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Old 02-19-2022, 07:11 PM   #8
fdryer
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 45,795
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Help with understanding codes

If this were my car, I'd get factory service manuals because of the complexity of EFI, emissions controls, abs, traction control, airbags, etc. While Chilton and Haynes are ok, they're not providing wiring diagrams and extensive information factory manuals have since dealer service techs need complete up to date info on service bulletins, recalls, and programming of various modules as necessary. Alldata and Mitchell are two online services for electronic factory service manuals. There may be others but I'm not aware of them. Both provide info second to none if hard copies aren't available. Back in '05 when I bought my L300, my Saturn service manuals cost $145 in four large binders and paid for themselves with savings from diy repairs (ac, brakes, lighting, drl upgrade, faulty ignition coil pack, understanding Passlock security, etc.

Holding onto a vehicle may be worth the reasonable subscription fee for electronic libraries of service manuals and in my opinion the only way to diy repairs to save on hourly labor rates and marked up parts from dealer or repair shop. Chilton and Haynes cannot go deep into diagnostics and troubleshooting if a specific problem isn't covered. Factory manuals are dealer level access. The only inaccessible feature are access to GMs TIS web to use GMs scantool for deeper information for continued support during and after a new car warranty expires. My limited knowledge has found one aftermarket scantool like VCX NANO capable of performing advanced diagnostics above the level of generic readers. I haven't tried it but I think it can connect to GMs TIS website if I pay an access fee. My reason for VCX NANO was to decode a wrench error, an intermittent xmission pressure control fault occurring infrequently. Generic readers won't decode wrench, bcm, airbag and other manufacturer specific error codes. Generic readers decode emissions errors.

Check your local library. They may have free access to Alldata. Having service manuals can help describe each error code, diagnosing and troubleshooting from basic to advanced levels with info to help understand how our vehicles run and how to use info when confronted with a problem.

Diesel engines are a different species but may be difficult with similar info and possibly public forums of like minded owners sharing valuable info dealers and repair ships aren't giving away. At least one YouTube expert seems willing too share his knowledge - South Main Auto upstate New York. Finding knowledgeable people are the next best thing to having service manuals. Btw, if your engine uses variable valve timing, be sure to find info on it for possible issues with your problems.
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VCX NANO
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