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Old 24-04-2016   #1
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OBD diagnostics

Hi. My 2013 Panda TA 4x4 has just started to come up with a warning triangle with ESC, start stop and hill holder not available.

It's just less than a month since it ended the 3 year warranty and my dealer has said it's 100+ for the diagnostic.

I'm a little p******d off as I already has a case open with Fiat via the dealer since before the warranty expired relating to my noisy brakes from new.

I'm tempted to buy something to look what the fault is myself out of interest. Looking at previous posts http://www.multiecuscan.net is recommended. I've read about the different options but it seems I either pay 100+ for something or around 5-10 from an auction site for example.

I'm keen to avoid lots of messing around and I just want something that works and if possible I can get this week before I take it in next weekend.

Can anyone recommend a known good solution for me they have working ?

I'm going to post this in the technical area too.

Many thanks fellow Panda owners.
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Old 24-04-2016   #2
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Re: OBD diagnostics

Cheap china OBDII interface works well for me



And I use Torque Pro for Android.
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Old 24-04-2016   #3
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Re: OBD diagnostics

For diagnosing faults on these cars, any third party solution other than multiecuscan is basically a waste of time and money.

Check the MES website & forum to find out where to buy the necessary interface for your specific car.

Assuming you've a spare windows laptop, it'll cost you €50 plus the price of the cables.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 24-04-2016 at 21:48.
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Old 24-04-2016   #4
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Re: OBD diagnostics

The handbook describes these messages - you seem to have two at the same time, but assuming they are trying to tell you what the handbook says they are... Triangle, ESC and text display for hill holder shows fault within hill holder system - are your brake pads worn to a degree where the hill holder can no longer operate? And triangle and stop-start failure - is your battery in poor health? You should be able to check both these without needing to read the codes.
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Old 24-04-2016   #5
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Re: OBD diagnostics

Quote Originally Posted by Herts Hillhopper View Post
The handbook describes these messages - you seem to have two at the same time, but assuming they are trying to tell you what the handbook says they are... Triangle, ESC and text display for hill holder shows fault within hill holder system - are your brake pads worn to a degree where the hill holder can no longer operate? And triangle and stop-start failure - is your battery in poor health? You should be able to check both these without needing to read the codes.

Thanks for the response. The brakes are in good condition. Only done 20000 miles from new. Serviced and MOT less than a month with no comment about them (other than my complaints about the usual 4x4 rear brake noise).

Battery could be low as I've not done a long run for a while. Tend to be lots of 15-20min journeys at the most. I have start stop disabled all the time to reduce the drain on the battery from excessive starting.
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Old 24-04-2016   #6
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Re: OBD diagnostics

Quote Originally Posted by philboo View Post
I have start stop disabled all the time to reduce the drain on the battery from excessive starting.
You don't need to do this - the system self-checks for the battery voltage and will turn itself off if it senses the voltage is too low. It doesn't indicate this in any way - you juts realise that the engine stays running. Maybe by being disabled for a while (by you pressing the button), it has been 'confused' in some way?
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Old 25-04-2016   #7
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Re: OBD diagnostics

Just occurred to me it might be a wheel speed sensor glitch in the ABS system? If it can't detect that the car is stopped, and if it can't detect proper wheel speed, all those elements would be influenced.
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Old 25-04-2016   #8
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Re: OBD diagnostics

Quote Originally Posted by Herts Hillhopper View Post
You don't need to do this - the system self-checks for the battery voltage and will turn itself off if it senses the voltage is too low. It doesn't indicate this in any way - you juts realise that the engine stays running. Maybe by being disabled for a while (by you pressing the button), it has been 'confused' in some way?

I stopped using start stop within the first year after it intermittently failing to start again. Software updates seemed to improve it to work about 95% of the time but inevitably I switched it off as there's nothing worse than being made to look like a poor driver when the car doesn't start when you want to move away.

Today's I've had no warnings after a massive long journey yesterday though so I'm hoping it was a low battery voltage.

I've still ordered some OBD bits to delve into this.
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Old 26-04-2016   #9
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Re: OBD diagnostics

Quote Originally Posted by Hasek39 View Post
Cheap china OBDII interface works well for me



And I use Torque Pro for Android.
My son uses this on his Subaru. Torque Pro is quite good and allows you to read and reset error messages. Bit limited beyond that. Provides lots of cool information. The unit shown above is pretty cheap, as is the software (you can get a free version that doesn't allow you to reset things, then buy a license for the full version, cost $5 from memory). Might be a good toe in the water exercise.
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Old 26-04-2016   #10
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Re: OBD diagnostics

On board diagnostics are a bit of a mine field.These days there are many ECU's on a car, the common ones are Engine, ABS & ESC, Body control and lately, gearbox control units are getting popular.Each are read through the normal port, but it takes a certain "tool" to read the lot.Diagnotic trouble codes are also quite often split into two main groups as well.Generic and manufacturer specific.Generic ones are used by most manufacturers and often cover the bread and butter engine stuff, the normal sensors every car seem to use these days.Generic readers like the ELM 327 above will read generic engine codes and data only.They are very useful if it's engine only fault and that engine doesn't have any manufacturer specific electronic controls/sensors that might be causing issue.They can also get a bit confused trying to read these specific codes, it's common for them to report misleading or confusing codes as they try and fail to interpret these specific engine codes.They will not read the other control units, so unless an engine fault is causing an ESC problem (and the engine management light it lit) you'll have no joy with tools like the ELM.To read those specific codes and data (generic or specific) from the engine and other control units dotted around the car, a more high line tool in needed like the dealers and specialists use or something like MES.Another issue comes when codes are recovered.Many instantly think it's a problem with that particular sensor and replace it, when all it might be doing is reporting an issue that causing it to read out of tolerence, so a bit (but more than likely, a lot) of understanding of what these sensor do and how they work is often needed to make a good diagnosis.When you consider everything, 100 for someone to read a code is expensive, so is 30 or 40 for a code read then a wasted 60, 70 or 80 worth of unneeded replacement parts plus their fitting.100 for someone to actually diagnose a difficult problem might actually be considered cheap!
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Old 26-04-2016   #11
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Re: OBD diagnostics

Quote Originally Posted by Goudrons View Post
On board diagnostics are a bit of a mine field.These days there are many ECU's on a car, the common ones are Engine, ABS & ESC, Body control and lately, gearbox control units are getting popular.Each are read through the normal port, but it takes a certain "tool" to read the lot.Diagnotic trouble codes are also quite often split into two main groups as well.Generic and manufacturer specific.Generic ones are used by most manufacturers and often cover the bread and butter engine stuff, the normal sensors every car seem to use these days.Generic readers like the ELM 327 above will read generic engine codes and data only.They are very useful if it's engine only fault and that engine doesn't have any manufacturer specific electronic controls/sensors that might be causing issue.They can also get a bit confused trying to read these specific codes, it's common for them to report misleading or confusing codes as they try and fail to interpret these specific engine codes.They will not read the other control units, so unless an engine fault is causing an ESC problem (and the engine management light it lit) you'll have no joy with tools like the ELM.To read those specific codes and data (generic or specific) from the engine and other control units dotted around the car, a more high line tool in needed like the dealers and specialists use or something like MES.Another issue comes when codes are recovered.Many instantly think it's a problem with that particular sensor and replace it, when all it might be doing is reporting an issue that causing it to read out of tolerence, so a bit (but more than likely, a lot) of understanding of what these sensor do and how they work is often needed to make a good diagnosis.When you consider everything, 100 for someone to read a code is expensive, so is 30 or 40 for a code read then a wasted 60, 70 or 80 worth of unneeded replacement parts plus their fitting.100 for someone to actually diagnose a difficult problem might actually be considered cheap!
Thanks for the thorough explanation. I have one of the cheap ELM 327 bluetooth devices that I bought for another, older car, where I found Torque and Dash Commander useful apps.
After reading some of the previous posts on the subject, I've been wondering if it safe to use on my Panda, not for diagnostic purposes or resetting codes, just for the interesting extra info they can display when driving. From your post I assume its fine to use it, just don't expect the full benefits of a professional unit?
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Old 26-04-2016   #12
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Re: OBD diagnostics

Quote Originally Posted by WoollyPanda View Post
Thanks for the thorough explanation. I have one of the cheap ELM 327 bluetooth devices that I bought for another, older car, where I found Torque and Dash Commander useful apps.
After reading some of the previous posts on the subject, I've been wondering if it safe to use on my Panda, not for diagnostic purposes or resetting codes, just for the interesting extra info they can display when driving. From your post I assume its fine to use it, just don't expect the full benefits of a professional unit?
As far as I am concerned, these basic OBDII readers should be safe to use in display mode, just don't expect them to be able to reset codes as reliably as the proper kit. I had a very useful LogWorks WiFi OBDII device fitted to my previous (supercharged) 4x4 and used it to monitor IATs, Injector Duty Cycles and Fuel Trims. But when the car threw any codes (which it did every now and then when it became 'aware' that it was being forcibly blown along....!), I had to get the full MES kit and laptop out to clear them properly.

The fully functional setups like MES (or for example, VAGCOM for VAG cars) can also be used to do a lot more besides monitoring and it's very possible to make a considerable mess of your car if you don't know what you're doing. Bottom line is that if you're not sure, read t'internet or the manual again, before hitting that COMMIT; function eh?!
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Old 27-04-2016   #13
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Re: OBD diagnostics

Quote Originally Posted by WoollyPanda View Post
Thanks for the thorough explanation. I have one of the cheap ELM 327 bluetooth devices that I bought for another, older car, where I found Torque and Dash Commander useful apps.
After reading some of the previous posts on the subject, I've been wondering if it safe to use on my Panda, not for diagnostic purposes or resetting codes, just for the interesting extra info they can display when driving. From your post I assume its fine to use it, just don't expect the full benefits of a professional unit?
These ELM 327 devices can be useful, but as explained, they're only useful for the engine ECU (often referred to as a PCM or Powertrain Control Module) and that units generic data and codes.

So all the fueling data and sensors, ignition, knock sensors and the likes.
You usually know if it's an engine issue due to the engine management light being lit (orange engine shaped light)

It'll be pointless to try and diagnose an ABS, ESC or any other warning light fault with one as it will not read that particular control unit.


Some faults are interlinked, so an engine fault might cause the ESC to failsafe and cause and ESC warning or vice versa.

A common one is wheel speed sensors, this will no doubt cause ABS, ESC, TC and the PCM to complain on a modern car, as it's looking at wheel speed data to work out road speed, speedo readings, ESC and Traction control and a host of engine fueling and ignition settings.

So one failed wheel speed sensor can cause a full house of warning lights!

There are tools that will and have been programmed with the specific code data as well.
Autel do a updatable line that a lot of small garages use, but they aren't cheap and the more they read, the more expensive they are.
For Fiats, although I've never used it, MES is the way to go.


As mentioned, a code can be misleading or tempt you to throw new parts (sensors) at a problem when all the sensor might be doing is it's job.
This site is a bit outdated these days, but it does try and explain the fuel injection system, it's various sensors and how they work.
http://oldfuelinjection.packrad.net/

I found the strategies page really useful when diagnosing a lambda fault some time ago, took me a while, but with this site, a cheap ELM tool and Torque Pro I got there in the end!
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Last edited by Goudrons; 27-04-2016 at 08:28.
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Old 27-04-2016   #14
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Re: OBD diagnostics

Hi,


Did you have a look on "memoscan" devices ??


I have one "U581" (an old one ...) and it works pretty well.
The first advantage is you don't need any computer at all.
I always keep it in my boot.


Regards
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Old 27-04-2016   #15
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Re: OBD diagnostics

Quote Originally Posted by RQ3ZQTB View Post
Hi,


Did you have a look on "memoscan" devices ??


I have one "U581" (an old one ...) and it works pretty well.
The first advantage is you don't need any computer at all.
I always keep it in my boot.


Regards
AFAIK @philboo has now used MES to clear the faults and they have yet to return.
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