Innova code scanners retrieve error codes from the onboard diagnostic system, or OBD system, of cars. These codes appear whenever the car's onboard computer senses errors with key systems and give mechanics an idea of where to start fixing problems.
Innova makes code scanners for both earlier proprietary systems designed by car companies and the OBD2 standard that works with most cars built after 1996. Code scanners for proprietary systems typically only work on a specific make of vehicle, such as Ford or GM products, and typically have a specific span of years associated with their use. These scanners designed for early systems do not connect to OBD2 systems and use completely different code sets than those of later versions.
OBD2 code scanners connect to the OBD2 port located on most modern cars, and work with cars, trucks, SUVs, minivans and many other vehicle types. Many Innova OBD2 scanners also have LED lights that let users know when the connection is ready, and most later model scanners have digital readouts that let customers view the codes without needing to plug them into a separate system. Users must often use software or a code book to understand the meaning of each code, though more advanced code scanners from Innova provide an explanation along with the code numbers.