A scan tool is a gadget that is used to diagnose the damage of the engine. If you're a beginner in doing DIY repairs for your vehicle, having this tool around will definitely make your life much easier. Apart from giving you convenience, this useful gadget will also save you both time and money. Thanks to this invention, you don't have to spend hours in the garage tinkering with the engine components just to find what the source of the problem is. In fact, this tool will only take a few minutes before it comes up with results. Instead of taking your car to the mechanic for a checkup, you can easily do the diagnosis in the comforts of your own home and after a while, you'll be able to determine if the damage is grave or minor. To learn more about this helpful gadget, here's a quick guide to help you.
Types of Scan Tools
There are different types of scan tools available in the market, so you should be careful when buying one and make sure that you get what's compatible with your ride. Though they follow a simple, pin-out design, they vary in terms of the socket that they use to connect with a vehicle. Here are the two main types of scan tools:
- OBD-1 - OBD stands for On Board Diagnostics. The OBD-1 scan tool has a large socket and it's compatible with vehicles that were manufactured before 1990.
- OBD-2 - OBD-2 scan tools, on the other hand, are more compatible with newer vehicles.
Tips for Buying Scan Tools
- If you have more than one car, you can always buy a tool that comes with more than one adapter to save money.
- Always buy from a brand that you can trust to ensure quality and reliability.
- When buying a new one, prepare around $100 to $500 to make sure that you buy from a good brand.
Simple Steps to Use a Scan Tool
Here's a basic and general guide on how to use scan tools in determining the damage of your engine.
Step 1: Get the adapter and plug it onto the car's computer socket. Once it's plugged, turn the ignition to the .on. position but do not start it.
Step 2: After that, turn the tool on and wait for it to communicate with your car's computer. When it's done loading, it should display a code on the screen.
Step 3: When the code appears, write it down or reference it to the repair manual. These codes are accumulated over time and should remain in your car computer's memory unless the battery has been disconnected from the vehicle.
Step 4: The meaning of the codes vary from one vehicle make and model to another, so you need to look specifically for your car when checking the manual.
Step 5: Once you've found your exact vehicle match from the manual, find the code that was displayed in the scan tool and see what the damage of your engine is.