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How to Use an OBD2 Scanner

OBD means On-Board Diagnostic, which is a system that can observe the performance of your car engine and emission system as well. In addition, during the observation, it can record data and report any issues it detects. You can simply find out what problem you are getting from your car. 

Indeed, OBD2 Scanner confers the best services, but many car owners find it challenging to use. If you are one of them, this write-up is for you. After reading the article, you’ll perceive that it’s simpler than you thought. 

However, in this article, we have shown the step-by-step guideline to use an OBD2 Scanner. Moreover, it also has been demonstrated why types of OBD2 Scanner are available and what things you should consider while purchasing an OBD2 Scanner for your car. So stay with us and keep reading.

What is an OBD2 Scanner? 

What is an OBD2 Scanner?

What is an OBD2 Scanner?

A car is a composition of several instruments and mechanical parts that requires service and maintenance on a regular basis. We usually bring our vehicle to a car repair shop whenever it necessitates service. 

But the major concern is that they make us dope and charge extra and irrelevant bills as most of us have no idea about car problems. So, we have nothing to do except believe them. To get rid of all the issues, You can use an OBD2 car scanner. 

OBD2 Scanner is a device that can inspect all your car’s difficulties, analyze your vehicle’s engine, and observe the overall performance. That’s why you’ll be up to know all the time about the condition of your car. In short, for a car owner, this gadget is a blessing. 

There are 3 types of OBD2 Scanner available. Those are OBDLink MX+, BlueDriver, and FIXD. In the below segment, we have given the individual description of each one. 

Types of OBD2 Scanner

The most popular OBD2 Scanners are OBDLink MX+, BlueDriver, and Fixd. Below, we have shown a detail between OBDLink MX+ Vs fixd vs bluedriver

  • OBDLink MX+

The OBDlink MX+ is an OBD2 car scanner that holds Bluetooth 3.0 based OBD2 adapter to make out your car. It takes only 3 minutes to scan all the difficulties of your car and provide you with a comprehensive report.

Due to its real-time observance facility, it becomes advantageous for every user. The other best side of the drive is, 128-bit data encryption has been used on it; thus, none will be able to check or steal your report.

  • BlueDriver

This car scanner is considered a robust and popular OBD2 scanner with a Bluetooth interface. Consequently, you’ll be up to connecting the device with your Android or iOS smartphone. To run and operate the device, all you have to do is just attach the BlueDriver to the OBD2 port of the car.

When the device is connected, it will link all the mechanical moving parts of your car and find if there is any error. As the device depicts all the data in real-time, you can inspect the condition of your car before kicking off any journey.

  • Fixd

Among all the car analyzing devices available on the market nowadays, Fixd is the best one because of its user-friendliness. It has become prevalent among car drivers as it perfectly runs with any type of vehicle manufactured after 1996.

In addition, a high-quality sensor has been used on it that can identify more than 7000 car problems that your car may confront. Using the Fixd app and device, you can monitor 5 different vehicles simultaneously. It takes only 5 minutes to analyze any issue your vehicle currently has. 

How To Use an OBD2 Scanner [Step-By-Step Guideline]

How To Use an OBD2 Scanner

How To Use an OBD2 Scanner

Using an OBD2 is simpler than you think that I have mentioned earlier. Here we’ll show the entire procedure step-by-step. 

Step-1: Find The Diagnostic Link Connector

Find the Diagnostic Link Connector [DLC] of your car on the left side of the driver’s dashboard, which is underneath the steering column. It is usually covered with a flap or door. 

Step-2: Attach Your OBD2 Scanner to The DLC

After finding the Diagnostic Link Connector, you have to connect your OBD2 Scanner. Before that, make sure that your car is turned off. Now, put the end part of the OBD2 scan tool into the DLC with an OBD2 connector cable. Next, read the scanner instructions on whether you should keep the car ON or not. 

Step-3: Provide The Information Requested On The Scanner-Screen

In this step, you have to provide some information like the VIN[Vehicle Identification Number] required on the scanner screen. You may also need to give other details like engine and model type. To get the VIN, check it in the windshield’s lower corner on the driver’s side.

Step-4: Enter The Scanner Menu for OBD Codes 

Now, access the code scanner menu screen to pick the car system. Choose a system so that the scanner can depict every active and pending code. Keep in mind that the car code scanner or reader display may differ depending on your scanner type. Some will show only a problematic diagnostic trouble code, while others give you a chance to choose which  OBD3 code you want to see. 

Step-5: Figure Out & Perceive The OBD Codes 

In this step, you have to figure out and understand the OBD code to know which letter indicates what problems. The letter in the diagnostic trouble code can be. 

P[Powertrain]– shows issues with the engine, ignition, emission, transmission, and fuel system. 

B[Body]– Indicates airbags, seatbelts, and power steering problems. 

C[Chassis]– Depicts with brake fluid, axles, and anti-lock braking system. 

U[Undefined]– Indicates issues that are not in the level of P, B, and C categories. 

Now, let’s see what the set of numbers indicates.

  • The first number after the letter will indicate you if the identifying trouble code is 0[Generic] or 1[Manufacturer- Specific]
  • The second digit tells an individual vehicle part
  • The last two digits indicate the exact problem

Now, you have to keep the record of the OBD shown by the scanner and turn off the car. After that, disconnect the OBD2 scan tool. 

If your scanner supports it, you can also send your OBD codes to your laptop through USB cables. 

Step-6: Take The Next Step To Trouble Code Diagnosis

The OBD2 scanner will tell you the problem with your car, but it won’t show you how to fix it. So, you have to find out whether the problem is minor or major.

Then you can decide if you have to hire a professional to solve the issue, or you can do it on your own.

Step-7: Reset The Check Engine Light

Once the car issue is solved, ensure that you have turned off the check engine light after driving it for a little while.

You can also use your OBD2 scan tool to remove a code instantly. However, to reset the check engine light, move to the main menu of your OBD2 scanner and look for the check engine light option and then tap on the reset button; that’s it. 

Final Thought

That’s our write-up on how to use an OBD2 Scanner. Hopefully, you have found it easy and perceived how it could be simply used. In short, look for the Diagnostic Link Connector, connect it to the OBD2 scanner port and then provide the information that is asked by the scanner.

Once you have provided the data, it will start scanning your car problem and give you some letter code that indicates different problems. To understand the code, you can check out the above segment.

After that, plug out the OBD2 from the DLC, and note down the code shown on the screen of the OBD2 reader. Now, give your car to a repair shop and fix the problem that the scanner has identified. That’s it.

David Muench (Carnes Mechanical)

David Muench (Carnes Mechanical)

Hey, I’m David. I’ve worked in a cars store for 6 years. I write reviews and guides, helping people to choose the most suitable technicals and best product for them. I’m happy to finally share my knowledge of the industry here, on CarnesMechanical.

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