Some car owners prefer to purchase a diagnostic scanner specifically to diagnose and monitor their own truck or car for issues before they head to a mechanic. This allows them to get a realistic idea in terms of cost and it can also prevent the car owner from being taken advantage of if they have little knowledge concerning car trouble issues. Using this type of device is incredibly simple. Just plug the device into your car and it’ll read computer codes which help diagnose the issues your vehicle is having. Some types of scanners can also read a variety of other sensors in the car that allow you to get a better idea of how your car is functioning, including fuel pressure, airbags and airflow rate.
The Basics of Auto Scanner Tools
There are many types of scanners, some are pretty basic and will only read certain codes and may only be compatible with a limited range of vehicles produced after a specific year. Because you’re likely to see an extensive line of scanners available online, it’s recommended that you do a little research and learn more about the extra features some models have to offer in order to determine which features you desperately need and which features you can totally do without. Obviously, the more features a scanner is equipped with the higher the price tag is likely to be.
A diagnostic scanner is designed to read codes that are generated by a vehicle’s computer. These results will tell the user why the check engine light has turned on and where there are other problems with the car. A scanning device can also turn alarm or warning lights off because these sensors can be somewhat of an annoyance to drivers. New models of scanners will not only work to diagnose car issues, but they can also offer a large variety of info about a car including the temp of a car’s coolant and airflow levels. While a mechanic will use this type of scanner in order to diagnose car problems, there’s no reason why the average car owner can’t use one as well.
Hardwired or Wireless Auto Scanners
With wireless devices, there are a number of ways to use scanners that are simple to read and understand and easy to use. You don’t have to be a mechanic to figure out why a check engine light is on. These diagnostic scanners will read a car’s computer and inform the user concerning what the vehicle’s problems are before the user takes the car to a mechanic and spends money for parts or repairs.
Older versions of scanners will display the results on the scanner itself while some newer models are Bluetooth-compatible and can be used with smartphones and tablets.
A traditional type of scanner plugs into the port inside the car, which is usually located beneath the dash or near the steering wheel. This port is referred to as an OBD 2 connector. Once you turn the key the reader will begin to scan the car’s computer. The instructions are easy to follow and are displayed right on the screen.
With today’s technology, scanners have been designed with more modern features. A wireless mode is inexpensive and compact, taking up much less space than plug-in models. These scanners use wireless technology to read your car’s computer and the results are displayed on your PC, tablet or smartphone.
If you’re a loyal Apple user, there are specific models that are compatible with MACs and iOS devices. Special software is used to diagnose a car’s problems and the info is displayed on a compatible device including MAC desktops, iPads, and iPhones. These programs will include a database of what some of the codes mean, so it’ll be easy to figure out the issues by making a few clicks. Once the software has been installed any Apple device can be used to determine what the commands mean.
While some basic models simply scan for codes, others will perform a number of services. There are also some pretty innovative extra features that make the whole process significantly easier. These features include multi-language options, compatibility with a large number of vehicles, larger display screens and a variety of software options. Other extra features include fuel system status, coolant temperature, fuel pressure and engine RPM. These extra features allow the user to know more than just what a trouble code means because they can also help you to diagnose other issues as well. High-end models allow the user to print code history and code lists, info regarding a truck or car that a user might be interested in purchasing and basic information such as the VIN number.
When shopping around for a scanner, there are a few factors to consider. First, make sure that the scanner is compatible with your car. The scan tool should also be OBD 2 compliant to work with a large variety of cars and trucks and should be equipped with the standard connector on the dashboard. Additionally, you should purchase the right type of scanner for your electronics platforms such as Android, Windows or Apple.
Benefits of Owning your own Diagnostic Scanning Tool and Pricing
When your check engine light turns on, it can be difficult to narrow down the exact problem. With a diagnostic scanner, it takes mere seconds to determine what issues you’re looking. If you enjoy fixing your car yourself, this type of device is a must-have that can save you hours spent on trial and error. If you don’t like working on cars or don’t have enough experience, a scanner allows you to be informed of the real issues before you take it to a mechanic. This can potentially save you a lot of cash if you don’t know much about car issues and normally put all of your trust into your mechanic.
The price range for one of the models can vary depending on the design of the model and any extra features or software programs included in the package. These extra features will allow you to get a complete look at your car’s diagnostics, which means you’ll stay more informed regarding your car’s condition and any potential safety issues. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $400 based on features and how versatile the scanner is.