Professional Automotive Diagnostic Tools Buying Guide

When the warning lights on your dash illuminated, they’re responding to trouble codes that have been generated by your engine’s computer. For the engine, these codes are grouped under a diagnostic protocol known as OBDII. Short for “on-board diagnostics”, the OBD system is standardized across vehicle manufacturers, allowing mechanics to identify and repair engine problems quickly.

The engine isn’t the only system that puts out these trouble codes, either. You can troubleshoot errors in everything from your tire pressure to your airbags with the right code reader. These codes aren’t standardized, however, and can’t be read by all OBDII scan tools.

That’s where a professional scan tool comes into play, giving you access to error codes and other helpful data primary code readers won’t provide. Other benefits of a professional automotive diagnostic scanner are as follows:

Make Repairs Yourself Instead of Paying A Mechanic

Some vehicle issues require professional expertise, but others are simpler and can be easily (and cheaply) repaired at home. With a scan tool, you can identify the problem and its severity, gaining the knowledge you need to make small repairs yourself. Once those repairs are made, an automotive scan tool allows you to clear the error code and turn off the check engine light, too.

Preparing for State Emissions Tests

Much of the information included in OBD2 diagnostics is related to your vehicle’s smog emissions. With a professional automotive scanner, you can identify issues with the emission system before you go to the inspection, saving you both time and money.

Gain Insight Into Engine Health And Performance

Professional car scan tools read a range of parameters and data. Logging this information lets you identify trends and developing issues before they’re a big problem. When you do need to go to the mechanic, you’ll walk in knowing the exact issue you need to have fixed, giving you peace of mind that you’re not being ripped off.

Benefits for Auto Repair Shops

Automotive scanners don’t just read trouble codes and record module data. Professional models also allow you to interact with the engine, making necessary repairs and adjustments. If you’re a professional mechanic, there are a few key features you’ll need in a diagnostic tool:

*   More services to offer to your customers. A scanner with coding and programming capability allows you to go beyond necessary repairs. You can add services like making new key fobs or tuning the engine, things your customers would otherwise have needed to have done at a dealership.
*   Expanded vehicle coverage can grow your customer base. Professional scan tools can diagnose and repair vehicles from dozens of manufacturers. The more cars and trucks you’re able to work on, the more potential customers you have nearby.
*   Improve speed and efficiency. We all know time is money. Speed can be especially important in automotive repair, where customers are eager to get back on the road. Along with high processing speeds that scan trouble codes, many professional tools have intelligent features that automatically gather information from the engine. The inclusion of bi-directional control is another big time-saver, identifying failing valves or solenoids so you can get the right to repairs.
*   Better accuracy. A diagnostic tool is useless if you can’t trust the information it gives you. Industry experts have vetted Professional Diagnostic Tools from trusted brands so you can count on the accuracy of their readings.