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My daughter's 2002 Focus was acting up. I was thinking that it could be a coil problem so I headed off to the parts store to borrow their code reader. Number four cylinder misfiring, so I bought a new coil pack, installed it and then headed back to the parts store to clear the codes. That got me to thinking.

I drive a Volvo and I have diagnostic software (Vida) and a Volvo specific box (DICE) that plugs into the OBD2 port. So I thought, "There must be ODB2 software for the PC." I found that there is a plethora of cables out there ranging in price from $5 to $50. Some say that they are for Toyotas or VWs which might be related to the included software.

One article that I found said that "a cable is a cable" and that it is the software that is important.

Any thoughts on cables or software?

Thanks.
 

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Be aware that most devices out there (your 'box') that claim to be the standard 'Elm 327' chip type commonly used to read OBD on a PC are actually cheap Chinese clones that will work to varying degrees. The Elm chip alone goes for about $40 so you can tell whether they use the real chip or not by the price of the device.
 

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I've discovered that about the ELM chips. BTW, the chips are down to about $20 each for onesies and twosies.

I'm now looking into whether my Volvo DICE box will play with other cars if I have NonVolvo specific software.
 
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