OBD2 Scanners: Do’s and Don’ts of Using OBD2 Scanners

Cars have become nothing unretentive of computers on four wheels. The on dining table diagnostics or merely OBD2, introduced in car models as from 1996, has made it a necessity for every car owner to learn about car diagnostic tools .
OBD2 scanners are one of the many diagnostic tools that you can use to know what ’ s troubling your vehicle. The OBD2 scanner is the standard software that has been mandated by PA for use for all vehicles with an on display panel diagnostic software. This scanner can monitor the ignition system and car infection in modern fuel injected automobiles .

How does the OBD2 Work?

The OBD2 in the simplest language is a kind of monitor detector that is able to gather data from a car ’ sulfur locomotive and besides other systems. The monitor can send different commands to the fuel injectors and to the different systems in the vehicles to measure things like crankshaft and camshaft position, air and coolant temperature, engine revolutions per minute, road speed, and choke open among others .
The OBD2 is a sophisticated software with therefore many self-checks to monitor and regulate the functioning of your car and in then doing maintain its good health for the longest time possible. This scanner can even self-correct the vehicles ignition and fuel mix at every crankshaft revolution. You however need to have an OBD2 scanner to interpret the results from the monitor.

Background on the OBD2 Scanner and its application

Most people enjoy having an OBD2 scanner even when they have no idea of what it does or what to do when the scanner gives them an error. That ’ second why it ’ sulfur coarse to find people panic smitten when there ’ s a malfunction in the car. It ’ s as if they always expect that with an OBD2 nothing should ever go wrong with the vehicle .
The first indication of a malfunction is an inflame “ see engine light ” on the dart. This unhorse, in the OBD2 standard lyric, is besides called a malfunction indicator light ( MIL ). When that inner light is on it means there is a sealed detector in the car that has sent an mistake message to the powertrain control module ( PCM ) which it can ’ thyroxine decode .
So the PCM is truly the one that will illuminate the MIL to warn you that ’ s there ’ s something improper with the vehicle, although flush when this warn comes your fomite will normally hush be running well. In fact, the only other thing that might indicate some kind of trouble with your vehicle is possibly an increase in the fuel consumption and power passing .
The PCM will store a diagnostic “ trouble code ”. This is what technicians normally checked for using different scan tools to know precisely where the trouble with the vehicle is .
The OBD2 scan joyride was previously only available to professional technicians chiefly due to it ’ second high price. fortunately, the prices became more low-cost for ordinary car owners to be able to purchase them .
today you can purchase an OBD2 scanner model for arsenic bum as $ 20 for an extremely basic scanner that will entirely show trouble codes, to about $ 4000 for an OBD2 scanner with full features, upgradable appliance with a computer interface and that accepts the use of multiple languages .

Using an OBD2 Scanner

Using an OBD-II scanner doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate require any genius, gifts or talents. The march is pretty elementary, and while unlike models may give slightly varying instructions, the follow is a general process that most models follow .

  1. Turn off your vehicle and plug the OBD2 scanner into the standard OBD II data link connector which can be located under the dashboard on the driver’s side, the left side of the staring wheel. The end of the cable will normally have a 16-pin plug that should give a perfect fit into the cars outlet.
  2. Turn on the ignition key or run the car, whichever is in the manual, and give time for the scanner to initialize. Some scanner models will need you to press a power button for them to begin the initialization process. Again, it’s important to have the OBD2 scanner manual for the specific scanner so you’re sure.
  3. When the scanner indicates that it’s ready, key in all the data that is required. This will mostly include the type, model and make of the engine, VIN and others. You can then initiate a ‘read’ or ‘scan’ of the vehicles diagnostic system. Again for initiating the scanning, some scanner models will have a button for that while there are others that will demand that you go through a series of manuals.
  4. Once the auto scanner completes the scanning process, it will give you a diagnostic trouble code or several codes. You can either write these down, transfer them to your laptop using a USB cable or Bluetooth if your scanner is Bluetooth compatible.
  5. You can then check these DTC codes in the manual to understand what your car is suffering from. Most manuals will only show the basic codes but if you need more enhanced codes you can check for these on the internet because there are vehicle models that will normally have a supplemental set of codes online.
  6. When you have finished recording the error codes, turn off the vehicles ignition and then carefully unplug the OBD2 scanner.

Be Careful When Using the OBD 2 Scanner for Diagnostics Reading

When connecting the OBD-II scanner cable to the data associate connection, be extremely docile. This is because the 16 pins in the punch are highly delicate and you can well bend the pins or crack the plastic around the punch if you push besides hard .
Always turn the ignition on or have the car running according to the instructions in the manual. failure to do this might corrupt the scanning software .
It ’ mho besides very authoritative that you drive around with the manual for the specific scanner model that you ’ ra using. fortunately you don ’ t have to carry a manual copy as you can just download a softcopy one from the internet and have it on your telephone, or carry along the CD-ROM copy of the manual. Most scanners will normally come with both a four hundred and a paper transcript of the manual of arms .

Inspection and Maintenance Menu

once you ’ ve reset the MIL, the scanner will give you another option for inspection and facility. What happens normally is that the PMC will normally be checking your vehicle to ensure that the fault has been corrected once you begin to drive it. The time duration in which you need to drive your car for the PCM to record set is largely dependent on specific vehicle models .
It ’ mho significant that once you have interpreted the codes given by the OBD2 scanner tool, you immediately correct the demerit or have your car looked at by a automobile mechanic who will be able to correct the fault .
You should then turn the OBD 2 scanner again for I/M readiness. This is crucial because in the event that your car goes for an inspection at the DMV or an independent post, the technician will normally test for I/M facility using their own read tool. You surely won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate get a gummed label if your car fails to pass the screen .

View Data Menu

authentic and quality OBD 2 scanners will normally besides have another menu for “ view data ”. This one lets you into the actual numbers being read by the PCM .
You can view data on oxygen-sensor functionality, revolutions per minute and engine burden, and breeze and urine temperature, among early likely trouble areas for your vehicle .
With this information it ’ randomness easier to know the problem with the fomite and to determine if it ’ randomness worth attempting to fix it on your own to save money or if you need professional input for a more permanent wave solution .
If you have a pro-grade OBD2 scanner model, you will besides have a graphics function. This is normally what technicians manipulation to check several parameters while the engine is on .
If you understand how to read the graph you have more advantage as it will be easy for you to diagnose the trouble without the help oneself of a technician .

Is There A Difference Between “OBD2 Reader” and “OBD2 Scanner”?

Most people confuse a code reviewer with a scan creature. Code readers are by and large less expensive and are used for simpler functions than OBD2 scanners. They ’ re able to shut off the MIL sparkle and to read basic codes, but will by and large not offer any greater value .
code readers are more ideal for trouble codes that are of a more “ generic ” nature. They are however nor able of reading enhance codes or OEM which are by and large specific to vehicles. Generic codes are besides known as P0 codes, while the enhance codes are called the P1 codes. Enhanced codes largely change depending on the model class and should be regularly replaced or updated .
The reason why it ’ s crucial that you purchase the OBD2 scanning tool rather of a lector is because the scanner can read both codes. There are certain types of faults in vehicles that will set a P0 code and not a P1 code or vice versa. Unless you ’ re able to read both codes it can be difficult for you to make the correctly diagnosis for your fomite .
besides, unlike code readers, scanners are capable of besides displaying the facility condition of the car ’ mho OBD2 system monitors. I/M facility are self-checks that the OBD2 will run to ensure that the vehicle is operating efficiently and that the error code has been cleared .
There are monitors that run each time the car is started while there are those that will alone run under certain conditions of operation.

For case the evaporative emissions system monitor ( EVAP monitor ) besides known as the “ loose flatulence cap monitor ” will run after a replenish school term .
This checks for vaporization leaks and may turn on the MIL or “ check engine light ” when after refilling the detonator is left off or not well tightened. This will set the mistake codes P0440, P0442 or P0445. Another case of a proctor that will run only occasionally is the catalyst monitor that checks the catalytic converter ’ randomness efficiency .
The Check engine light will normally be turned off when the monitor senses a drop in efficiency .
What ’ s the importance of knowing about the facility condition ? The set condition is by and large what is checked at the DMVs agency to confirm that your vehicle is in emissions complaisance .
This means that if no codes are set ( translates to no trouble found ) after all the monitors have been run, then your vehicle is running cleanse and will pass an OBDII circuit board emissions examination or a tailpipe smog confirmation .
With a code subscriber you can well open codes and turn off the “ check engine ” light, but you will however not be able to check for set and may fail to get a spine in subject your vehicle finds itself at the DMV ’ south position .

Ask for Help If You Don’t Understand a Code Given By an OBD2 Scanner

It ’ mho important to have your boundaries set right when it comes to what you can do with your OBD2 scanner .
Most professional mechanics warn that the worry codes, normally listed as P0 or P1, are not the actual diagnosis of the vehicle. Unless you ’ re able to decode the error, it ’ randomness authoritative that you have your vehicle looked at by a master .
The trouble code P0131 for exemplar is a general detector code. What most people will think of doing when they get this code is to install a newly detector with the hope that this will clear the error and turn off the MIL lights. The bad detector could besides trigger a P0301 misfire code .
sometimes you could have misdiagnosed this trouble code and a new oxygen detector together with a new detector socket may not solve the problem. You will know that the problem was not comprehensively solved if after a little spike in the rotational rush of the crankshaft the MIL lights are turned on again .
Don ’ thyroxine undertake to give the same solution that has apparently failed to an error code that keeps coming on. There are modern fomite engines and onboard control systems that can only be easily understood by a professional who understands it .
so unless you have the right tools and training to solve a problem, it is wise to have your vehicle checked at the fomite repair patronize. The good thing is that since you will have already identified the trouble using your OBD2 scanner, you will know the kind of service you want .
Most professional haunt shops will actually give you a deduction if you know precisely what needs to be fixed since this will save them a draw of time scanning the OBD2 and reading the codes .
Like a majority of vehicle owners, you will largely only know how to flush out your car ’ south radiator or perform a simple vegetable oil change. Making an attack at more complex tasks for example replacing a time belt when you neither have the tools nor the know-how might equitable plunge you fomite into more problems and have it grounded until a professional mechanic can work on it .

Purchase the right OBD2 Scanner

There are lots of OBD2 scanner models in the marketplace. It ’ south significant that you choose the ones with quality standards so that you can maximize their affair. besides when shopping about for OBD2 scanners, it ’ randomness crucial that you check one that is compatible with your vehicles onboard diagnostics instrument .
Investing in a quality OBD2 scanner is something that you should not debate on. This is because the scanner will save you so much money that it will quickly return back the money you invested in it and even give you profits .
In fact, with a quality OB2 scanner, sufficient cognition in mechanics, and proper automotive tools, you will be able to save 70 percentage plus of money that you would have used on vehicle checks and repair .
There will of run still be particular circumstances that will force you to seek the services of a professional automobile mechanic, but since you will have control over your car, these incidences will be greatly reduced .

Tips for Purchasing an OBD2 Scanner

If you ’ ve made the decision of purchasing an OBD2 scanner then it ’ s precisely proper that you purchase an advanced appliance. apart from the compatibility of the scanner to your vehicles on board diagnostics, the inaugural thing you want to look at is the latest technology in the scanner .
An advanced OBD2 scanner will be very efficient in informing you about the respective critical mechanics like service light system, conditioning see, airbag see, and transmission control among others .
Having this information will help you keep your car in commodity stipulate and invalidate unnecessary calls to the repair shop .
Another factor to put under retainer when shopping around for an OBD2 scanner is how user-friendly the interface is .
A user friendly interface will make it easy for you to operate the device. It ’ s not truly that the interface should be complicated .
A scanner with an interface that ’ mho easy to understand but gives information to entail is actually more ideal .

OBD2 Scanners : Do ’ s and Don ’ thymine of Using OBD2 Scanners 4.6

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