Gone are the days when you had to crank start your vintage car. Today in the age of electronics we talk about engine electronics, transmission electronics, chassis electronics and much more. On one hand, electronic systems have added to the increasing cost of the vehicles. It has brought a tremendous revolution in the history of automobiles. No doubt this has made our lives easier. Earlier, diagnosis of a faulty engine was a task, however today it can be done easily with a lot of precision. Thanks to the diagnostic scan tool used for this purpose.
To understand how this tool works, we need to first understand some other details. Let me tell you we are going to explore a different dimension altogether. So let’s get started.
Since the introduction of OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) in the early 80’s where the manufacturers began using electronic means to control engine functions and diagnose engine problems, the technology was only restricted to comply with emission standards. the drawback of the early OBD was that a mechanic had to buy different diagnostic tools for every different make and model. However, with the advancement of technology and with the introduction of OBD-II there was a major revolution in the automobile industry again. All the vehicles manufactured in Australia were required to be OBD-II compliant after January 1, 2006. So with the introduction of OBD-II, you can get a lot of information through the ECU (Engine Control Unit) about your vehicle.
With all that said, obtaining valuable information from your cars ECU requires a diagnostic scan tool. There are a lot of handheld stand-alone scanning tools available in the market. You can connect your smartphone to the scanning tool using Bluetooth or WiFi and get the information from the cars ECU. There are apps that also allow you to save the diagnosis results for later analysis.
These are different kinds of scanning tools. There are basic code readers that not only help you to interface and diagnose the problem, whereas the enhanced scanning tools help you to reprogram vehicle control modules. This is essential in today’s world because there are a lot of features that we deal with in our cars that did not exist before. Cars or vehicles are not just restricted to a few simple parts or a simple mechanism as we all know.
There are a few things that you need to understand before you buy any such tool eg. Whether you are looking for OBD-II generic tool or OBD-II enhanced scan tool. If you already have one and you are looking to replace it, what is it that you are looking for?. Are you looking for the same functionalities or you want the one with additional features. There is a major difference between the DIY scan tool and Pro scan tools. Most DIY tools do not come with bidirectional communications capacity. Bidirectional scan tools unlike the generic ones not only display data but also give commands to the car’s operating system.
So next time when the ‘ check engine’ light turns on and you know there is some problem. It’s only a diagnostic scan tool that can help you figure it out.
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