Your car is probably one of the most precious assets to you. You may spend a lot to keep it well maintained and updated. But think once, how you would feel if your cherished car breaks down on the way when you are on a long ride, off to your long-awaited trip with your beloved one just because you have avoided the check engine light indication of the car earlier. Isn’t it frustrating enough to shatter you when the car halts in the middle of the road? It is even more depressing as you have no idea what’s wrong inside the vehicle and no less than a nightmare to any car lover, undoubtedly.
The car might have warned you of the problem by turning on the check engine light. It may be an outcome of any serious issue in the engine or merely a wire related problem that you can solve quickly; anything is possible. But if you overlook the indication, the car alone is enough to spoil all your plans for the vacation. In such a situation, before going to the technician, you would obviously prefer to use a car diagnostic tool to find out what is wrong inside the vehicle.
Such inspection tools like a diagnostic code reader will provide you with the opportunity to find and solve the issues sometimes, relieving you from the hectic of visiting a professional and save your car from any further harm. You probably have got the tool, but thinking of how to use a diagnostic code reader. Well, it is pretty straightforward and similar to almost all models of cars. But before going into insight, you have to understand that a code reader like obd2 scanner for Mercedes will not appear like magic and solve all the difficulties of your car by itself promptly. It may not even tell you straightly what the issue is, rather it provides you with some trouble codes.
Check Engine Light
The check engine light of your car switches on if there is an issue inside it. Basically, turning the engine light on means there is an issue in the sensors of the engine, exhaust, or transmission, and that is why the computer is getting some unexpected data. It can also turn on if there are any minor wiring issues like shorted wire or loose connection.
If the check engine light turns on and turns off again after a while by itself, it does not mean that the car is perfectly okay. In such a situation, the difficulty prevails, and it can be diagnosed by using a diagnostic tool.
Before 1996, buying such equipment used to take a large amount of money, and a single tool was fit with a particular car type. But now, you can purchase a car diagnostic tool or device at an affordable price from stores, or online.
The Difference between OBD1 and OBD2 Code Reader
The diagnostic code reader comes in two forms: OBD1 and OBD2. The computerized automobiles that were manufactured before 1996, fall in the class of OBD1. The models of this type of category do not have many similar criteria, so different models do not go with a particular code reader.
The dissimilarity causes a lot of dilemmas, and the automobiles manufactured after 1996 fall in the OBD2 category, where the cars adopt a standard diagnostic port and principles. If yours is a car of the OBD2 class, you can utilize a similar device, but before that, you need to know how to use the OBD2 code reader.
Steps of Using a Diagnostic Code Reader
Now that we know the differences between the two types of the code reader, let us go into the insight of the steps of using it.
Plugin the Code Reader
The initial action of using the tool is to find where to connect it. In the OBD1 automobiles, the port can be anywhere: below the dashboard, engine chamber, or anywhere.
The OBD1 connectors can be of different measurements and frames.
For a standard OBD2 vehicle, you are about to get the port below the dashboard, or left side of the steering column. But the place can vary according to the manufacturers and models that you can locate reading the owner’s manual simply. The OBD2 ports come in a distinct shape, either square or trapezoidal, having 16 pins in a pair of series having 8 pins each.
The OBD2 car scanner will gather the data from the OBD2 port of the car. You require a setting to enter the code derived.
While plugging in, keep the ignition switch turned off or separated, and ensure a secure connection to allow the code reader to interact with the onboard computer of the automobile.
If your car can store car codes, you do not have to switch the ignition switch on. If it cannot, you have to turn the engine on so that the device gets power.
Read the Code(s)
The car diagnostic scanner can download and read the codes of the issue(s) the car generates. You may have to do some research to translate the codes.
If you have a fundamental sort of code reader, you may find a power button. For a Bluetooth operated device, you may have to switch on the device from the point you plug into the port unless it turns on by itself.
If you use a primary form of device, it may not read the codes by itself, and you have to begin the diagnosis manually by pressing a button.
For a Bluetooth-operated wireless device, you need to employ a car code reader app fit for the specific scanner. For the very first time of utilizing the equipment, you have to insert the VIN of your car.
After the scan, the tool will present the trouble code(s). If the scanner does not provide you with the needed detail, you need to go through the research. An advanced type of scanner will serve you by saving the code(s), downloading them to a computer, or delivering the explanation of the code(s). In some cases, it may come up with some troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue(s).
Interpret the Data
A code reader will help you to interpret the trouble codes. As already said, you can search on the manufacturer’s website, and get the required explanation linked to the particular code, if your device does not supply you the information right on the screen.
You can even utilize specialized software that downloads the codes from the scanner and scans the data directly from a computer.
Fix the Problem
Now that you have some primary knowledge of the difficulty your car is facing and know how to use a car diagnostic code reader, you have to solve them. If you have a fabulous machinist experience, you can resolve the issue(s) by yourself or consult a professional.