You might have heard of an OBD scanner, or seen one being used when you took a car for a check up. It is a device that helps decode the dashboard lights that are used to indicate malfunctions and errors that need some attention and possible repair. Many people think that it is a good idea to buy one for personal use, which can be useful if you have an older car whereby the dashboard lights are always lighting up. But before you start searching for the best OBD1 and 2 scanner, here are a few things to consider.
If Your Car Is Relatively New, This Isn’t A Priority
Like we’ve previously mentioned, an OBD scanner is used to interpret malfunction indicators on your dashboard. If your car was manufactured in the last three or four years, it is unlikely that you will encounter many malfunctions unless you’re a particularly careless driver. Although it isn’t an expensive item to buy, you may have other priorities in your budget to spend your money on.
Interpreting The Results Is Not Simple
You may be thinking that getting a scanner means that you will be able to decipher the ambiguous dashboard lights and quickly pinpoint what is wrong with your vehicle. However, the reality is that there are dozens upon dozens of different codes that OBD scanners give as a result and it is impractical to expect that you will know them all. The simplest way to decode your OBD scan results is to automate the process by using an application or a website that provides the service. Of course, that is a paid service, so keep that in mind before you purchase an OBD scanner.
Diagnosis Isn’t The End Of The Road
Although it is important to properly and accurately diagnose the issue that is causing a malfunction indicator or other dashboard light to flash, it is not the ultimate goal. In the end, you would still need to repair the malfunction – something which often requires that you hire a mechanic. Therefore, unless you are adept at repairing cars on your own, an OBD scanner is only going to save you a fraction of the total cost of repairing your car and bringing it back to shape. If all you do is diagnose the problem, it would be like going to the doctor so he can tell you that you have a disease but without giving you any medications to help you overcome the disease. In other words, diagnosis is only the first step in fixing your car.
An OBD scanner (1 or 2) is a useful tool that is routinely used by mechanics and others involved in automobile repair in order to accurately identify the problems that a car has. Those with experience using the scanner can quickly decipher the codes and take the necessary steps to repair the malfunction, but most people will require the help of applications and more work to fix their car.