If you're in the market for an OBD2 code reader then you’ve come to the right place. In this article will go over everything you need to know about OBD scanners, and where to buy one now.
After reading this, you’ll be all set and ready to get an OBD2 scanner for yourself and use it whenever you need to.
What’s the difference between OBD and OBD2?
Traditionally, vehicles didn’t include OBD systems. In the years before the early 1980s, there was no such thing as an OBD (on-board diagnostic) system. Then, along with the advent of personal computers, OBD systems were invented.
These OBD systems added a smart element to vehicles that allowed the owner of the vehicle to get information from the in-car computer system when various systems go offline or various sensors detect problems.
This was a big deal at the time, because for the first time ever, all you had to do to figure out what the problem with your vehicle was, was connecting OBD scanner and perform a diagnostic. This saved car mechanics and car owners who had a scanner of their own a lot of time and effort in determining what was wrong with the car.
In 2003, the next generation of this technology came along—OBDII. This newer and more powerful version provided new access to various performance metrics as well. It revolutionized the world or car repairs and provided an exciting new way gain detailed information about your vehicle.
Is it better to buy an OBD2 scanner online or in a store?
These days, everyone is buying products online as opposed to buying them in person. So it’s no surprise that most people buy their auto tools from the internet as well.
Buying auto products in person does have its advantages, but it actually has more disadvantages. First of all, needing to drive out to the auto shop isn’t free. You’ll be spending valuable time that you could have used for working or relaxing and unwinding instead of sitting in traffic.
Secondly, shopping for your auto parts online is far easier when you don’t even have to get up from your chair. Plus, you can read lots of user reviews right there in the product page before you buy it. This allows you to get a good sense of how good a product is before you even use it yourself.
Overall, buying your OBD2 code reader from an online web store is a much better idea.
How to choose the best OBDII scanner
The first thing to consider is the type of OBDII code reader you need. OBDII scanners come in two types: handheld and PC-based. Handheld OBDII scanners are very portable, perfect for carrying around in your car. They typically provide basic diagnostic capabilities and can be used to check your CEL (check engine light) on the fly.
PC-based OBDII scanners are larger and heavier, but they provide more comprehensive diagnostic capabilities and can be used for more complex repairs. The average car owner should probably choose a handheld device.
The second factor to consider is the range of vehicles the OBDII code reader is compatible with. Some OBDII scanners are designed for a specific make and model of vehicle, while others are designed for a wide range of vehicles. Check the specifications of the product you’re considering buying to ensure that it’s compatible with your vehicle.
Next, consider the features the OBDII scanner offers. Some OBD scanners can read and clear diagnostic codes, while others can also provide live data streaming or the ability to record and playback data. Make sure you know what you need and what you’re getting.
Finally, consider the cost of the OBDII scanner. OBDII scanners can range from very affordable to very expensive, so it's important to be sure you're getting the features you need at a price you can afford.
Top OBDII code reader for the average car owner
Car mechanics who work all day in a car garage will be able to make use of many different extra features that frankly, the average consumer just doesn’t even need. That’s why for the everyday Joe, there’s not really a need to splash out big time on a fancy and expensive OBD2 scanner.
A good and trusty mid-range option will do just fine for just about any car owner who wants a way to monitor their vehicle’s health. So we recommend going with the Ancel AD530 OBD code reader.
There are cheaper models with more basic capabilities and a lower price tag that are still quite good, like the Ancel AD310 OBD2 scanner. The AD310 is a perfectly good and durable code reader to have around in case of need. But the AD530 includes all of the features you could ask for, including real-time monitoring, a large color display, and advanced software capabilities that make diagnostics easier.
There are even models priced between these two devices, such as the Ancel AD410. Truthfully, any of these devices would be a good choice, and offer great value for the price.
You can buy all of these three devices and more at Ancel’s online web store. The shipping is included in the price for US customers, so you can have your new OBD 2 device shipped straight to your doorstep at the click of a button.
Do you need to charge your OBD2 code reader?
There are some OBD scanners that run on batteries. However, this isn’t ideal, as the batteries can run out. There are even devices that plug into a power outlet, meaning if you are not near a power outlet when you need to use it, you may not be able to power the device.
The best way to power an OBD scanner is through the adapter. This way, the car itself will actually power the device, so you can plug it in anywhere, even on the side of the road.
In conclusion, just remember to get a good value for your money when you buy your OBD 2 scanner online. Buy from a trusted brand like Ancel and have peace of mind!