How To Use Automotive Diagnostic Scanners In 2021?

Author: | Update On: January 21, 2021
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Cars are nothing but computers on wheels these days, and you can take a whole bunch of advantages from that. As the cars are more advanced than ever, the benefit is that you can tap in and get a live diagnosis from the car. Since 1986, it wasn’t possible to determine the car’s problems unless a mechanic took the car apart to know the problem. After that, cars started to come with the OBD or the Onboard Diagnostics compatibility to determine the car’s problems. 

After 1995, the OBD 2 compatibility expanded from light trucks to personal cars and heavy trucks. With the proper diagnosis data, you can easily decide what to do about the fault and fix it before it gets worse. Stick to the article to learn how to use automotive diagnostic scanners and smoothly ride your car with proper diagnosis: 

How To Use Automotive Diagnostic Scanners?

You must know how to use automotive diagnostic scanners and diagnose the car with it for the best output from it. Here is the step by step process of using an OBD scanner for diagnosing your car: 

How To Use Automotive Diagnostic Scanners

Step 1 (Find out the plug )

The first thing to do for using a diagnostic scanner is finding the 16-pin connecting plug in the car. Since the OBD feature is mandatory to have in every car by law, your car must have it, but the location may vary. Most of the time, you’ll find the connecting plug under the steering wheel right above your knees. Bend in and find it out before going for the next step.

Step 2 (Plug it in properly)

As there are many OBD scanners, you may have a corded one or a wireless OBD scanner. Either way, the connecting socket will have the same mechanism and the same type of holes to hook in. Align the ports and push it into the OBD port on your car; if it’s wireless, connect it to the device or phone. 

Step 3 (Start and diagnosis)

After plugging in the scanner, start the car first, and push the scanner’s start button to start the diagnosis. You can specify what to scan for and give it some time to grab the car’s data and show it on the screen. If it’s a scanner that only has codes to read, you can record the data and go for the next step. 

Step 4 (Interpret the codes)

If you don’t understand the indication codes on the screen, transfer the data into a computer or your phone. There are specialized software and websites that can interpret the codes that make sense to you. Use them for understanding them in simple language to take necessary actions. After the diagnosis, you can clear the scanner’s codes and turn the car off before erasing the codes. 

Benefits Of Using An Automotive Diagnostic Scanner?

Using an automotive diagnostic scanner comes with many advantages and benefits that will ease your life in so many ways. Here are the most beneficial aspects of using an automotive diagnostic scanner to diagnose your vehicle’s problems: 

Saves time and money

If you have to go to the mechanic every time you encounter your car’s problems, it can get nasty. It’s both costly to hire a mechanic to diagnose your car, and it may take hours for proper diagnosis of the car. If you have an OBD 2 scanner tool, you can easily diagnose the car yourself. You can do it on the go within a few minutes and simultaneously save fortune and time.

Checking for serious problems in advance

If a problem in your car goes unseen for a long time, it’s most likely to have a serious problem one day. The biggest advantage of using an automotive diagnostic scanner is that you can diagnose the problem in advance. You can easily detect the issue before it becomes worse to cost you more than it should. Avoiding bigger problems and taking prior actions are possible if you use an OBD scanner. 

It’s an easy tool to operate

There are many types of OBD scanners available in the market that may come hard on yourself only with codes on the screen. However, there are OBD tools available with an easy user interface, similar to operating a phone. You can use one of them if you’re not technically sound about the car’s different problem codes. 

Portable diagnosis tool

No matter how small the problem is, diagnostics of a faulty car require the owner to go to a mechanic. However, with an OBD 2 scanner, you can now check the car anywhere at any given time you want. You can even test the car while driving on the road and get live data with animated UI. 

The perfect tool for DIYer

If you’re a DIYer who loves doing everything, getting an automotive diagnostic scanner will be the best decision ever. You can easily find out the problems with your car using it and resolve it if it’s repairable by you. For example, if it requires a little replacement part, you can go ahead and replace it by yourself! 

It’s compatible with any vehicle

One of the biggest advantages of using an automotive diagnostic scanner is that you can use it with any car you may upgrade to! The rule of getting the automotive diagnostic system in the US is that manufacturers have to put a 16-pin connector for the scanner. You can hook the scanner on any car as they all have the 16-pin connector. 

You can have wireless connectivity

Although the manufacturers cannot change the 16-pin connector, the scanners’ manufacturers can do their development! With technological advancements like Bluetooth and wifi, you can now find wireless automotive diagnostic scanners. Connect a dongle to the 16-pin connector and connect the tab/device or your phone to that for scanning. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions about using automotive diagnostic scanners to detect issues with vehicles that you should know about:

What Is The Difference Between OBD And Obd2?

The OBD 1 was in the early stage of the invention of the automotive diagnostic scanners in the early days. The OBD 2 is compatible with wireless connectivity and remote operation.

Can You Drive With OBD Plugged In?

Yes, you can drive your vehicle while the OBD device or dongle is plugged into the car. However, don’t erase diagnosis codes while the car is running; stop the car if you want to. 

Can You Start A Car With OBD2? 

Although it’s not the standard way to start a car; but, yes, it’s possible to start the engine with the OBD 2 port. With the proper tool and the knowledge, the OBD 2 scanner can start the car. 

Final Thought

Using an OBD 2 scanner can be pretty handy if you understand your car’s problems and resolve them in advance. However, you must know how to use automotive diagnostic scanners and how to get the readings properly. You can hook the OBD 2 scanner into the connector and start the car’s diagnosis to find out all the problems in a few minutes. After the diagnosis and code interpretation, you can erase the codes. Don’t forget to turn the car off before you erase the codes from the scanner.

How To Use Automotive Diagnostic Scanners In 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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