When a car problem occurs, the first step is to trouble shoot the related system. Then, perform simple tests that can lead you to the cause of the malfunction and the repairs needed to correct the problem. Sometimes You need the right test equipment. There are many different automotive Code Readers to choose from. Select one that meets your needs. > Scan Tools
Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD II & CAN Scan Tool -- $34.18 Auto Link AL319 OBD II/EOBD Code Reader featuring the unique patented One-Click I/M readiness key, color display, and built in speaker, the Auto Link AL319 is truly the ultimate in ease and affordability, enabling users to verify repairs, road test, check State Emission Monitor Status and solve basic engine and drivability problems. It eliminates drive cycle guesswork by notifying the driver with color coded LEDs, audible tone, and dynamic all-in-one I/M readiness status. Fits all makes and models.
Ancel AD310 Classic Enhanced Universal OBD II Scanner -- $34.99 Car Engine Fault Code Reader CAN Diagnostic Scan Tool, Read and Clear Error Codes for 1996 or Newer OBD2 Protocol Vehicle (Black). Note that the major function of Ancel AD310 OBD II scanner is detect the engine system, read and clear the error codes, but it can not reset oil light. It's a most powerful, affordable and easiest to operate OBD2 scan tool for DIY customers. Once plugged into your vehicle's 16pin OBDII DLC, the unit will power up and prompt you to start your ignition.
ScanTool 426101 OBDLink MX Bluetooth: Professional OBD-II Scan Tool for Android & Windows -- $79.85 Engineered to accelerate performance over the Bluetooth link, OBDLink MX is up to four times faster than the closest competitor. The OBDLink MX Bluetooth OBD-II adapter provides access to SW-CAN & MS-CAN networks in addition to all legislated OBD-II protocols. Thanks to the unique BatterySaver technology you can rest assured that, unlike other OBD adapters, MX won't drain your battery if you leave it plugged in.
OTC Tools 3209 Trilingual OBD II/EOBD & CAN Scan Tool with ABS/Airbag Codes and Definitions -- $107.11 The OTC 3209 features an easy to read color screen and when plugged in provides AutoID which automatically selects the vehicle so you don't have to on most 2000 and newer vehicles. The 3209 reads ABS and Airbag codes and definitions along with having an onboard battery, alternator and charging system monitor. It has endless capabilities such as Component Locator - Text based descriptions indicate where on the vehicle a component is located; Additional PIDs for freeze frame and View Data. Now supports over 300 Global OBD II Live Data items
A scan tool with enhanced diagnostics can save your a lot of time and worry and allow you to do most of the troubleshooting from the drivers seat.
If you have a 1996 or newer vehicle, you have OBD II. But just because it's generic and the connector will plug into your car doesn't mean any scan tool will work on your car. If you have a 1998 or later European vehicle the scan tool will need a software upgrade. Another potential problem vehicles are Korean and the scan tool may need software upgrades to read them correctly.
There are several brands of scan tools, each with different capabilities and options. If you decide to purchase one for your use, shop around and get the one that will serve your needs.
As anyone with a household PC knows, "plug and play" doesn't always work, and OBD II scan tools can encounter compatibility problems. Some European and Korean cars don't always work when they're supposed to. How can you tell? Checking a scan tool manufacturer's Web site for updates is the way to keep your tool current.
It's many years since OBD II has come out and the early vehicles are now out of warranty. OBD II is a very complex system and I can only scratch the surface here, but hopefully it is a little less of a mystery now. Modern OBD II computers are a lot better than the early ones and are getting better every year. They can detect more problems and are much better storing the DTC's it finds.
The OTC/SPX Genysis carries the highest level of diagnostic information available to date. SPX creates the software that is used to operate the vehicles and has the most up to date software available. Although the most expensive of the bunch, you do get what you pay for. The Nemysis is the little brother to the Genysis and is less expensive but as suspected does not offer as many features.