A wise person once said “never pay a mechanic to tell you what’s wrong with your car”. Actually, that’s total BS and I just made it up, but there’s some truth to that statement.
Even without much mechanical knowledge, it never hurts to have as much information as possible about your vehicle, especially when something’s not right with it.
This is where an OBDII code reader can come in handy. I’m sure that most people reading this review know what a code reader is and does, but for the uninitiated:
The OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) is an automotive term referring to a vehicle’s self-diagnostic and reporting capability. OBD systems give the vehicle owner or repair technician access to the status of the various vehicle subsystems.
Most vehicles have a dedicated OBDII port under the dash to connect and power the code reader unit. Now that you know what an OBDII code reader is, and does, let’s take a look at some features of the AutoPhix OM126 unit.
AutoPhix OM126 OBDII Code Reader Review
Disclaimer: The guys at AutoPhix sent us a unit for review. We did not recieve any other “incentives” from them so what you’ll read now is our honest opinion on this model. Enjoy.
The unit as recieved. Simple packaging.
- Easily determines the cause of “Check Engine Light” displays, turns off “Check Engine Light” warning, clears codes and resets diagnostic monitors
- On-Screen code definitions: Displays diagnostic trouble code descriptions and definitions without having to look it up in a vehicle manual
- Helps troubleshoot problems quickly and efficiently
- Live Data: Reads and displays live data parameters in real time such as RPM, engine coolant, temperature, vehicle speed, oxygen sensor data and more
- I/M Readiness: Provides a snapshot of the emissions system operations for all ODBII equipped vehicles such as misfire monitor, EVAP systems monitor and more
- Freeze Frame Data: A snapshot of the engine’s condition at the time of the emission, the related fault and vehicle conditions that are recorded by the on-board computer
- VIN Info: Reads and displays VIN numbers, calibration ID numbers (CAL ID) and calibration verification numbers (CVN)
- Displays live O2 sensor test data and EVAP system test
- DTCs data record and playback
- Multilingual menu and DTC definition in English, French, German, Spanish and more
- Prints diagnostic reports via computer
- Upgradable software via internet using the included USB cable
- Works on all 1996 and later ODBII compliant US, European and Asian vehicles
- 12 Volt, ODB16PIN connector
- Supports all OBDII protocols: CAN, J1850 PWM, J1850 VPW, ISO9141, and KWP2000
I was pleasantly surprised at how user friendly this unit is. The user’s manual is straightforward and easy to reference.
It took me all of 5 minutes to plug it in, scroll through the menus, learn the functions and start gathering diagnostic data.
There are 6 main menu functions: OBDII, I/M, Setup, (Code) Lookup, Review and About. Various options and diagnostic tests are contained in the sub-menus.
The 5-button navigation is simple to use and makes menu and sub-menu selection quick and easy. I found the code lookup feature very handy and it saves the hassle and cost of having to reference a vehicle service manual.
The real time information monitor makes it possible to diagnose, fix and then test drive the vehicle and gather information to see if the issue has been resolved.
The I/M emissions diagnostics are especially helpful if you live in an area that requires regular DEQ emissions testing and can save you the trouble of failing emissions test by knowing if your vehicle will pass or fail before you pay to have it tested.
The ability to print out vehicle diagnostic reports is a wonderful feature if you plan to have someone else work on your car.
Knowledge is power and the more knowledge you have going into a car repair, the less chance you have of a shady mechanic trying to screw you out of your cash.
- Easy to use
- Intuitive menu navigation and button layout
- Provides excellent diagnostic information in addition to pulling codes from the ODB computer
- Real time monitoring
- Code lookup
- Report generating feature for viewing and printing reports from a PC
- Upgradable firmware
- Ability to erase codesI/M readiness check
- Doesn’t automatically fix your vehicle for you. (Kidding)
I would highly recommend the AutoPhix OM126 code reader to anyone who wants to diagnose and fix their vehicle, or simply to monitor the overall health of the vehicle. There are few other OBD2 tools that offer so many functions at this price.
There’s a feeling of empowerment gained when you can easily find out what’s causing that check engine light to come on, even if you aren’t the one that’s going to be fixing it.