Last Updated on November 28, 2022 by Tabraiz
The purpose of a car diagnostic scanner is to check if anything is wrong with a vehicle and the intensity of the issues. The process isn’t as simple as it sounds. A lot is going on at the back-end. Sometimes, a more extensive data analysis is needed to diagnose the problem. You need to know several things about the diagnostic scanner, such as their types and how they work.
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Types of car diagnostic scanners
There are three basic types of vehicle diagnostic tools based on the features they offer and how advanced one is compared to the other. The three types may be classified as basic code reader, DIY scanner, and professional OBD2 scanner.
Basic Code Reader
Basic code readers are the cheapest and most widely used diagnostic tools or scanners. They’re easily available in any hardware store. Being the most basic code readers, they’re used to diagnose the issue when your vehicle’s engine check light comes on. When plugged into the car, they use the Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) to inform you that there’s something wrong with the vehicle.
These diagnostic machines are a bit more expensive than the basic code readers and offer more features than them. They provide more information about the issues diagnosed through either a mobile app or their screen. The ones giving diagnosis details through a mobile app are cordless and look like a dongle attached to the car diagnostic port. The ones to provide the information on their screen are connected to the diagnostic port through a cable.
Professional OBD2 Scanners
This tool is for professionals looking to extract detailed and extensive data from vehicle for analysis and then coming up with a comprehensive solution. These scanners are equipped with advanced software, ECU programming and several connectors to collect the data and analyze it. Professional scanners are capable of diagnosing all types of vehicles.
How to Use an OBD2 Scanner?
- Switch off the car engine and plug the car diagnostic scanner in the diagnostic port located under the control panel.
- After connecting, switch on the engine and wait for the scanner to turn on and get ready to scan. If it doesn’t turn on automatically, switch it on by pressing its power button and wait for it to get ready.
- Once the scanner is ready to scan the vehicle, it will ask you for input information about the car make, model, type, and engine.
- After receiving the information, it will start scanning the car’s diagnostic system and will provide you with some error codes that you need to note down. Note all the additional information it provides.
- Look for those errors codes in the user manual and note them down.
- After you have all the information needed, switch off the car engine and unplug the scanner from the diagnostic port.
This is how simple and easy the diagnostic process is to scan your car yourself.