How To Use Car Diagnostic Tool In 4 Simple Steps?


Car diagnostic tools are becoming more and more popular these days. It is because figuring out the cause of the main problem is a struggle without the right tool. A car diagnostic tool is a simple yet high-tech and reliable tool that allows you to check all the electrical components of your car to see where the problems lie. While it proves itself to be extremely beneficial, some people still don’t know how to use car diagnostic tool.

So, to help those people who are not familiar with how to use this diagnostic tool, I have done all the research and come up with this guide. Below, I will show you how to use car diagnostic tool properly so that you will be able to detect and resolve the problems more accurately.

Let’s get started.

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Use Car Diagnostic Tool

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Use Car Diagnostic Tool

In general, a car diagnostic tool is the same when it comes to function and design. While high-end car diagnostic tools come with advanced features such as the ability to read statistics, nevertheless, they are very easy to use since most of them will start to scan as soon as the tool is plugged in.

Listed below is the step-by-step guide on how to use car scan tool.

First Step: Plug The Car Diagnostic Tool Into Your OBD-II Port

Mainly, the information will be downloaded from the port by the car diagnostic tool. The moment you plug your tool, it will give you access to anything virtually the car has identified when it comes to faults or problems. When you reach this part, all you need to do is to tweak the setup a little so that you will be able to get the detailed info.

Keep in mind that the OBD-II port is collective. Meaning to say you can plug in any kind or type of car diagnostic tool. On the other hand, to make sure that the tool will communicate with the onboard computer effectively, ensure a nice fit into the port’s good fit.

In case your car does not keep codes in the memory, you will need to turn on your car. You can only turn on the engine when required by an onboard computer to monitor the health of your vehicle in real-time.

By the way, it is important that you know what type of OBD your car is using, as some vehicles come with OBD-I ports.

Second Step: Read The Codes

One of the best things about the process involved in car diagnosis is that it is achievable and sustainable. Ideally, it is capable of reading the generated codes in response to the systematic or mechanical issues within your car. Your car diagnostic tool can download such codes easily and show them to you afterward. But keep in mind that it will not help you, especially if you are not completely aware of the programming language.

Nonetheless, as soon as you find a secure and good fit, switch on the unit’s power button to turn on your car diagnostic tool. If it’s Bluetooth-enabled, know that you can switch it on thru Bluetooth.

After which, manually access the diagnostic tool, especially if it does not start reading automatically once on. Usually, you will need to tap on the SCAN button or other menu to start the process.

After the scanning process, you will get details on the detected error or trouble codes. Be sure to take note or record the codes most, especially if the scanner is not giving a comprehensive explanation of what the codes mean.

While some tools keep the codes for you, know those codes on your computer.

Third Step: Interpret The Collected Data

Know that you can’t make sense of the generated codes even if you search them on Google. With that, you will need to use a reliable code reader in order to translate the codes or patterns into simple or plain words. Here’s how you can interpret the data:

  1. Look for car diagnostic codes online. In fact, you can find details on the website of the manufacturer or automotive.
  2. Seek assistance from dedicated software that is capable of downloading the codes from the car diagnostic tool and then read them from the computer.
  3. Read the codes using the car diagnostic tool as some tools come with a code description onto the device. But keep in mind that you can only obtain basic ideas of the problems from the collected data.

Fourth Step: Resolve The Problems

There are two ways you can solve the problems scanned by your diagnostic tool:

First, if you have experience or you are knowledgeable in automobile repairs, the codes, along with their description, will offer you an excellent starting point in order to identify the problems and resolve them without seeking help from professionals. But it is worth mentioning that besides indicating damaged parts, the trouble code alerts also show other issues in the external parts.

Second, seek help from professionals when resolving issues. This is highly recommended, especially if you are not used to repairing automotive problems. Also, your equipment, tools, and, most importantly, experience can’t match that of mechanics. While you might find their service costlier, it is actually worth it rather than causing serious problems when you consider the DIY method. Mechanics, on the other hand, are using a professional car diagnostic tool that has more advanced features that can help in detecting the problems in an improved and faster way.

Car Diagnostic Tools: How Much Do They Cost?

Car Diagnostic Tools How Much Do They Cost

Now that you know how to use car diagnostic tool, perhaps you’re wondering how much it costs.

Well, as there are plenty of available options, the costs of car diagnostic tools differ. But usually, you will need to spend $20 to $100. Before you buy a car diagnostic tool, be sure to check its specifications and features so that you can rest easy knowing that it is compatible with your car.


Hopefully, with the above-mentioned information on how to use car diagnostic tool, you will be able to check and monitor the health of your car more efficiently and with ease. While most car diagnostics tools work the same, it is still important that you read the product’s details before using it.

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