How To Diagnose A Car With A Laptop As An Automotive Scan Tool


Are you wondering how to diagnose a car with a laptop? If so, then you’re in the right place.

Owning a car can offer a lot of benefits; in fact, some people even have more than one car. If you have a car, you can reach your destination conveniently, as you don’t need to deal with lots of passengers. However, owning a car also comes with great responsibilities. For example, you need to ensure that it is working properly and in good condition. Thus, diagnosing your car is really crucial. There are many ways to diagnose a car, like using a laptop as an automotive scan tool. But how to diagnose a car with a laptop?

In today’s article, we will show how you can diagnose your car with a laptop. Don’t worry; it is not as hard as you think.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Diagnose A Car With A Laptop

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Diagnose A Car With A Laptop

By following all the steps below, you’ll be able to diagnose your car effortlessly and more conveniently.

  1. To begin diagnosing your car with a laptop, you will first need to buy a laptop OBD-II interface kit. This kind of kit can be acquired online or in your local automotive parts shops. In case you can’t find an OBD-II, consider using FixD. It is a reliable and advanced diagnostic tool specially designed for cars. This can be used to assess the health issues and problems of your car. Also, it comes with diagnostic features that are present in OBD-II. But instead of a laptop, you will need to use your smartphone using its exclusive application.
  2. Once you have the kit, proceed to the installation process. Here, you will need to insert the installation disc. To complete the installation successfully, be sure to follow the prompts on the screen. In case the installation doesn’t begin automatically, go to “My Computer” and then click on the disc twice to begin.
  3. Thirdly, connect the components to the laptop. The majority of ODB-II interface kits come with a USB in order to serial adapter for a laptop that doesn’t come with a serial port. After attaching the device to your laptop, you can now connect your OBD-II port cable.
  4. Launch the software program, and please note that if the program didn’t start automatically, you can click the desktop icon twice. Once started, familiarize yourself with the control interface.
  5. Once everything is settled, take your laptop to your car. Then turn your ignition key to the “ON” status. But be sure not to crank the engine.
  6. Connect your OBD-II scan cable from your laptop through the diagnostic port that can be found on your car. Typically, it is located in the side footwell of the driver, under the steering wheel. If needed, tap on the SCAN button. From there, you can see the engine codes as well as diagnostic detail presented by the program.

How To Diagnose A Car: Other Methods You Can Try

Besides the abovementioned, there are other methods you can try to diagnose your car, and here are some of them.

Keep An Eye On Your Brakes

When it comes to cars, the brake is one of the most important things that deserve your attention. So, the moment you notice that there’s something wrong with your brakes, be sure to check it right away.

If your brakes feel squishy or springy, particularly when they are pressed down, there is a tendency that there is air in the brake lines. These lines might be depleted to remove the air.

Always Check The Battery

If your car’s battery is not working properly, you will not be able to get far. Nevertheless, if your battery is showing white powders on the outside, the alternator is overcharging the car’s battery. And this means you need to take your car to the shop.

Another sign that your battery is low is that your headlights are dim, or before starting, your engine is turning over a couple of times.

Generally, a battery usually lasts about 3 years. So, if you have been using it for quite some time, be sure to check it now.


Car maintenance and diagnosis are very important to ensure that everything is well. Driving a car that is not in good condition can be very risky not only for the drivers and passengers but also for other people. So, in order to avoid any problem, be sure to always check and monitor your car and, most importantly, make sure you know how to diagnose a car with a laptop.


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