that I might start by freeing myself from dealer/mechanic scan tools.  It always drove me nuts when the check engine light came on and I’d get it checked immediately, only to find out it was a random sensor aberration and everything was fine.  The computers in our rigs are very complicated, and sometimes can be frustrating. The OBDII interface is a nice advantage since it allows us to take control of some of these issues.

After poking around and looking at scan tool options, I decided on the ScanGaugeII by Linear-Logic ( http://www.scangauge.com ).  Since I was planning on doing some intake modifications, I was looking forward to instant feedback on engine performance and fuel economy.  I also wanted immediate information about check engine light codes, so the ScanGuageII seemed to fit the bill.

For everyday driving, the ScanGaugeII offers trip computers that track data from the current trip, current day, previous day, or current tank. The information stored for each of these time periods includes maximum speed, average speed, maximum coolant temperature, maximum rpm, driving time, driving distance, fuel used, trip fuel economy, distance to empty, time to empty, and fuel (gallons) to empty.


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The display is easy to read and has seven (7) standard screen colors as well as custom color settings (63 of them.)  The display and navigation buttons are backlit for night driving and can be set at low or high brightness, or off.  All navigation is accomplished through simple on-screen operation using four menu driven soft-keys.  A fifth “home” soft-key quickly returns you to the start screen from any application.  The data-rate is also selectable and runs at either slow, normal (every 2 seconds) or fast (every second). The unit has an automatic delayed power-down after engine shutoff and automatic power-up when engine is started, and can also be manually powered-up.

The gauge selection gives you plenty of combinations to play with. Fuel economy (mpg), fuel rate (gph),  battery voltage,  coolant temperature,  intake air temperature,  engine speed (rpm),  vehicle speed (mph and km/h),  engine load,  throttle position,  ignition timing,  and open/closed loop.  There is also an update available that provides horsepower (hp) and fuel trim ratings.  Any four (4) of these gauges can be displayed simultaneously, and you can cycle through each by simply working the soft key at each position.  I’m in the habit of displaying mpg, intake air temperature, rpm and engine load so I can monitor my CAI performance and my lead foot.  It’s amazing how conscious you become of fuel consumption when you see the MPG dip to 2.7mpg when you throttle up!

I’ve already avoided several trips to the mechanic when the check engine light has illuminated for one reason or another, and really enjoy the ability to self-diagnose simple problems.  The ScanGaugeII diagnostic tool reads trouble codes, reads conditions that set the trouble code, clears trouble codes if you choose to; turns off the "Check Engine" light when codes are cleared, and tells you when the vehicle is ready to pass OBDII testing. You can also make and store up to ten (10) rewritable special codes to send to the vehicle computer. If you're curious, standard OBDII codes are available here: http://tufftransmissions.com/customer-service/trouble-codes/

Installation is easy with the OBDII plug-and-play.  The included 6-foot cord allows you to reach a number of mounting locations, such as the left console, upper dash, gauge cluster, or an overhead console if you get creative.  The unit is small (4.8"W x 1.5"H x 1"D) and lightweight, and is easily held in place with 3M or Velcro.  I started with the left console, but am happier with the top of the dash location for line-of-sight visibility and ease of manipulation.

If your data hungry, you won't go wrong with the ScanGuageII. One word of caution, if you're truck is heavily modified, you may not like what you see in terms of MPG.



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