OBD2 readers are available as simple handheld readers with basic features and professional scan tools with advanced functions. While the simple readers are adequate for car owners who just want to understand their vehicles better, the professional mechanic needs a tool that will identify problems quickly, accurately and with as much detail as possible.
Select Your OBD2 From Available Categories
1.Select professional mechanic software for desktop and laptop computers. Among the advantages of using a computer as an OBD2 scan tool is the large amount of space available to save the Diagnostic Trouble Codes, a large screen for easy viewing, relatively low cost, reprogramming capability, the ability to upgrade easily and a large selection of OBD2 software. The main disadvantage is that these computers will be difficult to carry around the car while you work.
2.Use your Pocket PC as an OBD2 reader. The portable nature of this type of OBD2 reader, as well as its low battery power consumption, will enable the professional mechanic to work around the car with the diagnostic information in hand. There is OBD2 software for Palm handheld computers also.
3.Increase productivity with a wireless interface. OBD2 scan tools equipped with wireless cards eliminate the need for cables and make it possible for the mechanic to scan the car from a distance.
4.Select a stand-alone, handheld scanner. This type of OBD2 reader obtains the Diagnostic Trouble Codes quickly and, in some cases, will display the definition of the codes on the screen. Unlike computer-based OBD2 readers, there is no need to install a program or learn to use the equipment.
Select the Features of an OBD2 Reader
1.Choose a professional OBD2 reader that can clear the codes. Once the problem has been determined, most readers can erase the report from the car’s system and turn off the warning light on the dashboard.
2.Select a professional grade OBD2 reader that can read freeze frames.
3.Consider a reader that will work on as many car models as possible. OBD2 readers are designed to use one or more of the five communication protocols that are specific to certain types of cars. These protocols are: SAE J1850 PWM used for cars manufactured by Ford Motors, SAE J1850 VPW used by General Motors, ISO 9141-2 used in Chrysler cars as well as in Asia and Europe, the ISO 14230 KWP2000 and the ISO 15765 CAN.
4.Choose a reader that can perform most of the diagnostic functions. These functions include the ability to read and clear codes, display code definitions and part identification numbers, auto-scan, perform an actuator test and perform programming functions.