An OBD2 scanner is used by a car owner every time he or she takes his or her car for a tune-up or even replaces an air filter. But a scanner has many more uses than looking at engine lights. It can help you diagnose your car’s problems and give you useful data on diagnostic trouble codes (DTC). With a car code reader, you can easily open up the car engine compartment and get information on the trouble codes associated with various components of the car.
There are two kinds of OBD2 scanners available today in the market. One is the portable version which you can mount on a car cradle or handheld computer, the second is the stationary machine that is plugged into an AC source and can read the diagnostic data from over 20 inches of cable. Most of these units come with ready to use diagnostic cards and software that you can load on your computer and follow the prompts. Whether you are about to go to a dealer’s car-service center or some third-party automotive repair shop, you must be equipped with as much information about your car’s system as possible before you get taken advantage of, so that you will not be cheated of your money.
Some portable OBD2 scanners come with Bluetooth features. This feature enables the handheld unit to connect to Bluetooth enabled mobile phones and PDAs without the need for any cables. The Bluetooth connection allows you to transfer data between the computer and the scanner, between the scanner and the OBDII decoders inside the car or between the OBD scanner and an accessory. Some of the latest models of handheld OBD2 scanners have video outputs, which allow you to monitor what is going on inside your car. The video output is helpful when you can’t be right there in front of the car to notice every single symptom.
The OBD2 scanners have built-in OBD cable connections. The cables connect the handheld unit to the computer or to any OBDII decoder. Most modern handheld OBD2 scanners plug directly into a cigarette lighter port, while others have a dock connector which is perfect for cars with cigarette lighter sockets. With a portable handheld OBD2 scanner, you will never miss the bus or the red light because you are always with your hand.
Manufacturers of car diagnostic tools have long been working on new designs and improved methods of communication. However, one of the first portable OBD2 scanners to be released was the “RFID Target”. Since then, we’ve seen handheld devices that can communicate with OBD code readers, work independently, and connect to personal computers. These scanners now often include two devices that are designed to communicate with each other and the computer. One device contains the necessary software to read the engine control codes, while another acts as the OBD2 scanner and automatically enters those codes as they are read by the first device.
Some handheld OBD2 scanners actually contain hardware that allows them to identify specific vehicles. The “Altec Lansing” is one example. It contains two OBD-related chips, one of which contains a dedicated OBD-specific serial port. When this device is connected to a computer, it can be used to identify the emission level as well as to initiate a code check. Some handheld OBD2 scanners include additional useful features, such as auto up/down control and auto scan feature.
Other devices that have been introduced to handheld OBD2 scanners include Bluetooth Low Energy. A Bluetooth Low Energy (BLetooth Low Emission) scanner can read a car’s electrical system data and can determine if a car needs to be serviced or not. However, Bluetooth Low Energy scanners are still at the discovery stage, thus some car models are still not compatible with certain Bluetooth Low Energy enabled handsets. The most recent Bluetooth Smart Devices can be used to scan and identify all kinds of automobiles, regardless of their manufacturers. Therefore, it is very important to make sure that you are buying a handheld OBD2 scanner that is compatible with your handheld computer or smartphone. Most handheld OBD2 Scanners will work with any smartphone that has been equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy technology.
A popular handheld OBD2 scanner in the market today is the Turnigiance OBD2 Wireless Smartphone OBD. The Turnigiance OBD2 Wireless Smartphone OBD scanner from the brand has an LCD screen, an auto scan feature, and a built-in diagnostic mode that help the user to identify potential problems associated with the car’s airbag and/or the engine. With a lifetime warranty and a plethora of useful functions, the Turnigiance OBD2 Wireless Smartphone OBD scanner is one of the best on the market today.