What Can A Car Code Reader Tell You

What Can A Car Code Reader Tell You

When purchasing a car code reader, you cannot help but wonder what its limits are. What issues can it reveal? what is the best code reader for cars? How many can it detect at a given time? Are they accurate? These are just some of the questions you want to ask yourself before buying a code reader.

This post will discuss everything your car code reader can tell you about your car’s engine and system. The code reader helps resolve many issues with your car. Here’s what you need to know about what your car code reader tells you.

What Does a Code Reader Say

The code reader is not a complicated tool for anyone who knows how to use it. Your car’s computer is connected to several sensors spreading across your vehicle's systems. These sensors relay information about problems in your car. However, the computer does not tell you what could be wrong with the car. It will only turn on the check engine light.

You'll need a separate screen to know what could happen to your car. What could be better than a code reader? Just pop the cable of the code reader into the OBD2 port of your car, and it will tell you everything that’s wrong with your vehicle. It does that by pulling codes from your computer.

How Does it Work?

How to Use a Code Reader on My Car? The way the code reader works is simple. It can help you find the issues in your car. Besides, you can clear the older codes and fixed codes with a button. The reader’s cable is plugged into the OBD2 connector in your vehicle, which grants access to the most crucial part of your car – the computer. These connectors are usually not displayed where anyone can see them. They are hidden under the hood or the dash.

You can find it near the steering column in most cars. Locating this section of the vehicle is critical as it’s the only way you can read your vehicle's codes. Once you find the connector, plug in the code reader, and turn on the ignition. The screen of the code reader will turn on, and it will start pulling codes. Those codes will help you identify the car's problems under the hood and other crucial elements.

Code Readers and their Levels

Code readers come in different levels and costs, determining the number of functions they can perform. The lowest-priced code readers tend to have fewer functions and tend to limit the readings you can get. The high-end code readers used by pros have more functions. The possibilities with them are endless, and they perform other tasks besides scanning codes. Let’s see what these scanners can tell you.

Entry-Level Code Readers for Beginners

If you have never scanned your vehicle, your sixth sense will tell you to buy a low-budget code reader. You probably want a simple code reader that will perform the basics. What matters to you is a code reader that can turn off the check engine light. You also want a scanner that will pull off the most crucial codes. A low-budget code reader will tell you the codes, but you’ll be required to search on the web to get the meaning of the codes.

A scanner is an excellent tool that either comes as a module or a handheld one with fewer buttons.What is OBD2 Scanner? The module can easily be connected to your smartphone and provide all the crucial information you need. However, the module might not connect to your PC. Such a code reader performs various tasks, including reading and erasing codes, and it also has features like reading freeze-frame data and playback options.

Mid-Level Code Readers for Experienced DIYers

It’s normal human behavior to want to upgrade to what you currently have. It’s usually for a good reason. Maybe what you started with has a limit, and you are looking to exceed that limit. It can be from a small car to an SUV, but while at it, you feel the irresistible urge to upgrade your code reader. It makes sense that you want to buy a better code reader that’s more expensive than the previous one because of the features.

The scanner is better for a home mechanic looking for more information. Apart from reading codes, the mid-level scanner will provide you with a brief explanation of what the codes mean. However, if you would like to find out more, you’ll have to check on the web. The scanner can be Bluetooth enabled or a handheld scanner. The mid-level code reader performs more tasks than the low-budget reader. Apart from reading codes, it can erase and rewrite them and also perform a professional battery test. However, if you want a reader that does it all, check the next one.

High-Level Code Reader for Professionals

As an advanced user, you’ll likely go for a code reader with limitless capabilities. You are probably looking for a sophisticated code reader with high-level computing ability. A bidirectional code reader is best because it scans, erases, and forces the system to show hidden ones. What is a Bidirectional Scan Tool? Such a tool has advanced features like remapping the UCU and performing dozens of diagnostic functions. These tools are expensive and primarily found in automotive repair shops or advanced garage setups.

The all-system diagnostic tool has endless capabilities, and there’s so much it can tell you about your car. A bidirectional code reader sends commands to your car’s modules which are forced to perform some tests and functions. It also conducts door locking tests, cooling fan tests, fuel injector tests, window and door lock tests, and headlamps tests. If you want to buy an advanced code reader, then the bi-directional scanner is the best option.


There’s no limit to what a code reader can tell you about your car, except the type of code reader you are using. If you are using a cheaper one, it will only show you what triggered the check engine light. The more advanced ones perform more tasks, while the most sophisticated ones perform all functions and even more. Ancel has code readers, from entry to the high level, that you can use to scan codes in your car. Check the website and find your choice of a scanner.

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