car diagnostic scanner

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Setting up an OBD II Scan Tool


Safety and Precautions

Safety comes first no matter what you are doing and setting up a scan tool is no different. Setting up an OBD Scanner isn’t as easy as one might think. There are also safety precautions you need to take in consideration. As well as, remembering to read the directions thoroughly and take notice of positioning.

Wear protective clothing and eyewear: During the course of setting up an OBD II Scan Tool, you may encounter gaseous objects, acids, and / or corrosive materials. It is advisable to wear not only protective eyewear but also clothing that can withstand corrosive substance. Gloves are also a good idea to have on hand.

Be Cautious and Aware of Risks: There are some risks that go with setting up an OBD II Scan Tool. They range from fire and burns, shocks, and spills. This is why paying attention to how your body is positioned is important; it just may keep you from being burned either by chemical or heat. Be aware of your tools and where they are placed after use. Because you are inserting the scanner in charged areas make sure you have the proper tools to work in that environment. It is also important to work in a well-ventilated area to avoid exposure to gases and other hazardous materials.

The importance of setting up an OBD II Scanner Tool

If you fail to set up an OBD II Scanner Tool you will not be able to utilize some important functions. These include enabling the power off time to be modified, turning the printer head off, and allowing scans to be retained within the internal memory. It is also helpful when it comes to upgrades and new information.

Proper procedure for Setting up an OBD II Scanner Tool

Setting up an OBD II Scanner Tool isn’t consistent across the board. It will vary depending on which OBD scanner tool you have purchased. Still no matter which tool you purchase the programming can get very involved. First you will need to download all necessary applications that you need in order for your scanner to work effectively. There are some applications that will only work with a PC; so be advised you may need access to one. These applications are imperative in allowing other areas of the Automotive Scan Tool to work. There are also other programs that you add such as Bluetooth. These programs will allow your smartphone or tablet to become a diagnostic scan tool.
Data Connectors

Most OBD II Scanner tools have connectors that will plug into your cars DLC – Data Link Connector. The connector has 16 pins or connection points that are usually color coded and match specific parts within your vehicle. They are generally located under you dash board on the drivers side. Make sure the DLC is properly connected to the various points, this is important.
The 16 pins of a Data Connector

1. Manufacturer reserved pin
2. The J1850
3. Manufacturer reserved pin
4. The chassis ground connector
5. The signal ground
6. The CAN high, J-2284

7. The k line, ISO9141-2/DIS 14230-4connector port
8. Manufacturer reserved pin
9. Manufacturer reserved pin
10. J1850 Bus
11. Manufacturer reserved port

12. Manufacturer reserved port
13. Manufacturer reserved port
14. CAN, J2284 PORT
15. The L line, ISO 9141 and ISO/ DIS 14230-4
16. The battery power connection

Final Notes

When you get the system up and running you will want to familiarize yourself with the tools navigation. The keypad will help you enable features and scroll up and down. The power button allows you to turn the devise on and off, most Car Diagnostic Scanner use standalone power but occasionally will need the use of the engines power. Finally, the display is where you will retrieve your codes from that alert you problems within the vehicle. After you have familiarized yourself with the devise plug it in and run a couple tests to ensure it is working correctly.

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Seven must- have car diagnostic tools

Hand with wrench. Auto mechanic.

These days, cars and trucks are more complex than ever. Not only are they jam packed with all of today’s most advanced mechanical components and features, but all of these sophisticated bits of machinery are all interconnected via computerized networks of interrelated car self diagnostic tools. These networks can be very useful in testing and diagnosing problems with your vehicle- but only if you have the right equipment. A lot of times, all this extra sophistication can seem like a great hassle- especially if you’re accustomed to the good old days of muscle-car simplicity where you just replace the part and fire it up. Well, for better or worse, those days are gone.

why need an obd2 scanner

The good news is there’s plenty of powerful tools available that- with a little bit of time in research- you can learn to perform complex diagnostic functions with that will give you a lot more power over the ins and outs of your car or truck than you would have had otherwise.

These Autel Scanner will give you the ability to figure out what is going on with your modern computerized vehicle, so that you can get it fixed and get back on the road.

1. Obd2 Scanner

An Auto Diagnostic tool is a diagnostic system that allows onboard computers in cars and trucks to tell you what’s wrong with the vehicle. This car diagnostic tool is used for a range of self-diagnostic and reporting purposes. Unlike the earlier, OBD-I system, the Obd2 system uses the same code designations, communication protocols, and connectors for cars made by all major manufacturers. The standardization has made the previous Obd1 almost completely obsolete.

2. Ignition Tester

Also known as a spark tester, this tool is absolutely indispensable for anything that relies on spark plugs- that means your car. Any time an engine won’t start, it’s possible that the reason is that there is no spark coming from the spark plug to get the engine started. An ignition tester allows you to diagnose the problem so that you don’t go all around your car solving every other problem whether you need to or not.

3. Airbag Tester

As you can imagine, it could be quite problematic to have a non-functional air bag and not know about it until the moment you need it. And naturally, testing your airbag by whacking your bumper with a rubber mallet is not ideal. Fortunately, there is a tool that can tell you whether or not all of the electronic components of your airbag system are working correctly without setting the safety device off.

4. Fuel Pressure Tester

Like a problem with your spark plug, a problem with low fuel pressure can cause your car or truck to fail to start- and if you can’t diagnose the problem directly, then you may have to work on several different things before finally finding the problem. A fuel pressure tester tells you where your vehicle’s fuel pressure is at, whether it’s too high or two low, enabling you to solve the problem straight away.

5. Timing Lights

A timing light is a special automotive stroboscope that mechanics use to set the ignition timing of internal combustion engines that are equipped with a distributor. Modern vehicle engines require timing lights to scan ignition timing accurately so that the timing can be adjusted to the optimal range for your vehicle.

6. Emission Analyzer

In most states, drivers are required to have their vehicles checked for proper exhaust emissions before the vehicle can be tagged and allowed to drive legally on public roads. Even if you are fortunate enough to live in a part of the country where vehicle emissions are not regulated, it still might be good for your conscience to have your emissions tested and adjusted accordingly. These Car Diagnostic Scanner are inserted into the exhaust pipe and, in addition to checking your emissions- they can also be used to diagnose a whole host of problems. It can also play an important role in certain safety checks, help with engine tuning, and certain kinds of repairs.

7. Vacuum Tester

A vacuum test is among the simplest Auto Scan Tools a mechanic can have. With a simple gauge, anyone can gain valuable insight into vacuum leaks, low compression, incorrect timing, and sticking valves just to name a few. You will need to know the vacuum specifications for your engine, and bear in mind that these gauges are adjusted for sea level. That means for every 1,000 feet your location is above sea level, you will need to subtract an inch of vacuum. The simplest check to perform is a running vacuum test. Simply start the engine and let it reach normal operating temperature. Find a vacuum port and connect the gauge. The port should be on the manifold or below the carburetor. It shouldn’t be on the air cleaner, high on top of the carburetor, or on any of the emissions control components.

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The history of the OBD scans tools

What is OBD?

The On-Board diagnostics known as OBD is used as a generic term that refers to the self-diagnostic and reporting capability of a vehicle. This performance offers the mechanic   and the user a direct access to information on the state of the engine health and it always encompasses various sub-systems inside the vehicle.

There are two known models of the OBD2 Tools in the market. While the OBD-I was essentially intended to alter and encourage automobile mechanics to align to certain reliable emission management systems that were to last throughout the vehicle’s usable life. It was found not to cover the car engine system in the most efficient of ways.

The new generation on board diagnostics, known as OBD-II this is often an improvement over OBD-I in every capacity and standardization. The  auto scanner diagnostic tool primarily offers three unique specifications embodied on the manner in which the diagnostic tools are built to give a clearly specified data scan. These specifications border on the electronic messaging format, electrical signaling protocols and a list of auto parameters to scan besides having the capacity to give very clear interpretation of the scanned data.

There are a number of standards used within the on board diagnostic system. One of such is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards.  The EPA was aimed at reducing motor vehicle emissions especially the trucks and cars. The EPA rules require the manufacturers to make cars that meet the strictest emissions standards.

Most of the OBD II scanners are EPA compliant if we dissect it against the former OBD I. whereas OBD-I tools could simply be used for emission management systems on cars that didn’t have any given standards, OBD-II provides a universal scrutiny and identification methodology to make sure that the car is working according to the Original instrumentation Manufacturer (OEM) standards.
Do you want know another information about OBD2 code reader? Click link below

Read “The best automotive technology – The OBD 2 scanner”
Origin and evolution of OBD scan tools

The state of California had intent to combat the air pollution issues in the state. This led to the authorities to start requiring emission management systems on all 1966 model of cars. It was in 1968 that the federal government enforced these controls nationwide.

It was finally with the passage of the Clean Air Act of 1970 which was underpinned in the congress in the same year of 1970.the Environmental Protections Agency (EPA) of 1970 was established through this act. This started a series of emission standardization for emission which was meant to help in the maintenance of vehicles which has been in place for some time now.

Only electronically controlled systems OBD were found to meet these high end standards. Most Sensors help in changing the engine performance so as to produce the minimum potential of the engine to cause pollution. These sensors are additionally useful in providing early diagnostic help.

Since its origin in the early nineteen eighties, OBD has undergone varied levels of complex changes in terms of the number of diagnostic information it offers. The earlier models of OBD would merely indicate malfunctions illumination indicator light (MIL). These indicators are additionally marked as “the check engine light”. However some OBD scan tools of yonder wouldn’t give elaborate information on the character of the matter.

Modern OBD models use an identically quick digital communications port to produce timely and periodic data besides the manufacturer standardized series of diagnostic fault codes (DTCs). These are known to enable the mechanics and the drivers to spot malfunctions within a vehicle and organize for the appropriate remedies in a flash.

What is important for any driver or mechanic who wants to use these scan tools on his car is to know which car brand is in question. This is then bound to assist the user in making the best selection. However, having them has become a fundamental requirement in most emission regulated countries globally; it is just a matter of time before all countries adopt their use.

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The OBD user assumptions, the red lights to look for

While the OBD scan tool is quite an important tool to have within your car, there seems to be an over indulgence on their importance. This has even made most users have the misconception that the OBD scan tool is a know it all tool. Far from it, the auto diagnostic tools suppliers covers so much within your car engine but it still has certain points to look for in case you develop a problem with your car.

Some of these areas may help you in expeditiously solving issues arising from your car showing the malfunction indicator light which in most cases can be persistent. They include;

1.Over-relying on the data-studies has shown wide gaps in the OBD data availability especially if the fault may have been caused by some gas issues. For instance, there could be a malfunction indicator light even after the coding process is complete. This usually presents a big challenge yet the problem could just be that some area within the gas tank is not fully closed.

2.Not conducting OBD periodic inspections– the benefits accrued by conducting inspections at intervals involving several drive circles has been emphasizes. While most drivers think that the scan process should be continuous, it is beneficial to allow the scanner pick enough data for you to act on. The periodic inspection also helps the driver be kept abreast with the going on within his car and thus avert any cases of engine breakdowns which may also result into spiraling costs of repair.

3.Avoiding visiting the mechanic– it is clear that in most scenarios, there are likelihoods that the driver may intend to cut on the overall costs of repair and so jump the process of seeking professional advice. This should not be the case. The mechanic still play an important role in helping detect certain faults that may be appearing on the OBD scan tool data display and not known to a non professional.

It is additionally clear that there are likely other car issues which are not related to the gas situation of the engine. These scenarios are not likely to be detected by the auto scanner diagnostic tool system which requires professional help.


Think of other automotive car effects-the presence of other additional failures not likely seen on the OBD scan tool is also another challenge which calls for visiting of someone qualified. For instance, it is not entirely final that all environmental issues will be sorted out with the presence of an OBD scan tool. Take the case of the usual OBD 4gas analysis which only identifies the emissions of CO2 and potassium. Environmental experts on car use may be of help here.

Cost assumptions– while the debate on the use of the OBD scan tool continues, cost remains one of its strengths. The pundits claim that it is the most cost effective method of conserving the environment as well as courting down on the car user cost.

The disparities which have been proven in different studies conducted in Germany and Britain have however proven this to be only true to some extent. While the Germans experience zero cost reduction with the use of an OBD scan tool, the Britons were noted to benefit a lot from the use of OBD scan tool. These factors could be attributed to the fact that the several diverse user policies adopted in different countries influence how much the OBD use will cost.

The OBD scan tool assumptions and theories will be important if the countries are to develop comprehensive user policies which may help determine the user scope and environmental policies. More input may still be needed from the stakeholders.