What Are Some Benefits of Using an Automotive Scanning Tool?


Quick Answer

Some benefits of using an automotive scanning tool include the ability to use the tool on just about any car, the fact that it provides a thorough scan of all electronic systems, and the fact that the tool generally has a design that is simple to use. Further, automotive scanning tools make identifying malfunctions easy through the use of code numbers, and they are also affordable.

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Full Answer

In 1996 the EPA stated that all vehicles must meet the same standards when it comes to their computer interfaces. This standard, known as OBD II, ensures that any vehicle produced since 1996 is compatible with any standard automotive diagnostic scanning tool.

Automotive scanning tools are generally hand-held and feature a module along with a display screen. They are easy to connect to a vehicle as they are plugged in right below the driver's side dashboard into the vehicle's OBD II port. The unit also often displays on-screen instructions, making operation easy.

After scanning the car, the tool displays codes that identify which systems are malfunctioning. You can check these codes to see what they represent by looking at the manual that typically comes with the tool or by looking them up online.

Before 1996, users had to purchase separate scanning tools for different makes and models, making them costly. Now, they are relatively inexpensive and can even identify the problem on the display screen, not just the code.

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