An OBD-II scanner has diagnostic trouble codes in its system. The code might not be the same for all the vehicles, but they are somehow similar regarding processing. However, the car manufacturers usually agree on similar codes which make it easier to follow the results given by the scanner. A car mechanic will only have to connect the scanner to the car through the OBD-II port, and he can read the trouble codes that show up on the screen. This way they can find out the exact issue with the car and start working on it immediately. OBD-II systems are standardized which makes it simple to use. The connectors in all the scanners are same.

You can find the OBD-II scanner port at the back of your car’s dashboard above the brake pedal. It will be white or black. The port must be easy to approach by the driver or the mechanic, so there is no need to open up the dashboards and take out pieces of the car to get access.

You can read the diagnostic codes on the screen of the device. Most of the scanners usually come with a handbook which has all the codes in it. If you do not know any code, you can read it from the handbook.

What can an OBD-II scanner do for your vehicle?

The function of an OBD-II scanner depends on the type of scanner you are using. There are two types of OBD-II scanners:

  • Code readers
  • Scan tools

The functionality of both the types of scanners is different. Basic code readers only read the codes and clear the codes. The simple code readers draw power from the OBD-II connection; which means it turns on as soon as you plug it in. It will then tell you about the codes, display the basic parameter IDs and check the readiness monitors. The capacity of one reader may vary from device to device. However, do not forget to save or write the codes before you clear them from the device. However, the advanced form of scanners which is the scan tool can view the live data and also record the data at the same time. It provides extensive knowledge about the vehicle along with access to the bi-directional tests and controls with further advanced functionality.

However, all the OBD-II scanners are designed to fulfill the basic requirements including the ability to read and clear the trouble codes. These scanners also have the capacity to check all the pending and soft codes that did not lead to activation of check engine light yet. All kinds of information that comes from the sensors of the scanner can be seen on the screen of an OBD-II scanner. Some of the advanced level scanners also provide information about parameter IDs and give access to readiness monitors. Some of the advanced scan tools also include modules and keys which augment universal connectors to access and interact with OEM-specific controls.

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