How to Use an Obd2 Scanner

Learn How to Use an Obd2 Scanner Step by Step

Have your odb2 scanner choice has put you in a dilemma. Plus, you are looking at how to use an obd2 scanner? Perhaps, you are a repair technician or vehicle owner who usually diagnoses their vehicle problems manually.

Besides this, you like to travel alone, but you are afraid of your cars’ failure on the road. Thus, you have bought an on-board diagnostic scanner but also confused about its use.

You are confused about terms related to the obd2 scanner. Or maybe you are planning to buy an obd2 scanner for your vehicle. Now what to do next?

Just sit back, relax, and read this article. This article is about the use of an obd2 scanner. Also, its pure intent is to clear your confusion about the obd2 scanner.

How to Choose the Obd2 Scanner

When planning to buy an obd2 scanner tool, it is necessary to consider some factors. Addressing essential factors of the obd2 scanner helps to make the selection process easy.

Selecting the best available obd2 scanner can make car diagnosis easy. Obd2 scanner helps to detect a problem with your car effortlessly.

Choosing the right obd2 scanner can save you from the hustle of going to a technician for car diagnosis. Also, the obd2 scanner can help you during times when a car technician is not around.

It can also help to save money which you pay for yearly diagnosis of your car. Obd2 scanner comes as an essential code reader with limited functionality.

An introductory code reader lets you know about the car problem. Moreover, it is most suitable if you are finding a scanner with a low price and limited functionality.

How to Use an Obd2 Scanner

This kind of scanner is compatible with most repeated car models. A high-end obd2 reader is unlike a basic car reader. Also, it provides you more functionality.

Plus, it is mostly used by professionals. It offers different types of features. Some of its main features include ABS capability, On-screen definitions display. Printing, live Data, data logging, and storage.

ABS prevents locking up of the wheels and helps to sustain their grip on the road. Abs capability diagnoses and resets ABS, airbags, and other systems.

On-screen definitions display is used to show the diagnosis codes on the scanners’ screen. Further, it is used to attain a better user experience.

Similarly, the printing feature can be used for printing the data. Live data is used to see real-time information about the car. Plus, a scanner can show live data even when a vehicle in a driving car.

Also, a data logging or storage feature is available, which is used to store cars’ information in the scanners’ memory. Plus, it gives you access to a car using VIN (vehicle identification number).

Best Obd2 Scanner for Beginners

 DIY obd2 scanner links up to your car to an app on your mobile. Obd2 scanner can easily send information from your vehicle to your mobile phone. Also, the scanner gives you information about the car.

 For instance, it will inform you about average speed, average mpg, fuel used, and other kinds of information. DIY obd2 scanners are considered to show data on your smartphones easily.

In addition to that, it also considers other essentials factors when buying obd2. Idb2 scanner should always be compatible with your vehicle.

Moreover, it should be capable enough to provide trouble codes at a fast time. Also, it should be user friendly. Users can easily understand and view data or error messages on the screen.

Plus, its storage capacity should be more and efficient enough to store a large amount of data. An obd2 scanner should be flexible to use.

Also, it can be used on different platforms like laptops, smartphones, and tablets, etc. It always comes with a warranty card from a manufacturer.

Plus, it should be handy and portable. Users’ manual should be clear and crisp. Besides this, it should come up with all the accessories that make it operative.

Obd2 scanner should be able to perform its functions efficiently. Also, it should be worth buying. Obd2 system comes in many types. When selecting obd2, compatibility is kept in mind.

Try to make sure that the obd2 scanner is always compatible with your vehicle. Investing in the best-selected obd2 can make you aware of your cars’ failures before time.

You can self-diagnose your car. A failure that is going to happen in the future will cost more. Rather than a failure that is captured before time.

How to Use an Obd2 Scanner and Installation

An obd2 scanner is very simple to use. Moreover, it does not require a very high level of understanding. However, the process may be different in different models. However, the basic procedure to use an obd2 scanner is listed below.

  • The first step is to turn off your car. Now plug the obd2 scanner into an obd2 data link connector. Find the data link connector under the dashboard on the drivers’ side. Obd2 scanners’ cable usually has a plug with 16-pins. Also, it easily fits into your car.
  • Now run your car and turn on the ignition key.
  • Now either press the power button on the scanner to initialize (some scanner requires a power button press to start) it or let it initialize it automatically.
  • Check if the scanner is indicating it is ready to use.
  • Enter the required data. It usually includes cars’ type, model, VIN. After this, initialize the read or scan feature of the scanner. You may require a button, or either you can be done automatically.
  • Now it’s time for the scanner to auto scan the cars’ system. Also, it will show only one diagnostic code or either more than one diagnostic codes. Write these codes in your diary or anything. Similarly, you can also transfer codes to your computer or laptop. Either uses a USB cable or a Bluetooth device to transmit codes.
  • Now you can easily match the diagnostic trouble codes with the user manual. However, the user manual gives you very limited information. Therefore, it is suggested to search these codes on the internet. Also, searching on the internet might give you a better understanding of the diagnostic trouble code.
  • Now, if you are done with documenting and transferring your error codes. Turn off the car and watchfully unplug the obd2 scanner.

How to Read Obd2 Codes without Scanner Gm

Obd2 scanners are used for cars’ diagnosis. However, if you forgot to keep your scanner with you or your scanner may encounter some issues.

Now, in this case, you are fortunate enough to read obd2 codes even without a scanner. Here are some methods to do it.

Lenition key

Turn the ignition key on and off, and most of the time, it requires turning on the vehicle five times. In some cases, it may require to turn on three times.

Moreover, the ignition key is required to turn on and off the vehicle without cranking. Also, the ignition key is required to leave in position.

Check Engine and Service Lights

Your service lights can show much in a problem. A pulse of service lights will show a number. Service lights’ pause shows a separation of a previous digit from the next one. For example, code 12 will show a pulse then pause then pulse, pulse,

Depress the Odometer

The odometer is usually situated on the dashboard of a car to check codes using an odometer. Turn the ignition key on and off at the same time. Also, reset the trip and reset buttons of the odometer.

Now release the ignition key in on position. Now, you can see the code available on the screen of the odometer.

How to Make Obd2 to USB Cable

Usually, car problems appear a lot simpler, while the actual problem is quite serious. For better diagnostic, OBD 2 is connected with a car and then through a USB cable to a computer or laptop.

Further analysis is performed on the results. OBD 2 is connected beneath the driver side dashboard into a port by a plug. Another plug is introduced in the OBD 2, having the other end of the USB head.

USB head is connected with the PC or laptop. OBD 2 presents codes that explain the fault occurrences in the car. Principles are explained by looking into their OBD books or by googling them.

However, the software explains these codes straight away. The software also provides details about the component condition and operations. 

Software such as TOAD, Scan tool, Pro Scan, and Easy PBD2 are used to diagnose the car. Features provided in this software are very informative and guides directly to the problem.

Many core problem sources are easily pinpointed. Features such as HP/Toque estimator, performance improvement, guidance on how to fix it, etc., explain the car operation capability.

Build Your Own Obd2 Scanner

Tests on the different components like sensors, controller, instrument cluster transmission, Fuel line, etc are performed. Special tests can also be performed, which can predict and indicate component weakness.

Guidance on how to prolong the car’s life based on its condition is provided within minutes. Safety components like airbags are effortlessly checked.

Analysis data is provided through graphical and table data, which can help understands its performance and condition.

Information on the records on car maintenance and repairs are kept in the software. Based on which the car situation is completely known.

Even if a new owner accesses it, the entire car secret will be quickly revealed. With such information available at the fingertips, time is always saved. Expenses are kept low.

Fuel intake due to good condition and guidance on maintenance is always down. OBD 2 to USB cable usually has length, flexibility, and strength issues.

So the industry is developing better OBD USB cable having none of these issues while at a lower price. New software with better features is being researched so that cars can be better managed.

How to use an Obd2 Bluetooth Scanner

Once the OBD 2 Bluetooth scanner is compatible with your car, connect with it. Use a smartphone to turn on its Bluetooth feature and scan for OBD 2 portal. Bluetooth feature is used to diagnose the car faster and easier.

Laptop and PC usually require a long USB cable. Such a scenario usually makes it a bit too difficult to work. A smartphone is required to have an app such as BlueDriver, Torque pro, Foseal, etc.

Now just like a PC, such an app helps to diagnose and pinpoint the problem in the car. OBD 2 records, codes, and setting are also accessed through the smartphone.

OBD present the principles which are decoded in the app. Driver through their smartphone or tablet can understand the core problem of the car all while sitting in the car.

Guidance on how to increase the performance and smoothest the car engine is provided. If the car is about to have a misfire, the app through the OBD 2 would inform about it.

OBD code reader apps can provide details on how to self fix. If the damage component requires a special hand, then it informs the requirement of a mechanic.

How to Use Elm327

Nonetheless, the app will still provide you instructions on how to fix the car, no matter how significant the fault is. New updates for free on new components and methods of how to improve the car state are notified by the app.

People these days do not remove the OBD 2. Every morning by turning on their vehicle, they automatically get the car’s update through an OBD Bluetooth connection.

Information on airflow rate, pressure intake, load value, and oxygen sensor voltage are all prearranged. Before any fault or misfire occurs, OBD sends the signal through the Bluetooth.

All the hassle caused by the sudden stopping of the car never occurs. Every component before failing is being fixed, all through a simple device. Drivers do not even have to explain the car condition to the mechanic.

App provides all the detail to the mechanic. The app keeps the repairs and maintenance records for further use in the future. Nowadays, vehicle values and conditions are evaluated easily through the app. 

Most car faults cause too much expense due to late repairs. OBD 2 Bluetooth scanner informs the upcoming fault in detail. Such information saves high expenses and time.

How to Find a Misfire without a Scanner

Most of the time, a misfire occurs when our guards are down. Engine misfire indications are provided through sound and performance. 

However, owners, even with these indications, remain unknown to the upcoming problems. With time misfire takes complete control, and the car finally gives up.

Misfire detection is a difficult skill to attain since it requires a lot of practice and knowledge of the operations of cars. While finding it does require many apparatus usages, its root cause of misfire is various.

Misfire appears in three main sections; Ignition, Fuel, and Vacuum. In these sections, there many problems such as fuel line, vacuum leaks, compression drop, and key valves or sensors failure, component breakdown, etc.

Symptoms of Misfire are:

  1. Increase in Emissions
  2. Increase in fuel consumption
  3. Loss of power in Engine
  4. Engine hard vibrates
  5. Engine Stalls
  6. Popping sound from the engine
  7. Backfire of intake or exhaust
  8. Difficulty in engine initiation

Basic steps of misfire findings are,

  1. Start the car 
  2. Open the hood
  3. Listen to the engine sound and try to hear out a different pattern or damaging sound.
  4. From the back of the spark plug, pull the rubber cap, and if the engine makes a more worst sound or dies then, you have a misfire in the ignition.
  5. Put the cap back on.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 two or more times with the other spark plugs and focuses on the sound of the engine to confirm that the misfire is in the ignition section. Through the sound, find the damaged spark plug.
  7. Change the damaged spark plug with the spark plug ratchet and socket with a new one.
  8. Try to start the car, and if the misfire is still occurring, then it’s a problem in the Fuel or Vacuum section. In that case, it needs to be handled by a technician.

Ignition components failure is one of the most common causes of a misfire. Every 3 or 5 years, the ignition components have worn outs. The fuel and Vacuum section is a complicated part.

Finding a misfire in these two sections not only difficult, but it requires different apparatus such as a vacuum tester gauge. However, there are times when even experienced technicians can’t pinpoint the origin of the misfire.


OBD 2 scanner is a very useful device, and I hope you know how to use an obd2 scanner. Also, these are featured, and the capability provided by the OBD 2 scanner should be kept in mind while buying it. 

Many problems are not only solved but are kept from resurfacing again through it. Diagnosis is performed at such a level and speed that components are reconditioned before their breakdown.

The repairing and maintenance process has fastened up. Better management and guidance have prolonged the car’s life. Cars with OBD 2 do rarely have a misfire since they are kept from reappearing.

Records keeping provides effortlessly data access to its value, maintenance, and the condition is effortlessly known. Many prefer an old-style fixing, but it’s only a matter of time before such methods are replaced by the OBD 2 scanner.

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