to find out which SensorSweep model is right for your vehicle. Even if your car is not on the list, that doesn't mean your car is not supported. Check with your car dealer before losing hope...as more cars are tested the list will grow. Until then just get the SensorSweep with the closest match and let us know what you think.
you ever had a "check engine" or a "service engine soon" light pop-up
on your vehicle? Often people dismiss the severity of this warning
signal and choose not to do anything about it. Have you ever wondered
how your car knows if there is a problem? You've probably heard about
cars having on-board computers. Almost all cars built in the 90's and
up have them. These computers control a lot of the cars functions. They
also are connected to sensors, located through then engine, which relay
vital information and stats about your car to a special "On board
Diagnostic Port" (OBD) located underneath the dashboard. There are
sensors for engine RPM, oxygen sensors, catylitic converters, and even
air intake temperature. If any one of these sensors detect a faulty
reading or a reading above or below its normal range the "check engine
light" will appear. Not knowing which sensor is detecting the problem,
the average person is forced to go through extensive troubleshooting or
to take the vehicle to an authorized technician. A mechanic, using a
special device can read from the OBD-II port and tell you the meaning
of the problem light. Sounds simple enough doesn't? The only problem is
you will probably get charged anywhere from $50-$100 per problem.
SensorSweep is a device used for extracting helpful information
straight off of your car's onboard sensors. All vehicles, year 96 and
newer, have the OBD-II (On-Board-Diagnostic *2nd generation) port.
Vehicles before this year, however, may or may not have one or may have
the original OBD-I interface. SensorSweep is designed for the OBD-II
type. The reason a device is needed is because the information coming
out of the car's port is not in the correct format for interfacing with
a computer. Sensorsweep, a small hand-held device with two ports ( and
input and an output ), can be used to connect to the car's port and
convert the signals to the correct voltage level needed by today's
computers. The "demodulated" signal is compatible with laptop as well,
which makes testing more portable. After connecting to the computer, a
special software is used to provide a nice "user-friendly" interface
that displays all the information in a real-time environment. The user
can actually drive the vehicle while SensorSweep is connected. This
makes it possible to see all sensor readings live.
The SensorSweep has two ports ( one on each end ). The one on the left
in the picture connects to the car and the other side connects to a
computer or laptop. Both cables are DB-9 (serial cables NOT NULL) and
because of gender differences, cannot be plugged in wrong.
The device does not require it's own power supply. It taps into the
vehicles power system and converts the 12VDC to 5VDC by means of a
voltage regulator. This is all done through the OBD-II cable and does
not require any work. The green light shows the user that power is
present. The red light signals that communication is present between
the car and the computer.
The male end of a standard (NON-NULL MODEM) DB-9 is plugged into the
female serial port on a standard computer or laptop. The cable's other
end connects to the female side of the SensorSweep device.
The OBD-II male end connects with the female side which is part of the
car. The OBD-II port is located underneath the dash-board on the
The completed set-up. Car and computer are connected through the
**The computer you are using must have OBD-II software installed. This
gives the computer the ability to decode the information being sent to
it's parallel port into human-usable information.
The SensorSweep package comes with all of the following...
(1) OBD-II SCANNING DEVICE ( the SensorSweep UNIT )
(2) 1 DB-9 to OBD-II cable
(3) 1 DP-9 male to DB-9 female (NON NULL MODEM) cable
(4) software for the computer... to view information and stats about
Remember, SensorSweep is a converter. It converts the information from
your car into a computer readable format. The software enables you to
view these results. Some softwares display the information digital or
in graphs and charts. The CD included with this package provides links
to some of the top softwares out there for OBD-II scanning.
Although all cars after 96 have the OBD-II port (since it was
standardized), different manufactures use different "modulation
A brief technical explanation - for advanced or curious users only...
The picture above is the inside view of the device. At the ends of it's enclosure are two ports (DB-9 male and female). Each side connects to the corresponding cables ( which are included ) and then one side connects to the vehicle and the other attaches to a computer.
The main chip (integrated circuit (IC) ) used in this picture is the ELM 322. This chip is the decoder of the circuit. Remember, the signals from the car are not compatible with a computer. The circuit converts the serial information stream into a serial transmission compatible with a PC (lap top, computer, ...) The converted signal consists of a stream of packets (each of 4 bits ( a bit can hold the value of 1 or 0 ) ) The computer reads this bit stream and can convert it into corresponding symbols. More advanced softwares ( like the one sensor sweep provides ) allows the computer to display this information in the form of graphs, charts, and digital readouts.
Since different cars use different modulation techniques, a different converter is required. Fortunately many manufactures have standardized and there are only three types of modulations. (what is modulation??) --- Modulation is a technique for encoding information in a different form. For example, for radio communications FM or (frequency modulation) is used to carry sound waves in the form of varying frequencies. AM, on the otherhand, (amplitude modulation) encodes information in the form of varying amplitudes or intensities. Each have there own advantages, but as a result different types of receivers had to be built.
Although all cars after 96 have the OBD-II port (since it was
standardized), different manufactures use different "modulation"
techniques. E-mail me after winning the bid the type of vehicle you have or the type of SensorSweep you want. The VPW(variable pulse-width modulation) type is for GMC vehicles and "some" Daimler Chrysler cars... you'll definately want to check with dealer what type of port (VPW,PWM,or ISO) your vehicle has. the PWM type SensorSweep is intened primarily for Ford Motor Company Vehicles, and the ISO type SensorSweep is commonly used for MOST Daimler Chrysler ( this is not a mis-print) and "world-built" vehicles (imports) ... For any questions or concerns about whether or
not your specific vehicle is compatible please E-Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
SensorSweep offers all type of converters, all you have to do is E-mail me soon after you win the auction what type you need. All cost the same and all have the same shipping costs.
This picture is the package you will receive when purchasing a SensorSweep. It includes ( as mentioned above ) the decoding unit, two cables, and a CD containing software. Free software is also available at many sites on the internet. You may want to play around with other types and see which has the format you like best. The software included with sensor sweep is very user friendly and displays the actual trouble codes of your vehicle as well as live statistics