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Myth or Legend – Are OBD2 Scanners Any Good?

Right when you start to feel financially stable, then bam! Car problems hit. It can be frustrating and daunting to take care of a car with an issue. Before you pay hundreds of dollars to go to a mechanic or even worse, purchase a new car, you can discover and diagnose problems yourself with a handy little device called an OBD monitor. 

What can an OBD Detect?

OBD stands for on-board diagnostics. An OBD2 scanner can detect issues with your oil, transmission, oxygen sensors, ignition, and much more. It shows you a code that diagnoses any number of issues and can alert you to problems that could get worse down the road in the future. 

All you have to do is plug this simple, ergonomic device into your car’s OBD port. It then shows you a code that diagnoses 40 different possible car problems your vehicle could be experiencing. It also regularly reviews the car’s system to let you know if there is something that needs fixing or to reassure you your car is in working shape. 

What is the difference between an OBD1 and OBD2?

OBD1 scanners were used in older models to diagnose any issues in your vehicle. It was revolutionary in allowing the car to self-diagnose itself without having to have someone come take a look. The OBD1 was focused on helping solve the emissions systems issues. It was connected to the console of the car, while the OBD2 can be used remotely. The OBD2 was introduced in the early ’90s to the automotive industry. The technology and capabilities of an OBD2 is also new and improved compared to the original OBD1 scanners. 

What are the Dos and Don’ts of Using an OBD2 Scanner?

Having and learning how to use an OBD2 scanner can be crucial in saving you money and keeping you safe. But you have to learn how to use it and interpret the codes first. Each code starts with a letter. Each letter is assigned to a system in your car like P for powertrain, which includes your engine, transmission, and ignition. Then the numbers following the letter pertains to a subset of that system. It may take time to learn how to decipher the codes. If you can’t figure one out, Google is always there, or taking it to a mechanic is always an option. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

So are OBD2 scanners any good? The answer is an emphatic yes! You can get warnings to issues that could arise with your car and get it taken care of before it becomes an emergency. The small investment pays for itself by saving you hundreds of dollars on emergency trips to the mechanic or having to purchase new parts or even a new car.

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