Are OBD Scanners Worth It? Everything You Need To Know 2021

Author: | Update On: January 21, 2021
Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

OBD scanners, also known as On-board Diagnostics scanners, are useful in checking out the problems your car is having. With an OBD scanner, you will be informed of the problem enabling you to figure out the next step. An OBD scanner is a must-have device because it continually monitors your car to ensure that it maintains a healthy condition. You will never get stranded in the middle of nowhere once you install an OBD scanner.

So, are OBD scanners worth it? Yes, because not only do they diagnosing potential mechanical problems but also provide possible solutions. An OBD scanner will always find the underlying cause of the car’s issue, meaning you don’t have to visit your mechanic. In the end, you will be able to save a lot using this diagnostic tool because you won’t spend money on a mechanic. An OBD scanner can be used on any scanner, and the best part is it is very convenient to use.

Are Obd Scanners Worth It?

As a car owner, you know how expensive it can be to maintain a car more when it comes to frequent repairs. You sacrifice your money for your car because you want it in its top condition and performing excellently. With an OBD scanner, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on your car because it monitors your car regularly and reports in case of any issues. You don’t need automotive expertise to handle


If you have been wondering, are OBD scanners worth it? They save you, not just money but also a tie because you won’t have to visit a mechanic. An onboard diagnostic scan tool communicates any car issues to the onboard computer system allowing you to see problems detected. This tool can help you understand every part of your car and its functions, making it a significant investment, which is definitely worth your money.

How To Use An Obd2 Scanner?

OBD2 scanners are vital diagnostic tools that help you improve your car skills and achieving excellent car maintenance. With this tool, you are saved from going through your car manually to find the underlying issues. An OBD2 scanner also provides a wealth of information about your car that is timely and educative.

Let us look at the step by step guide for using an OBD2 scanner for your car:

Step 1: Locate the Data Link Connector

To start with, ensure your car is turned off; this is very critical. Once that is verified, find the Data Link Connector customarily located under the steering wheel. It is an outlet that will be used to log in to the diagnostic computer.

Step 2: Plugin

Once you find the Data Link Connector, plug in an OBD2 scanner to it. You don’t have to worry about the fitting because the scanner cable comes with a 16-pin plug, meaning that it will fit perfectly into the outlet once you plugin.

Step 3: Start the car

At this juncture, you have to start the car by putting your car’s key into the ignition. Once that is done, switch to “On.” While in that state, you can choose what you want to be diagnosed then give the diagnostic computer time to feed the data.

Step 4: Retrieving data

Now enter the command “read” or “scan” on the OBD2 scanner. The method to key in the command will be defined by the brand of the OBD2 scanner you are using. The command will aid in retrieving data. But for the exact code retrieval information, find it in the diagnostic tool’s handbook.

Step 5: Trouble codes

At this stage, the trouble codes will be displayed on the scanner’s screen. Read through the codes and note them down on a piece of paper. Some scanners enable you to connect them directly to a computer; if that’s the case, use a USB cable for connectivity.

Step 6: Interpreting codes

You can use the OBD2 scanner handbook for the interpretation of the codes. Besides that, there are websites and software designed to aid in code interpretation. This will enable you to understand where the problem is hence taking the appropriate action.

Step 7: Switch off

Now that everything has been diagnosed, clear the codes from the OBD2 scanner and turn the car off. You can then erase the codes and follow this by unplugging the diagnostic tool from the power source. Remember to turn it off.

What Type of OBD-II Scanner Should I Take?

The type of OBD-II scanner you take will depend on several factors. What is of utmost importance is finding a scanner that will suit your needs. It should also be convenient to use, reliable, and quite efficient.

There are three types of OBD2-II scanners that can work for you. They include:

Code readers

This is a basic code reader that is usually handheld. Anytime your check light is turned on, this reader will tell you why. It is also known as a check engine light reader that aids in troubleshooting the whole car’s status.  Code readers usually are cost-friendly and are designed with fundamental functions making them easy to use. The functionalities of a code reader vary from one model to the other. You must get the right code reader to offer you a lot of car functionalities.

DIY scanners

A DIY OBD2 scanner is equipped with a mobile app to help you connect the scanner wirelessly to your smartphone. It comes with enhanced functionalities compared to the other types of scanners. They are not designed for professional use because the enhanced functionalities are few.

Professional diagnostic scanners

As the name suggests, these scanners are meant for professionals because they provide accurate and precise solutions to complex car issues. The best part of having this scanner is its advanced features that make car diagnosis a walk in the park. It is the best amongst the three scanners hence the one you should invest in.

Final Thought

OBD scanners are the best car tools that help in monitoring your car issue and offering a solution. Anytime your car has mechanical issues, an OBD scanner detects it and suggests how to fix it. For those people who ask, are OBD scanners worth it? The solution to this question would be to try it on and see the great benefits this diagnostic tool offers. Every car owner should have an OBD scanner preventing issues of car break down.

An OBD scanner is a reliable and useful diagnostic car tool that will outline any issues affecting your car’s better functioning. By using the best OBD scanner, you are guaranteed consistent updates of your car problems. With this device, your car will maintain its condition, making it perform better on the road.

Are OBD Scanners Worth It? Everything You Need To Know 2021 1

William Hedlund

Hi, I am William Hedlund, I am a motor tool specialist and a businessman. I have a business where I sell all the latest obd2 scanners for honda & jeep, best automotive diagnostic scanner, off-road air compressor, best battery for winching, etc. Because of my business, I have to face so many clients of these tools users. While selling these products and giving them service, I saw many clients face difficulties with installation, maintenance, not getting the exact amount of service, and buying the wrong one. All those problems they face because of their lack of knowledge about these products.

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