What Exactly Are OBD Ports & What Are They For?

Posted by James James on

What Exactly Are OBD Ports & What Are They For?

There’s no doubt that cars have become much more complicated in recent years, and it would be true to say that the days when you could maintain your car with nothing more than a bit of mechanical knowledge and a toolkit are gone. Modern cars have multiple computers (ECUs) on board and the data that they contain can be used to help us determine their overall state of health using an OBD scanner tool .

Readers like the Veepeak BLE OBD2 or the Nexas Nexlink bluetooth OBD scanner, can be easily plugged in through your OBD port - which is basically a socket for the device. It’s usually just beneath the wheel under the steering wheel column and plugging or OBD scanner device  normally takes just a few seconds.

So, What Do OBD Scanners  Do Exactly?

Well, we’re glad you asked. OBD vehicle scanners are great little bits of kit that allow drivers to save on what they spend at the garage. A lot of the cost incurred when visiting a garage is because of the diagnosis phase of the job, but an OBD scanner  can arm you with what the problem is before you arrive.

The OBD part of the term stands for ‘on-board diagnostics’ and it allows both mechanics and car owners to access the car’s computer and check on the status of its sub-systems. The great thing about them is that they’re super-accurate and can actually pick up faults before your car even knows about them.

OB2 is the current standard of reader and it’s able to read error codes and give you a precise idea of what’s going on under your car’s hood.

Handy, Powerful & Convenient

Most OBD scanners  aren’t too bulky an item to carry around, but if you want a diagnostic tool that’s really convenient, there are app-based diagnostic tools that use the power of your smartphone to get the job done. As you can see with the handy Carista OBD2 Adapter, it’s tiny, as it’s just a wired adapter that plugs into your mobile.

OBD ports can be found in all EU cars manufactured after 2001 and most car makes and models are supported by devices like these, however, we’d recommend checking for compatibility before buying any OBD scanner tools.


So, What Can an OBD Scanner  Tell Me?
We’ve looked at OBD ports, what OBD scanners are and lastly we examine what an OBD scanner  can actually do for you. Essentially, there are four groups of fault code that your scanner can interrogate the ECU to answer.
  • Car Diagnostics - informing you of when you’re in need of an oil change or repair
  • Car Maintenance - offering insight into the error codes your ECU has and what they relate to - allowing car owners to take care of simple repairs themselves
  • Car Coding - allowing to customize various elements of your car’s operations like external lights and switching to a digital speedometer
  • Used Car Check - a useful feature that allows you to see whether the state mileage is correct

They’re really useful and can tell you everything you need to know, preventing you from being at the mercy of any unscrupulous garage mechanics you might come across.

OBD Scanners  Can Save You Lots of Money

What you get with an OBD diagnostic tool  is a device that offers the same benefits you’d get if you had your own in-house mechanic! Easy to plug-in and simple enough for those without detailed mechanical knowledge to use, they can save you a fortune in garage bills - perhaps the reason behind why they’re so popular!

At LJM Car Diagnostics, we offer a wide range of tools from all the main manufacturers and we’re on a mission to help our customers avoid hefty mechanics bills. So, if you’d like one of these awesome devices for yourself, simply browse through our website and the many products on it.

If after browsing, you have any questions you’d like answering, just enter your details into our contact form and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.

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