If you own a car in the US, you need to invest in an OBD (On Board Diagnostics) scan tool. On-board Diagnostics II is mandatory for all vehicles in the country, and it’s not surprising to find a wide range of tools in the market. In terms of definition, an OBD2 scan tool is basically an automotive diagnostic scanner, which warns the driver of any problem in the car. It works by reading the messages that are sent by the on-board diagnostic system of the concerned vehicle.
Wondering how to buy the best automotive diagnostic scanner? We have a few pointers for quick help!
Basic code reader vs. Feature oriented units
Many car owners don’t really bother about buying high-end OBD2 scan tools, mainly because they consider it as an obligation. An automotive diagnostic scanner is an extremely handy tool and can help in saving time, money and energy in unexpected situations. You have two distinct choices – a basic code reader and a higher-end unit. The basic models are just okay in terms of functionality, and if you are low on budget, one of these should fit the bill. Higher-end units are more popular with professionals and can detect a lot of additional problems, such as
- Issues with the antilock brake systems and airbags
- Data logging and storage. You can even get real-time information about all aspects on the drive, including performance levels and important sensors.
- Complete display of all sorts of diagnostic codes onscreen
Of course, these are just some of the common things that the higher-end units have. You can always check for more options, and the price will be in accordance to these features.
Ideally, it is best to set a budget for your purchase, before you start looking for options. OBD2 scanners from certain brands tend to be more expensive, but the price difference is always justified. If the price and discount is your concern, you can always check online on websites like Amazon, where you can find some really cool offers. Also, there are many portals, where some of the top rated and known models have been reviewed in detail, with all the pros and cons. Make sure that you check some of these expert reviews, to understand the technicalities better.
Things to note
Compatibility is an important factor for choosing OBD2 scanners. You need to ensure that the model selected will work for all the vehicles that you use at work and office. Check the operating system and features in detail before taking the final call. Also, low cost scanners may not come with additional updates. This is the precise reason, why buyers often opt for better OBD2 scanners, which can be updated as required. These updates can be free or chargeable, depending on the brand and the kind of support it offers.
Take a moment to check all kinds of OBD2 scanners that fit your budget, and based on your needs, you can always select one that has the maximum features and is suited for your vehicle.