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Posts: 1,694
Registered: September 2007

 

Durametric Software Diagnostic Tool

Reviews Views Date of last review
6 19266 Tue December 9, 2008

 

Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
17% of reviewers $125.00 8.0

 

Description:
This article will briefly review the setup and operation of the Durametric Software Diagnostic Tool. This product is available from Durametric (www.durametric.com), or can be added to an order for engine control software from Softronics. Lots of information is available at the Durametric web site. One nice thing about this software is that it is constantly being updated, and updates can be downloaded at any time for free.

The Durametric software can provide a wide variety of useful and interesting information about your car. It can diagnose error codes. Thus, if you get a Check Engine Light (CEL), you can hook up your laptop to the car and read the code(s) that the system has logged. The software can also reset error codes. If you get a bogus fault, it can be reset, avoiding a trip to the dealer. If the fault is real, it just comes right back if you reset it.

Another handy feature of the Durametric software is that it can log data from your car. A variety of parameters are available (rpm, speed, engine mass flow, etc.), and these are sampled and recorded 3-4 times per second, and can then be saved to an Excel spreadsheet. I'll show an example of this later in the article.

Included with the software is a special cable that serves as an interface between your car and your computer. The software will not work without this cable (the cable will be shipped to you upon purchase). Device drivers must be installed on your computer to interface with the cable. The device drivers are included with the software, and I had no trouble installing the diagnostic software and the cable device driver (just follow Durametric's instructions).

The next step is to hook up the cable to your car and your computer (use a laptop for portability). The cable plugs into a USB port on the laptop, and the OBD port in your car. I'm not sure about right-hand drive cars, but for left-hand drive cars the OBD port is in the driver's footwell, just forward, above and outboard of where your left knee would be.

This following photo shows the purple OBD port in the driver's footwell. The port is in the upper left-hand portion of the image.



Note that the cable connector in the port is wider towrds the rear than the front. Thus, the cable will only attach in one orientation. Take a look at your cable and match its orientation to the connector in the OBD port, then push the cable onto the connector. There is no mechanical latch to hold the cable in place, friction does the job.

This photo shows the Durametric cable plugged into the OBD port.



Next, plug the other end of the cable into a USB port on your laptop. Turn the car on. There is no need to start the car, just turn the key to the "ON" position. It's OK to start the car, but when you're still learning how to use the software it's better to eliminate the distraction of the engine running.

Once the car is on, then start the Durametric Software Diagnostic Tool. If you start the software before you start the car, you'll generate an error when the software tries to communicate with your car and cannot do so since the car is off.

Once the software loads you'll see the following screen:



Select your car type (Cayman). You will then see the following main menu screen:



The list on the left side of the screen shows all the systems that can be checked. When I clicked on "Motronic (Engine DME)" the following screen appeared:



This shows my DME version, and confirms that the system currently has no faults. By searching around I did find a fault in the "Vehicle Electrical System" screen. I have no idea what this fault means!



One of the best features of the program is the data logging capability. This shows the data logging screen:



There are many, many parameters available to log. It can be very instructive and entertaining to see how your car really runs! To log data, you must first select the parameters of interest. But don't pick more than you really need, as the sample rate is slowed as the number of parameters increases. As I recall, there is a maximum of 20 parameters than can be logged, but you'll get better sample rates by keeping the number of parameters closer to 5.

When you're ready to start logging data you click the "start" button on the screen, and then you click a "stop" button to end the data logging. DO NOT TRY TO CLICK THE START OR STOP BUTTON WHILE YOU'RE DRIVING THE CAR!!! The buttons are very small on the screen, and there is no way to drive safely while you're trying to fiddle with a mouse in a moving car! BRING A FRIEND TO OPERATE THE LAPTOP!!!

When the data has been logged, the system will plot it on your screen. Even better, you'll be given the option of saving the data into an Excel spreadsheet. An example of some data from the logging function is shown below:



Finally, I've had a couple of occasions to need some help from Durametric, and the customer support was prompt and excellent. For the geeks out there (like me!) this is a great tool to have in your kit.
Keywords: Durametric Software Diagnostic Tool Fault Code OBD

 

Author
DaveD

Porsche Activist

Registered: March 2006
Posts: 300
Review Date: Thu July 17, 2008 Would you recommend the product? No | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 
Pros:
Cons:
Have you installed this Product or Mod?:
Nice writeup, Fort. Thanks for posting. I have the Durametric package and I'm happy with it with one exception. I doesn't read readiness codes. These are the codes that are used in many states for emissions inspection in place of an exhaust sniffer. You will still need to buy a cheap OBDII reader if you want to know this info. IMHO a product at this price point should include it.


Dave
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Slatfatf

Geek

Registered: September 2007
Posts: 1694
Review Date: Thu July 17, 2008 Would you recommend the product? No | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 
Pros:
Cons:
Have you installed this Product or Mod?:
Dave - have you made this suggestion to Durametric? They seem pretty responsive.
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spydr

Site Donor

Registered: October 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 52
Review Date: Thu July 17, 2008 Would you recommend the product? No | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 
Pros:
Cons:
Have you installed this Product or Mod?:
Nice write up Fort, It is one of the first "tools" I bought for My 06 Cayman S. I keep it in the car with my Fujitsu U810 Lifebook so I can use it anywhere I happen to be.

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[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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DaveD

Porsche Activist

Registered: March 2006
Posts: 300
Review Date: Fri July 18, 2008 Would you recommend the product? No | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 
Pros:
Cons:
Have you installed this Product or Mod?:
Yes, I have exchanged emails with Durametric about readiness codes and my impression is it isn't on their radar screen. I think they are looking to duplicate the Porsche test set functionality, which it appears they have done very well. Maybe as our cars get older more people will request it.


To clarify, I recommend the product but wish it had this added feature. My expectations are high since I'm another one of those audi owners who have been spoiled by vag-com...


Dave
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Tomasz

Porsche Orator

Registered: May 2007
Location: WA
Posts: 1731
Review Date: Fri July 25, 2008 Would you recommend the product? No | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 
Pros:
Cons:
Have you installed this Product or Mod?:
Yeah, Durametric has a long way to go to be as good as VAG-COM. I would also like to see an article or FAQ that explains what all these things we can log mean. Some are self explanatory, but many are not. Would love to know how to long timing retard and AFR.

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Tomasz

Apologies for spelling mistakes, most of them are keyboarding errors. To enjoy this forum I run out of time to proof read.
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Greywolf
Site Donor

Registered: May 2008
Location: IN
Posts: 1262
Review Date: Tue December 9, 2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $125.00 | Rating: 8 
Pros: Ease of use.
Cons: Fault codes don't match Porsche P codes.
Have you installed this Product or Mod?: Yes
Excellent write up by Fort. Very descriptive.


One thing that could be better about Durametric itself is the fault code readout. The codes don't match the Pxxxx codes Porsche uses so can be rather cryptic. Just knowing what system has a fault isn't near as helpful as knowing what the fault is. Having a simple table built in is easy for a software package. I've mentioned this to Durametric.


The other issue I had was getting a connection with the cable. Took several tries to get the cable inserted so the car would connect. Scott at Softronic mentioned that Porsche had had some trouble with the 2007 and 2008 diagnostic plugs and suggested that I bend the pins very slightly outward. I used a slot head screwdriver. Doing this has so far been 100% successful. Just plug it in and it works as advertised. I've also passed this onto Durametric.


If you try this use a very light hand at it. They bend easily. I bent the pins outward by about half the pin thickness. Too much and it probably won't go into the diagnostic port connector. The other worry is if the pins were to be bent back and forth to much trying to get it just right. Breakage could result.

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Les
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