Having a good scanner can save you a lot of pains when that check engine signal pops up in your car. A good scanner does not have to be expensive or big; it just needs to get the job done.
This review takes a detailed look at the Actron CP9125 OBD II code reader. It bases on personal and other users’ experiences to lay bare the good and the bad of the pocket scanner.
Read on for an insight to help you decide whether this is the right scanner for you.
The CP9125 (full name Actron CP9125 C Pocket Scan Code Reader) is a hand-held scanner from Actron’s line of automobile accessories. It is used to scan and display error codes on CAN and OBD II protocol vehicles (US manufacture 1996 or later, EU 2000+ and Asia 2004+).
It is compatible with a variety of cars and light trucks. An error database of over 5000 codes makes it suitable for a variety of car models- Nissan, Chevy, Toyota, BMW, Subaru e.t.c. Unlike many scanners that are specific to 12v cars, the CP9125 is versatile.
It attaches to the vehicle via a 16-pin plug attaching to the OBD II port on the dashboard. The vehicle’s battery will power the scanner and thus it does not require a separate battery.
The CP9125 does not give error meanings. You will need a separate manual or online resource to define error meanings displayed on the CP9125. The scanner allows software updates to keep it in the loop of emerging scanning needs.
Actron offers a one-year limited warranty from the date of purchase for this product.
A CP9125 delivery box contains the scanner and a separate code manual. The scanner is a display head with two buttons and a screen. It has a rubber cord with a 16-pin plug-in head.
The ‘Read’ button is used to pull, display and scroll errors and the ‘Erase’ is used to clear them. The screen displays the Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC’s) and also gives the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) Status.
(*MIL is just another name for the ‘check engine’ light.)
It weighs 2.3 pounds (1.04 kg) with a dimension of 10.3 by 6.3 by 2.3 inches (26.16x16x5.8 cm)
Orange is the only color in stock.
Once you plug the scanner into the OBD II port on the car, it prompts you to turn on the car’s ignition. Once this is done, it will automatically pull the errors from the computer and display their codes. The connector cable contains both power and data pins.
This scanner will search for both electrical and fuel/air system errors. It, however, does not pull ABS errors.
Usually, a single problem may cause several errors to appear on the screen. For instance, an emission problem may cause an O2 sensor error to appear together with the emission one. Fixing the emission problem will make both errors disappear.
Scrolling down the ‘read’ button takes you to the next error that has been scanned. You can scroll back up in case you need to get back to a previously read error.
A ‘No Link’ response signifies that you have not turned the ignition all the way on.
Can the scanner work if a vehicle engine cannot start?
Yes, it can. All you need is to turn on the ignition, not start the engine. The battery would, however, need to have some charge needed to power the scanner.
Ensure to coil the cord when not in use. This will prevent it from breaking at the end where it attaches to the screen and the plug. Remember to cover the plug-in end to prevent bending or breaking of the OBD II pins.
Storing in the original delivery box is the safest practice.
|- The purchase package comes with a reference manual that shows error meanings|
- It has an update feature that will help it remain relevant even in the face of new scanners and car models
- It gives a direct link to repairpath.com for additional diagnostics
- It keeps showing the codes until the problem is fixed. This discourages vehicle owners from ignoring problems on their vehicles.
|- It does not give meanings of errors detected. You have to use a separate manual or go online to find out what a certain code means. That makes the process a bit tedious.|
- It is quite heavy in comparison to other scanners within its class
Actron CP9125 against competition
- Has a higher retail price
- Does not support similar updates
This is one of ANCEL's low price range of scanners on Amazon. It reads error codes, gives their meanings and clears them after problems are fixed.
The Autocode Scanner is a hand-held scanner with a display screen and four control buttons. It also has LED indicators (Red, green and yellow) for emission status monitoring. An inbuilt speaker gives audio indications.
The Autel Autolink uses a color-coded LED display and an inbuilt speaker to help identify, define and clear error codes. It is available in red and black
The Actron Scanner CP9125 appears to struggle when measured against other scanners in its class. Its relatively huge weight and inability to show error meanings are big drawbacks. A big advantage, however, is its ability to scan a huge variety of vehicles.
While most OBD II scanners work with only 12V battery cars, the CP9125 expands to cater for even light trucks. Its compatibility with software upgrades also goes a long way in maintaining its relevance.
It is not the best for hauling around despite its small size. A kilogram-heavy error code scanner is a bit on the inconvenient side.
This scanner is ideal for backyard mechanics who are quite familiar with common errors. People dealing with cars of varying battery sizes will also love its versatility.