OBD stands for “On Board Diagnostics”. If you are a car owner or a technician, an OBD2 scan tool might be a worthy product for your vehicle. OBD2 has been mandated for all cars and vehicles by the government in the US. The number 2 denotes the second generation of these tools, which have quite a few improvements. Besides the mandatory requirements, an automotive scan tool can be extremely useful for detecting faults, issues and possible concerns with a vehicle. From giving updates on engine to identifying emission and battery problems, these products can do it all.
Quite obviously, there is a wide range of OBD2 scan tools in the market, and some of these are extremely feature oriented. In this post, we will talk about the things that you need to check for buying an OBD scanner.
Decide on a budget
Your budget defines the kind of scan tool you can afford. There are some very basic models that come for really cheap prices, but these don’t do much and are quite useless, especially if you are keen on getting frequent updates on the vehicle’s performance and parameters. A scan tool is like a one-time investment, and it is always best to choose something that would last for at least a few years.
Features to look for
It’s hard to decide on the best OBD scanner, unless you check the features. Keep in mind that these features vary with the price, brand and other things like updates and support. Nevertheless, below are the things that an advanced and fairly useful scan tool should have.
- The ability to provide vehicle data on the go. Some of the new OBD scan tools are extremely efficient when it comes to offering details and definition of different aspects. You can also get live and real-time information on the go.
- Compatibility across vehicles is again something that you cannot ignore. If you own more than a few cars or want to use the tool for professional jobs, it is best to find a scanner that can work for most models, including new vehicles.
- An automotive scan tool should be easy to use and must have a good interface. It should be compatible for different smart devices, as required and should be extremely user-friendly, so that novices can understand the technical complications.
- Updates and support from the seller is also important. Many of the features and updates with scan tools might require additional purchase. Even if you don’t intend to use any of these features, having the option is a good thing.
- Finally, you need to check some of the basic things, which include display, warranty and overall design of the product. Automotive scan tools should be small and compact, without losing the essential features.
If you are keen on getting discounts, just check online. There are also third party sites, where you can expert reviews and detailed comparison for all the known products, which can be useful in selecting the right scan tool that fits your budget.