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Check Engine Light on? Get the answer yourself by using an OBD2 Scan Tool

Understand vehicle fault codes with a diagnostic scanner from Repco

Whether you're a general DIY'er and love troubleshooting your vehicles, or you possess professional-like skills in repairing your family or friend's cars, then owning a OBD2 scan tool can help you save money and time, helping you check diagnostic trouble codes or error code signals generated by your vehicle. Stocking quality diagnostic scan tools from Bosch, Foxwell and Mechpro Blue make us your first choice for diagnosing fault codes on your vehicle.

What is OBD2 and what does it do?

The OBDII standard provides lists of standardised DTC error codes from their database. DTC codes are 4 digit, preceded by P powertrain, B body, C chassis and U network. Even the simplest OBD2 reader has the ability to read these codes, with the added functionality enabling diagnostic trouble codes to be cleared once the repair has been completed and the ability to turn off the check engine light.

Most cars since 1996 are OBDII compliant but best to check your owners manual first.

How does a scan tool work and how does it read diagnostic trouble codes?

OBD2 devices are relatively simple to use. Whilst different models carry different functionality, the general process and usage of an OBD2 scanner is quite consistent.

  • Ensure that your car is OBDII compliant. The connector is generally located underneath your steering wheel or car's control panel.
  • Turn off the power of your vehicle. Take the OBD scanner tool and plug it into the OBD2 port under the dash. The scanner will turn on from the car's power source once it is inserted into the OBD2 port.
  • Once the scanner is connected then your car on and wait for the OBDII scanner to boot up. This will be done automatically. If not, press the power button to initialise.
  • When the scanner is on and ready, it will automatically pick up the specific data from your vehicle's VIN identifier.
  • Once this has been completed, the scanner will begin to analyse and read your vehicle's diagnostic system.
  • After scanning the systems of your vehicle, the OBD2 scanner will then provide any codes the scanner has found. Take note of these codes and use the instruction manual to check these codes to get a full understanding of what they refer to and what they mean.
  • Once you have found and fixed your problem, then you can go ahead and clear the code

Vehicle scan tools can provide a multitude of live data to provide diagnosis between services and you to keep your vehicle out of the repair shop. Measuring spark advance, engine speed, coolant temperature and a whole host of functions from your driver's seat enables cost effective troubleshooting of what goes on in your engine bay.

Many of the more expensive scanners have both a color screen but also the ability to utilise software updates ensuring access to service bulletins and the latest manufacturer codes. These can also conduct battery tests to ensure health of your vehicle battery.

Bluetooth scanners have now entered the market and having the bluetooth connection of your phone enables you to use your own screen from your phone but also download your diagnostic results via usb cable.

Repco stock an OBD2 scanner for your needs and your budget

Providing the functionality and usability you'd expect, our range of scan tools help you get result when looking at engine diagnostics. Browse online or come into your nearest store and shop our selection.

Check out the full range of engine diagnostics, specialty automotive tools and general garage equipment online or at a Repco store near you.

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