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Zurich Automotive Code Reader from Harbor Freight

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I needed a code reader for automotive codes on short notice. I purchased the Zurich code reader from Harbor Freight

 

I needed to pull the codes from a 2004 Mercury Mountaineer on fairly short notice. I looked at a couple models from different stores. Harbor Freight was nearby. I ended up purchasing a Zurich code reader for about $95. They had a couple of models so I opted for the middle of the price scale. 

I took a few minutes to read the instructions. The first task was to find the plug to connect the unit. For most vehicles, including the mountaineer, that is fairly easy. You can do some searches such as 2005 mountaineer OBD plug location. (OBD = On Board Diagnostics). If you can get under the dash, you should be able to see it. If you can’t get under the dash, take some pics with your phone.  You are looking for something like the following:

 

 

Follow the instructions for plugging it in. In some cases, the engine needs to be off. For others It needs to be on. You will probably have to go through a menu to tell the reader what vehicle you are testing.  When you get it right, you will see something like the following:

 

There may be multiple codes. In this case, a cylinder was misfiring which triggered the emissions warning. This model comes with a USB port but I didn’t bother with it. I simply wrote the codes down. 

SUMMARY – It was reasonably priced and fairly easy to use. When we took the vehicle to the shop, they gave us the same codes. It was an ignition issue. 

I think it was a worthwhile investment. The plugs and OBD systems are fairly standard. You will have a lot more available information from newer vehicles. If you have an older vehicle, you might want to check if it is OBD compatible. Once you have the codes, you can do some searching to at least determine the magnitude of the problem. 

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