How to: Scan A Check Engine Light on Your Car/Truck

    How to: Scan A Check Engine Light on Your Car/Truck

    In the world of automobiles, one thing is for certain, seeing any light pop up on your dashboard warrants a genuine concern. When you can identify that it’s the check engine light, your concern is even greater. The check engine light or malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) is one of many warning lights on the dashboard of your vehicle that will illuminate to notify you when there is an issue that needs your immediate attention. Learning how to decode the check engine light is important for any car/truck owner, despite the anxiety it may cause.

    Today’s article will provide guidance on understanding the world of car/truck scanners and Bluetooth bidirectional scan tools. We will equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to decode the check engine light and reveal and prevent potential issues.

    Understanding the Check Engine Light

    When your vehicle's check engine light comes on, it means that the onboard diagnostic system has detected a problem with your engine, emissions control system, or transmission. It's important to seek help and have the reason for the check engine light reviewed before diagnosing it as an engine malfunction as the causes can be varied and even as simple as a loose gas cap. Getting professional observation is crucial in this case.

    A check engine light appearance should take your memory to your last fluid (oil and transmission) level checks. When these fluids run low, you place the engine health of your car/truck in danger. Tardiness in fluid checks and requisite vehicular servicing could cost you a new engine or other costly repairs that can be avoided. Air filters and fuel filters are also critical to the health of your engine and overall vehicle. A failed engine can also cause you to meet in an accident.

    Ignoring a check engine light is never wise and it becomes even more dangerous in the presence of smoke coming from the engine, obvious engine noises, diminished fluids, and rough idling.

    Related Reading: How to Use OBD2 Scanner

    Tools Needed for Scanning

    Having now deciphered just how critical it is to understand check engine light and why it should never be ignored, let's dive into the tools needed to perform extensive scanning.

    The On-Board Diagnostics II (OBD-II) 

    Let's start with the OBD2 scanner, what it is, and why it’s essential. The OBD-II scanner is a tool used specifically for scanning and diagnosing issues with vehicles since 1996. It is plugged directly into the OBD-II port, typically located under the dashboard of your car/truck, and intelligently interacts with the onboard computer system.

    OBD-II scanners are universal and user-friendly. They work well with the majority of vehicles regardless of manufacturer. Mechanics can easily work their way around interpreting effectively and accurately. The scan it provides is quite comprehensive as it can retrieve Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) within the vehicle’s computer system. This check shows the specific issue that caused the check engine light. Advanced OBD-II scanners are known to provide data analysis for other engine-related matters.

    check car problems

    For persons interested in using an OBD2 scanner, it is cost-effective and easy to maneuver even at home without the professional supervision of a mechanic. However, depending on the nature of the data found concerning the issue of your car/truck, you might need professional assistance in fixing your engine-related matters.  

    Smartphone Apps as an Alternative

    The other tool that can be used for scanning your car/truck is a smartphone app. Like traditional OBD2 scanners, smartphone apps are also cost-effective (often free or way cheaper than an OBD-II scanner) and an efficient solution. These DIY app options work by optimizing bluetooth or wifi adapters to connect to the vehicle’s onboard computer system. This then allows the smartphone app to provide diagnostic information directly to your smart device. Smartphone apps are also portable and convenient seeing as they are located on your smartphone or smart device.

    Car Scanner | ANCEL
    ANCEL X7HD Heavy Duty Truck Diagnostic Tool Full System DPF ABS ECU Reset Scanner

    Bluetooth Bidirectional Scan Tool

    Professional mechanics tend to gravitate to using bluetooth bidirectional scan tools. It is the tool of choice because of its advanced abilities. One of the features of the bluetooth bidirectional scan tool that makes it superior to the traditional OBD-II scanners is that bidirectional scan tools not only retrieve diagnostic information from the vehicle’s computer system but also send commands to provide testing, actuating solenoids, activating relays, and commanding component tests. The Bluetooth bidirectional scan tools are rather comprehensive covering matters concerning the engine, transmission, ABS, airbag, and more. Thus, making it the top contender among scan tools especially as it relates to complex issues.

    With the Bluetooth bidirectional scan tools, you can also look forward to advanced construction and diagnostic algorithms, and regular software updates to ensure accurate and reliable overall performance. Lastly, it even pairs with smartphones/devices/tablets via Bluetooth thus giving you advanced and smart apps functioning in one device. Therefore, diagnostic information and control vehicle systems are available from your mobile device with the bluetooth bidirectional scan tool.

    When reading an article, you not only want to know the type of tool but also the best brand to select that will offer durability, quality, and effectiveness. One reliable selection with positive reviews from varying clients is that of the ANCEL V6 Pro.

    ANCEL car scanner are the best

    Before we dive right into the specifics of the above-mentioned Bluetooth bidirectional scan tools for cars/trucks we want to introduce you to the vision behind the brand. ANCEL is committed to offering only the best and is backed by 10 years of providing quality and cost-effective products/solutions. ANCEL believes in ensuring that every family experiences the benefit of a healthy car without leaving holes in their pocket.

    Reviewing the ANCEL V6 (For Cars) - $432.54: This powerhouse and innovative tool is known to provide a full system car diagnostic tool key programmer. It features over 25 service reset ABS bleed/key programmers. It also has the major benefits of free Wi-Fi updates, compatibility with over 120 car makers, Android10.os, active test, IMMO Keys, 8” screen display, BIG VCI, and even inclusive of the OBD-II System.

    Reviewing the bluetooth bidirectional scan tool (For Trucks) - $670.33: With this tool, you receive true heavy-duty benefits for your truck and commercial vehicles. This ANCEL OBD scanner has the newest generation in Android for total diagnostics. It models a 10-inch diagnostic tablet with comprehensive diagnostic functions. With a new diagnostic experience and cost effectiveness, it is a better choice for all users. Complete functionality and capability including DTC, DTC freeze Info, live data, actuation test and special function, online and offline DTC query, professional data replay, and data stream analysis for automobile repacking. It supports a one-key update, logging, test report, feedback, and function list via wireless connection. It is fully compatible with Android 10 and above.

    Data are helping you to solve problems

    Factors to Consider When Choosing Car Scanners

    When selecting an OBD-II scanner or Bluetooth bidirectional scan tool one should pay direct attention to functionality, compatibility, and if you are receiving value for your money. When you look for compatibility, you are ensuring it will work with your vehicle’s specific model, make, and year. The functionality aspects that should stand out when selecting these tools include the overall ability of the scanner to retrieve DTCs, display real-time data, perform component tests, and access advanced features such as ABS, airbag, and transmission diagnostics. These areas are key aspects that should never be overlooked. Specific areas like layout, and connectivity to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, or wired connections are also a bonus. Where possible, check if the scanner allows routine software updates which will offer your vehicle the best at all times.

    Setting aside the time to critically assess these factors of different scanning tools, you will select the right car scanner to scan check engine light issues effectively.

    Final Thoughts

    Prevention is always better than cure. In essence, spend the time to safeguard the health of your vehicle by scheduling the necessary fuel changes and paying attention to your warning lights when they pop up. Remember, though a check engine light is displayed on the dashboard, it doesn't always mean your engine is in great danger.

    However, ignoring the light is hazardous, and making the time to have a scan check engine light appointment is critical either at home with your personal scan tool or having it properly assessed by a professional mechanic is key. Scanning your check engine light requires the best of the best. Use ANCEL V6 Pro if you are a car owner or the ANCEL bluetooth bidirectional scan tool to ensure your truck is running efficiently. These are the top contenders as they assure not only accurate readings but easy-to-understand Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) that’s convenient for amateurs or professionals.

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