Diagnostic Tools and Code Readers
If you work on a fleet of cars, it’s absolutely essential that you equip your code reader with the right software. All too often code readers are used as just another scanner. They scan for problems but when it comes to actually displaying or fixing the problem, they’re less than stellar at their job. You don’t want just any software reading your car’s sensors and emitting a bunch of false alarms. You want only the correct code to do your job correctly, read your sensors, and determine what the problem is.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when buying a code reader. First, find a scanner that can scan both standard and OEM style engines. It will take more time but you’ll have the added protection of knowing that it has the right software and understands OEM and standard engines. Secondly, find a scanner that supports multiple platforms including Windows CE, Windows NT, Mac OS, and Linux.
Most modern code readers come with error detection and troubleshooting tools. These tools are essential for users as they allow you to scan for codes and diagnose the problem more accurately. Some scanners even have check engine light detectors which allow you to troubleshoot codes without having to visually check the trouble code yourself.
Don’t let trouble codes delay your ability to get to work. A reliable code reader will allow you to work on your vehicle anytime day or night because the codes won’t affect your ability to safely operate the vehicle. Some unscrupulous dealers and personal injury attorneys use “secret” codes to harm plaintiffs. These codes supposedly allow them to circumvent the statute of limitations so that they can file lawsuits over malpractice. Don’t let shady salespeople take advantage of you.
A quality code reader will also allow you to scan multiple databases. Some scanners read one source of codes, such as the Vehicle Identification Number (V.I.N.) code book, and others read multiple sources, such as the National Vehicle Code Book. In fact, some vehicle check engine lights and other diagnostic codes are better checking using more than one scanning tool.
When you call a code reader, the first step is to identify a service center that can help you. Then, tell the representative the make and model of your vehicle, as well as whether or not it is currently experiencing any problems with its electrical system or fuel system. Next, tell the representative what type of codes your car is experiencing, whether it’s a warning light, a fire engine, or a code for an issue with the transmission. The representative may also ask you to do a quick visual inspection of the vehicle, such as turning the ignition and looking in the backseat. In order to determine the accuracy of the scan tool, be sure to give the representative everything you want to know. For example, if you notice a crack in the interior of your vehicle, tell the mechanic you don’t see any damage in the dashboard, and then take note of where the crack is.
Once you find a trusted repair shop, purchase the code reader and scan your car. The scanner will show you all the codes that are present on your car, which will include the code for each repair part. After the code reader has scanned your vehicle, the technician should provide you with a paper copy of the scan results. If you don’t see anything in the results, or if the scan was faulty, ask for another code reader or take the report to another shop to have it looked at.
code readers and other diagnostic tools are a great way to catch problems before they turn into large repairs. Most consumers don’t know how to check their vehicles for potential problems, so having these tools available is a good practice. These devices can help save you money by making it possible to pinpoint the problem quickly so you can get it repaired and back on the road quickly. You can purchase these devices for as little as $100, but they usually come with a one year guarantee and lifetime warranty. Shop around and find a trusted manufacturer, and make sure you buy from a company that offers support after you purchase the device.