Calling all convertible owners - Page 4 - Pontiac G6 Forum
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post #46 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 11:23 AM
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Documentation DVD and scanner review:

Iíve tried to post this information in a new thread several times and I continue to get messages that my post wonít be visible until reviewed by a moderator. That apparently hasnít happened either, so Iím going to try and add it here as another reply to this existing thread. If Iíve offended anyone or broken any rules, I apologize in advance.

I mentioned earlier in this thread that Iíd bought a documentation DVD and a scanner I hoped would allow access to the proprietary GM systems, primarily the folding top controller (FTC).

I bought one of these DVD's for the documentation:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pontiac-G6-...53.m2749.l2649

Unfortunately, the GM Tech2 scanner was not affordable for me. After researching and questioning the vendor, I decided to take a risk on one of these scanners:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/GM-General-...53.m2749.l2649

Iíve now had both for a while and have had time to see if they would be suitable, particularly for a retractable owner. Hereís a brief review.

The documentation DVD: I bought this first and installed it on a laptop that was capable of running it. Be advised to pay attention to the system requirements. It installs a non-commercial copy of VMWare and runs the software in a virtual instance of Windows XP. (Donít forget how old this stuff is.) This is real GM documentation as written for the technician using GM tools and training. If youíre mechanical and competent with current automotive technology, youíll be okay. But realize this isnít intended for the novice. On the up side, everything that ever happened to the G6ís is here and even better, all the embedded links that take you to related topics work! It may be overkill for the casual owner who just wants to maintain his/her G6, but those personalities who crave information (and therefore overkill) will eat it up. Even though current GM documentation with its cryptic line drawings leaves me a little cold, itís still possible to see what you need. Printing from the tool is a little fiddly and Windows has its usual quirks, but it does work. (Tip: When you end the VM session as in shutting down the computer, choose ďSuspendĒ so it saves where you were and doesnít have to go through as many hoops when you load it next time. If Windows wonít boot within the VM next time, choose ďLast known configuration that workedĒ and it should go back to where you were.)

The scanner: I was really skeptical that this scanner would live up to the promises, but I was surprised. The model I bought was GM only, but there are models for other makes and even top-line models that cover all makes. Itís even updatable (through subscription) so additional years can be loaded into it. This one I bought covers GM vehicles through 2016 so that covers all G6ís and I donít plan any other purchases and I shouldnít have to update it.

The setup is simple and itís quite intuitive to use. (Good thing since the user manual is back-level.) Once connected, you can choose to have it scan your vehicle for all controllers that exist or you can manually input the vehicle information from a representative list. Iíve done it both ways. It sometimes takes a few moments to connect and communicate and you might not get immediate feedback, but ultimately I was able to reach everything (and thereís a LOT.) A few times it told me that it couldnít communicate, but backing out and trying again always got me there eventually. Patience is always advised and itís no big deal if you want to unplug it and start over (Iíve done this too). It has all the usual functions like reading and clearing the DTCís. But for all the proprietary GM systems and operations it really shows it usefulness. And specifically for retractable owners, it DOES communicate with the FTC (Folding Top Controller) and the information it holds regarding the current state of switches and controls is very interesting. (One item the FTC is supposed to report is the number of cycles the top has completed from day one. On my car, that count was ď0Ē and I donít know why. Iíll keep an eye on it to see if it changes.) Many of the controllers have special functions that are also very useful (like remote fob programming). Another example is that you can access a function through the BCM (Body Control Module) that will override the FTC and release the trunk solenoid for you without drama. (Thatís very cool.)

My conclusion: For the price of each, I think theyíre a hit. (And it you have other GM vehicles in your stable that fall in the date range, the scanner is useful for them too.) IMHO if you plan to keep your retractable indefinitely as a collectible as I hope to, these are two items you need.

Good luck everyone. - Mark

Still standing in North Idaho...
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post #47 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 10:52 AM
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Hey Mark, thanks for the links and the review. I've got an '07 HTC with the 3.9l. With 108k+ miles in getting beyond what a Haynes or Chilton provide.
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post #48 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 08:13 PM
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Hey Mark, can you tell me if that scanner covers the Saab 9-7x? (It's the high end version of the Trailblazer/Envoy).
Like you said, easier to justify if you can cover other cars. Or share with a buddy.
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post #49 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 01:38 PM
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Question on scanner...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dxG6 View Post
Hey Mark, can you tell me if that scanner covers the Saab 9-7x? (It's the high end version of the Trailblazer/Envoy).
I hooked the scanner to my G6 and chose manual entry to identify the vehicle. (I know that GM built various SAAB models from the late '90s through 2010.)

When entering vehicles in manual mode, the scanner asks for model year, make and type (passenger car, multi-purpose (SUV), truck). When I chose years in the range for your 9-7X (2001-2005 according to Wikipedia), it returned a list of available makes including SAAB and even Hummer, Holden and Opel. It then allowed me to select variations on the models based on engine and other criteria it might need to know. So I'm going to say pretty confidently that this scanner would cover all the GM based makes including your SAAB.

My apologies again for hijacking this thread. I'm still not able to post new topics without moderator review, which hasn't happened. (The G6performance forum won't even acknowledge my registration.) Thanks everyone for understanding.

Mark

Still standing in North Idaho...
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post #50 of 50 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 01:43 PM
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Sorry, I got the SAAB model years wrong from Wikipedia but I bet they're still covered.

Mark

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