Do you get a knot in your stomach every time you turn on your car and see the check engine light lit up? Do you wish you could tell what needed to be done before bringing it to the mechanic or trying to fix the problem yourself? If you’ve worked on cars in the past few years, you know that under the hood, you’ll find just as many electronic components as you will mechanical ones. This is where an OBD2 scanner comes in.
An OBD2 scanner can plug into the port of any vehicle newer than 1996 and receive error codes directly from the car’s computer, allowing you to diagnose problems yourself rather than relying on a costly mechanic. Since these units often cost less than one trip to the mechanic, we think they are a smart buy.
What to Know About OBD2 Scanners Before You Buy
Now that you have options of which OBD2 scanners are the best on the market at affordable prices, you can decide if you want to invest in your own scanner. The alternative is spending money on this service whenever there’s a problem with your car.
If you’re still not sure how to use one, check out this video.
The Benefits of an OBD2 Investment
In this section, we will explain the benefits of owning your very own OBD2 scanner and why it’s important to invest in these modern devices.
We all know that taking our vehicles to mechanics is convenient when we don’t know much about cars, but having an OBD2 scanner can save you that extra bit of cash. Sometimes the problems that cars have are minor and can be solved without using a professional.
As you can see, many of the products mentioned above have alert modes. These can prevent accidents or breakdowns on the side of the road. If you know your car’s diagnostics before going for a drive, it can prevent you from being stuck in the middle of nowhere because you can tend to the problem before it becomes a crisis.
Fortunately for you, you don’t have to be a professional mechanic to use an OBD2 scanner. They’re easy to understand. It’s a vital diagnostic tool that provides you with simple information, helping you get the job done fast.
Who is OBD2 For?
Mechanics care about diagnostic trouble codes as it helps them find the problems inside your vehicle hassle-free.
A nonprofessional may also find the OBD2 useful if you know how to operate one and to connect it to your car. You can then troubleshoot with your own car without the assistance of a mechanic.
How Does OBD2 Data Logging Work?
Basically, all you have to do is connect an OBD2 scanner or data logger to the OBD2 16 pin connector in your car. Using this tool, you can enter “request message” transmitted via the CAN-bus. The relevant ECU then reacts and sends response messages via the CAN-bus.
It’s important to know this because you won’t see OBD2 data if you plug in a silent CAN logger. To log OBD2 response messages, your OBD2 logger must be able to send the request messages.
Reading OBD2 Output
Aside from standard error codes, OBD2 has a broad range of parameter IDs that can be extracted from most regular cars. You can get a readable set of live data on your vehicle to display on a computer system. Some of the data available this way is outside of an OBD2 protocol, such as CAN message between your vehicle’s components..
This means you will need a system that can convert the data or parameters, which is not always available. If you’re not a mechanic and collect cars as a hobby accessing this data can be difficult, resulting in CAN sniffing or hacking.
The OBD2 standard is the most basic and convenient way to access data from your vehicle.
Vehicles can be hard to maintain. The solution: When something goes wrong, and you’re not sure what it is, an OBD2 scanner can help you find the problem before it gets any worse. This saves you:
- Further car damage
It’s a tool for everyone: Male, female, professionals, or hobbyists. Either way, OBD2 scanners are amazing pieces of technology, and they’re inexpensive. Spend a little money and enjoy owning a car a lot more, thanks to your OBD2 scanner.