The check engine light of your old Ford is on? You know there is something wrong with your car, you just don’t know what. Well, the Innova 3145 Code Reader can help you identify the issues easily and quickly.
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Innova 3145 Overview
You know there is something wrong with your car, you just don’t know what. You could identify the issue with a paperclip and some old-fashioned flashing, but who has time for that? What you need, my friend is a code reader.
There are two main types of onboard diagnostic (OBD) system for cars: OBD1 and OBD2.
In this review, we’ll go over the pros and cons of the device, and compare it to others on the market.
Detailed Review of Innova 3145 Ford
Innova 3145 Ford OBD1 is compatible with most Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury cars and trucks from 1982 to 1995. This code reader also compatible with MCU and EEC-IV computer control systems. A few cars of other makes (Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Lexus) can be compatible with this code reader.
However, this Innova 3145 is not compatible with any car made after 1996. It also is not compatible with most medium or heavy-duty trucks.
You should check the list of the compatible vehicles before you buy. The full table of vehicles covered can be found in the manual. (Download Manual )
Features and Functionalities
This Innova code reader has a simple 5-step system: plug the device in, turn on the ignition, hold the button, read the Ford OBD1 codes, and look up result in the accompanying Code Definition List.
Its memory feature stores codes even when not on. This functionality allows you to easily read codes without counting flashes. This means no frantic note-taking, and no potential confusion of where one code ends and the other begins.
However, this tool does not reset check engine light: it will just turn off when all fails are fixed. It can connect under the hood, but you need to operate the ignition switch for testing. You will need to purchase the INNOVA 3149 extension cable separately.
One more thing about this tool is it does not check any mechanical issues, just ones detected by the car computer.
A few users have complained of loose connections and a pin that gets easily pressed into the reader. This does, however, appear to be a minor issue. If you choose to purchase the extension cable, the pins should stay in place anyways.
Innova 3145 OBD1 is equipped with a digital display which is clear and easy to understand. Its simple design leaves no room for confusion or misuse.
In addition, the manual explains everything you need to know. The Manual includes useful Vehicle Diagnosis Worksheet you can fill in to keep track of issues or hand to your mechanic.
Moreover, additional online tools are available to help you through the process. This tool has a simplistic interface compared to more modern OBD-II models, so few codes are not in the manual and need to be found online.
This is even if you include the additional purchase of the extension cable. If you have someone to do the checks with, you may not even the need the cable at all. It is difficult to even find other OBD-I code readers online.
While other OBD-I code readers available all rely on light pulses and are slightly more expensive, this Innova 3145 OBD1 includes full instructions for use and all Ford self-tests and AA batteries. It is one of the cheapest code readers on the market.
Some mechanics will offer to read your Ford OBD1 codes for free: check if that is an option. Some would argue it is a bit pricey for how simple it is.
Who is it built for?
The INNOVA 3145 is an easy-to-use product, which pretty much anyone can navigate. As such, it is a great tool for anyone who wants to be able to read trouble codes on their car or truck at home. Even complete car newbies can save some money from a visit to the mechanic with it.
However, it is highly recommended for DIYers who prefer to fix issues with their cars at home. Whilst anyone can use the INNOVA 3145, DIYers will be more likely to know how to proceed once the reader identifies the problem.
It is also a must-have item if you are a car enthusiast maintaining an old car. Your pre-1996 car or truck is likely to encounter issues once in a while, and this tool helps you keep it healthy.
Professional mechanics may also want to consider the INNOVA 3145 for their services.
The Bottom Line
The INNOVA 3145 is essential for anyone still relying on light flashes for code reading.
It is the cheapest, best rated, and most popular digital display OBD-I reader for Ford. This is without a doubt the best option for someone with an old Ford needing some TLC.
Just make sure it covers your specific model before buying, and you are good to go. Happy code reading!
Read more: Best OBD1 Scanners on the market Review 2019
A short video about the functionality of Innova 3145 Ford OBD1: