The best way to save money on car repairs is to do the work yourself. If you’re not handy with tools, don’t worry because there are tools to help you. The OBDII scanner is now a useful tool to help diagnose hundreds of issues with vehicle sensors and modules. Electronic components are the biggest repair expenses that you can pay as a vehicle owner apart from replacing your engine or transmission.
The history of OBD II scan tools stretches back to the late 1970s. Car manufacturers began developing electronics technologies that could be used to signal a component failure. The growth in technology during the 1980s helped produce semiconductors that are now an important part of the automotive industry. The onboard diagnostic scanners are now one of the easiest ways that can be used to detect any type of auto problem.
How to Choose a Code Reader
Not all OBDII scan tools are created alike. Some are expensive and perform many functions. This does not mean that the device will work with your vehicle. You must first determine the parameters that can be processed through your device. The most basic type is OBD technology. This was used on vehicles until the 1989 year. Most basic readers and advanced readers can read standard OBD codes.
When choosing a reader, be sure to find out if the device that you’re researching offers one of the following compatible bus code technology installed:
6. SAE Standard
Most manufacturer specs will reveal the OBD scan code type that is able to read basic and advanced parameter IDs. The Society of Automotive Engineers developed the J/1979 parameters although some automakers are now assigning different codes to specific automobile brands. The onboard scanner that you choose must be able to read the error codes that are displayed from your vehicle.
The OBDII series of PIDs was created after 1985. This technology is now the standard in most vehicles that are less than 30 years of age. The updated electronics sensors that some automakers are using rely on separate technologies. The CAN series was developed during the 2008 year and is now the most commonly used among domestic and foreign automakers.
Onboard Diagnostic Tool Software
When you’ve selected the scanner you’ll use, it’s best to make sure that you do not need to purchase software. Some companies package the devices with company supplied software. This software may or may not be compatible with all personal or laptop computers. The learning curve that is required with some software could be too much for the average person. There are now basic software packages that work with Microsoft Windows computers.
Internet technologies have been incorporated into some auto diagnostic scan tools. The Bluetooth technologies that exist in some scan tools makes it easier to share data with computers or other decoding devices. Apple iPhone is one example of a modern smartphone that has applications available to work with Bluetooth. The auto scan tool that you select could offer wireless connectivity or require a USB or parallel cable for connections.
How to Save Money Buying OBD2 Scanners
Some retailers offering auto parts rarely discount the sale price. This can make the research process more difficult. You can save money when you research the purchase of an auto scan tool. There are now retailers offering discounts under the list price. The price range for retailers providing sale pricing can range from $10 to $250 per unit. The low end devices are basic readers and might not feature different ID parameters like more expensive units.
Getting the best deal for an automotive scanner does take some work on your part. You have to know where to buy as well as what the cost of shipping will be. There are retailers that are offering low cost or free shipping. Many auto owners buy more than one scan tool to help with diagnostics when these types of incentives are offered. The type of scanner that you select should give you many years of uninterrupted usage with your vehicles.
Warranties for OBD II Code Readers
After you’ve selected your reader, it is helpful to know the warranty of each device. There are companies that provide a 30-day warranty and some that provide up to 3 years. Many code readers that are produced in foreign countries and sold in the U.S. provide a basic warranty. This is essential to know before you spend your money on any type of diagnostic device. Software can fail or a device could malfunction during your ownership. Getting the specs on a warranty after you’ve researched the retailer and purchase price can help you.
This best OBDII scanner price guide was created for automotive owners with any level of experience. Performing your own auto repairs is possible with a great auto scan tool. Whether you need an standard OBD or newer type of technology, you should now have the information that is needed to help you get the best unit online. Learning how to use an auto scan tool will help you cut out the cost of auto repairs.