With advanced technology nowadays, car problems are getting more and more complicated. Your vehicle's check engine light might illuminate for a variety of reasons without telling you exactly why.
For instance, a check engine light might illuminate for issues with the pump, catalytic converter the transmission, and other problems.
The question always remains, do I need to go to a professional mechanic to determine what my car's problem is? Did you know by purchasing an OBD2 scanner, you can save a lot on mechanical repairs?
By having this scanner, you can tell the problem and decide whether it's something you can fix by yourself or it requires a professional mechanic.
There are plenty of reasons to answer your question of “why should I buy an OBD2 scanner?” and this article highlights the most important ones.
What is an OBD2 scanner?
Before diving into the different adventures of having an OBD2 scanner, it's very important to understand what this tool is and how it works.
Did you know that the term OBD2 indicates onboard diagnostics?
By having such a tool, you will scan your vehicle's internal problems codes and translate them into a more intuitive description.
These scanners can be connected to your vehicle's OBD2 port we are. It scans old current air previous errors your vehicle is suffering from.
Depending on the type and complexity of the scanner, you can get a lot of information like the type of error, suggested repairs, such as his repair costs, and parts you need to purchase.
Why should I buy an OBD2 scanner?
When purchasing an OBD2 scanner, you can gain a lot of benefits, including:
Save on repair costs
While the OBD2 scanner will not save you money exactly on repair costs, you can cut a lot on the diagnostics.
Imagine how much it cost you to have a professional mechanic inspect your vehicle and tell you what's going on with it. Things get more costly if you go to a dealership versus a professional mechanic at a small repair shop.
Also, consider the waiting time you will be wasted to know what's going on with your vehicle, especially if you chose to go to a busy location in an urban area.
Lastly, you might be able to solve the problem yourself. For example, if your vehicle complains about a low coolant level, you can check the coolant level and top it off if needed. This way, you didn't only save on diagnostics cost but also saved on the actual repair cost.
Deal with emergencies related to weather conditions
If you're living in an environment where it snows a lot, and the temperature gets below the freezing point, an OBD2 tool can be very handy.
There is a high chance that your vehicle might break out in the middle of the road because of the low temperature only. Having this handy tool can help you scan the vehicle and understand exactly where the problem is coming from.
You might be able to get the problem resolved without getting stuck for a long time in the middle of the road during freezing temperatures waiting for help.
Get quick diagnostics
If your vehicle complaints about an internal problem and communicate with you by having the check engine illuminating, the problem can be very serious and might not allow you even to drive your vehicle for short distances.
By having a handy tool like the OBD2 scanner, you can tell whether you can drive the car to the nearest mechanic or not.
For example, engine overheating problems can be very severe and might be related to oil or coolant leak preventing you from driving your car. Once you understand that, you make an informed decision about whether to drive the car or have a towing come pick up your car to the nearest mechanic.
Many people think that card technologies can be a little complicated, and using these tools might be time-consuming. However, the best thing about OBD2 tools is that it's very easy to use and doesn't require mechanical skills.
All you need to do is connect the OBD2 scanner to the right port and press the skin. Once it scans the errors, you will see on the screen all complaints from your car.
Some OBD2 tools might give you additional information about the type of the problem, how to fix it, repair costs, and others. However, if you don't have this type of tool, you can search on Google for the name of the error to get more information.
Some cool OBD2 tools scanners can also be connected to your smartphones through Bluetooth. This way, you can have more handle on flipping through the error information and understand real-time data about your vehicle.
Easy to store
When it comes to car repairs and emergency kits, several people feel nervous about storage and putting these emergency kits.
The best thing about OBD2 tools is that they are very small and easy to store. Whenever you get stuck and your vehicle breaks out, you have a small handy tool to help you diagnose the car and tell you about the problem before getting to the repair shop.
You don't need to worry about compatibility
OBD2 tools are universal. In other words, you don't have to worry about compatibility because they are compatible with almost all vehicles. Thus, even if you decided to purchase a new vehicle or your family member have a different vehicle, they all can use the same OBD2 scanner because it's not related to a specific manufacturer.
Provide the repairs
Lastly, by having an OBD2 tool, you can decide whether the problem is worth visiting a professional mechanic and paying for repair costs.
While many of your car's reported problems can be related to significant problems, there might be minor ones, and you could repair them by referring to YouTube or Google tutorials.
How much does it cost to purchase an OBD2 scanner?
The final price of OBD2 tools depends heavily on the available features you get with each one.
In general, most entry-level BOD scanners can be purchased for about $30. However, if you are interested in more advanced and feature-oriented models, the price could get up to $100.
You don't necessarily need to purchase the most expensive OBD2 scanner for every regular driver because you would understand the type of error your vehicles are complaining about.
However, if you were an advanced mechanic running a repair shop, you might need a tool that tells you the most about the vehicle's problems.
Therefore, we recommend evaluating the purpose and goal of obtaining an OBD2 scanner and comparing it to a current over these scanners in the market before making your final purchase decision.
What are the different types of OBD2 scanners?
There are two types of OBD2 scanners:
As the name suggests, these types of scanners need to be connected to the vehicle's computers through a cable.
The good thing about these scanners is that you don't have to have a battery to power them, and it will get connected to the vehicle.
Unfortunately, working with a wired OBD2 scanner can be a little challenging because you can't move around for longer distances.
In most scenarios, wired OBD2 scanners come with a USB cable so you can connect it to your computer and translate the errors.
The best thing about wireless OBD2 scanners is that you can work with them anywhere you would like, and you don't have to be connected or close to the OBD2 port.
Most wireless OBD2 scanners are connected to the vehicle through the Wi-Fi network or Bluetooth, where you can get the information on a display unit or app through your phone.
Several customers complained that wireless or with these scanners could be challenging to set up; however, things get more straightforward after the first time you set it up.
What are the top brands of OBD2 scanners?
While there are many OBD2 scanners available in the market, it's important to familiarize yourself with the top brands and refer to the customer's reviews before making your final decision of purchase.
Three common companies are specialized in creating OBD2 scanners and proved to be the leaders in the market, including FOXWELL, ANCEL, INNOVA
With the advanced technologies and the complicated things our vehicles get into, investing in car error scanning tools might be worth it.
Many people wonder why I should buy an OBD2 scanner. There are many benefits you could gain when purchasing the scanner, including saving a lot of money, dealing with emergencies during harsh weather conditions, receiving quick and accurate diagnostics, using them without needing complicated mechanical skills, the small size, and the valuable DIY's you could get from the tool.