This post was last updated on May 14th, 2019 at 04:08 pm
I can confidently say we are currenty in the millenium car era. What i mean by this is that people now mostly drive in vehicles manufactured in the year 2000 or later. OBD2 technology debuted with 196 and newer cars. In today’s article, as the title suggests, we shall be appraising how one can start using an OBD2 scanner to the extent of trying to commercialise its usage. In short, I will teach you how to make money using OBD2 Scanners but before then, you need to learn some basic terminologies about OBD2.
A case study of how an OBD2 Scanner can save you from expensive repairs
Using Nigeria as a case study, do you know that in some big cities, you can be charged between #5,000 to #15,000 just to diagnose a vehicle?. This depends on the person offering the service and the brand & year of the vehicle in question. The newer the vehicle, the higher the charges. We are rapidly leaning toward electrical vehicles. Most modern vehicles are made up of countless sensors and chips. I personally picked interest in using OBD2 scanners when a friend of mine who i wasted a huge amount of money trying to solve an Auto transmission problem with his illiterate mechanic. At a point, they had to drop the transmission and rebuild all to no avail. None of us was aware that the problem was caused by a partially connected transmission solenoid.
Eventually, the mechanic recommended that we take the vehicle to a transmission specialist who will connect it to a computer to know what is left to be repaired(This was after he had ignorantly dropped the engine). Unfortunately, the so-called mechanic only gave this advice after milking us dry. Obviously, he was at his wits end. The so-called specialist charged us #5,000 for diagnosis without repair and charged us an additional 5k for the repair. We were asked to come back and when we arrived the problem is gone. A couple of months later my pal hit the underneath of the vehicle when he ran over a bump and the transmission problem reoccurred and the “D” light started blinking. At this point, I told him to let me do research on this. I was smart enough to memorize the DTC code when it happened earlier.
- Don’t entirely entrust the maintenance of your Vehicle’s tires Into the hands of Vulcanizers
- 13 Ways from preventing Damages to your Vehicle’s Paint finish- Sun damage, corrosion prevention
- Vehicle’s Windshield Stress Crack: Definition, prevention & repair
- [Tutorial] About motor / engine oil: wrong use, overfill, oil shortage and lots more
All I did was to use Google to look for a solution to that particular error code. I was lucky enough to get a youtube video that showed me where the solenoid is located. We reconnected it and the problem was gone. #10,000 save within two minutes. My friend vowed to get an obd2 scanner of his own and that is how I became his diagnosis expert. Now, we have saved many families and friends a lot of money through vehicle diagnosis.
What does OBD-2 Mean?
By way of definition, or call it a description, an OBD-II is a sort of computer which monitors emissions, mileage, speed, and other useful data. OBD-II is connected to the Check Engine light, which illuminates when the system detects a problem.
What are Diagnostic trouble codes(DTC) in Vehicles?
First off, DTC, is an acronym for “Diagnostic Trouble Codes”. Today’s computerized engine control system can up to a certain point self-diagnose to detect auto problems that could be affecting your vehicle emissions and engine performance.
Current/active trouble codes vs pending trouble codes in a vehicle
Active codes are live codes or malfunctions that are keeping your Check Engine Light on. … Pending codes mean that the OBD-II monitoring system has failed the operation of an emission control system at least once and if it fails again the Check Engine Light will be turned on and the malfunction becomes an Active code.
“OBD II Pending Codes are also referred to as “continuous monitor” and “maturing codes”. An intermittent fault will cause the computer to store a pending code in memory. If the fault does not recur within 40 warm-up cycles, the code will be cleared from memory. If the fault recurs a specific number of times, the code will then mature into a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) and the MIL or “check engine” light will turn on. ”
What are the features of OBD-2 Scanners? How are they useful?
Nowadays, OBD2 scanners are not limited to scanning and reading just engine codes. They do a lot more. Some of the diagnosis an OBD-2 scanner can perform includes the followings:
- Scan, read and clear vehicles fault and pending codes(All obd2 do this)
- Check vehicles SRS,
- Abs scanning
- Tires/tyres pressure
- Vehicle’s VIN
- Fluid and lubricant
- All sensors and so on.
Who can use an OBD-2 Scanner?
- A vehicle owner who wants to use it personally to save him or herself from mechanics extortion
- Anybody who wants to make money from diagnosing vehicles with this tool.
Features & Specifications to look out for in an OBD-2 Scanner that can be used professionally for commercial purposes
- First off, The OBD2 scanner must support live software updates.
- The scanner must support American, Asian and European cars
- In addition, the scanner must support OEM specific trouble codes, generic codes and enhance codes.
- Furthermore, the scanner must support vehicles from 1996 and newer
- The scanner should be able to recommend repair reports(Optional you can work around this with google and youtube)
- The scanner should support all diagnostic connectors(optional as 16 pins obd is currently the most popular and supported by more than 90% of vehicles out there.
- Also, it should support most vehicle types including light trucks(Note: if you want to do only trucks, you should but a more advanced scanner)
- It should support the two engine types that we have that is Gasoline / Petrol and Diesel
- After repair, it should be able to read and clear the error codes
- It will most likely have options to buy paid software
- Optionally, It should support Chinese vehicles(This is optional depends on you)
- It must also support the display of various graph streams.
Comparison between a Bluetooth(Wireless) OBD2 Scanner and a wired one
Choosing your OBD2 scanner with respect to the design/style is tricky. One could wonder, should i opt for the Bluetooth scanner without an inbuilt LCD or should I buy the conventionally wired tool? The followings are the difference between the two:
- One is wireless while the other requires a wired connection.
- The Bluetooth scanner is portable and small. The wired one as big as it has buttons an onboard display of its own.
- When you look for a total or complete tool, you may need to buy the wired. However, this comes at a more expensive price tag.
- Both types would get the basic diagnosis of any trouble codes of any vehicle done.
- If you are a mobile mechanic or you want to use it for just one vehicle, I will suggest you get the Bluetooth scanner.
- Another difference is that for that expensive professional tool, you get the support and connectors for other nonpopular vehicles like 30 pins, 24 pins and so on