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Thread: Some questions about OBDII and my Mazda

  1. #1
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    Some questions about OBDII and my Mazda

    i'm looking into getting OBD-II into my car and up and running on my current carpc install.

    i have a few questions though before i buy some stuff. i did some quick research on here and a couple other places;

    1) i have a 2006 mazda 3, do i need to get a "CAN" type OBD-II device? is that the only one that will work?

    2) by looking at some of the pictures, is this thing going to be hanging around my feet? does the device that is connecting with the cable actually plug into the outlet under my dash or is there like a dongle type connection that goes in then goes into the unit then another cable coming out to the computer?

    3) i saw some threads asking if the person's OBD device was ECM or something? what is that?

    4) i plan to use this for informational purposes, car diag, MPG, engine load, temp, etc... will this do this?

    5) i have a fair amount of USB ports on my carpc, but i also have 1 port that is serial on it, i'm considering getting a serial port device to just dedicate to that serial port. are there any down falls to using serial over USB for this application that anyone has experienced or knows about?

    6) this relates to #5, i'm assuming there are multiple programs out there, free and purchasable to use your OBD-II device. do they all require your device to be USB or can it be serial as well?


    thanks for all the assistance, and i apologize for all the questions. i looked around for some answers but i couldn't really find them. i do know that any vehicle 1996 and newer has an OBD-II connector though.
    2006 Mazda 3 S Series
    2.3L 4cyl Engine

    Current Build
    - Commell LV-677 Motherboard
    - Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 CPU
    - Dual 512MB PC5300\667MHz RAM
    - Seagate 80GB SATA HDD
    - M2-ATX 160W PSU
    - Dynamix 8" LCD Touchscreen
    - VoomPC I Mini-ITX Case (Black)

  2. #2
    VENDOR - ScanTool Vitaliy's Avatar
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    1) i have a 2006 mazda 3, do i need to get a "CAN" type OBD-II device? is that the only one that will work?
    According to this:

    http://obdclearinghouse.com/index.ph...t_file&id=1289

    Your car indeed uses CAN for OBD-2. Any decent scan tool will support it.

    2) by looking at some of the pictures, is this thing going to be hanging around my feet? does the device that is connecting with the cable actually plug into the outlet under my dash or is there like a dongle type connection that goes in then goes into the unit then another cable coming out to the computer?
    Clones cut corners, and build the OBD connector right into the enclosure. ElmScan 5 tools come with an OBD-2 cable, you can even get one with a low profile connector:



    If you get the Bluetooth version, you eliminate the need to run the serial or USB cable from the scan tool to the PC.



    Moderator please note, this is not spam: the link leads to MP3Car store.

    3) i saw some threads asking if the person's OBD device was ECM or something? what is that?
    ECM = Engine Control Unit, it's the computer box that runs your engine. There can also be TCM (Transmission), BCM (Body), etc.

    4) i plan to use this for informational purposes, car diag, MPG, engine load, temp, etc... will this do this?
    With the right software, yes.

    5) i have a fair amount of USB ports on my carpc, but i also have 1 port that is serial on it, i'm considering getting a serial port device to just dedicate to that serial port. are there any down falls to using serial over USB for this application that anyone has experienced or knows about?
    Serial ports tend to be more reliable (they don't ever drop out like the USB ports can -- for example, if the USB cable gets disconnected). On the other hand, you can get faster baud rates on the PC side (up to 500 kbps). This may or may not matter (most OBD software uses the default 38400 baud setting anyway).

    6) this relates to #5, i'm assuming there are multiple programs out there, free and purchasable to use your OBD-II device. do they all require your device to be USB or can it be serial as well?
    They don't care. USB and Bluetooth install virtual COM ports, so to the program they all look the same.

    thanks for all the assistance, and i apologize for all the questions. i looked around for some answers but i couldn't really find them. i do know that any vehicle 1996 and newer has an OBD-II connector though.
    No need to apologize, we all learn by asking questions.

    Vitaliy
    OBDLink MX: world's smallest, fastest, most advanced OBD/Bluetooth adapter with SW and MS CAN support. Read the review to learn more.
    Need to look up a diagnostic trouble code? Try the most up-to-date, free DTCsearch.com!

    You cannot send me a private message using this forum. Use my email instead: vitaliy[@]scantool.net.

  3. #3
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    thanks for the quick reply and answering all the questions
    2006 Mazda 3 S Series
    2.3L 4cyl Engine

    Current Build
    - Commell LV-677 Motherboard
    - Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 CPU
    - Dual 512MB PC5300\667MHz RAM
    - Seagate 80GB SATA HDD
    - M2-ATX 160W PSU
    - Dynamix 8" LCD Touchscreen
    - VoomPC I Mini-ITX Case (Black)

  4. #4
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    Good advice from vvmaks, if you go with a low profile cable, make sure you try and get one where you can flip the cable from left hand to right hand if needed in some vehicles the OBD II port is upside down and then if you get a molded cable it will sit the wrong way - will still work but just does not feel right.

    I did not know this until I got my OBDPro interface and the cable had the ability to be flipped around

    Arun

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate
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    yeah i think i'm gonna get the OBDPro one...
    2006 Mazda 3 S Series
    2.3L 4cyl Engine

    Current Build
    - Commell LV-677 Motherboard
    - Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 CPU
    - Dual 512MB PC5300\667MHz RAM
    - Seagate 80GB SATA HDD
    - M2-ATX 160W PSU
    - Dynamix 8" LCD Touchscreen
    - VoomPC I Mini-ITX Case (Black)

  6. #6
    VENDOR - OBDPros
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    Quote Originally Posted by iNcArCeRaTiOn View Post
    yeah i think i'm gonna get the OBDPro one...
    Good choice , leave a comment with your nick on your order and I will make sure we ship you the rt angle connector at no additional cost.

    Thanks
    Paul
    OBDPros Scantool

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by michbound View Post
    Good choice , leave a comment with your nick on your order and I will make sure we ship you the rt angle connector at no additional cost.

    Thanks
    Paul
    OBDPros Scantool

    it seems to be the best offer i've seen so far and it has the right angle connector.

    i do appreciate it, but unfortunately i don't think i'm going to be able to order it within this very near future (being a college student and all) i'm working on getting the funds to get it.

    i'm looking at all the stuff getting OBD-II up and running. i'm still looking for a solid program i'll be able to run with it that is free, i've only see a bunch of programs that cost $50 and more lol


    but yeah, as far as the unit i'll more than likely be getting it from there. just, like i said, working on the funds lol.

    also, i just made an account on the OBDPros website for when i get it. thanks again for the offer and look forward to doing business with you and\or your company.
    2006 Mazda 3 S Series
    2.3L 4cyl Engine

    Current Build
    - Commell LV-677 Motherboard
    - Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 CPU
    - Dual 512MB PC5300\667MHz RAM
    - Seagate 80GB SATA HDD
    - M2-ATX 160W PSU
    - Dynamix 8" LCD Touchscreen
    - VoomPC I Mini-ITX Case (Black)

  8. #8
    VENDOR - ScanTool Vitaliy's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by obdiinut View Post
    Good advice from vvmaks, if you go with a low profile cable, make sure you try and get one where you can flip the cable from left hand to right hand if needed in some vehicles the OBD II port is upside down and then if you get a molded cable it will sit the wrong way - will still work but just does not feel right.

    I did not know this until I got my OBDPro interface and the cable had the ability to be flipped around

    Arun
    Arun,

    I'm not sure what you mean -- "the ability to be flipped around". Is this the kind of cable you got from OBDPros?



    Vitaliy
    OBDLink MX: world's smallest, fastest, most advanced OBD/Bluetooth adapter with SW and MS CAN support. Read the review to learn more.
    Need to look up a diagnostic trouble code? Try the most up-to-date, free DTCsearch.com!

    You cannot send me a private message using this forum. Use my email instead: vitaliy[@]scantool.net.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by vvmaks View Post
    Arun,

    I'm not sure what you mean -- "the ability to be flipped around". Is this the kind of cable you got from OBDPros?



    Vitaliy

    Similar, but the casing has the ability to be opened and the cable can be rerouted so it can exit from the right or left as desired, based on the location and orientation of the OBD II connector in the car

  10. #10
    VENDOR - ScanTool Vitaliy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by obdiinut View Post
    Similar, but the casing has the ability to be opened and the cable can be rerouted so it can exit from the right or left as desired, based on the location and orientation of the OBD II connector in the car
    I'm starting to have suspicions that you work for OBDPros.

    Last time we bought a sample from them, the cable that came with it, was not reversible.

    Vitaliy
    OBDLink MX: world's smallest, fastest, most advanced OBD/Bluetooth adapter with SW and MS CAN support. Read the review to learn more.
    Need to look up a diagnostic trouble code? Try the most up-to-date, free DTCsearch.com!

    You cannot send me a private message using this forum. Use my email instead: vitaliy[@]scantool.net.

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