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28 Apr 2014
The obd2 scanning tools are a must-have for any passionate and responsible car owner. Even though on-board diagnostics (OBD) have been around for some time, many people do not know they even exist until they see the check engine light or the oil warning light on the dashboard. And while the OBD does let you know something is amiss, it does not tell you much more than that; so turn these very useful resources to diagnose the issue: obd2 scanning tools.

Difference Between an obd2 Code Reader and an obd2 Scan Tool
It is important to note that there is a difference between a simple code reader and an obd2 scanning tool. An code reader works the same way but all it will do is look for those codes that your vehicle's PCM might have stored. It will not do any other functions and generally will not give any explanation to the codes. The obd2 scanning tool will allow you to get the codes, look them up, and also investigate the issues at a deeper level.

How to Use Automotive Scan Tools
Automotive scan tools will allow to you run a diagnostics check on your engine to get a better idea of what exactly is going on under the hood. To begin, you will need to plug in the scan tool and hook it up to the OBD output, which is usually located under the dash or under the steering column near the pedals. Turn the key so that the vehicle is on, but make sure you do not start the engine. Follow the onscreen instructions, which will ask you to input make, model, VIN and other information so the machine knows what to compare your vehicle against during the scan.

Using Your Scan Tool to Check For Trouble Codes
Your vehicle, if it is new enough, will have a powertrain control module (PCM), or a mini computer like set up under the hood. When there are problems with your car and that indicator light has come on, the PCM records special codes that relate to the issues that caused the OBD light to come on. With the obd2 scanning tool you can check to see if any of these trouble codes were recorded. The scanner will display these codes and some devices will even explain what each code is right on the screen. These can really help save time and can be a great way to avoid ‘phantom' issues that happen and then disappear as soon as the vehicle is at the mechanics, only to happen again a day or two later.

View Real Time Data on Your Automotive Scan Tools
The automotive scanning tool allows you to test out the workings of the engine and other components and look at things like engine temperature, fuel levels, belt timing, oxygen-sensor function, rpm and many other common trouble areas. And you can do it in real time.  Pro-grade scanning tools are equipped with a very handy graphic function that will allow you or the mechanic to watch several onscreen parameters at the same time when the engine is on and running. You can watch how the water or air temperatures spike while the car is running and can see how the main problem could be related to an issues three steps back in the process.

It is easy to see why you need to buy scanning tools online for auto work and troubleshooting. The OBD system goes a long way and the PCM is a big help, but neither one is sufficient to do a good job without the help of the obd2 scanner.


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