Which cars can use a scanguage or super-mid? - Fuelly Forums

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Old 12-02-2006, 11:07 AM   #1
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Which cars can use a scanguage or super-mid?

I think I've finally gotten to the tipping point, where I want to consider buying/installing real time FE (and other car status info) feedback in the two cars we drive the most (i.e. mine and my wife's main "commuter cars"). However, I would hate to spend the money on a scanguage and/or super-mid, only to find it won't work in our case.

So how can you easily tell (before buying it and trying) if a given vehicle can take a scanguage and/or super-mid?

As I understand it, almost all newer vehicles (sold in the USA) can take a scanguage, as there is supposedly a law on the books that car makers have to provide the standard computer interface that the scanguage requires. Is this correct? If so, when was the cutoff date requiring the car makers to do this?

Also, even if that is the case, how can you tell if an older car has the correct interface to take a scanguage? Is it as simple as looking at the car, to see if it has a given shape interface jack present (and if so, what does the jack you are looking for look like)? If not, is there any other "easy way" to tell if a scanguage would work?

And what about the super-mid? My understanding (again, correct me if I'm wrong) is that the super-mid will work in some vehicles that the scanguage won't work in, but that it can be more of a PITA (than the scanguage) to install initially. However, if that's true, how do you tell if your car can take a super-mid (which would be especially important to those of us who have older cars that might not be able to take a scanguage)? Also, how can you tell how much work it will be to hook a super-mid up to your car (assuming your car can even take a super-mid)?
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Old 12-02-2006, 11:18 AM   #2
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(almost all)1996 or newer can take a scangauge. I am not sure of the supermid compatability but i know it works on cars before 1996.
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Old 12-02-2006, 11:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kickflipjr
(almost all)1996 or newer can take a scangauge. I am not sure of the supermid compatability but i know it works on cars before 1996.
Thanks for the info. But that still leaves the question, how do you tell for older cars?

I would suspect that some cars built before 1996 (especially cars built just before 1996) might also have the correct interface, as some car makers would gear up for the new requirement quicker than others. Also, even if a car was built before that interface came out, it's always possible that some mechanic later added the needed computer/interface when working on the vehicle. So while 1996+ might tell you that you can use a scanguage, 1995- wouldn't necessarily mean you couldn't use a scanguage. So how do you tell (on your older cars) if you have the needed interface or not?

For example, I have a 1991 Honda CRX (although my "1991 model year car" was really built in 1992), and my wife has a 1995 Honda Civic. I'm assuming it's likely that my CRX is old enough that it wouldn't take a scanguage (but might take a super-mid?), but how would I tell for sure? And what about my wife's Civic? Apparently her car was built just before the 1996 cutoff you described, and so could easily go either way. How would I tell if her car could take a scanguage or not?
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Old 12-02-2006, 12:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DracoFelis
Thanks for the info. But that still leaves the question, how do you tell for older cars?

I would suspect that some cars built before 1996 (especially cars built just before 1996) might also have the correct interface, as some car makers would gear up for the new requirement quicker than others. Also, even if a car was built before that interface came out, it's always possible that some mechanic later added the needed computer/interface when working on the vehicle. So while 1996+ might tell you that you can use a scanguage, 1995- wouldn't necessarily mean you couldn't use a scanguage. So how do you tell (on your older cars) if you have the needed interface or not?

For example, I have a 1991 Honda CRX (although my "1991 model year car" was really built in 1992), and my wife has a 1995 Honda Civic. I'm assuming it's likely that my CRX is old enough that it wouldn't take a scanguage (but might take a super-mid?), but how would I tell for sure? And what about my wife's Civic? Apparently her car was built just before the 1996 cutoff you described, and so could easily go either way. How would I tell if her car could take a scanguage or not?
The 95 civic narrowly missed SG2 compatability
http://www.scangauge.com/support/Com...Vehicles.shtml
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Old 12-02-2006, 12:24 PM   #5
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If the electronics are obdII it can use an SG. Very very few cars before 96 had obdII, I think the MID can be run one way or another on most FI cars.
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Old 12-02-2006, 01:14 PM   #6
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For the SuperMid, you probably won't get good results unless you have MPFI. And even with MPFI, depending on the car, you may not get it to read out in a common unit of measure. It can handle Honda 4 cylinders, with 190 or 240cc injectors. In that case it can be calibrated for km/L and MPG by year end according to Yoshi. It works on the Prius and Im guessing all Toyota 4 cylinders as well.
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Old 12-02-2006, 01:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemysan
The 95 civic narrowly missed SG2 compatability
Drat! At least it's good to know BEFORE spending the money on one...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVOboy
I think the MID can be run one way or another on most FI cars.
Hmmm. If that's the case, how does it work? For example, does the super-mid work by intercepting the commands to the FIs themselves (bypassing the car's onboard computer), and use that info to calculate the gas being used at any point in time?

If so, the super-mid should (in theory) work on both of our commuter cars, as both cars are FI ("throttle body injection" in my CRX, and the more traditional "multi-port" style FI in my wife's Civic).

Now granted, a "throttle-body" injected car (like my CRX) looks a lot like a carberated car, as (unlike the more traditional "multi-port" FI), TBI cars don't inject fuel directly into the engine. Instead, with TBI you have a chamber that looks like (and performs essentially the same function as) a carburetor (and so the engine itself can be designed just as if you had a carberated car). However, TBI is still technically a FI technology, as (unlike a real carb) the TBI chamber has one or more computer controlled injectors measuring out any fuel you get. So as long as the super-mid works by intercepting the commands to the FIs, it shouldn't (at least in theory) matter that the injector(s) are part of a TBI chamber, instead of injecting fuel directly into the engine (because in either case, you should have a reasonably accurate reading of how much fuel you are using at any point in time)...
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Old 12-02-2006, 02:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krousdb
For the SuperMid, you probably won't get good results unless you have MPFI.
I guess that shoots my plans for adding FE instrumentation to my CRX.

My CRX is too old for a scanguage (unless I want to go to the time/trouble/expense of upgrading it to a newer model onboard computer). And my CRX is also TBI, not MPFI (so it looks like the super-mid isn't a good option either)...

Oh well, at least I can often get a rough idea for how much fuel the car is using, by paying attention to subtle differences in how the car "feels" and "sounds". And how much pressure I have to put on the gas pedal, is yet another clue as to how much fuel is being used. Granted, none of these clues (even taken together) are a great way of doing things (nor are they likely to be nearly as accurate as instrumentation), however they are still "better than nothing". After all, when my CRX is driving "fuel rich", it just sounds and feels subtly different from "lean burn". And once you get clued into these subtle differences, you can use those clues to help you drive in a more FE manor.
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Old 12-02-2006, 02:17 PM   #9
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How about a vaccum gauge. Still better than nothin.
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Old 12-02-2006, 03:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVOboy
If the electronics are obdII it can use an SG. Very very few cars before 96 had obdII, I think the MID can be run one way or another on most FI cars.

I know one pre-96 that is obdII. My new 95 mazda protege.
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