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how to use obd II scanner

how to use obd II scanner

If you're reading this, you've probably just invested in or are considering investing in an OBD automotive diagnostic tool.

Here's how to use obd II scanner tool.

How to get started with this tool

To get started, you need to plug in the OBD scanner, which is easy: just find the OBD-II connector under your dashboard.


Then turn on the ignition without starting your engine.

Most automotive diagnostic tools ask a lot of questions. It's important to enter the right data, as this then impacts their ability to identify the problem.

A series of messages will appear on your display, asking you to enter the make and model of your car, as well as your engine power and serial number (VIN).

Check all of this information carefully before proceeding, as it allows the diagnostic tool to identify your vehicle.

After entering your information

You have just entered the various information: then let the tool carry out its diagnosis. One of the first suggestions is probably to scan for trouble codes, do it immediately.

Depending on the tool you have, there are different options available to you. Some of the (more expensive) models are equipped with an on-board system that scans for trouble codes and then tells you what the code means. The more affordable models will tell you a code, and then you have to look up the meaning of the code in the documents provided. You can also search for the meaning of codes on the internet.

Let the tool continue to diagnose and, in some cases, solve problems it has just identified.

Different tools, different services

We have described above the options of the basic scanners, but there are more expensive models that offer you more options for more in-depth research. For example, some models display a detailed menu when you leave the scanner plugged in.


In this case, you will be able to browse through the codes identified by the scanner, which will provide you with even more information about the problem you are experiencing, all in real time.

Finally, professional scanners also provide mechanics and technicians with a variety of graphs that combine information from different sensors at any given time.

This allows them to determine the cause of the failure and its origin, so they can resolve it quickly. However, these options are only available on the most advanced models, but to get the most out of them, it is also preferable that you are able to understand the various graphs.

Overall, using self-diagnostic tools is fairly straightforward. Just connect them and follow the instructions on the screen.

You may also want to delegate this task to a professional to make sure that everything is done correctly. On Autobutler you can receive 3 quotes for a diagnosis. If you already have them, enter the fault codes, if necessary.