Can you recommend an affordable VW scanner for this intrepid do-it-yourselfer mechanic?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Nov 01, 1997

Dear Tom and Ray:

My wife and I both have VWs. I am a do-it-yourselfer, and my car is a '93 VW
Passat. The entire engine management system is the Bosch KE-Motronic (35 pin)
with an ODB scanner port. Does anybody make a scanner for us weekend warriors? I
have found a couple of sources for professional tools on the Internet, but I'm
not prepared to spend $1,400-$3,600 for an all-in-one Bosch-type scanner. -Bob

TOM: Ah, yes, the old "Motronic" engine management system. VW opted for the
Motronic because Peugeot and Renault had already claimed the Curly-tronic and
the Larry-tronic.

RAY: Actually, there is no good, cheap scanner for this car that we know of,
Bob. If you're going to invest in a scanner, I'd recommend getting one from Snap
On or OTC that works for all cars -- and uses an adapter for your car. That way,
a least you may be able to talk your neighbors into letting you scan their cars
on the weekends and keep yourself busy that way.

TOM: But a real scanner is going to cost you $1,500 to $2,000, plus hundreds of
bucks a year if you want to keep it up to date on the newest cars.

RAY: So I'd recommend instead that you simply take your car to a garage and have
them scan it for you and print out the report. Then you can take the diagnostic
report, go home, and do the repairs yourself. I know that's not nearly as much
fun, but maybe, as a consolation prize, your wife will let you spend couple of
hundred bucks and order those "build a jet aircraft engine out of kitchen
utensils" plans that you've always wanted. Good luck, Bob.

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