The check engine light coming on can be one of the most frustrating things you can experience as a car owner. It not only indicates that there is something wrong with your car, but it can also mean you're about to spend a significant amount on diagnostics and repairs.
Choosing the Right OBD II Scanner for Your Needs. Having an OBD II scanner can help give you a fair idea of what’s going on under the hood. This handy tool provides real-time information about your vehicle, along with diagnostic codes that pinpoint the cause of the malfunctions. This potentially saves you time and money on repairs.
However, with so many options on the market, how do you choose the right OBD2 scanner? In this article, we'll provide you with some key factors to consider when choosing an OBD2 scanner, so you can make an informed decision and get the most out of your investment.
Six Factors to Consider When Choosing an OBD2 Scanner
There are tons of OBD2 scanners in the market, and choosing the right one boils down to your specific needs. Here are some factors to guide you in choosing the right OBD2 scanner for your vehicle.
Step 1: Compatibility
OBD2 scanners come in different shapes and sizes and are fitted to work with various vehicles. Not all scanners can work with your car, and incompatible scanners can result in inaccurate readings. Ensure that your choice is compatible with your vehicle before you buy one. We recommend buying a universal OBD2 scanner just to be safe.
Step 2: Functionality
Functionality is another factor to consider in choosing an OBD2 scanner. Some scanners can only read and interpret basic diagnostic trouble codes and do not offer emissions testing or live data streaming.
When choosing a scanner, consider the level of functionality you need, and choose a scanner that provides the most relevant features. A basic scanner may be sufficient for simple repairs, but for more complex issues, a more advanced scanner can provide valuable insights and save you time and money in the long run.Where to Buy OBD2 Scanner?
Step 3: User Interface
The user interface of your OBD2 scanner can impact how easily and efficiently you can diagnose and repair issues. It is important that your scanner’s user interface is intuitive and easy to use, even if you are not a mechanic. Some key aspects to consider when evaluating the user interface of your choice scanner include the display itself, menu structure, scanner controls, and language support if you’re not a native English speaker.
Step 4: Accuracy
The only thing worse than zero information when your check engine light comes on is incorrect information. Accuracy is a critical factor when it comes to choosing an OBD2 scanner. An accurate scanner is necessary to ensure that you get reliable and precise diagnostic information about your vehicle. Inaccurate readings lead to misdiagnosis and unnecessary repairs, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
The trick here is to look for a scanner with comprehensive diagnostic capabilities. The more advanced the scanner's capabilities, the lesser the chance of having to make an unnecessary repair. For instance, if your scanner pulls a faulty oxygen sensor DTC, you can further investigate the sensor by checking the sensor readings in the ‘Live Data’ segment.
So, we usually advise that you get a scanner that can read and clear trouble codes and display live data readings. This way, you can use the ‘Live Data’ segment to investigate further before going around making repairs blindly.
Step 5: Price
Prices of OBD2 scanners can vary depending on the scanner’s brand, features, and capabilities. Your budget is a necessary factor to consider when choosing an OBD II scanner. But while considering your budget, you need to ensure that the scanner you are getting has the feature of a basic code reader. Read and clear diagnostic codes and, if possible, one that displays live data readings.
Step 6: Brand Reputation
Before choosing an OBD2 scanner, research is key. Established brands have a tendency to produce higher-quality products compared to lesser-known brands. It is important to read through user reviews to have an idea of a brand’s reputation.
Also ensure that you buy from brands with a proven track record of testing and certifying their products to meet industry standards. One such reputable brand is Ancel.
The ANCEL VD500 Car Diagnostic Tool
The Ancel VD500 OBD2 scanner is a powerful and versatile tool designed specifically for Volkswagen, Skoda, Seat, and Audi vehicles. It packs an impressive set of features that make it easy to diagnose and fix any issues with your vehicle's engine, transmission, ABS, airbag, and more.
This scanner is a professional diagnostic tool that is easy to use, even for beginners. It features a high-definition true color LCD display screen and supports English and German. It also features four (4) operating keys that aid better navigation and helps diagnose problems quicker. The navigation keys include an up and down button to help move through the options, while the “Enter” and “Exit” keys are to select and cancel, respectively.
The VD500 OBD2 scanner is compact and easy to carry around, making it a convenient tool to have in your garage or trunk. And, with its upgradable firmware, you can rest assured that your scanner will stay up-to-date with the latest diagnostic capabilities and be compatible with new car models.
One of the best features of Ancel’s VD500 Car Diagnostic Tool is its special functions for Volkswagen vehicles. The scanner features oil service reset, EPB reset, and TPS replacement service for supported car protocols. With an anti-slip and anti-skid silicone pouch, the VD500 is sturdy and durable enough to stand the test of time.
Should i buy an obd2 scanner. Choosing the right OBD2 scanner is important for anyone who wants to diagnose and fix issues with their vehicle quickly and accurately. With its impressive features, such as multi-car compatibility, full OBD II functionality, live data and graphing, bilingual support, compact design, and upgradable firmware, the Ancel VD500 scanner is a reliable and easy-to-use tool that can help both professional mechanics and DIY enthusiasts diagnose and fix issues with their vehicles.