How to Choose the OBD2 Scanner | 2022 Guide
While searching the internet or talking to some mechanics, maybe you come across the word "obd2 scanner". Perhaps you know what it means, or maybe you don't. Well, for those who don't, rest assured because I'm going to tell you all about it.
OBD2 stands for On-Board Diagnostic system, and its located in every vehicle made after 1996. Mechanics use it to check engine lights and other vehicle systems.
This tool is essential for any mechanic and someone that prefers to do the fixing themselves.
Now that you know about OBD2 scanners let's find out how to choose one without making mistakes.
Check out our Best OBD2 Scanners article to find out which one is the best.
Things to Consider Before Buying OBD II Scanner
It all comes to three essential things:
- What kind of problem the car has, and does it require an OBD2 scanner.
- How much money can you afford to fix the car?
- And, what errors can an OBD 2 scanner scan?
What Information Do You Want from OBD2 Scanner?
One of the important things to consider before buying is how much data the scanner can show you. Does the scanner you're buying come with a feature that scans and finds the problem you are facing?
There are two types of OBD II scanners, and they are basic and high-end. If you decide to buy a basic one, you need to know that not all car models can be compatible with it.
Basic models can scan a few things, like notifying the user about things that need to be diagnosed, and that's it.
High-end OBD 2 scanners have excellent features and better compatibility, giving the user peace of mind.
They can read more than 10K codes, and also show you the vehicle history, for example, if it had a crash and previous owner information.
Some OBD2 scanners like FIXD can inform you about the error code and tell you how much you need to pay for a repair.
More on FIXD down below.
How Much Money You Are Willing to Spend on Repairs
Basic OBD 2 scanner models are relatively cheap, and they can only help you with a few things.
Their price may vary based on the brand name and the features they have. You can get a basic one for around 30 to 300 dollars. Don't get me wrong. They can be an excellent and effective lifesaver.
High-end OBD 2 scanners are expensive, but you will have all the features a professional has. Some of them include:
- Live Data
- On-screen definitions
- ABS or Airbag capability
- Data login or storage
Their price revolves around 200 to 1000 dollars.
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What Type of OBD 2 Scanner Do You Need?
- OBD 2 scanner for PC - The advantage of this scanner is that you operate from a PC. Also, you can fix those problems directly from your PC. The disadvantage is that you need cable, and an expensive OBD 2 program is another charge you need to consider.
- OBD 2 Bluetooth scanners - The advantage of these scanners is that you can operate them from your tablet or smartphone. Another good thing is that Bluetooth scanners also work with PCs. The disadvantage is that you need an app or a subscription to use it.
- Hand scanners - The Advantage of these scanners is that they can detect and diagnose issues more than any other type. Professionals mainly use them to scan brakes, transmission systems, or engines. You don't need a tablet, smartphone, or PC to use it. The disadvantage is that they are very expensive.
Do I Need to Upgrade My OBD 2 Scanner?
Basic and cheaper scanners can't be updated, which is a bummer. High-end models can be updated but are more expensive. It's best to get one that can receive updates, so you always have the latest version for your car.
Top Recommendation for an OBD II Scanner
Our recommendation is the FIXD OBD 2 scanner tool. Check out the full list of Fixd pros and cons in our full review. FIXD is a Bluetooth scanner that has an app for iOS and Android and comes with extra features like:
- Check engine light fix, which can save you $1000s at the repair shop.
- FIXD automatically alerts about tire rotations, oil changes and reads out more than 10K codes from your car.
- Find out previous owner information.
- Using FIXD, you can clear error codes and reset the check engine light.
- Suppose you want to avoid a wasted trip to the mechanic to test emissions. With FIXD, you can do that right from your home.
- FIXD app allows for multiple cars to be registered. This means that you can track multiple vehicles from one app.
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How to Use FIXD?
All you have to do is plug FIXD in your OBD 2 port, open the app, connect with your FIXD, and tap green to scan for issues.
1) Plug FIXD Into Car Port
2) Sync FIXD With Phone
3) FIXD Does The Rest For You
Where to Find the OBD 2 Port?
You can find the port under the steering wheel on the driver's side. When FIXD finishes the scan, it will send notifications to the app on your phone.
NOTE: OBD 2 port can only be found in vehicles manufactured in 1996 or after.
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How Much Is FIXD?
You can find 3 options on their official website, and they are:
- 1 FIXD for $59.99 plus shipping and handling
- 2 FIXD for $89.99 with FREE USA shipping (Buy 1, Get 1 50% OFF discount)
- 3 FIXD for $119.98 also with FREE USA shipping (Buy 2, Get 1 FREE discount)
Once you select one of the options, it will then offer you a 50% savings on a lifetime warranty that comes down to only $10.
When it comes to OBD 2 scanners, it's crucial to consider all the things before buying. For example, you may not want extra charges when purchasing an OBD2 scanner for basic use.
We decided on FIXD because it's an excellent scanner with many features, an affordable price, and good support (if you upgrade to premium).
And lastly, keep in mind to only buy OBD2 scanners from their official websites.
With the continual development and increase in technology, gadgets, and gizmos, Amar never has a dull day researching new gadgets. Being an enthusiastic gamer, traveler, soccer lover, and avid car driver means that he always looks for the next cool thing to try out.