I love the classic 4x4s because you don’t need a mechanic’s qualification just to work on them. With today’s highly complex and electronic vehicles you need some help just to diagnose the simplest of problems; enter a diagnostic tool like the Autophix Australia OBD11+EOBD/CAN universal code reader.
To be honest I’d never really considered these tools until a while back my 2014 Prado was in for a rear wheel axle seal replacement and, with the job complete, the dash lit up like a Christmas tree had put down its roots. Luckily the car was still with the dealer, so they fixed the issue and no more lights.
This did get me to thinking though and I started looking into code readers and how they might be able to help diagnose issues when there is no dealer around to assist. I came across Autophix, an Australian company, who was advertising OBD11 code readers online.
I bought one thinking I had the duck’s nuts of diagnostic tools and it came with me on various trips into the outback, luckily never being required. You never say never, right?
We’ve just returned from a Cape York trip with family and friends and travelled nearly 10k kilometres from South Australia up to the Cape and back. It was a lot of fun filled with adventure, seeing new places and um, a little mishap which caused some panel damage to my much-loved Prado.
While breaking from the group temporarily after deciding to travel along a section of the Overland Telegraph Track for a bit of adventure, we came to Cockatoo Creek. Travelling alone we checked the creek, as it was running just below bonnet height, for the right path to traverse the crossing.
In my haste to get the crossing done, I missed a rock on the rough approach and ended up gouging into both my passenger doors and ripping the sidestep nearly right off. What has this got to do with a code reader you might ask?
When we rejoined our travel companions and admitting we’d had a little bingle, the next time we started the car, guess what? All those little warning lights had reappeared on the dash.
So, out came that reader that has been travelling around the outback with me and never seeing the light of day. To be honest I found it somewhat confounding and going through menus to try and come up with something productive.
This says a lot about trying out new equipment before you travel so you know what you’re doing. Guilty as charged!
What Did We do?
My saving grace was that my brother-in-law, travelling with us, had a Toyota specific Autophix reader which he pulled out, plugged in and voila, we had a diagnostic sequence running before I could pack away my device. Before too long the reader had picked up an issue with the left rear wheel speed sensor and we set out about determining how this brought up all the lights.
One thing led to another and once we had reset the sensor all the lights went out. I was smitten and at once decided that upon my return I’d be looking into the Toyota specific Autophix model 9360!
To cut this story short, if you have a modern car with electronics, say 2006 onwards, and an OBD11 plug under the dash then I’d recommend you get hold of a reader. You just never know when it might be needed.
In some cases, your car may go into limp mode and in others you’ll get all the warning lights so it might be well worth the outlay to solve these issues as quickly as possible. At the very least if you can’t then you will be able to convey to outside assistance what the codes are so they can help out with your problem.
If you’d like to see a little video I put together about the Autophix code reader take a look at the video below.
After my little exposure to electronic faults, I can recommend the Autophix Australia OBD11+EOBD/CAN universal code reader to get you out of a jam. For more info and to check out what unit you need visit the Autophix website at https://autophixaustralia.com.au/.