Onboard Diagnostics II (OBD-II) is a standardized system that onboard computers in cars and trucks use for self-diagnostics and reporting. This system grew out of Californa Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations, and it was implemented with specifications that were developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
Unlike earlier, OEM-specific OBD-I systems, OBD-II systems use the same communication protocols, code designations, and connectors from one manufacturer to another. This allows a single OBD-II scanner to provide access to the data that these systems are capable of providing across all makes and models of vehicles produced since 1996, which was the first model year that OBD-II was required across the board.
Types of OBD-II Scanners
There are 2 basic classes of OBD-II scanners that you’ll stumble upon.
OBD-II code readers are sometimes cheap, essential devices which will scan and clear codes from any vehicle that’s equipped with OBD-II. These devices have some inherent limitations therein they sometimes lack any data on manufacturer-specific codes and provide restricted (or no) access to different knowledge.
OBD-II scan tools are dearer, and that they offers a range of various options. Scan tools could give a lot of access to or data concerning manufacturer-specific codes, giveintensive, customizable access to measure and recorded knowledge and provide advanced troubleshooting data, which can be seen in the car stereo screen
What will an OBD-II Scanner Do?
The practicality of associate degree OBD-II scanner depends on whether or not it’s a basic “code reader” or a a lot of advanced “scan tool.” Basic code browseers will solelyread and clear codes, whereas advanced scan tools may also read live and recorded information, offer in depth information bases, offer access to bi-directional controls and tests, and alternative advanced practicality.
All OBD-II scan tools supply some basic practicality, which incorporates the flexibility to browse and clear codes. These scanners may also supply the flexibility to testunfinished, or soft, codes that haven’t activated the check engine light-weight however, and supply access to a wealth of knowledge. information from just about each devicethat gives associate degree input to the aboard pc is viewed via an OBD2 scanner, and a few scanners may also founded custom lists of parameter IDs (PIDs). Some scanners additionally offer access to readiness monitors and alternative data..
How Do OBD-II Scanners Work?
Since OBD-II systems are standardized, OBD-II scanners are comparatively straightforward to use. all of them use the identical instrumentality, that is outlined by SAE J1962. Basic scan tools operate by merely inserting a universal plug into the OBD-II diagnostic instrumentality in a very vehicle. Some advanced scan tools conjointlyembrace keys or modules that augment the universal instrumentality so as to access or move with OEM-specific info or controls.
Choosing the correct OBD-II Scanner
If you own a automotive that was engineered when 1996 and you are doing any quite work on that, either to save lots of cash or simply as a result of you get pleasure fromobtaining your hands dirty, then associate degree OBD-II scanner may be a valuable addition to your tool case. However, that doesn’t mean that each grounds mechanic ought to head out and drop $20,000 on a high-end scan tool from Snap-on or mack.
Do-it-yourself mechanics have plenty of less costly choices to explore, therefore you’ll need to test them out before you create an acquisition. as an example, plenty of components stores can truly check your codes at no cost, and you’ll be able to realize plenty of diagnostic info at no cost on the net. in a very heap of cases, which may be all you wish.
If you would like a touch additional flexibility, there are variety of low-cost scan tool choices you’ll be able to take a look at. Dedicated code readers that conjointly giveaccess to PIDs are one choice to study, and you’ll be able to typically realize a good one for beneath $100. an alternative choice, notably if you have got a good golemsmartphone, is associate degree ELM 327 Bluetooth scanner, that could be a cheaper path to primarily the identical practicality.