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Old 04-21-2021, 10:24 PM   #1
Dans sl2
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Default Diagnostic software

Hello all. I was trying to use my Autotap 3.1 software tonight to do some data logging on a drivability issue I have on my '02 SL2 Hybrid and it keeps locking up and refusing to let me make changes to the configuration files. Since this is pretty old software I figured I would ask the forum what type of diagnostic software you use so I can figure out the best one to buy. I am experienced with both Allison DOC and Detroit Diesel DDDL which are, I think, pretty full featured software suites. I would like to have the maximum number of sensors/inputs available as well as a data logging feature along with playback function. I would like to be able to to be able to graph several data points both on the same graph or on individual graphs and the ability to export the data to Excel. Just during a quick Google search tonight I found a couple (Toad Pro and OBD Auto Doctor) which look interesting. Have any of you used these softwares or is there a better suite out there I haven't found yet? I'm not looking for a free one that will just let me clear codes but a more professional one that will let me get into some real diagnostics. I keep my vehicles a long time and keep them on the road by regular maintenance. My SL2 Hybrid is my lowest mileage vehicle and it just turned 380,000 today on a test drive. My '92 GMC Sierra has 492,800 but the wife's '96 Lumina Sedan is the champ with 508,500. A Tech 2, diagnostic software and Factory Service Manuals (not Clymer's, Hayne's or Chilton's) have saved me thousands over the years while keeping my old cars on the road. So what's a good computer based OBD2 software? Let me know what you think.
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Old 04-22-2021, 12:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: Diagnostic software

I gotta ask... what is an SL2 "Hybrid"?

If you don't get good answers here to your SW question, try posting at <batuto.com> There are a couple of pros there that are well-experience with diag systems.
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Old 04-22-2021, 01:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: Diagnostic software

You have a Tech 2...but not Tech2Win or TIS2Web? Just need the adapter (Mongoose makes the most common one, though I think VXDIAG is easier to get today) cable and you're good to go.
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Old 04-22-2021, 11:54 AM   #4
Dans sl2
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Default Re: Diagnostic software

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
I gotta ask... what is an SL2 "Hybrid"?

If you don't get good answers here to your SW question, try posting at <batuto.com> There are a couple of pros there that are well-experience with diag systems.
Well, the Prius hybrid runs on a combination of gasoline and electricity and gets approximately 50 mpg. My little plastic Saturn hybrid runs on a combination of gasoline and engine oil and gets around 34 mpg. Sorry, couldn't help it. Well, I guess I could have I just chose not to. It seems from all the threads I've seen in the S series forum that most S Series owners have hybrids, they just don't realize it.
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Old 04-22-2021, 01:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Diagnostic software

I think you're ability to use advanced software to log sensor data may be beyond the average diyer in these forums. Understanding multiple data points then interpreting them may be on a different level from the everyday wrench attempting to make cost effective repairs at home with little knowledge of analog/digital streams of data, error codes, basic 4-stroke fundamentals, etc. I'm thinking your search may lie towards the research side of data logging with custom made hardware and software relying on a team of people gathering data for either discovery or how to make sliced bread more cost efficient.

My last attempt at data gathering to analyze specific signals from a circuit then politely asking higher ups if these signals identified proprietary info was for all intents and purposes similar to pulling teeth as an unlicensed dentist. I stopped when the answer verified my inquisitive nature.

I'm sure you'll find a solution, one way or another to have the perspective you seek.
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Old 04-22-2021, 02:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: Diagnostic software

I may not have been as clear as I wanted to be in my original post. Sometimes what sounds really good in my head doesn't translate quite like I thought it would to others. Probably one of the reasons for the spat with my wife last night. The AutoTap 3.1 software I have was bought in 2008. It collects OBD2 data parameters like the Tech2 does. It is basically a computer based OBD2 scanner. You can modify the display to show different sensor data as gauge style readings, in a table format or in graph form. You can add gauges, tables and graphs to customize the way you're viewing the parameters, pressures, temperatures etc. I don't read hexidecimal or any other computer code. I do more reading on this forum than posting and have gotten a lot of good information from many of the threads I've read.

This post came about because I'm having a drivability issue that I can't seem to get a handle on (that will be a separate post). In some similar posts I've seen some of the more senior members ask for live data and compression test numbers. I figured those that were asking for live data might have a favorite software they could suggest to replace my old and seemingly now clunky 13 year old diagnostic software.

So trying to get ahead of the game and get my ducks in a row, I did a compression test and went for a test drive to log a snapshot of driving data while the issue is occurring. The AutoTap software allows you to save live data so you can play it back later. Then while trying to set up the screen so I could video it so the graphs were somewhat clear and readable the software went all squirrely on me and kept locking up.

Mainly I'm looking for a software that will let me do/see what AutoTap does, just one that's come out fairly recently and wasn't built for Windows XP. I'm not looking for something that has a yearly subscription (Allison DOC software changed to a subscription 3 years ago and costs me $400.00 a year but I can make money with it). I'd like something that is buy it once and it's yours. I realize I may have to buy a dongle/translator/whatever else they call it but that is also a buy it and it's yours transaction. I checked out the VXDIAG VCX NANO but unless I got it wrong it looks like it's good for 2000-2020 vehicles which leaves out the wife's Lumina.
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Old 04-22-2021, 03:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Diagnostic software

I think i have a better understanding of your situation. Although i don't have anywhere near the amount of toys you have for vehicle diagnosing, I'm a little puzzled. What's compatible between Autotap and Windows/Apple versions. Is this a Windows/Apple incompatibility issue? Correct me if I'm not mistaken but I thought Autotap and other similar programs spell out which operating system works best with it.

This reminded me of a one time (pirate) electronic library of GM service manuals. It worked with WinXP. When I switched to Win7, the electronic library wouldn't open. Legacy issues.

Post your vehicle issues in the appropriate forum. You'll have help.
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Old 04-22-2021, 05:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Diagnostic software

Get your thread going on the actual problem.

I often recommend using live-data, but it is primarily to catch easy, gross problems and can be done with static readings, no graphing needed. If you check out the TP, MAP, ECT, IAT, and VSS sensors it saves a lot of guessing.

I have a fair amount of experience staring at live-data graphing (Megasquirt on a BBC) and know it is only another tool, not a "magic bullet".
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Old 04-22-2021, 05:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: Diagnostic software

The AutoTap software was originally written in 2005. I bought it in 2008. So it was written for Windows XP. It's been working with Windows 7. After playing with it for a few hours I guess I've just been asking too much of it. I was trying to run 2 graphs with 3 parameters on each graph and it just didn't like it. I was able to put 4 parameters on one graph and run the log file. Attached is a picture of what I would like a diagnostic software to allow me to do. In this graph Red is engine speed, Green is TPS percent, Blue is MAP pressure and Yellow is Commanded EGR position. This is just a better way of comparing sensor data than looking at numbers in a table. And if the graph doesn't really show you anything you can remove some parameters and replace them with others. And that's the beauty with a software that will let you save snapshots/log files. You can drive the vehicle and capture the data while it's acting up and then go back and look at what was happening at your leisure. I guess I'll just have to do some more research to find a replacement software. Thank you for the input and I'll be posting my low power/surging issue soon.
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Old 04-22-2021, 06:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Diagnostic software

Using my obd wiz, it allowed logging data and graphing but I'm interested in capturing live data. My theory of diagnosing some problems with EFI systems as complex as most EFI systems was to record baseline data starting with just turning on ignition and logging it then logging cold engine idling followed by logging warm engine idle. Lastly, logging random speed data. These values became invaluable in helping another member with the same 3.0L V6 engine. Having anyone post captured data (in scientific terms with temperatures, map pressures, tps percentage, etc) allowed comparison of his idle rpm data to mine. His maf sensor data was either pounds or cubic meters while mine was in grams per second. A little googling to convert his values revealed a different, smaller or greater value than my baseline. It was determined to be a faulty maf sensor even after cleaning it properly. I figured having baseline data is invaluable because its logged from an operating vehicle. Without baseline data, I think it's a little more difficult to determine what's right or wrong when looking at data without references to good data.

That graphing software is handling a lot of data points when recording live data and as you surmised, probably overwhelmed Win7 if other background operations are running. Hogging system processing time and handing other applications may have slowed the processor unless the unimportant applications are disabled? Still, very impressive.
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Last edited by fdryer; 04-22-2021 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 04-22-2021, 09:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: Diagnostic software

Be sure to log spark timing, too.

If you are serious about this, get a WB O2 sensor for the upstream (S1) position. The aftermarket systems (sensor and controller) provide a NB signal along with the WB signal so you can keep the stock PCM happy.
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Old 04-23-2021, 09:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: Diagnostic software

Sorry I wasn't able to reply last night. We had the kids and the grand girl over and I was in charge of making fajitas and all the fixins. By the time they left I was just ready for bed. I just posted my drivability issue here.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=268501
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