SD2 Code Reader?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by speedball, Jun 8, 2004.

  1. speedball

    speedball Formula Junior

    Mar 29, 2004
    Pasadena Area
    Full Name:
    Scot Anderson
    I would like to know what is required to read the ECM codes on a 550, or any late model Ferrari for that matter. I know Ferrari uses an SD2 Diagnostic unit that is very expensive. I did see one on ebay last week asking $ 17,500, but it dodn't receive any bids.

    However, there are many after market code readers available that claim they work on "all" late model cars... but I have never used a code reader and know little about the differences between these and the diferent systems used by car manufacturers. I'm not clear what these after market units are capable of doing ... or if they will actually work on a late model Ferrari or specifically, my 2000 550. The factory Ferrari SD2 reader costs tens of thousands of dollars but I wonder if this is just another situation where everybody believes only Ferrari parts/tools will do this job. I know there's a standard system used on most cars called OBDII. Does Ferrari use a different system? Does Ferrari use a different connector? Will an aftermarket OBDII unit work ..... on any level?

    Would love to hear from anyone who's in the know ...... and please explain in detail what the differences are ..... and if this is the case... why Ferrari SD2 units are the only way to get at Ferrari codes. I'm certain most late model owners would love to know a lot more about this .....

  2. speedball

    speedball Formula Junior

    Mar 29, 2004
    Pasadena Area
    Full Name:
    Scot Anderson
    Here's an update that I'm sure will interest many of you. Seems there isn't a need to use only the factory SD2 unit to see many of the codes. I sent several messages to companies that sell aftermarket OBDII units and received the following responses;

    It appears that yet another Ferrari "myth" has been proven wrong.


    1. All OBDII vehicles have to use the same (J1962) connector: You should be able to read the generic (emission related) parameters and all of the generic DTCs.

    2. If the vehicle is 1996 and newer, and made for sale in the U.S., by law it has to be OBDII compliant. The connector should be under the dash between the steering column and the center line of the vehicle.

    Joe Ebner
    AutoTap Support Specialist
    Vehicle Product Specialist
    B&B Electronics Mfg. Co.
    Phone (815) 433-5100 ext 242
  3. brm

    brm Karting

    Apr 26, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Full Name:
    Bruce R. Morehead
    The SD2 does so much more than just read the generic ODBII codes. In the demo that I saw, you can exercised almost all the electronic devices on the car. Turn on fans, change shock settings, evaluate clutch wear, even get a driving profile. If you just want ODBII codes, I use the Davis CarChip that plugs into the ODBII connector and can collect data as you drive (many hours of driving) and then download to a computer for evaluation. It also will tell you if there are any ODBII codes set. To get the full story on a modern Ferrari you still need the SD2 at the dealer.
  4. rexrcr

    rexrcr Formula 3

    Nov 27, 2002
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Full Name:
    Rob Schermerhorn
    True, and for the independent repair owner, sad but true.

    SDII is a very powerful tool. But not the only way to service a modern Ferrari, though makes life worlds easier.

  5. bobafett

    bobafett F1 Veteran

    Sep 28, 2002
    SD3 is coming... you have been warned.

  6. henryk

    henryk Formula Junior

    Dec 9, 2003
    Door County, WI
    This is why I stay with the "older" SD 1. or 2 needed. Thank goodness that there are many beautiful "older" Ferraris to choose from.

    I have read somewhere that Ferrari is exempt from using the OBD II, because of it's low volume.

    They are making these newer cars such, that you HAVE to take it back to the dealer. Things like adjusting the clutch with a computer program, that is unavailable; re-programing keys with the need for a computer, that is unavaliable; etc,.........ALL unavailable to the average owner!!!!!!!!! NO thanks!!!!!!!

    These "newer" cars are just getting TOO difficult to work on. I will stay with the older ones.
  7. slewman

    slewman Karting

    May 4, 2004
    96 and latter Ferrari's have the OBD2 socket but the positions of the data pins are not in the standard. generic OBD2 scanner 2500 from snap-on will not recieve data niether will the CJ-II scanner. the new actron should work. Looks like Ferrari has been playing games with the FEDS for at least 6 years by installing the OBD2 sockets and not releasing the software untill recently .
  8. tbakowsky

    tbakowsky F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant

    Sep 18, 2002
    The Cold North
    Full Name:
    I've never had a problem using a generic OBD2 scanner in a Ferrari. Maybe Canadian cars are different slightly? BUt one thing I did figure out is the car must be running in order to communicate with the computer. On some I can even get a data stream, like the 456 and 355. Now you must plug in while the car is running or else it will not start with the scan tool plugged in before starting (at least on the 456 I did last week).
  9. speedball

    speedball Formula Junior

    Mar 29, 2004
    Pasadena Area
    Full Name:
    Scot Anderson
    Seems there's never a simple (straight) answer to anything Ferrari. I agree with everything said above ... there being many added features available to SD2 users... but at $ 30k does everyone really need many of these features if you're only interested in finding standard faults.

    I started this thead because after reading thousands of threads .. the universal response to many questions was ...."what did the readout say at the dealer". I'd like to read generic faults without having to involve the dealer and was always under the assumption this wasn't an option.

    I've been shopping around for a code reader and have found very inexpensive aftermarket ones starting at a few hundred dollars ..... and assuming the OBDII "standard" is regulated by law as I've now been told .... I'd also assume that most standard engine related fault codes can be read ...... and in past threads it's usually been questions related to the engine, fuel, intake and exhaust (cats, O2 sensors) that needed de-coding ....... I don't need a unit that tells me the clutch needs adjustment ...or the right door lock isn't working ... or the option turning on fans. It's clear there's many other great features with the SD2 .....

    Regarding the "older" cars comment ... I completely agree .... like working on my 68 Hemi Roadrunner ..... so simple and straight forward ..... but I also find myself under the hood of my Roadrunner much more than my 550 ......

    So to repeat my original thread ..... Which readers do others use and what have you been able to decode with these?
  10. redhead

    redhead F1 Rookie

    Dec 26, 2001
    Full Name:
    Yo Dan-o

    30k is not bad. :) Considering the factory has NO sd-2 left(Someone I know bought the last 2 from Ferrari UK.). The new Mazer is the first F/M car to use the sd-3.

    The major misconception is the SD-2 is the ob-2 reader. THat is not true. The sd-2 is used to test systems on the car, AND at the same time can perform all the fucnctions of an OBD2 tester. Obd2 codes are codes. Simple as that, but any obd2 reader will not be able to reprogram your p.i.s. or cycle test your F1 pump..etc..etc..etc.............

    Oh, and ferrari is no longer making updates on CD for the sd series testers, everything is coming out on their dealer webistes to be downloaded direct into the testers....oh the joys of Ferrari...........

    SD-1 is no longer needed as there is an update to take all the sd-1 cars to the sd-2 tester.
  11. bobafett

    bobafett F1 Veteran

    Sep 28, 2002
    You should not be spending anywhere near 30k for an SD2. Also, SD3 isn't too far around the corner.

  12. thomas_b

    thomas_b Formula Junior

    Sep 15, 2003

    Wrong – no need to bash F – the facts are different

    the parameters and values one can scan through the OBD-2 connector are the same for all compatible cars – however the protocol to read them is different – the car manufacturers world wide could not agree on one protocol – there is:
    - SAE J1850 VPW (Variable Pulse Width Modulation), e.g. GM
    - ISO 9141 mit KWP (Key Word Protokoll), e.g. EU, Asian cars and Chrysler
    - SAE J1850 PWM (Pulse Width Modulation), e.g. Ford
    - CAN bus

    See for more info and the sites for all you ever wanted to know about OBD-2 (wait for OBD-3, which is even better – proposal it that it will uplink to the government)

    There is another F forum – name can’t be typed here - and there someone claims that the following will do the trick for F cars – I haven’t checked if it works so don’t blame me

    I am not clear why one wants to read codes if one is not a shop – you can not fix it anyhow – if I have a CEL I go to the dealer – they usually tell me the code and I type it into Google search and read what this is all about – you got to love the Internet

    back to the facts - don't buy a cheap scan tool that only supports a single vendor / protocol

    now scan tools only support the generic codes while the F SD2 or P PST2 allow to configure and evaluate the car, e.g. down to the A/F mapping or the configuration of the F1 gearbox
  13. 355Aloha

    355Aloha Karting

    Feb 15, 2004
    Honolulu Hawaii
    Full Name:
    John N
    I have used the INNOVA® 3100 OBD II Code Reader on my 355 and it works.

    I had code 1426 and on a table from a old thread with a PDF file for a SD-2 ( Table Of Supported DTC's) the transulation was correct, at least for that code. The code book that came with the tester had no genaric code for that number.

    Note this will only work at the connection piont under the dash. You can not read the other ECU like Alarm, ABS, AC.
  14. redhead

    redhead F1 Rookie

    Dec 26, 2001
    Full Name:

    Did you know I have ESP?

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