Ever wondered what an OBD2 scanner actually does? Firstly, let’s briefly learn what On Board Diagnostics (OBD) is.
All cars that were made from 1996 (in USA, 2003 in UK, 2006 in AU) to today have standardized computer systems.
These systems constantly monitor emissions and electrical sensors within the car while it’s being driven.
This information is recorded and available to be extracted via an OBD2 tool, which is basically an automotive diagnostic tool.
It’s like a doctor constantly keeping a check that everything is working as it’s meant to.
An OBD2 system can diagnose a problem before the driver recognizes it. Therefore it is an important component within a vehicle, which is very useful for quickly and accurately getting to bottom of vehicle’s overall health.
When your car is not working properly, a dashboard warning light or, a (MIL) malfunction indicator light, will illuminate. This lets the driver know something is wrong but not exactly, what is the problem.
This is where an OBD2 Scanner tool comes into use. It can be plugged into your vehicle’s OBD port, hence output the fault codes. This in turn, will give you further information about what, is wrong and how to fix it.
With all the complex electrical and mechanical systems within a car today it can be hard to troubleshoot issues without a OBD2 diagnostic tool.
There are different types of OBD Scanners?
There are two different types of scanners, your basic “code reader” that can read and clear codes, and a more advanced “scan tool” that can perform various different functions.
The more advanced scan tool will allow you to view real time data and recorded, as well as provide advanced troubleshooting information.
The most widespread application of an OBD2 scanner is for emissions testing but its ability expands its use into many different aspects of your car’s performance.
Once you get a code it is important to define the code correctly without the proper reference you could mistake a P0303 for a P0455.
The first being a misfiring cylinder, and the second code meaning you have probably not screwed in your gas cap. There are a wide range of useful things that it can report.
Whatever you may intend on using an OBD2 scanner for, it is a very handy tool to have in your arsenal when repairing a vehicle.
Whether you are drag racing the local competition or just want to troubleshoot something, you think may be wrong with your vehicle, an OBD2 scanner can help.
If you do not have access to a scanner, many car accessory shops will allow you to get your car’s trouble codes free or you can take it into your local dealership or auto shop for a fee.