How to setup WinALDL and scan your car


runs with scissors
I put some ALDL cables up for sale I got alot of questions about how these work and what they do.
First get a cable and hook it up to your ALDL port. You can either build your own or get them from here. That link also has a download link for this and Turbometer Pro in case you don't already have it.

Tap your cable into the ALDL connector. I recommend wiring it in from the backside. That way if you need to access the connector you still can. Using male taps from the front might stretch out the contacts in the ALDL and would cause screwy readings on a different tool that uses the ALDL port. The data wire goes on the second slot(top row) and the other (ground) goes to the upper right. That's it! Simple two wire hookup.

Once the software is installed you need to tell it a few things. If you're using this on a Grand National or TTA click the "configuration" button on the top. This box will appear....

Scroll though the ECM list untill you see 1227148. That's the code for our cars. Next is the TPS readings. Don't worry. If you get these off, it won't mess anything up. This program reports the throttle position in % so it needs to know exactly what your TPS is at idle and full throttle. The nice thing is that it will tell you what it is. (note: you might see a slightly diffrent reading at WOT with the engine actually on.)
COM1 is the default and it seems to work with most laptops that I know of and we have a 4800baud datastream. All of mine are on COM1.

Next is the "Datalogger" button.

Click it to bring up a box of what stuff you want to log while cruising or doing WOT blasts. I go ahead and check everything.

That's all there is to it. After doing those steps you're up and running. Now for the actual useful stuff that makes this all worth it.

The first page shows raw data.

These numbers aren't that usefull as they're all the sensors and data on a 1~255 scale as the ECM likes to handle them.

Next is the "flag data" tab:

This screen is handy if your chasing a TCC clutch problem, a transmission switch problem, or a few other things. If your car's sorted out pretty well you won't spend alot of time on this tab.

After that is the "sensor data" tab.

This one has three columns. First is the raw data like from a couple tabs ago. Next is that data converted into more human numbers and third is a couple of centigrade readings to keep the Canadians from causing a stir. With this page you can see if you're running hot, check your MAT's, watch your 02 bounce around, see if your MAF will max out or read the correct idle number, etc...

If you're not having so much fun you've peed your pants the "error codes" tab is next.

This is the one that you don't want to spend that much time on. The nice thing is if you do have an error code this program will tell you what it is.
Now for some actual scanning. Click the BLM or the INT tab and you'll get a chart like this:

What's nice about this chart is you can drive around and watch for trends or something out of whack in small areas. The small areas can point out drivablity problems with cars that run pretty well at WOT. You'll notice that this grid has ALOT more than the 15 squares of a normal BLM grid.

This is nice because you can watch for trends going on in one square and attempt to tune out a bunch of corrections in one section.

Now we can move on to the fun filled world of 02's.....

Now this grid WILL NOT tell you air fuel ratios. It will only show you trends and let you know roughly where you're at. The narrowband 02 is basically a yes/no device. They will vary depending on temp, fueling, name brand, and from sensor to sensor. Basically all an 02 will tell you is if you're richer than 14.7:1 or leaner than 14.7:1.
Now 14.7 to one is a fine AFR. I'm sure it's mother is real proud. The only problem is that 14.7 is the best mixture for keeping a cat (and the EPA) happy. If you want to make power the best mix is somewhere close to 12:1 and the best gas milage is somewhere close to 16:1. Unfortunaly our pour narrowband 02 just didn't stay in school long enough to learn those tricks.
Now before this tab commits computercide because I was so harsh, this grid does have some redeaming qualities. First, on anything other than WOT if you average the readings, they should all fall close to .450 to .500. It's good for spotting trends if the 02 acts up in certian spots. Like cooling off and not sending accurate data throwing the ECM back into open loop for example. And even though it can't tell you exactly what the AFR is it can report if you're way off. If you see a bunch of .300 or .100 at full throttle you know you're WAAAAAAY leaner than you should be. That kind of thing can alert you to a weak pump, clogged fuel filter, or a vacuum hose blown off the FPR.
Conversly a pinched return line can show rich as hell readings all over the place. If everythings cool the 02's should bounce back and forth across .500V doing it's job and helping the INT's smack the BLMs where thy need to be.
So we shouldn't be so hard on the poor NB 02 sensor. As long as we don't expect too much from it, everybodys happy. Poor little guy. We should all get together and buy the NB02 a beer for doing his job.
Sure he can't tell you if you're 12.3 or 12.4 to 1. That's not his job. You can't get mad everytime a stripper doesn't go home with you. That's not thier job either.
He shouldn't even be asked. It's like asking the president if he's getting blown in the oval office. OF COURSE he's getting blown in the oval office. He's the most powerful man in the world, it's shouldn't even be asked. I can't imagine what will go on in there when I run this nation :poon:

Now on to the dreaded screen of knock:

Much like the error code screen, this one makes us the happyest when it's nice and blank. Much like the other tabs, this one can tell you where most of your knock happens and how many times it registers knock. Unlike the Scanmaster this one doesn't tell you how many degrees the ECM retarded the timing, this one tell you how many times you knocked in that section.

While cruising it's not exactly easy to read the grids, you can turn on the dashboard.

This little pop up is pretty nice. First off it's not trying to sell you viagra at discount prices or let you know that you've just won some really cool stuff if you click here. It tells you how fast you're going, how much air you're swallowing, where your throttle's at and your current 02's. All in a nice little neat package. The red fonts make it easier to drive and glance at the passenger seat too.

The log files from this program are .csv's and land in WinALDL's folder. Usually it's c:/program files/WinALDL/. The logs can be put into a spreadsheat program and analized however you'd like. With pretty graphs and everything! :)

With any luck this will help someone other than me keep thier car running smoothly, get decent gas mileage, and maybe avoid blowing it up.

Stay tuned for the next exicting installment of "Earl likes to drink beer and screw with things, here's pictures for your viewing and reading enjoyment".

Perhaps I'll do one of these for Turbometer Pro if I don't run out of beers.
hot babes

i am sorry but i dont know what you are saying I am no nerd with a puter but as you can see it was my first post I was asking for HELP this is also my last post bye eidde
First screen that comes up gives you the option. Chill out some, have some fun AND learn at the same time. Not alot of people use WinALDL. Members sometime screw with you just to bump your post for attention.
nothing just marking the thread I just found out how to do it properly. I am interested in the programs I have turbo link and the program doesn't work. I was hoping to use the cable and download the program?
I was wondering what some of the abbreviations stood for. I am trying to learn as much about the charts as I can to use this tool properly. I have looked on-line and found out about a few things. I Guss I just need to know what to look for, And the best way to post it. maybe break down and buy something. :p
one more question where dos the datalogger log? how do I look at it?

It's been a long time since I used my winaldl, so my answer is vague to say the least. I do know that I used Microsoft access to import the log. Then I ran made a query to massage just the bits of data that is useful. If you have access or excel, you can at least import the flog file and manipulate the data for easier viewing.
WINALDL to Excel

I haven't used WINALDL in a while either but I have opened log files in excel and formatted the columns like in the attached file.

I don't remember what file extension WINALDL puts on the log file but just open Excel and where it asks for "files of what type" in the pull down just highlight files of type All files (*.*) and you will see it.

Open it and save as an Excel file.



  • 3-24-08 WINALDL
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84 winaldl

Hey i have a question ..i set up my win aldl the way you explained above and i can not get it to work properly on my buick. when i turn the ignition on or start the car at the top of the screen theres a little box that has an 8 in there with a red/pink flash i dont know what this means .. or maybe this will not work on an 84? i have had people telling me to convert to 86 87 computer, i am told you can do so much more with the later computer? do you have any input on either of these subjects?
First screen that comes up gives you the option. Chill out some, have some fun AND learn at the same time. Not alot of people use WinALDL. Members sometime screw with you just to bump your post for attention.
I'm a first time user of latest ver. of Winaldl and having trouble getting data in the program. I only get information about 4-5 rows down on the raw data screen and No data on any other screen, even the dash board screen. Com port set to com 9 and laptop sees the usb aldl cord.
Any suggestions helpfull??