What Is An OBD2 Scanner?

Posted by Leighton Maddison on

If you’re new to vehicle diagnostics or you’ve recently purchased a vehicle that requires being linked to a diagnostic tool in order to reveal the problems you’re having, then you may have stumbled upon Onboard Diagnostics II (OBD2). These are diagnostic systems that are included in every vehicle made after 1996. 

These onboard diagnostics are used to check the vehicle’s engine and any other vehicle systems to help communicate any possible glitches that happen to them. The original system was created by the California Air Resource Management Board and since 1996 has come a very long way, so much so in fact that you can now own a personal OBD2 scanner for very little cost, giving you complete transparency into your car and it’s current faults or issues. 

Having an OBD2 scanner has made the life of car owners a million times easier as well as saved them hundreds and even thousands of pounds in the process. How? By giving them total control and allowing them to see exactly what’s wrong before taking their vehicle to a mechanic. Not only has this resulted in more efficient repair work but it’s also prevented unnecessary repair work being carried out on vehicles as owners enjoy full transparency before going in. 


Different Types Of OBD2 Tools

There are different types of OBD2 scanner tools. They can be broken down into two categories.


Code Readers

  • OBD2 code readers are usually a very compact device. They’re no frills and simply incorporate a basic LCD screen with a few buttons.
  • They can appear very similar to an electrical voltage testing unit.
  • It will connect directly with your car, more often than not under the dashboard. These are great if your engine light is on.
  • The code reader will scan the vehicle and display the trouble code on it’s screen. You then get a much better idea of what’s going on.

Scan Tools

  • OBD2 scan tools are a little more in-depth. They’re generally much more advanced, offering a more powerful software in a far more lightweight device.
  • Connection between device and vehicle is usually via an app on a smart device too.
  • These tools can offer a lot more insight into what’s going on under the bonnet of your car.
  • Scan tools generally tend to be more expensive however you’re getting a lot more for your money so the initial extra investment is worth it in the long run for those who want more of an insight into what’s going on with their vehicle.

Contact LJM Car Diagnostics Today

If you’d like more information on OBD2 scanners and how they can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We have a selection of OBD2 scanner tools, all with varying options to ensure you get the right tool for you and your vehicle/s. Our team is on hand at all times should you need any help or advice and guidance. We look forward to your call.


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