As we know, diagnosis is the main purpose of OBD. When the car's sensors determine that there is a problem, they trigger a message called a "fault code," which may be displayed as a "check engine" light or other warnings on the dashboard. The OBD scanner can check these fault codes to determine the exact problems and clear them from the computer memory after the problem is resolved. Data recorders can be used to track more mundane things, such as fuel economy, but they can also record single lap time and power output.
When to use it?
1.When the "check engine" light is on: remember the indicator that seems to be on even if the engine is not disconnected. A simple little light indicates that many different problems may occur somewhere in your engine, gearbox or exhaust system. If you want to understand the light rather than just ignore it, the diagnostic tool will complete the task.
2.Record vehicle performance / statistics: some high-end automotive diagnostic tools can not only read engine codes, but also do more. More advanced tools allow real-time data measurement of automotive systems to help you fine tune settings.
How to use on-board diagnostic device to detect vehicles?
1.Insert the diagnostic tool into the OBD-II port
The diagnostic tool downloads data from the vehicle's on-board diagnostic (OBD-II) port. The universal access port will give you access to almost everything that the vehicle has detected in terms of problems.
- Insert the end connector into the vehicle's OBD-II port. Ensure that the installation is firm and safe so that the tool can communicate with the vehicle's on-board computer.
- Start the car. If your vehicle stores the car code in memory, there is no need to start the engine. If the engine needs to be started, the on-board computer can monitor its operation in real time, so you must start the car completely.
2.Read the car code
The golden key to the diagnosis process is a specific code created when the vehicle detects a problem. The diagnostic tool can download and read these codes, so you can refer to what is invalid.
- Open the diagnostic tool. The basic tool should have a simple power button somewhere on the device. If you have a Bluetooth enabled diagnostic tool, turn on the device from where it is plugged into the port without automatically turning on the device.
- Access the diagnostic scanner. Some scanners, once powered on, will automatically start reading the car code. Others may have buttons or menu items to start the process. You will have to access a compatible application to use a Bluetooth enabled scanner. Some come with their own applications, while others are compatible with third-party applications. If you are using it for the first time on a new vehicle, you may need to enter the VIN code of the vehicle in the scanner.
- Record the data. When the scan is complete (usually within a few seconds), it will display any specific fault or error codes that were read. Some scanners store code for you, download it to your computer / website, or interpret it directly from the screen. Most scanner applications for Bluetooth enabled scanners are connected to the diagnostic service, which will provide you with more information.
3.Interpret the data
- Search for fault codes online. Simply search the code to get the information you need from the car or manufacturer's website.
- Use special software. Some third-party computer programs can download fault codes from diagnostic tools and read information directly from desktop or laptop computers.
- Read the information directly from the diagnostic tool. The high-end diagnostic tool will provide you with a code description on the device screen.
- Solve the problem yourself. If you have some skills and experience in vehicle maintenance, your fault code should provide a good starting point for finding and solving problems. Keep in mind that a fault code alert is not always associated with the part in question, but can be a symptom of another problem.
- Employ professional technicians. Whether you're inexperienced or a problem-solving tool yourself, it's a wise idea to consider hiring a professional mechanic. Yes, some car repairs are expensive, but you can easily spend more money on special tools or fix your mistakes.