When the check engine light pops out, it’s time for a test. Nothing does the job excellently like an ODB2 scanner. You might think it knows your car more than you do. When a fault occurs and you plug in your ODB2 scanner, it will show codes showing every faulty part in your engine.
If you know how to fix a car at home, the scanner will be very helpful, especially if you don’t have time to visit the mechanic and cash to pay for the diagnostics. However, you need to buy the best ODB2 scanner that works for your car. We will show you how to choose the right one for yourself.
Why Do You Need It?
ODB scanners have become essential tools not only in repair shops but also in the mechanic’s toolkit. They can read engine trouble codes and help in repairing modern cars. An ODB scanner is worth having because it’s the shortcut to troubleshooting a problem in your vehicle. Without one, you’ll have to drive to the workshop. The mechanics will still need to do diagnostics to find the problem in your car, and it will cost you.
If you have money to spare, don’t spend it at the workshop but equip yourself with an ODB scanner that will save you miles of driving to your mechanic, wasted hours, and thousands of dollars over a few months. There are a variety of OBD readers out there, but most perform the basic functions. Technically, getting an ODB2 scanner will help you save money. That’s why most car owners buy scanners and perform their own diagnostics at home.
How To Choose the Best ODB2 Scanner
If you think your car is malfunctioning or the check engine light went on, there’s something wrong under the hood. There’s no way to find out except by plugging in an OBD2 scanner and reading the trouble codes. They would do the same at the workshop after driving or towing your car to the repair shop. Having the same information wouldn’t hurt. And if you can fix the issues yourself, the better!
There are two types of scanners, namely;
- Handheld OBD2 scanners
- Wireless OBD2 scanners
Handheld scanners come with their own screen and cable that you can plug into the car’s ODB port. These types of scanners are preferred mainly by mechanics. Wireless scanners, on the hand, are mostly preferred by DIY enthusiasts. It features a plug that you insert into the ODB2 port and connects to your phone or tablet.
The type of scanner and the functions installed by the manufacturer will determine the price, and they come in different weights and sizes. Rather than pick the most affordable ODB2 scanner, use different criteria to find the right one. Here’s what to look out for to find the best scanner.
Faults and Explanations
Some OBD2 scanners only tell you the faults but don’t provide more information. These are used mainly by professionals. Other scanners explain the faults and speak to you the “mechanic language.” You can then talk to your mechanic about it or fix the car.
Setting up a scanner should be straightforward. You will probably grow impatient and abort if it takes longer to set up. The scanner should also be able to run checks quickly.
A scanner should send accurate codes. If it doesn’t, then it’s useless and not worth buying. Incorrect information means that you’ll not be able to recognize the real problem. Ancel scanners are accurate, going by the reviews online.
The live data is crucial, and it sets many scanners apart. A scanner with live data can help find the most serious issues in your car’s engine and timing.
A scanner that shows graphs is more advanced; even though it might cost a bit more, they are worth it. The right scanner shows the numbers and a visual representation which helps you compare previous and current readings.
I/M Readiness Check
A good scanner performs major engine and emission tests. You’ll need to know because the information will determine if your car will pass the state’s inspection. Make sure the scanner you get does these tests.
What To Avoid
Cheap can be expensive. That’s a universal law. If you buy a scanner just because it is cheap and not because of its functions, you might find yourself paying for something you might never use. Even in the automotive market, there are shady products that no one can explain how they got into the market in the first place.
Some devices are not legit and are made with soft plastic shells. One fall, and it scatters to pieces. Some don’t even have connectivity, and if they do, the software might not be compatible with your car. You might also find false codes. This means wrong diagnostics, and you won’t be able to identify the real problem under the hood.
Which Scanners are Available at Ancel?
The Ancel AD410 has more capability than a basic car code reader and scanner. It has the live data feature and reads and erases fault codes whenever the check engine light turns on. Among the significant packs in the scanner are the special I/M Hot Key which checks emission readiness, and a lifetime free online update.
The AD310 supports I/M emission readiness tests and has a live data feature. It also removes codes and turns off the check engine light. It’s a user-friendly gadget that will help resolve serious issues in your car by bringing them to light.
If you have been looking for a wireless ODB2 scanner that works like magic, then the Ancel BD200 might be the right one. You only need to install the Ancel app on your phone and start scanning. It can accurately read codes and explain them, perform O2 sensor and I/M readiness tests, read data streams and much more.
When you are worried about your car when the check engine light turns on, your closest friend is the ODB2 scanner. Knowing precisely what could e affecting your car is blissful. It will save you a thousand bucks in the long run, also. Ancel has a range of pocket-friendly scanners that are easy to use, even for a DIYer.