Diagnostic Tools for Newbies

BB_Disco

Member
Apr 26, 2021
8
0
Phoenix, AZ
Hi all,
Recently purchased a 2002 Disco 2 SE w/ 175k and it needs some love. I'm not mechanical but handy and willing to put in the wrench time but I feel like I chase my tail and know sometimes you need the right tool for the job regardless of capability. I've done a ton of research online and on the various forums trying to find a scanner tool and found most recommend the Hawkeye or Nanocom. AB (Atlantic British) sells the iLand and iCarsoft but I've not seen as much discussion around those tools as I have the Hawkeye or Nanocom. My primary needs are LR specific so I don't need a universal solution although if the price is comparable I don't have a problem investing a little more in a tool that can read other makes/models. I have an Ultra Gauge so have basic code reading and clearing capabilities but need to deal with the 3 amigos, bleed brakes, service engine light, brake light, etc.

Here's where I'm stuck, at least one of the issues of why I need a better Diagnostic tool. I unplugged the sensor on the brake fluid cap, brake light comes on. Was not on prior to me unplugging the sensor. I checked the fluid level and float, it was ok. The parking brake switch I'm assuming is fine being it was never pulled and the light was not on previous. Checked all brake lights and all are good. Now I'm stuck and need a code reader that can tell me what's wrong and what to fix. Was considering the iCarsoft LR V3.0 but it's pricey and I don't know if I just need to dig into the forums and research more or if there are other products out there that will do what I need them to and communicate it back to me in a language I can understand. For example "Oxy Sensor Heater Upstream Cat bank 1 Drive cycle C: Signal out of range - above maximum = Replace this O2 Sensor" Any advice is appreciated.

2002 Discovery II SE | 175K
 

mlnnc

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2008
226
12
Charlotte
I'm pretty highly confident that the brake light circuit related to the master cylinder reservoir and the parking brake don't trigger any faults that can be read with a code reader. Since the light came on only after you unplugged the sensor, I'd take a good look at that connector (both halves). You could even try jumping the terminals in the harness-side connector to try to confirm its the source of the fault. Also check that the wires on the connector are fully inserted into the connector.
 

HIDave

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2020
129
5
Hawaii
Hi all,
Recently purchased a 2002 Disco 2 SE w/ 175k and it needs some love. I'm not mechanical but handy and willing to put in the wrench time but I feel like I chase my tail and know sometimes you need the right tool for the job regardless of capability. I've done a ton of research online and on the various forums trying to find a scanner tool and found most recommend the Hawkeye or Nanocom. AB (Atlantic British) sells the iLand and iCarsoft but I've not seen as much discussion around those tools as I have the Hawkeye or Nanocom. My primary needs are LR specific so I don't need a universal solution although if the price is comparable I don't have a problem investing a little more in a tool that can read other makes/models. I have an Ultra Gauge so have basic code reading and clearing capabilities but need to deal with the 3 amigos, bleed brakes, service engine light, brake light, etc.

Here's where I'm stuck, at least one of the issues of why I need a better Diagnostic tool. I unplugged the sensor on the brake fluid cap, brake light comes on. Was not on prior to me unplugging the sensor. I checked the fluid level and float, it was ok. The parking brake switch I'm assuming is fine being it was never pulled and the light was not on previous. Checked all brake lights and all are good. Now I'm stuck and need a code reader that can tell me what's wrong and what to fix. Was considering the iCarsoft LR V3.0 but it's pricey and I don't know if I just need to dig into the forums and research more or if there are other products out there that will do what I need them to and communicate it back to me in a language I can understand. For example "Oxy Sensor Heater Upstream Cat bank 1 Drive cycle C: Signal out of range - above maximum = Replace this O2 Sensor" Any advice is appreciated.

2002 Discovery II SE | 175K
I just went through the research myself. Boils down to (2) ODBII Readers. The ICarSoft and the Gap Tool.
The ICarSoft can read codes and do a decent deep dive into the diagnostics. However it cannot programme anything, full stop. It can read codes deeper in the system and clear them. If you are in the market for one, I would be willing to sell you mine which I have had for (3) months and used a few times. Letting it go for $150.
I am getting the GAP tool. The significant difference other than the large price difference is that the GAP tool is VIN locked to the vehicle you register it to. In order to use it on another vehicle you need to buy another license. It can read codes and clear them on any vehicle, but once it is used to programme a vehicle for something it will be locked to that VIN.
DM me is your interested in my V3 ICarSoft.
 
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JUKE179r

Well-known member
Sep 14, 2016
582
56
Suffolk, UK
I don't think a Gap Tool will work on a/his Disco 2.
Not to take away from @HIDave 's iCarsoft sale but from my own experience I prefer using on my Disco 2 a Nanocom Evolution or my Foxwell NT Series 510 diagnostic tester. I had the iCarsoft CR Plus for all makes of cars and it sucked for Land Rover. Hopefully the V3 iCarsoft is programmed for more Land Rover specific faults.

From reading Disco 2 owners comments on fourms...
The Hawkeye doesn't sync Disco 2 key fobs easily or have firmware updates support,
AB's iLand has many faults,
The Lynx (rarely mentioned) is good but no more firmware update support,
 

BB_Disco

Member
Apr 26, 2021
8
0
Phoenix, AZ
I'm pretty highly confident that the brake light circuit related to the master cylinder reservoir and the parking brake don't trigger any faults that can be read with a code reader. Since the light came on only after you unplugged the sensor, I'd take a good look at that connector (both halves). You could even try jumping the terminals in the harness-side connector to try to confirm its the source of the fault. Also check that the wires on the connector are fully inserted into the connector.
Thanks for taking the time to respond. I took some pictures of both ends, connector, and cap and they look really cruddy. The wires seem to be seated and connected fully so I'm thinking the mucked-up connectors may be the issue. How do you jump the terminals. I tried to look it up and keep getting references to jumping a car battery. Assuming I connect the wire directly to the cap and bypass the plug but what do you use to do this? Also if I wanted to give a go at cleaning the connectors what's the best thing to use in your experience?
 

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BB_Disco

Member
Apr 26, 2021
8
0
Phoenix, AZ
I just went through the research myself. Boils down to (2) ODBII Readers. The ICarSoft and the Gap Tool.
The ICarSoft can read codes and do a decent deep dive into the diagnostics. However it cannot programme anything, full stop. It can read codes deeper in the system and clear them. If you are in the market for one, I would be willing to sell you mine which I have had for (3) months and used a few times. Letting it go for $150.
I am getting the GAP tool. The significant difference other than the large price difference is that the GAP tool is VIN locked to the vehicle you register it to. In order to use it on another vehicle you need to buy another license. It can read codes and clear them on any vehicle, but once it is used to programme a vehicle for something it will be locked to that VIN.
DM me is your interested in my V3 ICarSoft.
Thanks for the response and offer on the ICarSoft.
I don't think a Gap Tool will work on a/his Disco 2.
Not to take away from @HIDave 's iCarsoft sale but from my own experience I prefer using on my Disco 2 a Nanocom Evolution or my Foxwell NT Series 510 diagnostic tester. I had the iCarsoft CR Plus for all makes of cars and it sucked for Land Rover. Hopefully the V3 iCarsoft is programmed for more Land Rover specific faults.

From reading Disco 2 owners comments on fourms...
The Hawkeye doesn't sync Disco 2 key fobs easily or have firmware updates support,
AB's iLand has many faults,
The Lynx (rarely mentioned) is good but no more firmware update support,
JUKE179r, thanks for the response. In your experience which between the Nanocom and Foxwell is better. Assuming you're facing the same set of issues if you had to go with one which would you choose. Separate of the ability to program key fobs. The lock situation on the rig currently is original owner lost the keys so they swapped an ignition and now I only have the ignition key with no ability to lock the doors. It may be nice to add the key fob down the road but just want to get her running prime and pass emissions.
 
Last edited:

FatMcNasty

Well-known member
Mar 28, 2006
146
29
Southern Oregon
I have the Hawkeye Total, works great on the 95 Disco I have. Had to create a few cables for the ABS and SRS, but all in all it does everything I need. I have heard that it will do D2 remotes but you need the serial numbers of the fobs to be used. Ive never tried it but that's what I've heard.
 

FatMcNasty

Well-known member
Mar 28, 2006
146
29
Southern Oregon
Does hawkeye total do d1 key fobs?
per their FAQ..

  • Can HawkEye Total code keys in?
Yes, but you should look what type of vehicle, as some models require keys to be ordered by chassis number.

DISCOVERY 1, FREELANDER and DEFENDER vehicles with 2 button blips {10 as} can be programmed. The DISCOVERY 2 vehicle can also be programmed if you have the bar codes that come with every key you want to code in. For all others, consult the workshop manual. Pre-96 Discovery vehicles, with the single button remotes can be programmed to the car without using any diagnostic computers.

I have not done it since I'm on an 95.
 

mlnnc

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2008
226
12
Charlotte
Thanks for taking the time to respond. I took some pictures of both ends, connector, and cap and they look really cruddy. The wires seem to be seated and connected fully so I'm thinking the mucked-up connectors may be the issue. How do you jump the terminals. I tried to look it up and keep getting references to jumping a car battery. Assuming I connect the wire directly to the cap and bypass the plug but what do you use to do this? Also if I wanted to give a go at cleaning the connectors what's the best thing to use in your experience?

Scratch that.

My suggestion to jump the terminals in the harness-side connector was premature. It was also wrong, but for now that’s irrelevant. Here's why.

According to the RAVE, any fault condition that triggers the brake warning light to illuminate will also trigger the Three Amigos. Since in the first post in this thread you say "... need to deal with the 3 amigos ..." the brake warning light would have been on already.

Were the Three Amigos on before you unplugged the sensor? I know that I didn't used to notice the brake warning light because I was so focused on the Three Amigos.


p.s. I see you're shown as a new member. In case you don't know, the RAVE (Rover Automated Viewing Environment) is the Land Rover Workshop Manual. You can download a free PDF copy from the link in my signature below.
 

JUKE179r

Well-known member
Sep 14, 2016
582
56
Suffolk, UK
Thanks for the response and offer on the ICarSoft.

JUKE179r, thanks for the response. In your experience which between the Nanocom and Foxwell is better. Assuming you're facing the same set of issues if you had to go with one which would you choose. Separate of the ability to program key fobs. The lock situation on the rig currently is original owner lost the keys so they swapped an ignition and now I only have the ignition key with no ability to lock the doors. It may be nice to add the key fob down the road but just want to get her running prime and pass emissions.
I much prefer the Nanocom. People are scared off by it due to the price but it’ll pay off it self after a couple of uses… and you will use it a lot on these beasts!
The Nanocom delves deeper into the Land Rover electrical system to correct and/or troubleshoot problems. For the Nanocom, you have to purchase unlock codes (and some cabling) for different Land Rover models and engines.
The Foxwell can be used on a multitude of Land Rover models but doesn’t go deep into the ECU, BCU, ABS SLABS settings and it doesn’t program key fobs. The Foxwell can also have other car brands added for a cost. I have LR, BMW and Toyota on my NT-510.
 

BB_Disco

Member
Apr 26, 2021
8
0
Phoenix, AZ
Scratch that.

My suggestion to jump the terminals in the harness-side connector was premature. It was also wrong, but for now that’s irrelevant. Here's why.

According to the RAVE, any fault condition that triggers the brake warning light to illuminate will also trigger the Three Amigos. Since in the first post in this thread you say "... need to deal with the 3 amigos ..." the brake warning light would have been on already.

Were the Three Amigos on before you unplugged the sensor? I know that I didn't used to notice the brake warning light because I was so focused on the Three Amigos.


p.s. I see you're shown as a new member. In case you don't know, the RAVE (Rover Automated Viewing Environment) is the Land Rover Workshop Manual. You can download a free PDF copy from the link in my signature below.
I honestly don't recall and think I may have been so focused on the 3 Amigos lights the brake light just didn't catch my attention until I started trying to troubleshoot. Think I still probably need to deal with the cruddy reservoir cap and harness connections at some point.

That manual is amazing. Never knew they even produced anything like that for vehicles. Looks like I've got some reading to do.
 

BB_Disco

Member
Apr 26, 2021
8
0
Phoenix, AZ
I much prefer the Nanocom. People are scared off by it due to the price but it’ll pay off it self after a couple of uses… and you will use it a lot on these beasts!
The Nanocom delves deeper into the Land Rover electrical system to correct and/or troubleshoot problems. For the Nanocom, you have to purchase unlock codes (and some cabling) for different Land Rover models and engines.
The Foxwell can be used on a multitude of Land Rover models but doesn’t go deep into the ECU, BCU, ABS SLABS settings and it doesn’t program key fobs. The Foxwell can also have other car brands added for a cost. I have LR, BMW and Toyota on my NT-510.

I took a look at their website, Nanocom, and am not 100% sure which would work for my use case. Would this be the combo?

DIAGNOSTIC KIT + UNLOCK CODES

They are pricey but seem like a worthwhile investment if you have the need.
 

Gordo

Well-known member
X2 on the nanocom. I’m lucky as my buddy got one and I just buy him the unlock codes I need so it’s a win win. It’s not vin locked. Doesn’t support my D1 much but gems code works fine just select a P38 with gems.
 

JUKE179r

Well-known member
Sep 14, 2016
582
56
Suffolk, UK
It may be nice to add the key fob down the road but just want to get her running prime and pass emissions.
Keep in mind there are 2 different key fobs for the Discovery 2...
315Mhz work on USA, Australia, Africa, Rest of World (ROW) Disco 2's
433Mhz works on European (EU) Disco 2's

Most of the key fobs sold on eBay are the EU fobs at 433Mhz transmission frequency. They will not work on USA Disco 2's and vice versa.

BTW...
You want the Nanocom Motronic V8 for your Discovery 2's Thor engine.
The EDC option is for the P38 Range Rover diesel engine.
 

sdtim

Member
Feb 21, 2021
20
6
Oceanside, CA
I have the Foxwell NT510 Elite (~$160-$180). It has been super useful in troubleshooting so far.

I have been noodling on the idea of picking up a spare keyfob, since my truck only came with one. As mentioned by others, the Foxwell doesn't program keys. However, I've seen kits that come with the electronics, key, and programing unit (I believe you MUST have an existing working key to reprogram).

Anyway, if you have the budget, the deeper analysis and key programing provided by the Nanocom is probably the way to go. Rovers are SUPER finicky...having a solid diagnosis tool will save you time, money, and sanity.
 
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